Raul “Danny” Vargas rose from an impoverished childhood in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn to become a distinguished leader and role model among the businesspeople of his community. Danny served seven years in the U.S. Air Force, including five years in Panama where he supervised airborne reconnaissance missions. After his discharge he returned to school and became the first member of his family to earn a college degree.
He put his degree to work for Raytheon Corporation, playing a key role in expanding their business in the areas of training, operations and intelligence analysis support to the federal government. He spent after six years at Global One, where as Director of Corporate and Carrier sales for the Americas Region (ranging from Canada to Chile) he generated over $140 million in revenue in 1999. After a stint at France Telecom, he went to work at AOL, ultimately serving as their VP for Latin America.
In 2004, while still working at AOL, Danny started his own business, VARCom Solutions. VARCom, a marketing, public relations and management consulting firm based in Herndon, Virginia, is a participant in the SBA Washington Metropolitan Area District’s 8(a) business development program. VARCom’s clients include government contractors, technology/telecom firms, financial institutions, consumer-focused companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.
Danny has proven his leadership in the community as well. He was appointed by the U.S. Congress as a Commissioner on the National Museum of the American Latino Commission and by the Virginia Governor to the Virginia Workforce Council, selected National Co-Chair of the HIMSS Latino initiative (advancing Health IT in the Hispanic community), served as Chairman of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (the first Hispanic to chair a mainstream chamber in the history of Virginia), and presently serves on the board of directors of Northern Virginia Family Service (a 501(c)(3) focused on empowering families). He often speaks to students at local school assemblies on the importance and rewards of hard work and persistence.
In 2011, Danny Vargas was named SBA Minority Business Champion of the Year for the Washington Metrpolitan Area District and the 5-state SBA Region III. Soon after, VARCom formed Techworx, LLC, an SBA 8a-certfied joint venture between VARCom Solutions and Prototype Productions, Inc. In 2012, Techworx was awarded a $3.5 Million contract by US Army Armaments, Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. The contract will support the development of ARDEC’s next generation Picatinny Optical Detection System (PODS). PODS is a hand-held optical detection system that will enable the warfighter to locate and situate potential threats prior to engagement. The production of the PODS 2.1 prototype systems will improve on previous versions by reducing the size of the units and incorporating new technologies. Under the contract, TechWorx will review the technical data package and identify any issues related to manufacturability and usability. Techworx will also build and deliver five prototype units and 45 production units of the PODS 2.1 system.
Amy Frey’s international trade consulting business, ATC International, Inc., of Silver Spring, Md., began in 1991 with boomerangs. And her business has been booming ever since. Her dream of a career in international trade began as a child when her father would return from foreign trips with a gift of a doll dressed in native attire. But instead of dreaming of a doll house, Frey dreamed of a warehouse.
In college and graduate school Frey studied international business. After graduation, Frey was offered a job in Australia identifying companies to receive government grants and assistance for exporting.
As Frey was preparing to leave Australia in 1990, several companies impressed with her skills suggested she provide consulting services upon her return to the U.S.
That suggestion led Frey to start ATC International. The company began in a small bedroom with a fax machine. “The fax would ring in the middle of the night (which was the middle of the day in Australia) and I would lie awake wondering if I should get up and read it,” Frey said.
Although Frey had an educational background in business and professional experience in exporting, she knew that even the most successful entrepreneur needs assistance. In 2000, Frey turned to SBA’s resource partner SCORE—Counselors to America’s Small Business—for advice. Frey worked with Washington, D.C., chapter counselor Ann Dobbs, a former partner with a supermarket chain, who provided help with employee relations, legal issues, insurance and banking. “Being able to share my concerns and questions with Ann has been enormously valuable,” said Frey.
Frey’s success was recognized in 2004 when she was named the Exporter of the Year for the Washington metropolitan area by the U.S. Business Administration. Today, ATC offers U.S.-based warehousing and business management services that are designed specifically to make doing business in the U.S. easier domestically and internationally. ATC, which has warehouses on both the East and West Coast, distributes a wide variety of consumer products.
Fulfilling her lifelong love of science, Payal Tak journeyed from her native India in the mid 1980s to continue her education in the United States. The life sciences soon gave way to computer science earning Tak academic degrees in Computer Science and in Telecommunications Systems Management.
Tak began climbing the career ladder in the information technology industry where she undertook several challenging assignments and was recognized for her significant contributions and leadership skills.
She led a highly successful user acceptance test of a multi-million dollar telecommunications billing system that is in use in national and international telecommunications markets today. Her next career climb was an assignment that placed her in the heart of the fast-paced commercial telecommunications industry where she led several projects.
Recognizing her ability for effective customer service and management, Tak established Telesis Corporation in September 1998 to provide information technology services to the federal government and commercial industry. The corporation provides services in the areas of call center solutions, records management, document processing, software and systems development and network engineering. The company’s main goal is to surpass customer expectations with outstanding services which led to Telesis Corporation’s tag line ... Where We Exceed Expectations!®.
In 2005, Tak was recognized as the U.S. Small Business Person of the Year for the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
By repeatedly delivering upon the promise of its tag line, Telesis Corporation has become one of the fastest growing U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program and HUBZone Certified and woman-owned small businesses in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area. In addition, Pak’s commitment to the success of the SBA’s HUBZone program has been reflected in the corporation’s success in having created over 150 jobs in the HUBZones of the United States.
In 2006, Telesis was rated the 146th fastest growing privately held company in the United States by Inc. Magazine and was selected as the top diversity owned business and top small business in Maryland by Diversitybusiness.com in 2004-2006.
From humble beginnings in 1998, Telesis Corporation has grown to over $22 million in revenue in 2006. Tak is committed to creating professional growth opportunities for women and minorities in the work place.