It was no idle boast. MicroTechnologies LLC has topped the list of the HispanicBusiness Fastest-Growing 100 for three years running.
Last year, President, CEO and founder Tony Jimenez said his IT firm might be able to pull off a third win in a row. Now that it has, he says he feels "blessed."
"I've got people who really love what they do and it shows in the results we've had in growth -- and, more importantly, in retainability," he says in a phone conversation with HispanicBusiness magazine. Despite enticing offers elsewhere, MicroTech's people stay on "because of the success that we've had."
And some success it is. MicroTech's revenue shot up from $4.3 million in 2006 to $331.1 million in 2010, which works out to a competition-crushing increase of 7,585.7 percent.
Founded in 2004 and based in Vienna, Va., MicroTech provides large-scale technology services, systems engineering and product solutions to government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Since 2006, the company has grown from 32 employees to about 425 employees, with another 300 or so subcontractors providing support.
Before going into business, Mr. Jimenez had already put in an admirable career. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private and worked his way up to lieutenant colonel before retiring after 26 years in the service. A military police officer, he was deployed three times to the Middle East and served in the first Gulf War, according to the Vienna Connection newspaper.
MicroTech's top brass include Steve Truitt, chief operating officer, who brings some 30 years of general management and IT experience to the table; Dave Coker, senior vice president of technology services and solutions, who served with the Army in South Korea, Germany and the Middle East; and former Marine tank commander Scott Sullivan, senior vice president of unified communications and collaboration, who leads the UCC team in the Greensboro, N.C., office.
Mr. Jimenez earned a bachelor's degree and two master's degrees while in uniform. "I had the same opportunities afforded to me as anybody in the U.S. had afforded to them if they went into the military," he says. "I think what the military did for me is made me realize that there were no limitations."
It also helped to have a guiding hand when he was a boy. "I was born and raised in a family where work ethic was critical. My father talked about always having to do more than the next person to be recognized," he says. "You can't just be satisfied with doing enough. You have to be satisfied with doing enough plus."
Otherwise, he says, "Opportunities aren't going to come your way."
He says hard work and a willingness to do more than is expected attract the attention of people who want to help. "That's particularly the case in the Hispanic community," he says. "So many times we've been pigeonholed and stereotyped into what we can do and what people don't know we can do," from judges to senators to business people.
"I am constantly asked what I do for a living," he says. "And they're surprised that here I am, I'm Hispanic and I chose IT."
A Little Help
After retiring from the Army, Mr. Jimenez started out with an $8,700 job providing systems engineering as a federal subcontractor. Just two years later, MicroTech had landed a five-year, $280 million contract with Veterans Veteransto provide network support for Microsoft products.
That award "expires in about a year," says Mr. Jimenez. "We just won another one as subcontractor to VA, very similar to that. We were too big to compete, so we ended up partnering with another company going in and winning one of four awards."
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