ExecutiveBiz Selects Top 20 People to Watch in 2009: the headline-makers coming your way

Just in the time for the New Year, ExecutiveBiz, the area’s largest e-Magazine, has compiled a list of the “Top 20 People to Watch in 2009.”  At a time of economic and political change, these tried and true veterans of the government’s public and private sectors stand poised to take their companies and stakeholders to greater success in 2009.  Through demonstrated drive and business and political acumen, all 20 forged ahead and drove value to their organizations and the industry as a whole. As we look ahead, these respected names are sure to be ones that will make headlines in 2009.

Paul Leslie
President & COO, Apptis

Ever since Paul Leslie came on board Apptis as President and COO in 2007, he’s helped this leading IT solutions and services provider reinvigorate its image within the federal marketplace. Under Leslie’s leadership Apptis has streamlined operations by focusing on “best of breed” IT solutions and revamping other areas.  Apptis is owned by New Mountain Capital, a private equity firm.

Paul Leslie is no stranger to driving value to the company. Prior to joining Apptis, Leslie was President and CEO of Apogen Technologies, which was later acquired by QinetiQ, and this avid Red Sox fan was a key player in its organic growth and ultimate sale.  What’s in store for Apptis with Leslie at the helm?

Admiral Bill “Fox” Fallon

Back in his days as a decorated Navy officer and fighter pilot, Admiral Fallon was known simply as “Fox.”  Fallon has since transitioned into civilian life, but don’t expect this four-star admiral to retreat into a ‘foxhole’ or slip away into obscure retirement. Admiral Fallon is now stateside after a lifetime of exemplary service to our country.  He led U.S. and Allied forces in eight separate command positions and played a leadership role in military and diplomatic matters for the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Since returning to the United States, Fallon has joined the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA) and participated in inter-agency decision making on matters related to China, Iraq and Afghanistan. Befitting his stature, Admiral Fallon was selected to serve as a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at MIT’s Center for International Studies.  He was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors at CompuDyne.  With the Fox landed, what will he next set his sights on?

Ted Davies
President, Unisys Federal

2009 promises to be a banner year for Ted Davies.  He recently stepped into an expanded role as President of Unisys Federal, a major player within the government contracting space.  There will not be a shortage of challenges for Ted Davies as Unisys’ pursues a recompete on their TSA contract.  This former rugby player is set to invigorate Unisys, bringing to the position a record of transforming and growing private companies.  “There is a lot to do to move the organization forward,” said Davies in a recent interview with us, “and I’ve set very aggressive plans [in place].” His leadership vision and future plans make Ted Davies one executive to watch in 2009.

Mark Warner
Virginia Senator-elect

To say that 2008 was an outstanding year for former Virginia Governor Mark Warner would be an understatement.  Not only was Warner selected to give the key note address for the Democratic National Convention, he secured a seat in the U.S. Senate by a wide margin.  Warner attributes his love of politics to his eighth grade social studies teacher, Jim Tyler, who inspired him to work towards social and political change.

Senator-elect Warner has some large shoes to fill due to the retirement of Senator John Warner and Representative Tom Davis.  These two key legislators have been strong supporters of the area’s government contracting community.

Given his business acumen, Warner will likely continue to focus on protecting area government contracting jobs. All indications are positive for this freshman senator.  What headlines will he bring to the Commonwealth during his first year?

Jim O’Neill
CEO, Siemens Enterprise Communications

Jim O’Neill was recently named CEO of Siemens Enterprise Communications, a newly-created joint venture between The Gores Group and Siemens AG.  This represents the largest acquisition to date for The Gores Group.  They also own CompuDyne, an industry leader in advanced technology integration, where O’Neill served as CEO.

Jim O’Neill is a well-known name within the government contracting community.  He led Northrop Grumman’s IT sector from 2004 to 2008, with annual revenue in excess of $4.5 billion.  Throughout the years, O’Neill also served in key positions, managing government solutions.

Although set to face an enormous amount of responsibility with this highly visible acquisition, O’Neill is clearly energized.  Personifying the confidence of his homeland, this Irishman is “excited about the opportunities and challenges ahead of us and the prospect of growing this business in the future with much success.”  How will Jim O’Neill use his dynamic background to fulfill the promise of this venture?

Julius Genachowski
Co-founder of LaunchBox Digital and Rock Creek Ventures

President-elect Barack Obama has recently selected this tech guru to his transition team. President-elect Obama has an eye towards using innovative technology to deliver 21st century government services and Genachowski is spearheading those efforts.

