Legal Blog

A Video Conversation with Jason Peay, President and CEO of VersaTech- Part 1

Providing clients with robust IT solutions to satisfy any need jason peayJason Peay is the president and CEO of VersaTech, an information technology (IT) and health care services firm based in Columbia, MD. For almost 11 years, VersaTech has provided services and consulting to various commercial and public clients, including numerous Fortune 1000 companies and branches of the federal government. The company boasts a 94% customer retention rate and has won over 200 awards, including recognition as one of the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies of 2013. Jason is also a board member of the Howard County Tech Council, and he and his company are active supporters of local causes and charitable organizations. In fact, VersaTech has made over 267,000 charitable contributions throughout its history. How did the company get started? How do you chart your path? JASON PEAY: I am a big believer in connecting the dots. When we do orientations at our company, or I tell people at our company stories, there’s a quote that Steve Jobs used about the unpredictability of the future: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” It’s something we use when we talk to new employees and go to new hirings because, truly, when we started this company, I had no clue that we would be the places we were going. As fast as we were growing, I didn’t know how we were going to get there. I just had a feeling that if I did the right things and stayed very consistent with certain actions, we’d get there. So, when I go back, I look at our story at the FDA or our story at DOT, and our story at DHA, and a lot of our different clients, we kind of got opportunity and we held onto it like a dog on a bone. It was our opportunity to really shine and really show what kind of value we could bring to the customer. It led to the next contract, and the next contract, so I can pretty much connect all of our contracts that we have today to our first contract because we used that again and again as a reference point to get all other contracts. VersaTech is SBA 8(a) certified. Can you tell us what that means from your perspective? The 8(a) Program is a program set up by the Small Business Administration. It allows minority owned firms the opportunity to break into the federal government. They call it a contract vehicle, but really it’s a program. For the most part, a lot of companies you get in the federal government space do subcontracting, and you have to come up the through ranks like that, but then there are some opportunities where the government wants to streamline the procurement process, and the 8(a) Program allows them to do that. Anything over about $125,000 has to be competed with, but the 8(a) Program allows them to not compete work up to $4 million of services. Tell us about working with the FDA. I’m very thankful for the FDA. We actually had the opportunity of being a small business success story at their most recent small business outreach session, to tell our story about the FDA. They’re very dear to my heart because of the fact that it was the first agency that gave my company a prime contract and opportunity to show what we could do. We currently have four prime contracts there, two subcontracts there—we’ll probably be edging up to about 30–35 employees supporting the FDA in their mission—and it just all started with, like I said, that one team. We were doing web content and a little bit of research work, and they did a great job and we built a name for being a reliable company that you could come to and, that no matter what, we’re going to do whatever it takes to get the job done. That’s been the mantra of the company—it’s what we’ve been doing from the beginning. The FDA was the first place where we could, test out this philosophy of just putting the customer first, being right to the employees, and just doing what we can to make sure we basically do what we say we’re going to do.


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