Long before the ice sculpture melted at Boecore’s 10th anniversary party earlier this month, Kathy Boe was already thinking about the next 10 years.
“One of the things I really look forward to is growing our corporate headquarters in Colorado Springs,” she said. “I want to grow a company that has jobs for our employees’ children some day.”
Boecore’s clients include Department of Defense customers such as the Missile Defense Agency, the Air Force Space Command, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.
Boe also operates a subsidiary, Boecore Professional Solutions, which is a staffing firm that places people in government and commercial jobs.
Boecore is wrapping up a year of unprecedented growth with expected revenue of $15.5 million and $1.4 million for Boecore Professional Solutions.
It landed five Department of Defense contracts, hired 45 people and grew in five cities this year.
The company that started in Boe’s basement has grown from a staffing company to a highly technical engineering firm with work in the aerospace industry and 150 employees.
Next year, Boe expects to hire 50 additional people, mostly in Colorado Springs, but also in Alabama, Arizona, California, New Mexico and Virginia. She is already recruiting for eight engineers and managers.
She said the company’s success has been its employees — she looks to hire overachievers. She also works hard on company culture, saying she believes that if she’s good to her employees, they will be good to the customers.
“In our defense work, it is all about past performance and that reputation and how you perform on programs,” she said.
Boe was a software programmer working for a large corporation where, after a time, she felt like a small fish in a big pond who needed to be a big fish, she said. She started her company to place technology experts in local firms. In 2005, she started hiring employees and keeping them.
“I figured there were a lot of people like me who wanted to be what I call a mover and shaker, people who wanted to work in an environment where they could make a difference,” she said.
Starla Paradowski, Boecore’s director of operations, was one of them. She started at Boecore in 2003 when the company still had a basement headquarters. At the time, they were doing high tech staffing only. The office had a small desk, a printer propped up on a chair and they used a home telephone. Still, Paradowski had no reservations about joining the company, she said.
“Kathy said, ‘I have this company and I am going to try for it’ — I believed her,” said Paradowski said. “I saw a spark.”
Over the years, Boe has hired a number of experts who can help the company navigate the complicated government contract bidding process, and in 2007 she spun off the job placement portion of her business into Boecore Professional Solutions. That’s when Boecore turned a page, Paradowski said.
“Now we have capabilities in (information assurance) and modeling and simulation and you can’t do that if people are passing through — it led to a whole new dimension for the company,” she said.
Boecore sees itself as a niche company with five areas of expertise — modeling and simulation, enterprise networks, cyber solutions, space mission engineering and warfighter training. And, according to a recent survey by Manpower Inc., it is among the 11 percent of local employers expected to hire in the first quarter of 2011.
“It’s no longer about whether or not we are going to survive,” Boe said. “The next 10 years is about having a diverse set of programs so our people are challenged and they can move around, and it is about maintaining our culture.”
Boe recently joined the board for the Colorado Springs Technology Incubator and will mentor up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
“As an entrepreneur, that is something I can do: help mentor people to be successful so that we have jobs here to leave our city,” she said. “If we are going to be a growing corporate headquarters, we have a responsibility for that.”