Steve Selfridge, president of Government Services at Day & Zimmermann, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding the company’s growth strategies and the expansion of its senior team, recent contract awards, focus areas for D&Z’s tech capabilities and company culture challenges during the publication’s latest Executive Spotlight interview.
“Our efforts to support a connected culture of innovation and collaboration across the enterprise is a number one focus—to drive our growth, and most importantly help boost morale. While Zoom and technology has helped us stay connected, it cannot replace the real thing, meeting face-to-face.”
You can read the full Executive Spotlight with Steve Selfridge below:
ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about your recruitment process and your overall growth strategies to expand your team and drive business for Day & Zimmermann Government Services?
Steve Selfridge: “We are proud of the mission critical support we provide as a patriotic workforce and this shows through in our successful growth over the years. We have a long-term and on-going talent acquisition strategy that aligns with our overall strategic goals of diversification, in talent, expertise, and also bringing in talent with strong and intimate knowledge of our key customers.
In 2021, we made a few key hires in critical areas, which include: Dan Cronin, leading our international programs [bringing more than 23 years of security and law enforcement expertise as a former Department of State (DoS) Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) senior leader].
Meagan Prior will be our vice president of Federal Services and Cleared Staffing, who has solved some of the toughest workforce, technology, and professional services challenges for more than 20 years) with more than ten years at Monster Government Solutions).
In addition, Mike McGovern will be leading our business development and growth strategy with his more than three decades of industry experience in the business development, marketing, sales, account management, strategic and operational areas [which includes his 16-year career at SAIC].
As a company celebrating our 120th anniversary this year, we of course have our fair share of long-term employees who are promoted from within, as we continue to invest in developing and growing leaders within our organization.
Two more recent examples include Jeff Miller, recently promoted and appointed as our Vice President of Finance, and Mike Jenkins, newly promoted to senior vice president of Integrated Security.
Jeff brings a solid background and blend of excellent operational and financial expertise. He has been on our team for more than a decade (13 years to be exact), and is more than a financial executive, but a trusted advisor who deeply understands our contracts and field operations.
Mike Jenkins, is truly a transformational leader at SOC who continues to drive results, helping grow and diversify our Government Services portfolio. He currently oversees Cyber Operations, Cleared Staffing, Critical Infrastructure Programs, and Technical & International Security programs. Jenkins leads with a solid track record of success, with three decades of experience in directing technically-varied missions for multiple U.S. Government agencies.
It is equally important to note that we are always looking to expand our teams with the best in industry and support our portfolio diversification and growth strategy. We are currently seeking leaders in the IC, and DOE markets —both areas of the business in which we continue to grow our market share.”
ExecutiveBiz: Recently, the company secured a $123 million contract with the DOE to serve as the Protective Force (Proforce) for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve with Fluor Federal Petroleum Operations (FFPO). Can you discuss the work D&Z is doing with DOE to address the top national security challenges?
Steve Selfridge: “With an almost 75-year history of supporting DOE (officially celebrating 75 years next year), we continue to serve homeland security interests as a major partner to DOE, protecting several of the top mission-critical sites providing security, emergency services, and operational support for the Nation’s nuclear deterrent and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); this includesY-12, Pantex, Nevada National Security Site, and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve sites, to name a few.
We are proud to have been chosen for our most recent contract win, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), where our security personnel safeguard client personnel, equipment, facilities, and assets around the clock to protect the world’s largest supply of emergency crude oil.
As we are new to the SPR contract, we bring a fresh perspective, constantly evolving our strategy and solution with top talent and new innovations. We look forward to future growth in this market, and are well-positioned with significant opportunities in near to midterm to expand our support with new contracts on the horizon.”
ExecutiveBiz: With D&Z’s products and services including cybersecurity engineering, aircraft maintenance, and others, what are the key areas of focus for the company as you work to expand your tech capabilities, drive innovation and establish D&Z in new and emerging markets?
Steve Selfridge: “With a 120-year company history, we have consistently adapted and remained agile through the years, pursuing new and emerging markets to remain ahead of tomorrow’s threats. As I say in short-form, to truly help people understand the importance of what we do… we design, secure, operate, and protect some of the most important critical infrastructure around the world in support of U.S. National Security, aligned with our mission of Building a More Secure World®.
What does that mean? We are unique because under our Day & Zimmermann enterprise strategy, as a $2.4B organization, we offer a full in-house suite of Architecture/Engineering (A/E), Security, Operations & Maintenance, and Cleared Staffing Services, with an integrated approach to serve all aspects of the mission for our customers including the Departments of State, Energy, Defense, the IC, and other Federal Civilian and U.S. Government Agencies.
