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Old Town Firm Focuses On National Security

Business Profile

An Alexandria company has just garnered an $18 million contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to provide Administrative/Technical Support Services to the U.S. Coast Guard.

It could balloon to $42 million.

That was the word from Dennis J. Garcia, president and CEO, Potomac Management Group, Inc., based at 510 King Street. "We could add up to 40 people in our Alexandria office as a result of this contract," Garcia said.

PMG now employs 130 in offices located in 15 cities throughout the United States. Fifty of those are based here.

Founded in Alexandria 12 years ago, PMG was named the 18th fastest growing technology firm in Virginia in 2002, by Deloitte and Touche. It was also named the 367th fastest growing in the nation and has been a consistent member of Virginia's Fast 50 List.

PMG has provided similar services to the USCG Research and Development Center, based in Groton, Conn., over the past four years, according to Garcia. Under its new contract, the firm will offer its expertise in a wide range of support areas including project planning, technology investigations and analysis, engineering and informational services.

THE FIRM WAS specifically selected by the U.S. Coast Guard, now an element of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to provide critical support services vital to the nation's security. "We are excited to be an integral part of the Coast Guard team in providing long-term strategic support to the R&D center," Garcia said.

Garcia said he and his wife Lauren, founded PMG in November 1992, with their first office in the laundry room of their home. "It was financed by our credit cards," he acknowledged.

"I served as the public face of PMG, knocking on doors of government and private customers. Lauren balanced the books and worried about paying employees," Garcia said.

"Even though PMG have been on the Fast 50 List, we have taken a slow and steady approach. We have worked hard to generate new business while simultaneously building the infrastructure to support our customers and employees," Garcia said.

PMG has been recognized as one of the fastest growing businesses in the Washington area over the past three years. In 1999, it was named Professional Business of the Year by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce.

Working in the post 9/11 government world, Garcia explained, is a lot far more demanding. "If you weren't already in the government contracting business it's tough to break in now because of the heightened emphasis on security. The nature of our new contract is unique since we are the incumbent contractor for Homeland Security."

Upon hearing of the contract, Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner, said, "I am excited to hear they have been awarded a contract with the Department of Homeland Security. Attracting homeland security contracts for Virginia-based companies has been one of my main economic development initiatives. This is a great success for both PMG and Virginia."

Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille buttressed Warner's enthusiasm. "It's very exciting for an Alexandria-based firm to become a major player in our nation's homeland security efforts. We are very proud of PMG's accomplishments."

Not only have the Garcia's built a nationally recognized technology firm in a little over a decade, Dennis Garcia is also a firm believer in community involvement. "I think its an obligation for any business to give back to the community," he said.

Garcia backs that up with personal commitments to Alexandria's youth basketball and participating in a number of hispanic activities. "I try to contribute to the community in many ways and encourage my employees to do the same," he said.