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Prince William County has established itself as an important part of the economic landscape of the Greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area and Northern Virginia.  The County’s contributions to the Northern Virginia economy has resulted in the region singularly accounting for roughly 45 percent of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s total economic activity and 37 percent of all employment, as recently reported in the 2016 State of the Commonwealth Report.  

As Virginia’s second-largest and fourth-fastest growing County, Prince William County has grown consistently and continues to expand and diversify.  Last year, Site Selection, cited one of Prince William County’s Department of Economic Development projects as “…the top project in capital investment [in Virginia] for 2016, to date, is a $350 million Iron Mountain data center going into Manassas.”  SmartAssets also named Prince William County among the state’s top 5 investment locations.

In the last five calendar years [2011-2015], projects closed by the Prince William County Department of Economic Development alone intend to invest a record $2.7 billion and to create 2,900 jobs.  2015 was the fifth year in the Department’s history that it logged over half of a billion dollars in capital investment, with $660 million and more than 600 new jobs. 

“Twenty years ago Prince William County recognized the importance of Economic Development and dedicated a new Department to work on defining a roadmap to its future,” said Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “Today, we are realizing the benefit of laying the foundation for a prosperous economy and continue in our dedication to raise the bar higher for our business community and citizens by delivering on increased capital investment and high-paying, highly-skilled jobs.”

“By concentrating in life sciences and information technology we are creating growth opportunities that are opening up new markets and new types of business opportunities, influencing other technology sectors and the region, as a whole,” said Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Department of Economic Development, Prince William County.  “The County’s growth is owed in part to its strategic location and excellent competitive edge, such as a ready supply of highly-educated young professionals, affordable and available land and competitive labor costs, all of which result in a strong value proposition.”

Throughout its growth, Prince William County has distinguished itself as a premier business destination, that has made significant strides in its new role as a thriving science and technology hub.  There has also been a notable increase in employment opportunities within Prince William County.  As of 2015, the County provided job opportunities for over 122,000 persons.  In fact, over the period 2010-2015, job growth in Prince William County convincingly outpaced that of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area at 18% compared to 6%; as well as that of the state of Virginia which also saw a 6% increase.  Similarly, the number of businesses in Prince William County increased by 20% over the same period compared to 11% growth in the Washington D.C. metro area and 12% growth for all of Virginia. 

By all indications, Prince William County’s ability to generate job opportunities within its boundaries is expected to continue into the foreseeable future, based on the latest round of estimates released by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.  According to those projections, job growth in Prince William County is expected to outpace that of any of the other observed localities in the metro area.  Over the 30-year period, 2015-2045, the County is expected to add an additional 114,000 jobs – an almost 80% increase. 

Want more Prince William County?  Check out our latest video, sign-up for newsletters or visit us at: www.PWCEconDev.org or @PWCDED.


Prince William County provides a true differentiator to IMSolutions

In electronics, a true differentiator cannot be easily physically quantified, because it allows for infinite gain at an infinite frequency. However, many businesses in Greater Washington are making that physical realization in Prince William County, by finding a ‘true differentiator’ in the unique advantages it offers.

IMSolutions is one such company, which found Prince William County to be the ideal location to create a unique people-centric business in management consulting. Today, Prince William County has helped IMSolutions truly flourish, growing from under $500,000 in revenue the first few years to around $14 million.

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IMSolutions describes themselves as a management consulting firm, providing innovative and cost-competitive business and program management solutions to clients across the public sector.

Primarily, said Sean Wells, Senior Executive Vice President , IMSolutions, “we assist clients in acquiring mission critical capabilities, to include developing holistic program strategies for successfully implementing technologies to increase efficiency.” The company offers strategic planning and communications, quantitative analysis, knowledge management, integrative logistics support, acquisition support, survey support and more.

Wells said, “This [Prince William County] is home for us.” His father, Cornell Wells Sr., once worked at the Pentagon, and the family moved to Montclair, Virginia when Sean was born. Their business was also born in the area and nearby Marine Corps Base Quantico, was their first customer.

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IMSolutions has made its home in several different locations throughout Prince William County since the company’s inception. The government contractor started in a small office on Main Street in Dumfries and has moved several times, all within the county, as their business experienced growth spurts.

