Gold Stevie Award Winner 2013, Click to Enter The 2014 Steve Awards for Women in Business

Company: CSSS.NET, Washington, DC USA
Entry Submitted By: Focused Image
Company Description: CSSS.NET is a leading provider of mission-critical technology solutions and one of the fastest growing woman-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned government solutions providers in the country. With a team that is more than half veterans, CSSS.NET delivers award-winning solutions in cyber security, IT and critical systems engineering, telecommunications network management and program management.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year – Business Services –11 to 2,500 Employees

Nomination Title: Lisa Wolford, CEO & President

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

In an era of economic downturn for many federal contractors, founder and CEO of CSSS.NET Lisa Wolford set the company on a growth course as a leading provider of mission-critical technology solutions and one of the fastest growing woman-owned, service-disabled veteran owned government solutions providers in the country. Lisa’s leadership skills have transformed what started out as a one-woman firm in 1997 to the $25 million federal contracting business it is today. CSSS.NET uses its versatile team of software engineers, computer programmers and IT professionals to deliver high quality and efficient work on time into new markets with a variety of government entities including the Department of Defense, Small Business Administration, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To help the meet the challenges of a rapidly changing technological landscape in a cost-constrained environment, Lisa and the CSSS.NET team have secured contracts that have increased the DoD’s efficiency, improved its information systems and helped prepare the DoD for the future. Under Lisa’s leadership the company has achieved significant milestones since July 2012, including:

• A continued upward trajectory of growth through:

O Winning a technology-leading Air Force award for certification and accreditation on sensitive systems for the Air Force Material Command

O Expanding efforts in existing work with the United States Strategic Command and its Joint Force Component Commands

O Being added as a preferred subcontractor for the Joint Global Command and Control System, placing experts at numerous sites across the nation

O Delivering new capability to the United States Marine Corps for IPv6 compatibility

O Positioning of the Defense Media Activity cyber security at a greater level of capability and capacity of information systems to operate effectively and provide appropriate confidentiality, integrity, and availability

The company also received a number of important industry and business community accolades in 2012, including:

• 2013 and 2012 Inc. 500|5000 list of fastest-growing private companies

• Two Gold Stevies from the2013 International Business Awards for Company of the Year and Executive of the Year in the aerospace and defense category

• 2012 Hire Power Award from Inc.

Ms. Wolford has also been honored personally for her work as a business leader and is continually sought after as a DoD subject matter expert. Examples include:

• December 2012 – Recognized as a “Woman in Business” by U.S Representative Lee Terry and featured in Strictly Business magazine in honor of that recognition

• August 2012 – Executive panelist at Boots to Business, a program developed to introduce and train transitioning service members to business ownership

• July 2013 – Led CSSS.NET to be one of 39 companies selected to be recognized for being exceptional employers of Navy reservists from nearly 300 nominees; others recognized included General Motors, USAA and UPS

Throughout the past year, Ms. Wolford led her executive team in the development of a new five-year strategic plan for the company that included activities to enhance the company’s presence in the Washington, D.C., area and strengthen the core team by making strategic management hires. She moved corporate headquarters from Bellevue, Neb., to Washington, D.C. in July 2013, and has made several recent executive hires in 2013 including Raymond Tye as senior vice president and Jeffrey Ondris as eastern region director.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):

Ms. Wolford’s career began as a field radio operator in the Marine Corps, but when her son became severely disabled, she was honorably discharged to care for him. Determined to succeed and create a positive future, she earned two degrees from the University of Nebraska - Omaha, and started her own IT consulting firm in 1997. Today, CSSS.NET is a $20 million IT and cybersecurity powerhouse with nearly 200 employees (most of whom are veterans) across 20 states. Ms. Wolford is on the board of At Ease, an organization providing free or reduced-fee PTSD treatment for veterans, and is a past board member of Task Force for Veterans Entrepreneurship, and the National Association of Veteran Owned Businesses Association. She actively mentors SDVOSB and WOSB firms.