Tri Star Engineering, Inc.
Tri Star Engineering was the first woman and minority-owned Indiana-based firm to provide technical support services to the Department of Defense. Priya Wharton, a native of India, used her Mechanical Engineering degree and 17 years of government experience with the Defense Material Acquisition Lifecycle to launch Tri Star in 1995.
Tri Star provides engineering services including program management and administrative support; test and evaluation; mechanical, electrical, civil, and structural engineering; financial and auditing support.
In August 1998, Tri Star received an SBA 7(a) guaranteed loan for $200,000. The company expanded its Bedford, Indiana home office and established a light manufacturing and refurbishment capability in a separate production facility in Bedford. The company also opened a field office in Washington, D.C. to expand its marketing competitiveness with the Department of Defense. Revenues in 1998 grew by 200 percent. Another SBA guaranteed loan of $500,000 in August 1999 helped the company continue its expansion. Tri Star opened offices in Hampton Roads, VA, and a production facility in San Diego, CA.
In addition to prime contracts with the Department of Defense and General Services Administration, Tri Star has subcontracted for Lockheed Martin, SAIC/AMSEC, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon.
Starting in 1995, Tri Star’s 5 employees generated revenues of $120,000. In 2002, the company had 140 employees and generated sales in excess of $12.7 million. As of June 2010, in a difficult economy, Tri Star Engineering had 350 employees and generated revenues of $16.5 million.