Wells recalled that when his father first started the business, they had only three employees. They now have some 85 employees, which is why they have moved several times throughout Woodbridge and Dumfries. “We outgrew every building that we were in,” said Wells.

About half the customers IMSolutions serves are local. Of those customers, about 25 percent are located in Northern Virginia and Prince William County and the rest are dispersed across the country.

Doing business in Prince William County is ideal for IMSolutions, Wells said, because it provides the best of both worlds — we still garner business from Washington, DC but are far enough away not to be caught in the “contractor beltway” where 32+ top contracting companies do business. Wells added, “Our location allows us to differentiate ourselves from the competition.

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In 2011, the Wells family and the business suffered the great loss their founder and father. “It was so devastating to the business…he was a visionary. Fortunately my mother came behind him. She too is a visionary and leader,” Wells said. Belva Wells wanted to make sure she saw her husband’s vision to fruition and continued to support their local business community and customers.

Wells favorite aspect of their business is the people side. They wanted to create a unique people-centric business model, unlike what you generally find in corporate America. It’s important for people to feel that the company values them. When we make decisions, we make them based on our workforce, not just our revenue,” Wells said.

IMSolutions main provision to the government is services — they are not product- or tool-based. Wells’ personal favorite service is strategic planning and executive coaching. “I love the human aspect of things,” said Wells, who has a background in social work and business. He enjoys figuring out why a business does what it does and where it’s going.

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Wells said Prince William County has charm, is business-friendly and is growing. In regard to its approach to development, he said,The County is decidedly progressive and approaches growth wisely through healthy dialogue and active community engagement, unlike many other communities.”

“With a highly-skilled workforce, top-rated schools, plenty of outstanding recreational amenities and great area hospitals,” he said, “there are just a lot of unique advantages to locating in Prince William County. I wouldn’t think of being anywhere else!

For more information on IMSolutions, visit www.imsolutionsllc.com.

Creating Results’ Prince William County base helped it grow into a national company

  • Creating Results Strategic Marketing
  • Address: 14000 Crown Court Woodbridge, VA 22193
  • Phone: 703-494-7888
  • Website: http://creatingresults.com/

When people think marketing and advertising, many things might come to mind, but Baby Boomers and seniors probably are not in the mix.

That’s precisely what makes Creating Results so special. With verticals in senior living, real estate, hospitality, education, retail, healthcare and 55+ housing, Creating Results is crashing through the traditional walls of marketing and advertising and reinventing the industry to motivate one of the largest demographics with discretionary income.

And they are doing it primarily from their offices in Prince William County.

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It’s About Location

Co-owner Todd Harff said they chose Prince William County because “Prince William County offers a unique mix of ease of doing business as well as the best quality of life in the D.C. Metro area. There is access to cultural activities, good schools, outdoor activities [and] less traffic.”

Harff also said their Woodbridge location is convenient for their team members, who commute from Fairfax, Stafford and Front Royal. And Though they are based in Prince William County, they have customers all across the country, as well as in Mexico and Canada.

Their work knows no geographic bounds. With easy access to three major airports, Harff, who is located in the New England office, has no problem coming to the main office in Woodbridge, nor does anyone on the team have major challenges arranging flights to the other states and countries where Creating Results does business.

Prince William County also has the demographics and verticals that match Harff’s market. About 32,000 seniors live in the county. There are more than 70 senior living communities, including independent living, assisted living, continuing care and more in Prince William, and the residential real estate market is strong.

With state of the art hospitals and healthcare centers like Sentara and Novant UVA Health, Prince William County was the perfect place to set up shop. Prince William County, being a travel destination, has a superb hospitality industry catering to visitors from within the states and overseas.

This all adds up to success for the company seeking to work with these industries. Locally, Creating Results has provided services for the Potomac Health Foundation, Westminster of Lake Ridge, Discover Prince William and Manassas and more.

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It’s About Niche and Growth

It all began with an idea. Creating Results carefully chose their niche in the marketing and advertising world. Many agencies focus on advertising to young people, but Harff wanted to something other than what run-of-the-mill agencies offered.

