EMPHASIS ON EXCELLENCE
Vienna, VA-based MicroTech offers technology integration, telecom and cloud solutions, and product solutions, managing hundreds of thousands of tech users daily. The company, founded in 2004, recently sold two of its commercial divisions, leaving its business focused almost solely on federal government contracts.
“Because we do a lot of work with the government, we have a very demanding customer,” says MicroTech president and CEO Tony Jimenez. “It’s a huge challenge. Our customer expects excellence, and they don’t expect it part time, they don’t expect it once a month; they expect it every second of the day.”
There are three keys to being a successful government contractor, Jimenez says. They are: being able to win the contract; getting the contract at a price that allows you to deliver a quality product; and making sure you win that contract again when it’s up for renewal. Executing that process well is not easy.
“I have high standards for myself and high standards for my people,” Jimenez says. “It’s extremely hard to play in an environment where there are so many rules, and you have to make sure that you do them all. There are a lot of things that you have to do in order to stay squeaky clean, ethically as well as by regulations and rules, and we put a lot of emphasis on that.”
A big part of MicroTech’s success over the years, Jimenez says, has been his willingness to bring in leaders who can fill gaps in his own abilities. “If I can surround myself with people who are better than I am, I can fill in all the voids and areas where I’m not good or where I could be better. But more importantly, if I’m hiring people who are better than me and they’re hiring people that are better than them, then we’re going to end up headed in the right direction.”
Providing cutting-edge IT solutions in a government contracting environment, and managing growth at the same time, takes a special brand of leadership, say CFO David Hinson.
“One of the components of being successful in a company like MicroTech, with the work that it does and its growth trajectory, you have to be able to think two or three steps down the line,” says Hinson. “[Our] work is pretty sophisticated. It’s demanding, and there’s no one decision that doesn’t impact multiple areas within the company.”
In practice, that means the company’s leaders have to be in touch with their teams. “One of the things that Tony emphasizes as a leader is responsibility on the unit level, responsibility on the VP level, to make sure that your people are informed, to make sure everyone understands what is necessary to complete a task,” Hinson says. “And it’s something that he talks about pretty much every week — the importance of making sure you have the right resources within your unit to achieve your goals.”
MicroTech has been and continues to be a “growth company,” Hinson says. That means new or junior employees always have lots of chances to show what they are capable of.
“The leadership team takes a special interest in growth of the members of their team,” Hinson says. “There’s always conversation about how to make sure that a person has the appropriate skills. Tony has been very good about creating conditions for people to get trained when they didn’t have the skillset that was necessary or they needed certain credentials. We focus on it as a core part of the strategy of the company.”
The training at MicroTech has been so good that the firm has sometimes struggled to hold on to its talent. Jimenez is philosophical on this point, saying he would never want to stand between one of his people and their next career opportunity.
“One of the things that is so unique about the company is that when you come in, you really do have an opportunity to take a lot of leadership,” Hinson says. “There’s so much going on that there’s not an opportunity to kind of sit back and wait and have things given to you. It’s a very dynamic environment. It really is good for people who are forward leaning, forward thinking, who really want to create change, and who enjoy the whole process of taking responsibility and having tasks and getting them completed. When you have that sort of environment, it builds a skillset that’s very interesting to larger corporations.”
Photo (L to R): John Sieve, VP, Pricing; Jose Nino, VP, Strategic Relationships; Javier Bucheli, VP, Finance; Carlos Cantarilho, SVP, Enterprise Solutions and Services; Al Brouillard, VP, Operations and Client Services; Linda Terrizzi, VP, Product Solutions; Tony Jimenez, President and CEO; Denise Rodriguez-Lopez, VP, Proposals; Jay Carroll, VP, GWAC/IDIQ Programs; Mark Lambdin, VP, Enterprise Solutions and Products; Ron Lehto, SVP, Proposal and Contract Operations; Lewis Rhodes, VP, Legal and Contracts; David Hinson, CFO