Tim Lamb serves as president of Ashburn, Va.-based Chenega Security & Support Solutions (CS3) where he leads a more than 500-person team that provides law enforcement, physical security, emergency services and fire protection services.
The close-to-decade-long company veteran has helped build the security subsidiary from the ground up, beginning in January 2011 with one contract.
Prior to joining the Alaska native village corporation, Lamb served as assistant commandant of the U.S. Army Military Police School and spent 25 years as a military police officer in a number of different leadership roles.
In his discussion with ExecutiveBiz, Lamb touches on the growth of his subsidiary and the corporation as a whole, the contracts that helped grow CS3 over the past three years and how his work has changed the classification of CS3. as a large business.
ExecutiveBiz: Can you please describe Chenega’s background?
Tim Lamb: Chenega has a very interesting history and an extensive background in federal government contracting. To best understand the Chenega people and the corporation itself, you need to understand a couple of key events in its history.
One key event was in 1964, on Good Friday, when the largest earthquake ever to hit North America caused a tsunami that wiped out the Chenega Village entirely, and claimed the lives of a third of its people.
Up to that time, the Chenega people lived a subsistence lifestyle, hunting, fishing, and living off the resources of Prince William Sound.
As you can imagine, it was a very traumatic event. The tightly knit Chenega community was disbursed to live in other communities in Prince William Sound, never again to share the same communal life. It’s an event that’s still talked about among the shareholders to this day.
Twenty years later the Chenega people reestablished their village on Evans Island, a more protected area about 25 miles south of the original village site on Chenega Island.
Twenty-five years to the day from the Good Friday earthquake and tsunami in 1964 the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound. That oil spill endangered much of the sea and land that the Chenega people used to hunt and fish.
Chenega already had a corporation in place, but as a result of a settlement in the Exxon Valdez oil spill, in another act of courage, the Chenega people took a principle part of that settlement and invested in pursuing work in the government services market.
As a result, our shareholders were able to grow the corporation and become involved in the federal government contracting space.
And so from 1997 to present, Chenega went from being a relatively small Alaska native village corporation that was focused on the timber industry and some selling of minerals to getting into the federal work space, becoming the fourth largest Alaskan owned corporation in the state.
Today, Chenega Corporation operates in five business lines with several companies in each line.
My specific company, Chenega Security and Support Solutions (CS3), is in the security business. Chenega also provides IT support, environmental, military intelligence, logistics, and healthcare services and is organized into strategic business units which manage the various lines of business.
CS3 is under the Security Strategic Business Unit located in Ashburn, Virginia.
We work for our native shareholders. As a mandated provision in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 100 percent of the profit goes back to shareholders, supporting programs involving protection of the native culture, language and historic sites, as well as providing education scholarships and various elder and shareholder wellness benefits.
Chenega also provides one of the most consistent and progressive shareholder dividend programs of any ANC. The Native value system and the corporation’s support of the shareholder family totally influences what we’re doing to the extent that our work takes on more of a sense of contributing to a corporate culture that’s focused on a higher cause.
Our work and the profits from our work significantly elevate opportunities for the Chenega shareholders to create lives of self‑sufficiency that are sustainable, productive, and predictive in the future.
Chenega Security and Support Solutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chenega Corporation. We were formed from scratch back in January of 2011. What Chenega has historically done is build new companies from the ground up.
The first employee is the president, and that president is tasked with developing a strategic business plan for the company, entering the company into the Small Business Administration, 8(a), Small Business Development Program, going out and competing for work in whatever business line that company’s associated with and growing the company into a successful business.
What we’ve been able to do with Chenega Security and Support Solutions, in the last two and a half years, is grow from one employee and no revenue, to several hundred million dollars in backlog and over $50 million a year in annual revenue.
The majority of our business has been competitively won for which we are very proud. So from our perspective, this company has been a real success story for the corporation.
We entered the Small Business Development Program in the fall of 2011 and we graduated January this year. We were only in the program about 17 months and now are a large business.
ExecutiveBiz: What work do you perform in the law enforcement emergency services space?
Tim Lamb: Our focus is on what we call protective services. And that covers a lot of different things. It covers armed and unarmed security services, many times at the cleared level, up to and including top secret, cleared security officers, both working at physical security and in staff support.
We do emergency services, fire services, and dispatch. Our security operations include both fixed posts and mobile patrols. We’re also involved in law enforcement, traffic accident investigation, canine operations, and maritime boat security. We monitor alarms and operate electronic security systems.
We also employ locksmiths. We conduct investigations and as mentioned, perform the full range of firefighting and emergency services. So, in the whole protective services realm, we do everything. Additionally, we run the protective services training facility that supports all of NASA.
We do a lot of training, we support training, and we export training in the security and law enforcement arena.