It’s been said that prediction is a very difficult thing — especially if it’s about the future. Fortunately, when we set out to name 2009’s People to Watch, we placed are bets correctly, giving readers a sneak peak of Beltway game changers who’d more than likely be leaving their mark over the coming year. We’re happy to report we were right — check out our update, below, on those who’ve made the most impact over the course of this year:
Brad Antle: On the look-out for next big IT services and engineering company
Brad Antle began 2009 with a new role: President of Bradford SCG, a consulting group focused on the information technology and services industry. Antle came to that role having wrapped up a nearly 10-year stint as president and CEO of SI International, Inc. The year also saw Antle team up with an old partner: the private equity firm, Frontenac. Back in 1998, SI International was founded with backing from Frontenac. In 2009, Antle again teamed with the firm to form a new venture: Salient Solutions. Backed by $100 million, Salient Solutions was formed to acquire and build a $500 million federal IT services and engineering company over the next five years. “We’re currently on the hunt for a company that can serve as the platform and foundation for Salient Solutions LLC,” says Antle. “This first acquisition will form the core of a company committed to aggressive organic growth that we will stimulated with private equity investment.”
Bill Ballhaus: Raising DynCorp’s defense profile
Bill Ballhaus ushered in 2009 as one of Forbes’ list of most powerful CEOs “40 and under.” Ballhaus went on to hold true to that prediction, and ours. Despite a challenging environment — shifting defense priorities, topping the list — Ballhaus steered DynCorp toward a number of key strategic wins this year. In June, DynCorp landed a $915 million aviation contract with the U.S. government — a sum greater than its entire revenue for the previous quarter. Then, in July, the U.S. Army contracted a DynCorp-led team to support ongoing operations in southern Afghanistan with logistics services. By August, DynCorp had posted higher profits on increased sales for its first quarter of fiscal 2010, which ended July 3. A month later, Ballhaus led DynCorp in its acquisition of Phoenix Consulting Group Inc., a company with 400 employees that provides services to the intelligence community. The acquisition speaks to central goal for Ballhaus: to accelerate growth, expand service offerings, and penetrate new segments.
Bob Coleman: New role as head of Six3 Systems
This past year Bob Coleman traded in the title of COO for CEO. But not of ManTech. Coleman partnered with GTCR, a U.S.-based private equity firm with a track record of building successful companies in government services, to form Six3 Systems. Backed by $2.75 billion of committed capital from GTCR, Six3 Systems focuses on building a government services platform specializing in national security and defense intelligence. That collaboration continued to keep Coleman busy throughout 2009. In June, Coleman and GTCR announced plans to acquire Harding Security Associates Inc. That acquisition allows Six3 to further expand its national security services offerings. With that “critical first step” wrapped up, we’ll likely see more from Coleman in 2010, as he continues his long-term objective to build what he calls a “highly specialized national security services provider focused on solving our nation’s most pressing security challenges domestically and abroad.”
Joe Doherty: Cementing ACS’ role in the federal market
Joe Doherty spent 2009 making good on his promise to cement ACS’ place in the federal marketplace. In fact, the year oversaw record bookings across federal, state, local, and government healthcare markets. Strategic wins included a $37.5 million contract to help rebuild storm-damaged rental property in Louisiana; a contracts from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to increase the amount of unclaimed property the state returns to its rightful owners; a five-year contract extension to provide IT services to the city of Irvine, Calif.; and a six-year contract with the Louisiana Department of Social Services to provide electronic benefit transfer services. What’s next? Doherty had this to say recently, to ExecutiveBiz: “We’ll see the positive impact of our increased sales resources resulting in a larger pipeline, significant new deals in emerging markets and overseas; and our organization [having] a deeper and broader skill set through strategic acquisitions.”
Julius Genachowski: Championing “Open Internet” rules
The year began with big news for Julius Genachowski: He was selected by then President-elect Barack Obama as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. “Genachowski is something of a double threat,” wrote InformationWeek at the time, “having filled important government staff positions in Washington and working at a brace of private business ventures.” By June, the US Senate confirmed Genachowski for FCC Chairman. Within 30 days, Genachowski was tackling universal broadband — “our generation’s major infrastructure challenge,” as he put it. By August, Genachowski was overseeing a public inquiry designed to further regulation of cell phone and mobile internet providers. “It is essential that the commission develop policies that encourage a new generation of innovators, working with new tools, on new platforms, and having an extraordinary impact on our economy and society,” said Genachowski. He also announced plans to impose open internet rules, which would make airwaves available to next generation wireless networks.
Bill Hoover: “Executive of the Year” among 2009 distinctions
Recently, Bill Hoover received a key honor: being named “Executive of the Year” by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce’s Greater Washington GovCon Council, the Professional Services Council, and Washington Technology magazine. The award, which recognizes an executive at the helm of a company between $75 to $300 million, caps a year of accomplishments for Hoover. The year began with AMERICAN SYSTEMS’ selection by the Department of Defense as one of 12 companies to support its biometric identification systems, a contract worth up to $497 million. Hoover also spent the year strengthening the company’s delivery of comprehensive readiness services — training, simulation and performance measurement assistance — to military and civilian agencies that support national security. Another key win this year was being awarded an IDIQ contract valued at nearly $15 million to provide technical and security engineering services for the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Pacific.
Linda Mills: Overseeing a stronger cyber role
The year saw Linda Mills position Northrop Grumman’s billion IT sector for stronger growth and efficiency. Those efforts began by combining the company’s information technology and mission systems units into a new Information Systems unit. Mills also spent the year lending her voice to an issue beyond Northrop Grumman’s walls: the education of America’s youth. “The growing shortage of science-based talent in our workplaces and universities is a serious problem for this nation,” said Mills, in accepting a Woman of the Year Award by the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America in June. Mills also tackled another pressing issue: cybersecurity. In July, she helped kick-off a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Northrop’s new Cyber Security Operations Center in Maryland. Billed as a “cyber CSI,” CSOC focuses on protecting Northrop Grumman and translating those “lessons learned” to customers’ networks and data worldwide, said Mills in a National Press Club briefing that same month.
Mark Warner: Keeping US entrepreneurial fire alive
Mark Warner kicked off 2009 with generational and political change for Virginia, when he filled John Warner’s seat. Warner had already distinguished himself as a political force. In 2006, he wrapped up his term as governor with an 80 percent approval rating. This go-round, as senator, Warner’s impact has remained consistently strong, particularly among moderates. One of Warner’s biggest points in his favor has been optimism he’s injected into an otherwise dreary economic climate. In June, this former venture capitalist and current member of the Senate’s Commerce Committee, told attendees of The Greater Washington Initiative: While the federal government’s level of activity in the economy may be unprecedented, it’s a temporary measure to jumpstart new industries such as high-speed rail, green technology, and alternative energy. True to his entrepreneurial roots, Warner has also proposed more aggressively boosting small business lending by re-allocating some TARP funds and getting banks to open up lines of credit.
Who do you think has left their mark on government in 2009? Share your comments here.