The Pew Research Center reports there are 74.9 million Boomers (ages 51 to 69) in the U.S., and 50 percent of the U.S. population will be over the age of 50 by 2017. Yet, this is a largely ignored segment of the population, at least in the advertising world. This is Creating Results’ market, the niche they chose.

“That has proven to be the most important decision in our business,” Harff said.

Harff’s wife, Judy, ran a successful boutique design agency. In 2003, the couple combined forces and began working out of the home with only the two of them and what he called “zero revenue.” Now their revenue is about 4 million per year. They have 12 full-time team members and a variety of freelancers.

In the next five years, they expect to see growth as demand for advertising that caters to Boomers increases. Harff said they plan to grow in a way that makes sense for the requirements of the clients and the team. They feel their niche will give them tremendous opportunity for some time, as younger Baby Boomers are still in the workforce and have different needs from those who just retired.

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It’s About the Tools

Creating Results’ continued growth also relies on data they collect through studies. One study is called “Social Silver Surfers,” which looks at Boomers’ online website and social media preferences.

“We ask, what are they doing and what is working well? What frustrates them? How do they want to interact with companies online and in social media?” said Harff.

Results of these studies are guiding Creating Results into the future.

Another tool the company uses is big data, which they have access to as a Google Partner. Creating Results has the ability to pinpoint people who are likely prospects and find others who are like them through social media and online behaviors. They can produce customized search results based on past behaviors of users.

They have the ability to know what people are doing online. They know what people search for, who their friends are. They can serve up different information on sites based on previous visits. Remarketing, sponsored content, native content – these are all ways to get in front of targeted audiences.

“We like to think of it as being close to prospects, but not creepy,” Harff said.

It’s About Teamwork

For Creating Results, it has been a major challenge, but also a triumph, finding just the right people to help achieve their mission.

“I always recognize it’s good to be lucky, and picking a niche was critical, but so was finding the right people. Lots of people want jobs, but we sort through applicants to find who is aligned with our culture,” Harff said.

“In this regard, our Prince William County location serves us especially well as it affords us immediate access to a highly-educated, highly-skilled, dynamic and innovative workforce,” said Harff.

The average tenure for employees with the company is over eight years.

“People come to work with us and are excited to be part of that team and grow with us,” Harff said.

Creating Results is looking to evolve over the next 10 years and is seeking team members who are excited about helping them do just that. Currently, Creating Results is hiring a Media Marketing Associate and Client Services Director. For more information, visit their website www.creatingresults.com

This promoted post is written by Potomac Local under an agreement with Prince William County Department of Economic Development to showcase business in the region.

Lessening growing pains in the government contracting world

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When President Jack C. Pines and CEO Robert M. Hemingway founded Analytical Consulting Group, LLC in 2003, they wanted more than just a means to support themselves.  Growing pains were soon realized as they tried to get a foothold in the contracting world.  Hemingway shared that one of the biggest challenges they faced was finding a contracting vehicle.

“If you’re a new company, no matter how experienced you are, if you don’t have a vehicle, you’re dead in the water,” said Hemingway.  In order to become a pre-approved vendor to the Federal Government, companies must have three years of contracting business history. This often equates to working with a larger company because they are already approved. Hemingway asserted there is a lot of competition and the possibility to lose the rights to your work to another company.

The belief that the federal government should leverage the agility and innovation potential of small business by protecting them from large business competition dates back to the Great Depression. In the decades since, it’s become enshrined in policy that small businesses should have “maximum practicable opportunities” to compete for prime contracts and subcontract awards. Translating that into practice for your particular industry is no mean feat and growing your business within the realities of the federal market is its own challenge.  However, if your offering is unique and you’re a small business, the deck is stacked in your favor, shared Steve Charles, co-­founder and executive vice president of immixGroup. 

Along with challenges have come triumphs.  One of those triumphs came when the company was signed as a prime contractor for the U.S. Army, not sub-contracting for a larger company. Hemingway is also proud of the fact that, right after the economy crashed, they were able to still hire people and give them the opportunity to maintain a steady work record. They attribute their success to client satisfaction and providing the highest degree of expertise and industry capability.

“We’re not in this business for the sole purpose of making money,” Hemingway said. “We’re former intelligence analysts. We see it as not just a market, but providing a service. We’re proud that most of our employees are veterans. We’re not limited to that, but we’re proud of it.  We don’t approach this as a market to be exploited.” 