A lawyer by training and practice (having met President-elect Obama at Harvard University), Genachowski is co-founder of LaunchBox Digital and Rock Creek Ventures, a Washington DC-based new media and e-commerce advisory and investment firm. He has also been a lead player in the growth of major web companies, most notably Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp entertainment company.

After continued professional and campaign success, it is expected that he will fill a post as top technology advisor in the new administration.

Tom McMillen
Chairman and CEO, Homeland Security Capital Corp.

With his professional basketball and congressional days behind him, Tom McMillen is a player on the government contracting sphere.  In fact, he has been busy buying up several businesses that aim to solve homeland security challenges. He most recently founded the Homeland Security Capital Corp. but he has no plans to stop there. The 6’11” former basketball Olympian powerhouse is bound to be at the forefront of any shift in homeland security priorities coming with the new administration and a slam-dunk is sure to be in the works.

Linda Mills
Corporate Vice President & President, Northrop Grumman’s IT Sector

Linda Mills took on the reins of Northrop Grumman’s $4.5 billion IT Sector earlier this year.  She has continued the success of the division, which is the fastest growing sector within the company.  Mills’ ability to handle risk is one sign that she’s up for the challenge of maintaining this growth trajectory.  In a recent interview, she told ExecutiveBiz, “You will never have a crystal ball that will tell you where something is going to lead, and what is it that you’re going to do.”  “And by not being willing to take risks sometimes you block options that may seem less desirable in the short run.”  How will Linda Mills build on the successes of this year and continue the growth trajectory for Northrop Grumman’s IT sector?

Brad Antle
CEO, SI International

Back in 2005, when Brad Antle became the CEO of SI International, he was in charge of over 3,800 employees and had revenue projections of $390 million plus. Smart acquisitions played a key part in that success. “We look for good, solid companies with annual revenues between $25 and $100 million that also have great potential for growth,” he told us in a 2007 interview. “Suitable candidates must bring us complementary customer sets where the opportunity for double digit growth exists.” Because Antle believes acquisitions are integral to strategic planning, this pilot flew at the chance to be acquired by Serco Group plc (Serco). The deal is expected to close by the end of 2008.  What opportunities will Brad Antle seize in 2009?

Ken Bajaj
CEO of SystemsNet

Ken Bajaj is well-known as being a serial entrepreneur with the “Midas Touch”.  A perfect example: He gave his wife $5,000 to buy an IT company so she didn’t think all she could do was sell Avon products. That move paid off in a big way; Bajaj and his wife later sold the company, I-Net, to Wang for $240 million.  The idiom that success breeds success fits Bajaj perfectly.  In 2003, he sold another one of his companies,  DigitalNet Holdings Inc., for $600 million.

Bajaj is actively looking for his next big acquisition (most likely in the government contracting space) leaving us to wait — and wonder — what 2009 holds for him.

Bill Hoover
President and CEO, American Systems

Highly respected and forward-thinking, it just makes sense that as Bill Hoover leads, success follows closely behind. Hoover is known within the industry as a “change leader” who drives business growth using a disciplined approach.  Hoover recently obtained a $75 million expandable line of credit for potential acquisitions.  Hoover is intent on shifting the company from a mid-tier to a top-tier service contractor with a threshold of about a billion dollars; a tough hurdle for any privately-owned company.  With Hoover predicting that the time is ripe for new opportunities, what will 2009 hold for American Systems?

Donna Morea
President of Operations, U.S. and India, CGI

Donna Morea is one of the region’s most versatile and widely respected government contracting leaders and a successful entrepreneur.  Morea runs a division which exceeds $1 billion in annual revenue and accounts for 34 percent of CGI’s total revenue. Morea explained to ExecutiveBiz in 2007 that CGI is looking for the right acquisition.  According to Morea, this means the companies must share “a common approach to the market and to our three stakeholders—employees, clients and shareholders.”  Will 2009 be the year that CGI finds the right acquisition target?

Bob Coleman
President and COO, ManTech

Whatever the economic climate, Bob Coleman has consistently maintained a trajectory of acquisitions and growth.  This past September, ManTech completed its acquisition of Emerging Technologies Group, Inc (ETG). One of the ways that ManTech delivers a quality product is by retaining quality employees.  Despite their rapid growth, this self-taught guitar player believes that people are the real key to their success.  Is it any wonder that he is confident saying, “I can tell you that by 2012 ManTech will be a $3 billion enterprise that will be known for the quality of our solutions and people?”

