WashingtonExec, in partnership with the Fairfax Chambers of Commerce, kicked off a new series profiling government contractors nominated for the 9th Annual Greater Washington Government Contracting Awards. Interviewed nominees include small, mid-size and large “Executive of the Year” as well as “Contractor of the Year” finalists. The winners will be announced on November 1st at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner.
This quick bi-weekly series asks nominees direct questions as to how they achieved success and notoriety in the GovCon community.
Today we will hear from Brian Clark, Executive Vice President and CFO at NCI. Clark will begin his position as president of NCI January 1st, 2012. NCI is nominated for “Contractor of the Year” in the greater than $300 million division.
WashingtonExec: How has the tightening of the lending market impacted you?
Brian Clark: Fortunately, NCI has been impacted very little, if at all, by the tightening of the lending market. NCI’s current senior credit facility was renewed in December 2010 with a committed borrowing capacity of $125 million, with an accordion feature to expand up to $175 million. The facility provides liquidity in support of day-to-day working capital requirements, capital investments, and funding for future strategic acquisitions.
NCI is fortunate to have an agile and responsive lending group with local executive representatives who possess a deep understanding of our marketplace and the economics within our region. Given this knowledge, our local lenders are important partners when NCI contemplates strategic transactions.
While most of NCI’s past growth has been through organic means, one of the key elements of our expansion strategy has been to acquire companies that provide an important strategic advantage, as was the case with NCI’s acquisition of AdvanceMed Corporation in April 2011. This strategic acquisition expands NCI’s capabilities in the electronic healthcare and informatics markets. In particular, the acquisition places NCI in the program integrity services marketplace. Given the current administration’s emphasis on the elimination of fraud, waste, and abuse in Federal entitlement programs, expansion into this marketplace offers very promising business opportunities for NCI.
Coupled with our strong balance sheet and credit facility, our long-standing partnership with our lending group provides NCI with the means to continue executing in support of our growth objective to reach $1 billion in revenue within the next three to five years.
WashingtonExec: Competition to obtain top talent in the private sector is fierce. How does you company not only draw top talent, but maintain it?
Brian Clark: We would agree that attracting and retaining top talent is one of the key challenges we face, especially in the Washington, DC metro area. As a company, we are deeply committed to attracting, developing, and retaining premier technologists and skilled employees.
We believe that no matter which market you are in, or which benefit packages you offer, what attracts top talent is interesting, rewarding, and meaningful work. Additionally, tools, training, and opportunities for career advancement, as well as opportunities to help serve and/or defend our nation are key discriminators.
Given NCI’s size and stature, we remain a very nimble and agile competitor with exceptional past performance credentials. As a leading provider of information technology, engineering, logistics, and professional services, we deliver innovative systems, solutions, and services that support essential missions for our Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and Civilian customers. A sample of our services and solutions include cybersecurity, IT modernization and consolidation, and cloud computing. These areas provide for some of the premier job opportunities in the market, and NCI has many exciting positions to offer potential and current employees.
WashingtonExec: In your opinion, how does a company stay nimble when it is in a period of growth and expansion?
Brian Clark: Staying nimble during growth and expansion is all about leadership. Not just leadership at the top, but at all levels within the organization. Moreover, effective leadership is about building relationships with people: the customers we serve, the partners with whom we collaborate, the employees we hire, and the community in which we live and work.
By design, we maintain a lean corporate infrastructure and a service delivery model that aligns with specific customers or markets. Our leadership model is heavily biased toward developing talent and promoting from within the company. We also seek individuals who have long histories with customers in the Federal services industry, extensive domain knowledge, and proven ability to grow the bottom line. In other words, we seek experienced leaders and empower them to make decisions based on serving our customers and shareholders.
We believe this structure allows NCI to remain nimble and agile in times of expansion, and facilitates the distribution of leadership responsibility to a broad base of proven executives and managers who are on the front lines, making decisions that support our customers and contribute to the growth of NCI.
WashingtonExec: People always talk about corporate culture, but what is something that your company purposely focuses on to create the emulate, the ideal company culture?
Brian Clark: NCI was founded in 1989 with the intent of becoming a leading provider of technological services and solutions to the U.S. Federal Government. A hallmark of NCI has been the ability to build management teams that have extensive knowledge of customer missions. We firmly believe that our success is a direct result of our unwavering commitment to total customer satisfaction. We take great pride in delivering on our promises to customers, employees, and stockholders—and our top priority remains building relationships based on trust, integrity, and performance.
NCI’s capabilities are centered on helping our customers overcome challenges in order to carry out their critical missions and meet their objectives. In an era of tightening Federal budgets, our goal is to identify services and solutions that enable our customers to fulfill essential mission requirements at costs that are within budgetary expectations. We help our customers reduce costs and achieve new levels of performance by utilizing cutting-edge technology, such as those associated with IT consolidation and modernization, cybersecurity, information assurance, and cloud computing.
As a corporate culture strongly committed to customer satisfaction, we have the expertise, flexibility, and responsiveness to think creatively and deliver innovative technologies that solve the challenges our customers face.