Ed Sheehan is dedicated to service. Throughout his government contracting career, he has striven to provide the best for his company’s clients. Now, as president and CEO of the nonprofit Concurrent Technologies Corporation, Sheehan is even more determined to continue that stellar customer service. GovCon Executive recently spoke with Sheehan about his company, its unique structure and plans for the future.
GovCon Executive: Tell me a little bit about your position with Concurrent Technologies Corporation.
Ed Sheehan: I serve as president and chief executive officer of Concurrent Technologies Corporation. I have been an employee of the organization since 1993, and have held various leadership positions, serving on the Senior Executive Leadership team for 16 years. I also serve as a member of the board of directors of the organization.
GovCon Executive: Could you tell me a little bit about the company? What is it exactly that you do?
Ed Sheehan: CTC is a tax exempt organization that provides applied scientific research and development services to our clients. The principle purpose of the organization is twofold. CTC helps transition or transfer emerging technologies into the industrial base to assist companies grow and compete in a global business environment. In addition, our company supports the federal government and state and local governments through the transition of emerging technologies which enhances the government’s ability to execute respective agency missions, to better perform their services less expensively and more effectively. It’s about strengthening the economic vitality of our nation and our economy through the use of new and emerging technologies. It is also to support the federal government in terms of assisting in our national security. For example, we bring emerging technologies and capabilities to bear to help enhance weapons systems. We develop solutions to make the weapons systems last longer and perform better, so it’s very much about helping to preserve our national security, working with the federal government, and also helping to strengthen the economic vitality of the nation.
GovCon Executive: Your nonprofit status is a little unique in the industry. How exactly does that direct your company’s mission?
Ed Sheehan: The mission of our organization is essentially to be the premier applied research and development organization providing innovative solutions to our clients in support of the public good for the benefit of our nation. Our tax exempt status or nonprofit status is important because our clients know that we are a true partner working with them. We are not profit motivated. What motivates us is fulfilling the mission of the organization. Our employees are truly special people. We are not in the position to offer equity or stock options. Our employees are here because they believe in the mission of the company. They believe in serving our nation, and they like the environment which provides very technically challenging projects and opportunities. Those factors make us unique. In addition, as a nonprofit tax exempt organization, we are able to take on work that some for-profit organizations wouldn’t be interested in because the risk is too great. That’s not a concern for us. When there is a difficult technical problem we want to solve it, and it doesn’t matter whether we make money or not.
GovCon Executive: When you first took the position as president and CEO, what were the challenges your company was facing?
Ed Sheehan: When I became president on July 1, 2008, the company was in good shape. We had been around since 1987, and CTC was financially strong and viable. I was following the first president and CEO of the organization, and because we had worked together for so long, the transition was smooth. As our dynamic markets change, I’m leading the organization in some different and new directions and that creates challenges. I’m very proud of our company and our people. They have accepted those challenges, and we continue to do great things together. While we don’t control the marketplace, we can try to influence it by introducing our unique and innovative solutions. We have to be able to respond to it, and right now with federal budgets being cut and with emerging technologies coming to the forefront, people want to do more with less funding. We are seeing increased competition in the marketplace, and we have to stay in front through the identification and development of emerging technologies and solutions so that we can be the best at doing what we do.
GovCon Executive: In the spirit of that, what makes CTC unique? Why would somebody go with your company as opposed to your competitors?
Ed Sheehan: I think there are a few things. I believe strongly, and I know this based on conversations I’ve had with our employees, that the tax exempt mission of our organization is very important to them. As a result of their belief in the mission, they do extraordinary things for the benefit of our clients. They work hard and provide great innovative technology-based solutions. It’s not about doing a project or making money. It’s about making sure that we’ve brought the best possible solution to bear for the benefit of the client. We truly have, in my opinion, a very broad and deep technically based organization, and we have some of the best people in the world in terms of subject matter expertise who are personally committed and vested in making sure that our company and our clients do well. One of the other things, an important part of our culture, is that we work as a team and we treat people like family. Every CTC employee is personally committed to solving very difficult challenges, and we treat one another like a family when it comes to responding to difficult challenges. I think it is a very unique environment in a company like CTC that affords our employees the opportunity to work on a number of different projects, focusing on difficult things that most organizations can’t solve. Those are the things we are working on everyday and solving. We’ve got great, unique capabilities, unique people, and we have a very appreciative client base that appreciates working with CTC. For the record, I think one of the ways that what I’m saying is exemplified is that we’ve been selected as one of the best places to work in Pennsylvania for 10 consecutive years, and we are only one of three companies in Pennsylvania to achieve that recognition. We’re also recognized as a best place to work in Virginia. That recognition is based on employee feedback. In addition, we’ve been voted as one of the best nonprofits to work for in the country. We’ve received a number of awards in terms of how we assist our nation’s veterans who work with us and continue to serve as guardsmen and reservists, and for providing excellent job opportunities for military personnel once they leave the service. We are also one of Washington Technologies Top 100 Companies. We do a lot of things well, and our employees and independent organizations recognize that about CTC.
GovCon Executive: What are your goals for CTC? Where would you like to see it in five years?
Ed Sheehan: We certainly want to continue to grow. We see ourselves growing in the healthcare industry and cybersecurity, and we’re looking into water sustainability. We’re already in the alternative energy market, but we’re now looking at expanding that portfolio into areas like natural gas, exploration and use. I’d like to see the company continue to diversify in terms of our employee base and population as well as our client base.
GovCon Executive: That is all I have. Was there anything that I did not ask that you would like to discuss?
Ed Sheehan: I would draw your attention to our website where you can learn about a number of the capabilities that the company possesses. We highlight 10 technical areas of expertise and corresponding representative projects to demonstrate how our customized solutions are benefiting clients in a number of industries including aerospace, defense, healthcare, energy and environment, automotive, transportation, homeland security, manufacturing, and more. You’ll find that information on our website at www.ctc.com.