During high school, Kelly Terrien ran track, played volleyball, competed in science fairs, worked at a hospital — and was an entrepreneur.
At age 16, she opened a souvenir stand for the Triple A-affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. After attending college to be a dietician, she switched gears and joined the Air Force. During 2001, after earning her MBA, she saw a niche. “There weren’t a lot of woman-owned tech companies.”
Terrien took time recently to tell CSBJ about herself and her company.
Organization: Summit Technical Solutions LLC
Position: President and CEO
Hometown: Utica, N.Y.
How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: Since 1996
Education: Undergraduate degrees from the University of Maryland; MBA, with an emphasis in telecommunications, Webster University.
A few words about your company: Summit Technical Solutions has more than 115 professionals providing systems engineering and design services, logistics support, operations and maintenance support, testing and training assistance, and qualified administrative personnel to federal and Department of Defense customers.
Recent accomplishments: We received an Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Strategic Command contract to provide C4ISR, transformational communications and technical support for our nation’s warfighters.
As a prime contractor, STS leads a team of two large and eight small businesses.
Biggest career break/accomplishment: Without a doubt, it was winning that first contract. As a performance-based company, we have always put the customer’s needs and requirements first in priority with absolute dedication to service excellence. I believe this continuing commitment which embodies enthusiasm and service devotion among all of our employees has brought us where we are today, with 16 active contracts.
The toughest part of your job: Keeping an eye on careful and measured growth. We only submit bids for work where we know STS can make meaningful and significant contributions to our customer’s requirements.
Someone you admire: I most admire my parents. They instilled a quality work ethic within me (leading by example), a positive attitude and a desire to provide something of value for others.
They continue to inspire me and I am indeed fortunate to have them in my life.
About your family: I am the oldest of six children and have four sisters and one brother. I have a 16-year-old son who appears to also possess an entrepreneurial spirit. He is a 5 percent owner of STS and has been learning different facets of the business since he was 9. Today he is focused on writing children’s songs.
Something else you’d like to accomplish: Professionally, I have been exposed to technology all my life and its successful implementation in improving the performance of equipment, services and organizations.
Eventually, I hope to bring technological advances in education and training to disadvantaged children to help them cope with today’s uneven playing field on a full-time basis.
STS and its employees volunteer and contribute to worthy support agencies. In the future, I hope we all can do more for disadvantaged children.
How your business will change during the next decade: STS will grow and change with the implementation of proven technological developments and improvements for our customers in communications, systems engineering, logistics, research and development, equipment maintenance and administrative support tools.
What book are you currently reading?: “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There” by Mark Reiter, “Run for Your Life” by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, and “Lions Don’t Need to Roar” by D.A. Benton.
What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs?: We live in such a beautiful place and we have one of the healthiest and most fit communities; it is disappointing that we do not have a more accessible citywide recycling program. There are several recycling drop off points, but they are limited, i.e. paper and cardboard.
It would be great if all recycling points had bins for paper, cans, bottles and plastic.