Arria Hines, President and Chief Executive Officer of Allegheny Science and Technology, has a philosophy on Government Contracting: “…you’ll either love the government contracting arena or you won’t. A lot of the work is cyclical, many contracts are five years. Every couple of years you are re-competing, unexpected things happen and there is risk to that. I happen to love it.”
Working for a government contractor as Director of Programs, Hines provided management oversight for an operation exceeding $120M in annual revenue; however, the contract was on its third re-compete and Hines felt it was time to take her part-time consulting business to the next level.
Around this same time, late 2007, Hines met up with Bob Wentz, the President and CEO of Information Research Corporation who provided mentorship and encouraged her to take the next step. Wentz later came onboard as her professional partner assuming the roles of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Fast forward to March 2009, and Allegheny Science and Technology gained their Small Business Administration 8(a) Small Disadvantaged Business Certification. The 8(a) Business Development program is the US Small Business Administration’s nine-year program created to assist eligible socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in developing and growing their businesses. Through the program businesses receive assistance including counseling, training, and match-making opportunities with federal buyers.
Hines credits the SBA’s West Virginia District Office for helping get her foot in doors with agencies. “Judy McCauley, Barbara Weaver, Melissa Loder and the entire West Virginia District Office have been instrumental in my networking success,” says Hines.
In July 2009, the small business was awarded its first federal contract by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s NASA IV&V Facility – who still remains their key client.
Since then, Allegheny Science and Technology’s client roster has read like a who’s who in Government contracting: the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of the Army, U.S. Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Department of Homeland Security and Defense Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Most recently, Allegheny Science and Technology was awarded a $4M contract from the Defense Intelligence Agency of the Department of Defense to provide business analytics advisory services for the Office of CIO leadership.
Hines champions her staff, which she refers to as her “Allegheny Family”, for their hard work and dedication to the company. “One of the most rewarding parts of owning a small business is seeing the business grow and watching the employees become enthusiastic about their work and success they accomplish supporting our customers,” says Hines.
Hines and her team have a strategic plan in place for the next five years, which includes the transition out of the 8(a) program. Through matchmaking events, participated in by the SBA, the company has teamed up with smaller companies and is now championing them to enter the 8(a) program.
During the 2013 fiscal year, the Federal Government spent over $15M utilizing WV 8(a) certified small disadvantaged businesses. If you have a love for Government Contracting, and want more information, visit www.sba.gov/wv or call the West Virginia District Office at 304-623-5631.