Randy and Emily Fuerst: Treading Similar Paths in Federal IT, But Making Their Own Waves

Fuerst, Randy and Emily - Copy

Randy and Emily Fuerst

Randy is CEO of Oceus Networks. Emily works as a Marketing Coordinator, Task Order Analyst at STG Inc.

Oceus Networks delivers broadband solutions to the public and private sectors.

STG Inc. is a mid-tier government contracting firm which touts capabilities that includes solutions in cyber security, enterprise network operations, systems engineering and integration, financial services, software engineering and linguistics and intelligence solutions.

Together, they are a father-daughter duo taking on the federal IT industry. But is it no surprise for father Randy, who knew from when Emily was young that she would find a way to leave her own mark on the world, even when Emily was unsure of herself.

“To me, Emily is that classic American picture of a young, fun-loving girl who was always curious about her surroundings and never afraid to try new things,” Emily’s father Randy said. “From the beginning, Emily was very focused on her academics, but she always made time for extracurricular activities at school. … Over the years, I would always encourage Emily to not just follow in the footsteps of others, but to sometimes take risks and define her own path.”

Indeed, she has.

As a student at James Madison University pursuing Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Emily was unsure where her chosen path would lead.

“When I was in undergrad at JMU, I did not see myself pursuing a career in government contracting, but then again, I was very unclear as to where I saw myself professionally,” she said.

Internships at government contractors L3 Communications and Red Team Consulting, along with many conversations with her dad about his profession, spiked her interest in the federal IT industry.

Dad Randy has worked for companies in the national security sector for more than 30 years. After graduating from college, he joined CTEC, a software engineering company, where he did field support on various U.S. Navy fleet intelligence centers. He went on to work with software engineering companies, progressing from the program management of systems to running all of the systems engineering and IT services business for BTG.

All those years in the industry means dad has some advice for his daughter as she pursues her own path in the IT field.

Fuerst, Randy Emily baby“I have shared with Emily that as she enters the federal IT industry, she needs to stay abreast of the macro trends that our challenging our space,” Randy said. “As Emily progresses in her own career, I believe it is important for her to fully understand how she can also contribute across industry to build on the partnerships with our government counterparts.”

And as it turns out, sometimes the father-daughter duo find themselves at the same event.

“Emily and I attended a wine tasting industry mixer this past summer at the 2941 Restaurant,” Randy said. “I’ve encouraged her to seek out similar venues to build her own professional network as I believe it is very important for her to establish her own identity in our industry. Naturally, as her father, I am very proud to introduce Emily to my fellow peers, as well.”

It’s their last name that often helps break the ice for Emily.

“People typically do not know that I am Randy’s daughter until they hear my last name,” Emily said. “Typically when they find out he is my dad, they will jokingly give me a hard time and will always ask me to send him warm wishes. My dad is full of personality so I enjoy meeting people within the industry who share great stories about him. When I think of my dad, I think of him as one of my closest friends, a role model and a great father. So whenever I do meet people who know my father professionally, I really enjoy listening to all of the wonderful things they have to say about him.”

And from here?

“In 15 years, I hope to be involved with an organization that supports military working dogs,” Emily said. “At Georgetown, I worked on a semester-long project that focused on these amazing animals and the project explored the various benefits military working dogs offer to the warfighter. I was very passionate about the project and I hope one day I can work for a company that supports this program.”

“My dad has always set high expectations for me professionally,” she added. “Since I was little, he has always told me, ‘You’re going to be a CEO of your own company one day.’ He always emphasizes the importance of staying focused, working hard and staying true to myself. He also highlights the importance of networking and building strong and lasting relationships with people. Whenever I need professional guidance (or even personal guidance), he is the first person I go to.”

Randy talks equally kindly about Emily and the chance to one day work with her.

“I would be delighted to work in some capacity with her. I have always told her to aim high and shoot for the stars! It easy for me to imagine Emily as her own CEO one day; and of course, I would be delighted to work for her in some capacity to fulfill her own company vision and build something special together!”

Check out the other stories featured in our second generation series:
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Related: Dad & His Little Princess: Dusty and Chelsey Wince
Related: Government Contracting & Family Business for the Luddekes



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