Meet SBA’s Va. small biz person of year
IntellecTechs CEO Jeri Prophet honored
Jeri Prophet joined the Navy on a whim.
She had been attending Arizona State University, saw a recruiter sign, and headed for the office. “Some people buy new shoes. I joined the Navy,” she recalled.
She served 10 years in the Navy, first as a data systems analyst and left as an information systems technician. That led her to start her own company, Virginia Beach-based IntellecTechs Inc., a software development and IT services contractor, in 2008.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Virginia-Richmond District Office’s 2022 small business person of the year, Prophet was recognized at a ceremony in Virginia Beach in early May during National Small Business Week (May 1-7).
“I am delighted to recognize our National Small Business Week winners from across the country who have stepped up to build their businesses, create jobs, and power historic recovery over the past year,” U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabella Guzman said in a statement. “Entrepreneurs are innovators and creators at their core, delivering the products and services we depend on and making our neighborhoods, towns, and cities more vibrant places to live and work. They give their all to achieve their American dream of business ownership and, by doing so, advance America’s economy and global competitiveness. Our 2022 award winners represent the vibrancy and resiliency of our nation’s 32.5 million small businesses, and I look forward to celebrating these small business giants and the positive impact they have had on lives and livelihoods in communities all across America.”
After accepting the award, Prophet said, “In business, if you don’t take some chances, you don’t really get to that next level.” Prophet said she’d done that by going after big contracts, stepping outside her comfort zone and even turning down contracts at times.
She has grown IntellecTechs from just herself and one other employee to a company employing more than 200 workers. The firm made the Inc. 5000 list of private companies with the most revenue growth in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021.
Her first big break was landing a contract with Norfolk International Airport, she said. Another milestone was winning a major military contract that allowed her company to scale up to a few hundred people around the country. In 2019, IntellecTechs began doing work with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and now has contracts with all the U.S. embassies around the world. IntellecTechs has earned many more contracts since then, including recent contract awards from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the FBI and other agencies.