On Sept. 4, the finalists for this year’s Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards were announced, and WashingtonExec is bringing you its annual series with the nominees.
The winners will be unveiled on Nov. 13 at The Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and the Professional Services Council. With more than 1,000 business and public sector leaders attending the event, our series will keep you up-to-date about all the finalists for this year — who they are, what they do and why they are worthy of winning.
Our third interview is with Lynn Ann Casey, CEO of Arc Aspicio. Casey is nominated for “Contractor of the Year” in the $25 million and less category.
WashingtonExec: How would you describe your business strategy over the past 3-5 years, and what is your organization’s plan for growth over the next 3-5 years?
Lynn Ann Casey: Our business strategy is to become the most trusted homeland security consulting company in the nation, focused on winning mission-critical consulting and technology work to provide interesting and challenging work for our talented team. Early in 2014, we established a three-year Strategic Plan focused on five objectives including an intense focus on formalizing our existing methods to support our continued ability to innovate for our clients as we grow. Our Strategic Plan also focuses on pursuing interesting new business that will be a challenge for our great employees and attract new talent.
In the next 3-5 years, we see tremendous opportunity for growth on mission-oriented projects despite a challenging competitive environment. This strategy is already paying off with wins on several new mission-oriented five-year Blanket Purchase Agreements with our core homeland security clients.
Our largest accomplishment is a win on the $22 billion Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge (EAGLE) Solutions II contract vehicle. EAGLE II is the primary way that the Department of Homeland Security purchases information technology services. This is a tremendous opportunity for growth for our company.
WashingtonExec: How has your business been able to grow as the federal market contracts?
Lynn Ann Casey: Our company has been able to grow by distinguishing our focus on innovate and in-depth knowledge of our clients’ mission challenges and what it takes for them to strategically address these. Mission knowledge translates into innovative long-term strategies and the practical achievement of short-term goals, as well.
WashingtonExec: What is the fastest growing component of your business?
Lynn Ann Casey: The fastest growing component of our business is in consulting projects related to information sharing. This includes data analytics, information sharing best practices across the whole of government, mission integration and outreach, and building partnerships between stakeholders. One really interesting example is information sharing support for national-level events like the Superbowl, Major League Baseball and the Kentucky Derby.
WashingtonExec: What was your organization’s largest accomplishment in the last 12-18 months?
Lynn Ann Casey: Our largest accomplishment is a win on the $22 billion Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge (EAGLE) Solutions II contract vehicle. EAGLE II is the primary way that the Department of Homeland Security purchases information technology services. This is a tremendous opportunity for growth for our company. We have busy working on proposals throughout the summer to provide DHS with innovative services and solutions to their greatest technology and mission challenges. The potential for opportunities on this contract is truly amazing.
WashingtonExec: What are the largest challenges that you predict your business will face in the next 5 years?
Lynn Ann Casey: The two biggest challenges we face are the growing competition for talent and the increasing intensity of competition caused by the move to strategic sourcing contract vehicles. On the talent side, we have scaled up our recruiting capability, attracting about 2,500 candidates in 2014 alone. On the competition side, we have invested in new talent and processes to allow us to find creative ways to distinguish our mission-related services. We look forward to the continued challenge in an ever-changing market.
WashingtonExec: How does your organization maintain engagement with all levels of employees?
Lynn Ann Casey: We maintain a unique, high level of engagement with our employees by 1) a great mentoring and coaching program, 2) a dedicated talent team and annual Talent Strategy and 3) by listening to them in frequent discussions and formal periodic surveys. Their interests and professional development needs are a key input and driver of our corporate strategy. Our employees provide great feedback on their level of engagement with company executives, our investments in very personalized professional development opportunities and on their ability to have a say on where we strategically focus our growth.
WashingtonExec: Have millennials entering the workforce changed your corporate policies? If so, how?
Lynn Ann Casey: The unique perspectives of millenials have not changed our corporate policies. We simply continue to listen to feedback from all employees to make the best decisions for the whole of the company.
WashingtonExec: How is your business involved in the community?
Lynn Ann Casey: Our business is involved in the community in several ways.
First, we publish a widely-read newsletter about trends and topics in homeland security. It includes thought leadership blogs written by all of our employees, who are intensely dedicated to specific areas such as emergency management, combating human trafficking, border and transportation security, immigration and cyber security.
Second, we have a formal Community Involvement Plan that helps us support many organizations including the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF). SDF trains rescued dogs to be search and rescue dogs post-disaster. Our employees selected SDF because of their love of dogs and the organization’s mission of training search and rescue dogs aligns with our homeland security focus. SDF is a non-profit organization that partners rescued dogs with firefighters and other first responders and trains them to find survivors buried alive in disaster sites. SDF teams have responded to disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the devastating tsunami and earthquakes in Japan.