What’s Hemingway’s advice for people going into the contracting business? “Know the basic tenets of federal acquisition regulation. They offer that through the Virginia PTAP,” he said.  The Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) educates participants on what they can and can’t do in government contracting. The program is administered by George Mason University.

Analytical Consulting Group provides a wide range of services for their clients, including national defense, geospatial intelligence, information technology services, information assurance, cyber security, program management and language services.  More information on Analytical Consulting Group can be found at analyticalcg.com.

This promoted post is written by Potomac Local under an agreement with Prince William County Department of Economic Development to showcase business in the region.

 

Talented workforce helps IFAS expand in Prince William

Never let a door close behind you. Never be afraid to call on an old co-worker or boss. And never underestimate the power of a relationship.

“If a person is not the right person you’re looking for, that person might just be the one to help you make the connection to the right person,” said Tabatha Turman, president and CEO of Integrated Finance & Accounting Solutions, LLC (IFAS) in Prince William County.

More than just sound networking advice, that is how Turman grew a one-woman consulting business that began in her home into a firm of more than 80 employees, serving as the Prime Contractor for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) in project management, program development, budget execution and cost analysis.

As a subcontractor, today IFAS provides financial improvement and audit readiness assistance services for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and IFAS serves as Prime Contractor to the Financial Management Division (FMD) Accounting Branch.

IFAS is located in Class-A office space along Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge.
IFAS provides financial improvement and audit readiness assistance services for the Defense Logistics Agency.
Tabatha Turman grew a one-woman consulting business that began in her home into a firm of more than 80 employees.

As Turman transitioned out of active duty service in the Army nine years ago, she relied on relationships she had built there. Now, as her company prepares for its 10-year anniversary, the Army remains its oldest client.

“We get to know our clients on a personal and professional level,” said Turman. “When we have someone assigned to a customer, we get to know their families, and who they are…it’s not only about business.”

Turman’s first office was a small space at Tacketts Mill in Lake Ridge, something the Federal Government told her she needed if she wanted to obtain the necessary security clearances to win contracting work. Today she’s located in Class-A office space along Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge.

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The company recently expanded its offices to include more conference room space for client meetings and team-building sessions, and more workspaces for project managers. Turman kept her business in Prince William despite other business owners who told her she wouldn’t be able to find a quality workforce there.

“I have very talented people who have been with me for eight of the nine years I’ve been in business. They drive from Bristow, Gainesville, from other parts of the surrounding area,” said Turman. “Their job is part of their quality of life. My employees enjoy the fact that they can go to work for a firm making the same, or more money and not have to sit three or four hours in commuter traffic every day.”

Last year, IFAS received an award from the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of the Chief Information Officer for their support in financial and administrative areas. In 2014, Turman was selected as a Brava! winner for SmartCEO’s Brava! Awards program. The Brava! Awards celebrated the distinguished achievements of 32 of Greater Washington’s top women business leaders. The class collectively generated more than $254.6 million in annual revenue and employed over 1,111 individuals.

But Turman’s business success was not without challenges. Like many small businesses, Turman faced problems accessing the capital necessary to grow. They resolved their financial woes by developing relationships with bankers who understood the industry. “I heard your three biggest friends in business are your banker, accountant and attorney,” Turman said. Bankers are willing to work with IFAS because “They’ve been with me on the ride,” Turman said.

Turman in the early days remained focused on her vision to grow her company and then relied on her network of relationships to make it happen. She recounted that someone once told her, “Slow down to go fast…align your team around a common purpose. Create the vision so everyone moves in the right direction no matter what their role is in the organization.”

In addition to the power of relationships, Turman attributes some of her success to staying focused and time management skills. She has fine-tuned “trying to master a healthy balance between professional, personal and family life.”

IFAS continues to support contracts in areas outside the Washington, D.C. region, to include Colorado, San Diego, and Tampa, Fla. She aims to grow her company by winning work in more areas in the U.S.

For more information on IFAS-LLC, visit www.ifas-llc.com.

This promoted post is written by Potomac Local under an agreement with Prince William County Department of Economic Development to showcase business in the region.

