Top 25: Minority-owned businesses in Virginia

Companies’ offerings range from groceries to technology services

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Print this page by Tim Loughran

Virginia’s boardrooms and business events have a far different look than they did 25 years ago. Thousands of startups owned and led by African-Americans, women, Latinos, Asians, the physically disabled and immigrants from around the world now contribute to the commonwealth’s economic growth. In fact, some of these minority-owned companies are among the fastest-growing private companies in the state.

Below is an alphabetical list of some of the diverse entrepreneurs who call Virginia home. Virginia Business considered a company’s annual revenue, number of employees, awards and recognitions when evaluating the state’s most successful minority companies.

Abe Abraham

CMI Management Inc., Alexandria
Since 1989, CMI’s founder and chairman has been providing facilities management, program development and records management services to various federal agencies and commercial clients. The company’s success and growth have won it a spot on Black Enterprise’s “Top 100 list” for three consecutive years, Washington Technology’s “Fast 50” and Smart CEO’s “Future 50” list.

Mahfuz Ahmed

Digital Intelligence Systems Corp., McLean
Since the company’s 1994 founding, the Harvard-educated founder, chairman and CEO has built a swiftly growing staffing company. Recognized by Inc. magazine and Ernst & Young among others, it provides IT talent to other companies for short-term and long-term projects.  The company ranked as the sixth fastest-growing U.S. staffing firm on the 2010 list published by Staffing Industry Analysts. From 2005 to 2009, it posted a 46.4 percent compound annual growth rate.

Douglas D. Bullock

Trinity Technology Group Inc., Fairfax
Since the company’s founding in 2002, TTG has been honored by, The Washington Business Journal and the Small Business Commerce Association for the mission support and security services it offers to clients, including the Pentagon and several federal government agencies.

Christine Do

Soft Tech Consulting Inc., Fairfax
A Vietnamese war refugee who first settled with her family in upstate New York, Do launched her IT services company in 1996. By 2006 she had about $400,000 in annual income and by 2009 receipts had risen to $4.6 million, earning her a place on Inc. magazine’s 2010 list of Top Ten Asian Entrepreneurs. 
Clients include the Department of Justice, the National Institutes of Health, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, United Airlines, Lockheed Martin and Goldman Sachs.

Angela Drummond

SiloSmashers Inc., Merrifield
This management and IT consulting guru developed her firm’s Peak Performance methodology, which helps clients’ companies operate more efficiently. In business for more than 20 years, the Native American will be included in Enterprising Women magazine’s “Enterprising Women of the Year” list for the 18 percent rise in annual revenue, to $20 million, that Silo-Smasher posted during 2010.

Joseph E. Fergus

Communications Technologies Inc., Chantilly
The St. Croix native, a Navy vet and ex-Bell Labs scientist involved in the development of caller-ID technology, started his company —  known as COMTek — at his kitchen table in 1990. It specializes in secure communications networks for clients like the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Army. Fergus was recognized as the 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year from the Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council. His company has $80 million a year in annual revenue and employs more than 1,000 people.

Jose Figueroa

Priority One Services Inc., Alexandria
Since 1986, “Pepe” Figueroa’s life-sciences company has been selling its animal husbandry, laboratory facilities management and professional staffing services to a variety of clients in federal government, the pharmaceuticals industry, biotech and higher education. Last year, Hispanic Business magazine ranked the company among the top Latino-owned businesses in the commonwealth, based on reported 2008 revenues of $39 million.

Fernando V. Galaviz

The Centech Group Inc., Falls Church
In 1988, Galaviz started his company in Arlington with one employee and made $5 million in his first year. Today, the company earns more than $150 million annually and offers many services:  logistics support, engineering services, software development and a host of other services from 20 offices around the nation.

Jose and Marina Robles Gomez

Prime Choice Foods Inc., Bristol
The roots of Prime Choice Foods go back two generations to a small Mexican market in Los Angeles. The founders set up shop on the East Coast in 2000, and business has flourished. Based on reported sales of $23 million in 2008, the husband and wife team were honored as a top Latino-owned company by Hispanic Business magazine in 2010.

Juan J. Gutierrez

Kemron Environmental Services Inc., Vienna
From offices in six states, this Latino-run company specializes in environmental cleanups, assessments and emergency responses. It has handled everything from oil spills and chemical accidents to soil testing and weapons cleanup. One recent contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers calls for Kemron to clean up unexploded munitions and any traces of chemical warfare materiel from active and abandoned military sites across the nation.

Art Hurtado**

Invertix Corp., McLean
Dedicated to hiring young Latino engineers, the New Mexico-born son of Bolivian and Swedish parents spent 26 years in the U.S. Army and used his experience in telecommunications to launch Invertix, an advanced analytics and communications engineering company, in 1999. As it turned its focus to federal contracts, revenue had jumped to $34 million in 2009, up from $2 million in 2006. Last year, the company was honored by SmartCEO magazine, the Washington Business Journal and Inc. magazine for its rapid growth. 

