STA leaps onto

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Systems Technology Associates Inc. is 68th on the <I>Inc. 500</I> list of fastest growing companies in America. It’s 2,626% growth rate between 1991 and 1995 can claim responsibility.

"I’m proud that we’re 68th," said Bob Ben, president, CEO, and founder of STA. "My people earned that."

The Colorado Springs-based systems engineering services firm plans to land on the list again next year at an even higher ranking. STA designs, codes, integrates, and tests software for space systems, command control systems, and telecommunications and networks.

The company grew from annual revenue of $561,000 in 1991 to $15.3 million in 1995 and is projecting revenues of $22.8 million for 1996. Ben said the company has a $40 million backlog beginning Jan. 1, 1997.

In 1992, the company had four employees. That number swelled to 186 in 1995 and is currently at approximately 360, 160 of which are local. Ben said they will hire 60 to 70 locally in the next two months.

The company has 14 customer locations in seven states and will add six to seven locations in two to three states next year. The local offices have added 2,000 square feet and will be taking another 1,800 square feet in the Atrium Building on Academy Park Loop.

STA has grown by competing under the Small Disadvantaged Business 8(a) program. But Ben said it has gotten away from those contracts in the past two years because it will soon outgrow the guidelines to compete and he doesn’t want the company to be dependent on those programs. It is now bidding open competition and only large minority contracts. It has begun to do subcontractor work for companies such as BDM and Computer Science Corp.

"Now big guys are taking notice," Ben said.

The company will undergo a reorganization in January because of its tremendous growth. Ben has always believed in empowering his employees and the reorganization will simply give more structure to his management style. STA will separate to more autonomous business units to support Department of Defense contracts, other non-military government agencies, commercial contracts such as one with Digital Equipment Corp., and STA’s petroleum and environmental division. A vice president will be in charge of each business unit.