Scott Goss led a double-faceted career that began in IT, pivoted toward accounting and executive management and now has him offering his expertise as a consultant. Since his retirement in 2017 as president and CEO of Preferred Systems Solutions, Goss has consulted behind the scenes for several government contractors.
Goss has worked with Trowbridge since its founding, and for the past year, consulted on its sale to Enlightenment Capital. He has also offered his expertise on the sale of Knight Point Systems to Perspecta. Both companies recently completed the transition process.
The work that led him to eventually becoming involved in more than 50 mergers and acquisitions in the government space goes back more than two decades.
In 1996, Goss came to SIGNAL Corp. from I-NET, which had been acquired by Wang Federal. He was offered a job as chief information officer of Wang Federal, but turned it down in favor of an accounting job at SIGNAL, which was on a $33 million run rate at the time.
There, Goss helped start a consulting practice that grew to 10% of SIGNAL’s earnings. He eventually led the sale of SIGNAL to Veridian Corp. in 2002 and became president of Veridian IT Services, where he led nearly 2,000 employees and a company that brought in $315 million of revenue.
“Veridian sold to General Dynamics, where I stayed on a short period of time as general manager and decided to take my leave to work more on merger and acquisition,” Goss said. “This experience and growing a consulting practice led me to consulting for well over 180 companies in the government market and participating in over 50 M&A deals in the space.”
Goss grew PSS into a leading provider of IT and cybersecurity solutions to the intelligence community and received a number of recognitions, including being named 2015 Dealmaker of the Year at the Corporate Growth Awards.
He continues consulting for various government contractors and various capacities in retirement. He offers services in M&A, advisory, chief financial officer work, infrastructure and integration. He also supports the financial services business at PSS and travels to Virginia as needed.
One of his current goals is finding a good balance between work and other aspects of his life.
“My goals are to spend more time with my family, spend more time with friends, travel and selectively take on work where I can make a difference and help those I work for,” he said.
Goss said he was fortunate to work for many successful entrepreneurs over his career and in executive roles, including Ken Bajaj of I-NET, AppleNet, DigitalNet and DMI; Roger Mody of SIGNAL Corp; and David Langstaff of Veridian. Jim Allen, former chief financial officer for CACI, GRC, Veridian and Global Defense Technology & Systems, Inc., was also one of his “incredible mentors” — each of whom used their unique experiences and backgrounds to teach him different lessons.
Some of his most valuable lessons have been communications, Goss said.
“I have a policy today that you must respond to communication within 24 hours maximum,” he said. “I think this has been one of the most important things. People want to get a response if only to say you are looking into their question, etc. The sooner, the better. When you have a sick child, the relief of just getting a response from the doctor is often a weight off your shoulders, and in business, it’s the same. This was true in business and working with mission critical government clients.”
Goss also learned the value of responding with a cool head in complex situations.
“Often, it’s best to save your email and then read it later — even a day later — and most of the time, if not all of the time, you will find things that you may write differently,” he said. “Getting consensus among management has been a very helpful thing that impacted me growing to a CEO. When you get buy-in from the team, it helps set the course for continuity and success.
“Finally, Roger Mody taught me that two sets of eyes are better than one,” he added. “Don’t be too proud to have your work reviewed, communications reviewed or bounce ideas off of someone for review and feedback.”
Outside of work, Goss has contributed to a number of causes including the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and The Wounded Warrior Amputee softball team.
He currently serves on a proxy board for PDRI and also as president of the Overlook Condominium Association.
Goss’ oldest daughter, Kayla, holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Lynn University, is enrolled in graduate school and is a certified yoga instructor. His youngest daughter, Michelle, is a sophomore at Lynn University. He and his wife and partner of 35 years, Nicole, split their time between their home in Delray Beach, Florida (off the intercoastal) and a condo on the beach in Hillsboro Beach, Florida. He enjoys golf, boating, traveling and music.