ManTech has been named one of Business 2.0 Magazine’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies and twice voted one of the“50 Fastest Growing Technology Company’s in Virginia” by Deloitte & Touche.  How much closer will 2009 bring Coleman and ManTech to their goal?

Bill Ballhaus
President and CEO, DynCorp International

He’s only 41, but Bill Ballhaus is already a third generation Ph.D. and CEO of DynCorp International, a household name in the government contracting industry.  He picked the right industry to be in, having earned his degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University.  As he says, the defense industry is in his blood and he is constantly rewarded by his work.  Given his exceptional pedigree and business acumen, what big things will be in store for Ballhaus in 2009?

Tom Davis
Former Congressman,
Director, Deloitte’s Federal Government Services

Having worked tirelessly to protect jobs in northern Virginia, Tom Davis has earned the respect of area business leaders.  After deciding not to seek reelection this year, Davis shifted his sights to academia and taught a course on southern politics at George Mason University this fall.  Next up: He’s set to begin as director in Deloitte’s Federal Government Services, helping to bolster its technology innovation.  Given his past track record, what else will Davis give his limitless energy to?

Linda Gooden
Executive Vice President, Information Systems and Global Services, Lockheed Martin

This titan of technology had previously transformed a small division at Lockheed into a 14,000 employee-wide operation.  She has brought to her division an emphasis on personnel development rather than entitlement.  Gooden has provided young, talented employees the opportunity to tackle more complex projects.  Given her accomplishments, the recent promotion to Executive VP comes as no surprise to DC area executives. Linda Gooden is now running the largest revenue source for the world’s largest defense corporation.  What new opportunities are in store for Gooden and Lockheed in 2009?

Carleton Jones
President & Vice Chairman, INDUS Corp.

After a brief retirement stint following the sale of his company, Multimax, for $400 million, Carleton Jones is back in the game.  Just six months after taking the post as Vice Chairman at INDUS Corp, Carleton Jones took on the additional position of President and immediately established sizeable growth plans for the company. With a solid record of performance in 2008, INDUS is approaching $100 million in revenue this coming year.  INDUS is capitalizing on its strengths and aiming to serve as the prime contractor across the federal customer base.  Will 2009 be the year Carleton Jones helps INDUS pull ahead of its competitors?

Joe Doherty
Executive Vice President & Group President, ACS Government Solutions Group

Joe Doherty serves as EVP and Group President of ACS Government Solutions Group, the largest provider of BPO services in the government sector. As a former executive at CSC, Doherty is no stranger to managing a multi-billion dollar division.  In a recent interview, this career naval officer explained, “November 23rd [2008]—at midnight, to be exact—a noncompete agreement ends and ACS is free to re-enter the federal market.”  Will ACS pursue a large acquisition to round out their product offering?  All we know is that Doherty is racing towards increasing his team’s overall portfolio by double digits.  How will Doherty help cement ACS’ position in the federal marketplace in 2009?

John Hillen
CEO, Global Strategies Group (North America) Inc.

It’s hard to not like John Hillen, a PhD with a superior intellect, a regular at Anita’s and a man who reads Harry Potter to his kids.  Prior to joining Global Strategies, Hillen served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs in the Department of State. As CEO of Global Strategies Group (North America) Inc., Hillen oversees some of the most complex and highly-classified international security issues.  In 2007, Global Strategies Group acquired SFA and its subsidiary, The Analysis Corporation (TAC).  This represents the strategic outlook Hillen exemplifies, as these additions expand the range of services Global Strategies Group offers to their clients and gives them even more of a foothold within the industry.  Will Hillen be on the hunt for more strategic acquisitions in 2009?

Stan Sloane
President and CEO, SRA International

Stan Sloane, President and CEO of SRA International, has set his sights on reaching $5 billion in revenue by 2012.  As he puts it, “My top priority has been setting the course to grow SRA’s business to what we call “5 and 10 by 12.” That’s five billion in revenue and 10% operating margin by fiscal year 2012.” SRA has built an exceptional company, having been named by Fortune Magazine as one of Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work seven years in a row.   Prior to joining SRA, Sloane served on the executive team for Lockheed Martin.  He is also a pilot and flies his own plane.  What heights will Stan Sloane help SRA soar to in 2009?

This is the first year we choose a group of 20 People to Watch — creative, talented, successful, newsworthy, influential — who embody the best of our business and political community.  We hope you enjoyed our article and tell us what you think.

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