Kevin N. Jennings

Millennium Corp., Arlington
Before launching his own systems management, logistics and information technology company in 2004, the former U.S. Army acquisitions officer spent years overseeing $1.3 billion in R&D contracts for all the major military branches and other major federal agencies.  According to Inc. magazine, which named him one of the country’s top black entrepreneurs in 2010, Millennium collected almost $8 million in revenue in 2009.  Clients include the FBI, the Department of State, the USDA as well as the Army, Navy and Marines.

Horace F. Jones

Advance Resource Technologies Inc., Alexandria
This former artillery staff officer in Vietnam and Ph.D. graduate of the University of Denver founded his company in 1986 to offer a variety of information technology and program management services to clients in government and industry. He’s been honored by Black Enterprise magazine and for his achievements.

Paul V. Lombardi

TeraThink Corp., Reston
A member of the Choctaw nation, the president and chief executive of TeraThink is a mechanical engineering graduate of Virginia Tech. Revenue was $5.7 million in 2009, and the company’s rapid growth has been honored by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Inc. and Washington Technology magazines.

Teddy Matheu

Guident Technologies Inc., Herndon
Born “Federico,” Matheu helped launch the business intelligence, systems engineering and information security company with three partners in 1996. Guident’s clients have included AOL, PBS, Wells Fargo and Comcast, as well as most of the federal government’s largest agencies. Its accolades include honors from the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the Washington Business Journal and Inc. magazine.

Joseph Martinez

Dynaric Inc., Virginia Beach
Specializing in non-metallic, plastic strapping for a variety of products from newspapers to lumber and pre-made doors, this company has its corporate offices and two separate production facilities in Virginia Beach, with additional facilities in Nevada and Mexico. Using reported 2008 revenue of $120 million, Hispanic Business honored the company as one of its top Latino-owned businesses in 2010.

Hany Malik**

Suntiva, Falls Church
Suntiva, which sells a variety of management services to private industry and government, said that it posted its eighth straight year of consecutive revenue growth in 2010. The company was recognized last year by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Fantastic 50 list of fastest-growing companies, Inc. magazine, the Washington Business Journal and Consulting magazine for its reported three-year growth rate of 1,333 percent.

Dario Marquez

MVM Inc., Ashburn
Chairman and CEO Marquez was one of three former Secret Service agents who founded the MVM security guard staffing company in 1979. His company’s robust growth — reaching a reported $190 million in revenue in 2008 — has been noted by Hispanic Business and Inc. magazines. Gov. Bob McDonnell recently appointed Marquez to serve on the state’s Commission on Military and National Security Facilities.

Thomas A. Moorehead

BMW of Sterling, Sterling
Now considered one of the most successful auto dealers in the state, Moorehead and his family launched the company in 2002. In addition to previous recognitions by the Make a Wish Foundation for its charitable work, along with Time and Black Enterprise magazines for its revenue growth, in 2010 BMW of Sterling was awarded its first Center of Excellence award by the German carmaker.

Robert Nakamoto

Base Technologies Inc., McLean
The California-born former World War II internee started his firm in 1987 after a career with MCI, state governments in California and Texas and a stint as director of programs for Medicaid and Medicare in Washington, D.C. Base Technologies offers a variety of services to federal, state and local agencies. The company was named as a 2011 Best Places to Work in Virginia in the midsize employer category by Virginia Business and the Best Companies Group.

Long Nguyen

Pragmatics Inc., Reston
The Vietnamese immigrant and former Georgetown University professor founded Pragmatics, a software and systems engineering company in 1985. Revenues rose to about $110 million in 2009. His plan is to go public when the company approaches $250 million. Last year, Nguyen was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for IT Services in greater Washington. 

Mary Beth Romani**

Integrity Management Consulting, McLean
In early January, the husband and wife founders of the widely recognized program management solutions company switched jobs, with former president Christopher assuming the role of CEO and Mary Beth stepping down as CEO to fill the new position of chief strategy officer. The company has reported 2,900 percent revenue growth since 2008 and lists the Department of Homeland Security, the General Services Administration and the Military Health System as clients.

Mehul Sanghani**

Octo Consulting Group, Vienna
The founder and president of Octo Consulting, which specializes in IT solutions for federal agencies, earned three bachelor’s degrees in five years at Virginia Tech. The company’s $13.7 million in 2009 revenue earned it a Top 25 spot in Inc. magazine’s annual survey of fastest-growing U.S. companies.

Sowrabh “Sab” Sharma**

MMC Systems, Herndon
The owner of MMC Systems, an IT services company, reported income of $3.8 million in 2009, earning it a place on Inc. magazine’s list of fastest-growing U.S. companies. Sharma, who arrived in the U.S. from his native Hyderabad, India, at age 17 to go to college, boasts that he began his first web design firm at age 12.

Bhupesh Wadhawan**

Link Solutions Inc., Reston
The George Mason University School of Management graduate generated a little more than $212,000 in sales his first year, 2006. Within three years revenue at the IT, information security and business services company — now about 100 employees strong — had jumped to $3.7 million. 

**Also appears on fastest growing companies list.

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