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Retired Navy Captain is a Trailblazing Woman Encore Entrepreneur
Orlando, FL – Barbara Stankowski, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMTIS, Inc. served in the U.S. Navy for 28 years before she decided to pursue her passion as an entrepreneur. Captain Stankowski was the leader of a major command based out of Pensacola, FL and specialized in technology, education, and training. The same core competencies would later become the basis of a business model for AMTIS, Inc. The company provides services in four areas including Leadership and Development/Executive Coaching, Training and Evaluation, Professional Services, and Business Process Services.
After she retired from the U.S. Navy in 1998, Captain Stankowski worked for several small businesses; in 2007, she felt inspired to embrace a new challenge in her life, and launched her own company at the age of 58. “I felt I could do more. I wanted to set up a business model that engaged the whole team. As a lifelong student of leadership, I was enthusiastic about trying something different. I enjoy the autonomy of being self-employed,” stated Captain Stankowski.
Captain Stankowski is an “Encore Entrepreneur”, meaning she started a business after she was 50 years old. The SBA offers training and support to encore entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses. For more information about SBA’s encore entrepreneurship programs, visit SBA’s Encore Entrepreneur Website.
Two years after AMTIS, Inc. was started, the company was certified as an 8(a) business serviced by the SBA North Florida District Office. The 8(a) Business Development Program is an important resource for small businesses seeking business development assistance. Named for Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, this program was created to help small and disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace. It also helps these companies gain access to federal and private procurement markets. For more information on 8(a) certification, visit SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Website.
Captain Stankowski’s acceptance in the 8(a) program changed the trajectory of the business from small to a rapidly growing enterprise. In 2012 she entered into a formal Mentor-Protégé partnership with HeiTech Services, Inc. based out of Landover, MD. Heidi Gerding, President/CEO of HeiTech Services, Inc. is also a U.S. Navy Veteran, a SBA 8(a) graduate and has become a trusted advisor for Captain Stankowski. AMTIS, Inc. has benefited from this relationship because the mentoring entity has taken an active approach at helping the company grow, and introduced AMTIS, Inc. to new business concepts, worked with AMTIS to establish an SBA 8(a) approved Joint Venture and a new line of business, Business Process Services, the fourth component of their business model.
The goal of the 8(a) Mentor-Protégé Program is to enhance the capability of 8(a) Program Participants to be competitive, achieve entrepreneurial success, and contribute to the strength and vigor of the economy. 8(a) firms should consult with their SBA District Office Business Opportunity Specialist before applying for the 8(a) Mentor-Protégé program.
In September of 2013, the AMTIS-HeiTech Joint Venture was awarded its first contract a 5-year, $18.5 million 8(a) competitive contract through the Department of Health and Human Services supporting the Office of Minority Health. This was the largest contract award for AMTIS to date. AMTIS currently has over 80 employees located in 14 locations throughout the U.S., and is expecting to double the number of employees within the year. The company also has increased revenue each year since its inception, with a three year growth of 377%.
Captain Stankowski credits her entire staff, and in particular, Linda Albright, Chief Financial Officer, and Theresa Farmer, Vice President of Operations, in helping her grow the company to its current level. She offers a benefits package for her employees including health, dental, long and short-term disability and life insurance; a 401(k) program with at least a 2% match; and educational benefits.
When not working, Captain Stankowski volunteers her time informally mentoring other small businesses in the 8(a) program. She also supports the Wounded Warrior Project and other veteran-based organizations. The company sponsors several run/walk efforts throughout the year to raise money and awareness for veterans.
Captain Stankowski was most recently recognized by the Orlando Business Journal as one of 2014 Women Who Mean Business Award. She is one of eight Women Business Owners recognized this year. She was also recognized by the CEO Nexus, in collaboration with the Rollins Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship, Florida High Tech Corridor Council and Grow FL, for her fast growth and business development successes. The company was acknowledged in INC 500/5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. in 2013, and as one of Florida’s Top 50 Companies to Watch in 2012.
Barbara Stankowski, Captain (US Navy, Ret.), President/CEO of AMTIS, Inc. may be contacted at 12124 High Tech Avenue, Suite 150, Orlando, FL 32817 or at (407) 513-9490. The company website is www.amtisinc.com.