Service-disabled Veteran Small Business Owner Named 2008 Small Business Person of the Year

There are companies that start up and soon fizzle. There are companies that start up, struggle, and slowly grow. Then, there are companies that start up and seem to take off like a rocket, up to the sky and beyond. Such seems to be the case for HMS Technologies, Inc. Founded on the basic principals of duty, honor, and commitment to excellence, Harry M. Siegel, president and CEO, has overseen the steady growth of HMS, Inc. since its inception in 2003. The company has received numerous recognitions since then, the most recent being an award for the 2007 Congressional Medal of Distinction for Small Business Excellence.

HMS, Inc. has progressed “from just me and nothing to $20 million in sales,” Siegel, the sole owner of the business reports. The company specializes in information technology (IT) and provides aids for health-care professionals and first responders. Mobile computing is the strength of the company, which has grown over 3000% with clientele mostly in the military and federal arena.

Headquartered in historic Martinsburg, W.Va., HMS, Inc. is a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) with 45 percent of the staff consisting of veterans. A highly decorated Service-Disabled Vietnam Veteran and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Siegel not only utilizes the expertise and experience of other veterans, he provides mentoring to other veterans who are small business owners. When asked if he worries about creating competition, he states: “Instead of growing competitors, I’m growing teammates.”

Siegel has always been a hard worker. Born in Anderson, S.C., he began working at age six at his uncle’s gas station. At age nine, he had three paper routes; and as he grew older, he went on to work in his dad’s gun shop. He also attained the rank of Eagle Scout while a member of the Boy Scouts.

At HMS Technologies, Inc., ethics begins and ends with Harry M. Siegel. He has never taken an ethics class and has only read one book on the subject, which was bought on impulse at an airport bookstore. Siegel doesn’t just follow the Golden Rule in aligning his life activities; he goes way beyond it.

Siegel emulates his work ethic and training everyday at HMS. As a result, he has developed an exceedingly loyal and highly trained staff. Of his 20 employees, 95 percent have bachelor’s degrees and 60 percent have master’s degrees. To create a more cohesive group, each employee has company letter jackets and can earn pins for various levels of performance. When in the community, HMS employees can be easily recognized. Siegel’s leadership skills have been chronicled in a recent interview and profile in a book on leadership and in articles on ethics in American Executive Magazine.

For HMS Technologies and Siegel, the basic tenet is, “If I don’t think something is good for the country, I’ll walk away from the project.” For Siegel, the bottom line is, “I like to look in the mirror at the end of the day and say it’s been an honorable day.”

While HMS is primarily an IT firm, the company developed an innovative and important life-saving device which has been made available to the Federal Government. Called EZ-IO from Vida Care, the device is a small, battery-powered, intraosseous (IO) drive and needle set that provides fast, safe and controllable intraosseous access as an alternative to failed emergency IV access. The product, which provides injections directly to the marrow of the bone, has been credited with saving more than 400 American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Siegel was awarded the coveted Ronald Reagan Gold Medal in 2005 for Small Business Excellence; was named 2005 Business Man of the Year by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC); and was named Empire Who’s Who IT Systems Integration Professional of the Year for 2005. In 2006, he was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as Veteran Champion of the Year for West Virginia. HMS was also awarded the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year by the Secretary of Defense in 2007.

HMS sponsors an annual college scholarship for the child of an American service member who has served overseas, has paid for “messages home from the front” for service members stationed overseas, and has sponsored the Winter and Summer Olympic Games on the local NBC channel and local sports teams for youth leagues. The corporation always lends a hand on major fund raisers including the Boys and Girls Clubs, Shriners’ Children’s hospital drives, and local Chamber of Commerce charity events.

Siegel has mentored 13 other start-up organizations and always makes time for other entrepreneurs, with a willingness to meet and share his knowledge, encouragement and expertise. Siegel never says no to a qualified business request. A tireless professional who does his utmost to aide and assist others anytime day or night, he also serves on Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capitos’ board to select West Virginia youth for service academies.

A 32nd Degree Master Mason and involved in the American Legion, AMVETS, and Moose Lodge, Siegel also serves as Tech Advisory Member for Jefferson County; as a member of the Board of Directors for East Ridge Mental Health, FOCUS, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Thanks Plain and Simple, Berkeley County Development Authority and Ambulance Authority.

Siegel resides in Falling Waters, W.Va. with his wife, Wendy, and son Sloane. The Siegel’s own and operate Maralie Farm, a rescue horse farm and site of a handicapped and underprivileged children’s riding program designed to enhance their self-worth and ability to meld into society.