DefCon Cyber on alert in Prince William, protecting critical assets

The time from when a cyber attacker can access a company’s internal systems to the time the company responds is about 204 days or about seven months. Many agencies rely on email alerts to notify them of network intrusions, but they don’t always work. (more…)

Momentum Aerospace Group takes on the world’s most difficult problems

From a sinking ferry on a great lake in Africa, 14 lives were saved.

Flying an unmanned aerial vehicle above Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo in summer 2015, a sensor operator sitting next to the pilot noticed a sinking ferry 40 nautical miles from shore.

“We joke around and say he used the “force” because he’s not a maritime guy, not former Navy or solider,” said Joe Fluet, CEO of Momentum Aerospace Group (MAG).

A total of 21 people were aboard the ferry that was capsizing in the lake. The drone operators had been on a reconnaissance mission seeking out intelligence on an insurgent group on the other side of the great lake. They deviated from the mission, took another pass near the sinking ferry and provided the geo-location position data of the doomed boat to the Congolese coast guard.

“In much of the world, when ferries sink everybody dies because there are no radios, no way to get rescue and no way to contact anybody. Those 14 people got to go home and be with their families that night,” said Fluet.

That was a memorable day for MAG; a six-year-old company Fluet founded shortly after retiring from the Army Reserve. Now with more than 600 employees on five continents, operating about 100 aircraft, the company headquarters sits in Woodbridge, Va.

MAG has become the hub for people who want to work in remote areas of the world, taking on difficult challenges, with the mindset of “country first.”

“We’re not a lifestyle company,” Fluet said. “The happy MAG employee has two things in life: work and family. Someone who wants to come in at nine and leave at five won’t do well at MAG because they won’t be happy.”

Checking and responding to emails late at night, and working on projects on weekends is just the beginning of the workload for the type of employees MAG attracts.

The reward for this work is high. “MAG pays above market for most positions”, said Fluet. “There’s also the satisfaction in a job well done, with a focus of a mission is to “make the world smaller and a safer place.” His company’s interests align with those of the U.S., and he expects the same kind of patriotism from his employees.

Before founding his company, Fluet was tasked in 2004 by the Pentagon to set up the very first Aviation Special Operations Unit in Afghanistan. After two tours in the Army and now with the Army Reserve and National Guard, Fluet was tapped for the project because of his experience in the cockpit.

fluet4He spent one year in Afghanistan, where he called on the help of several contractors to get the job done. Unimpressed with the”mercenary” attitudes of many, the contractors he worked with were more about getting paid than providing a service to their country.

“I was unhappy with the contractors I hired at the time,” said Fluet. “I genuinely believed I could do it better than what I’d seen.”

When MAG began, Fluet found himself in Washington, D.C. almost on a daily basis, in meetings, providing support and winning contracts. Better communications technology today means he and his employees can work better remotely. His presence in D.C. has significantly diminished.

He chose to locate in Prince William County because of its business-friendly climate and proximity to the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir Army Base and Marine Corps Base Quantico. There’s also plenty of military service members in the area to make it feel like home.

“I went for a run one morning, stepped out onto my block, and I counted 11 American Flags outside of houses,” said Fluet. “Where else do you see that?”

More companies like his are locating to Prince William County because there’s Class A office space for 25% less than the cost of similar spaces in Northern Virginia. MAG will continue pursuing business from the military, U.N., and NATO, all while working in more remote and non-permissive areas across the globe.

The region took notice of MAG earlier this month when Fluet took home a 2016 SmartCEO Future 50 Award. The ceremony recognizes the region’s fastest-growing mid-size companies. Collectively, Future 50 CEOs employ more than 8,000, and have a cumulative $2.3 billion revenue.

It’s difficult to list what MAG does in a 15-second elevator speech. Fluet says that’s both a curse and a blessing.

“If you hired me to fly to you to Indianapolis because you needed to interview someone there, I’m happy to do that for you. But there are literally 5,000 companies that can do that. I would prefer to be hired to conduct aerial surveillance in Yemen. Not a lot of companies can do that.”

This promoted post is written by Potomac Local under an agreement with Prince William County Department of Economic Development to showcase business in the region.