The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Professional Services Council unveiled finalists for the 15th Annual Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards. Spear, Inc. is one of six companies nominated for Contractor of the Year Award (up to $25 million), and WashingtonExec talked with CEO Richard Pineda about growth and what sets Spear apart from its competitors.
“With Spear, it’s all about the people, or ‘Spearmates’ as Richard and Gino refer to their colleagues,” said KippsDesanto’s Marc Marlin, a sponsor of this year’s awards. “The energy and passion of this emerging mid-size company is intoxicating, and exciting to watch. Spear is truly employee-centric and it shows in their customers’ recognition of their ability to support unique needs and solve complex problems time and time again. This is only the beginning for Spear. Congrats to Richard, Gino and the Spear team on this well-deserved recognition.”
WashingtonExec: How does it feel to be recognized as one of Inc. 500|5000’s fastest-growing private companies this year?
Richard Pineda: It’s incredible to begin to see the rewards in response to what we have been building over the past 5 years. Results are what organizations are measured by, not efforts. Therefore, to have quantifiable and meaningful recognition as a result of the hard work by all our Spearmates, it’s quite rewarding.
And of course, when Spear, Inc. is used in the same paragraph as other great Inc. 500 companies that are now household names, what’s not to love about that?
WashingtonExec: What is your favorite part of your day-to-day job?
Richard Pineda: As an entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of an emerging business, no day is ever the same. You have to be flexible as a leader, but you cannot compromise your philosophy, your ethics, or your beliefs. Spear is honored to make a difference on a local and global scale through our focused delivery to our federal customers.
However, if I had to pick a favorite — the hands-on aspects of the lifecycle of “the deal” is my favorite part of the day. The pursuit, negotiation, win, grow and do it all over again “sport” is so exhilarating. I know that’s what keeps me and all our Spearmates coming back for more every day.
WashingtonExec: What sets your company apart from your competitors?
Richard Pineda: I believe we are set apart through the flawless execution of our company’s mantra: Solutions, Performance and Results. We are a solutions-oriented, performance-based and results-driven organization.
We established a culture of winning at Spear. If you’re not a winner, then you better hate to lose! You are only as good as you are, not as good as you were. Credibility is developed and sustained by proving yourself each day. We [myself and Co-Founder, President and COO Gino Antonelli] always wanted to create a company and culture built on a strong and loyal workforce where everyone can contribute and succeed as a way of life. Spear is built on seven core values, which are instilled in all our Spearmates on day one.
- Embrace and Drive Change
- Pursue Growth
- Do More with Less
- Be Adventurous and Creative
- Build a Positive Team
- Be Passionate and Humble
- Give back
We encourage training, embracing innovation and change, knowing that our people are the unique differentiators with certifications, education, clearances, passion and knowledge of the most cutting-edge technology and trends in our industry.
WashingtonExec: Spear, Inc. has seen tremendous growth the past few years. Do you expect such growth to continue?
Richard Pineda: The “can-do” attitude followed with the grit and determination like no other is what has fueled our significant growth trajectory during these challenged budget years. Since 2014, our percentage growth projection has consistently been over 200 percent. Our revenue in 2016 represents a 207 percent growth over 2015 revenues and we are forecast to organically grow over 160 percent YoY in 2017.
While it would be great to continue such growth, business size, market conditions and a little bit of luck will all need to align.
Our people are our priority and our seven core values are what matter: making us unique and differentiating us in the federal marketspace. As we continue investment in our people, our business development, and our give back to our community, we anticipate organic success and posture for a future of solid growth. Let’s just say that we expect to always outhustle, outpace and deliver above market indices in the coming years.
WashingtonExec: What inspired the beginning of Spear, Inc.?
Richard Pineda: The entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to do more is what brought Gino and I to establish Spear. Building a best-in-class organization where our people (customers and Spearmates) come first was paramount.
I had learned a lot from leaders I had worked for like Will Soza, Ross Perot Sr., Ross Perot Jr. and Michael Dell. The life lessons I received from them as entrepreneurs also inspired me to focus building Spear and our vision. My drive was and will always be achieving success. I’ve always been very disciplined in my career path, starting with finance, and moving into IT, management soon after. I quickly found out that that if you take care of your people first and service your customers by always staying ahead of them and their needs, you have a far greater chance, if not guaranteed, success.
Some organizations just lose that fundamental focus… rather than seeking that next organization to lead when Spear’s co-founders were seeking that next best company, we decided to build it!