DHA Group seeks to ‘grow up’

May 5, 2013

The nearly 20-year-old DHA Group has seen explosive growth since 2008 — but now is bracing for leaner times.

The District-based company started in 1994 as a one-man shop headed by then 30-year-old David F. Hale, the company’s president. By 2008, it still had only 15 full-time employees, all focused on the FBI.

That year, the services contractor managed to win a prime spot on an FBI contract program that has led to dozens of task orders. Its employee count has soared to 270.

But DHA is now taking a different approach. In fall 2011, it moved recruiting lead Yusuf Abdul-Salaam into business development in an effort to grow beyond its single contract with the FBI.

It was “time for DHA to grow up,” Hale said. The company has since won work with the Defense Logistics Agency and is pursuing about 20 different contract programs this year.

Still, Hale said he expects DHA to continue to grow, just not at the same rate. In 2011, the company’s revenue grew 227 percent; in 2012, 35 percent. This year, Hale is projecting about 10 percent.

Spear seeks new office, potential acquisitions

A year into running Spear, the company’s founders say they’re considering an acquisition and pursuing new office space.

Richard Y. Pineda, former president of Dell’s federal services business, founded the IT services contractor with Gino Antonelli, a former executive at Intelligent Decisions and Noel N. Samuel, the former chief financial officer for Dell’s public sector services business. (Samuel has since left the company.)

Pineda said last week that the IT services contractor now has about 30 employees — and is outgrowing its Tysons Corner space. Spear has primarily won work on Pentagon contracts and is focusing in areas like cybersecurity and data analytics.

Even as budget cuts hit, Pineda and Antonelli said they’re optimistic that they’ll be able to win work — particularly as federal agencies focus on small businesses.

“The small-business acquisition track is increasing dramatically in popularity,” Antonelli said.

GAO rejects NCI protest

The Government Accountability Office has denied a protest filed by Reston-based NCI over a Justice Department contract for IT services awarded to Falls Church-based IntelliDyne.

NCI had proposed a lower price of $19.6 million, compared to IntelliDyne’s $21.8 million submission. The GAO report said the contracting office found IntelliDyne’s proposal to be the best value and “offered a number of technical advantages, including providing incumbent staff.”

NCI disputed its evaluation, but the GAO found that the agency “had good reasons to be concerned with NCI’s” approach.

GAO denies Halfaker protest

The GAO also rejected Arlington-based Halfaker and Associates, which had protested a task order awarded by the Navy to Honolulu-based Native Hawaiian Veterans for support services at Navy regional operation centers.

Halfaker’s proposal was priced at $18.2 million, while NHV’s came in at about $16.5 million.

Though Halfaker’s submission received the highest evaluation ratings available, the contracting officer thought NHV’s proposal reflected the best value for the government, according to the GAO report. The GAO found that the Navy’s evaluation and decision were “reasonable.”

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