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PotomacWave - Fastest Growing Company of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Company: PotomacWave, Alexandria, VA
Company Description: Established in 2007, PotomacWave was founded by CEO Emma Sopko who wanted to improve the status quo for government clients to lead a bold and innovative professional services company. We are the prime contractor for 50+ competitively awarded contracts within the federal government. Under the current leadership of President CarrieAnne Boak, we now employ over 200 people committed to excellence.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Fastest Growing Company of the Year

Nomination Title: On the Fast Track: PotomacWave, Bold and Innovative

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated organization since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words). Begin your essay with the following two figures, in percentage terms: Year over year revenue growth: Year over year employee growth:

With 27% revenue growth and a 40% spike in employee growth from 2016 to 2017, respectively,PotomacWave Consulting epitomizes a women-owned and led company on the fast track. In 2017, multiple objective parties recognized PotomacWave'srising trajectory including Washington Technology (Fast 50 list, fastest-growing small businesses in the government market for the third time); the Virginia Chamber of Commerce (Fantastic 50, Virginia’s fastest growing companies); Consulting Magazine (Fastest Growing Companies – Federal); the Moxie Awards (Best GovCon 100-249 employees); and SmartCEO (Best Run Companies).

PotomacWave’s exponential growth in size, revenue, and reputation builds on a foundation (since its creation in 2007) of achievements that includes:

-Being bold and innovative in the solutions and services delivered for clients knowing that disrupting the status quo is the most effective way to establish a positive reputation for a young, fast-growing business.
-Achieving revenue growth of 27% in 2017 over 2016, with an equally impressive revenue forecast for 2018. PotomacWave’s revenue growth has successively risen each year since 2013 and more than doubled in the most recent period.
-Securing prime contractor positions on more than 50 competitively awarded federal task orders and 14 major contracts (specifically Blanket Purchase Agreements and Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contracts).
-Adding five new federal clients, namely the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Cruise Missile Defense Systems, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Department of State, while continuing to maintain a stable customer base.
-Successfully leading high-stakes, technically complex programs for major clients within the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and numerous civilian agencies.
-Penetrating five new verticals in areas such as defense, medical, engineering, logistics and training development.
-Participating in high-visibility, strategic industry events such as the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Coast Guard Reverse Industry Day panel. Notably, industry leaders shared their perspectives on the federal procurement process with 80 contracting and program management staff.

Employing highly-qualified staff across a variety of disciplines is a critical success factor for a professional services company seeking sustainable growth. Two of PotomacWave’s greatest achievements, which undergird all others, include (1) molding a company culture that fosters employee motivation and satisfaction and (2) establishing a talent recruiting mechanism second to none.

Regarding its dynamic organizational culture, PotomacWave:

-Averages an employee retention rate of 92% with 250employees total.
-Offers diverse career paths for all employees including employee mentorship programs.
-Holds quarterly company social events to promote team culture and demonstrate a collective appreciation for employee work.
-Offers a company-sponsored community service program (the PotomacWave Outreach Program), established in 2017, where employees can supportthe community.
-Regularly enhances its generous compensation package, its comprehensive health and wellness benefits, and its employee incentives program.

Regarding enhanced company recruitment efforts, PotomacWave:

-Increased company staff levels by 40% in 2017 (from 174 to 245)
-Established college recruiting pipelines through partnerships with Shephard University, Shenandoah University, and George Washington University.
-Launched a collegiate internship program in 2017.
-Separated talent acquisition from the human resources function to establish a direct reporting relationship to the President to assure open channels for bold and innovative thinking.

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated company (up to 125 words):

CarrieAnne Boak joined PotomacWave in 2014 as Program Manager and quickly rose management ranks to become VP of Operations and SVP/Chief Growth Officer before being promoted to President in 2015. Under her leadership, PotomacWave experienced average annual revenue growth of 21.85%, entered five new markets, added five major clients, and increased company personnel from 160 to 250. In 2017, Boak unveiled a corporate social responsibility program and launched an innovative talent recruiting structure. Her background includes 20+ years’ experience in executive program/project management; system engineering; and analytic, strategic planning and policy support to civilian and military agencies. She holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Radford University, a Master’s Degree in Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, and a Project Management Professional certificate.

Choose one (even if both apply): The CEO (or other principal manager) of this company is a woman, and at least 40% of the management team is comprised of women.