We are currently watching the U.S. Infrastructure Bill, as it moves to pass, focusing our efforts on a number of anticipated modernization projects, also targeting Federal and Industrial Base Modernization, which utilizes expertise and innovations coming from our combined Architecture & Engineering, Integrated Security, Cyber & Technology Security, and Operations & Maintenance teams.
In emerging markets, under our diversification strategy we are focused on a number of exciting and diverse areas of national security, including: air cargo canine explosive detection services, the design of international schools and diplomatic housing abroad—an extension of our more than 40 years working for the U.S. diplomatic community overseas; designing and managing U.S. Federal Prison [cellular phone blocking] managed access system (MAS) technologies; and a recent systems integration contract to help secure and safeguard a mission-critical wing of an overseas hospital in a high threat area supporting our U.S. diplomatic personnel and military serving overseas.
We are also well-positioned to grow in the offensive cyber and systems integration markets, bringing together our combination of strengths in security, cyber and technology security, logistics, procurement, equipment, and our collective knowledge and expertise operating in high threat regions around the globe. We are not new to this area, however, as the threats evolve, so do we to meet the needs of our customers and markets.
We have managed, operated and protected, providing O&M services at the largest demilitarization site in the world, for the past 40 years. In addition, we are protecting multiple U.S. Embassies and overseas locations, including the largest embassy in the world—most recently, during very turbulent times, our teams successfully defended this embassy against a well-documented attack in the Middle East.
We recently won a position on the Department of State Worldwide Protective Services III (WPS III) multiple award contract— a ten-year, potential $15 billion indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract with significant opportunities in near to mid-term.
We also help maintain military aircraft and ground vehicles with the latest technologies through our Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) contracts at Fort Hood, Elizabeth City, Atlantic City, Jacksonville, and New Boston, providing the industry’s best engineers and technicians to the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. allies.”
ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about the challenges of building a company culture and driving your acquisition portfolio in the competitive federal landscape to drive Day and Zimmermann’s future into 2022 and beyond?
Steve Selfridge: “While talent acquisition, talent retention, and portfolio diversification are key and continual in our strategy, being a large global organization, all newly acquired services and talent must quickly understand their value and important place in the collective mission we serve at Day & Zimmermann. We place significant importance on this and strive to create space and opportunity for inclusion and collaboration at all times.
Although our teams are directly supporting all aspects of the Government mission, as a vastly diverse group of global employees, we have one thing in common —and that is patriotism. We are extremely proud and committed to the mission of National Security and it truly unites us in our work.
In addition, under our company vision of ‘Accelerating the Next Generation of Innovation,’ everything we do is focused on building and facilitating this open and inclusive culture that drives change and innovation, to ultimately better serve our customers and remain one step ahead, into the future.
We have a number of active initiatives that help drive our strategy to remain agile and competitive when it comes to supporting innovation, including: a number of market driven taskforce groups collaborating across the larger D&Z enterprise; our Innovation Lab, an internal group focused on problem solving and developing new solutions; a number of Employee Resource Groups including our Veterans group which constitutes the majority of our Government Services employee base, to name a few.
I am also a very vocal and active member on our Executive Diversity & Inclusion Board (EDIB), D&Z’s governing body that establishes our strategies for diversity and inclusion —something we take very seriously and layer into every part of our business model and strategy. Our mission is to build upon our diversity and inclusion strategy and operationalize our diversity action plans across D&Z.
As a result, we have developed a number of innovations that are positively impacting our strategic growth and competitive edge. And, even better, the examples inspire our employees to connect and engage in our vision and join our innovative culture.
As part of a focus on digital transformation within our innovation strategy, our most recent success includes implementing an improved case management solution which provides newfound transparency and updates to records as we receive them, offering a customer portal to improve communications, operations, and ensure accountability to our missions.
From developing counter unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) technologies, managed access systems (MAS), building digital twins to secure, maintain, and operate facilities in A/E design, and a number of offensive/defensive cyber and technical security tools, we are truly at the cutting-edge–staying ahead of evolving threats with agility and a preventative security posture. This is exciting for us and our customers.
And, of course, I cannot talk about our culture, without mentioning the added stress and challenges of COVID. Our leaders have been working behind the scenes to address what we have considered one of the most challenging times in our history for the American workforce.
We thank our employees for their hard work and perseverance through this difficult time. Our teams have continued on, with our operations and frontline workers who never stopped, many of us working in remote conditions, with travel restrictions, and under more isolation than any of us ever imagined.
Therefore, our efforts to support a connected culture of innovation and collaboration across the enterprise is a number one focus—to drive our growth, and most importantly help boost morale. While Zoom and technology has helped us stay connected, it cannot replace the real thing, meeting face-to-face.
We are confident that our full return to the office with all back office employees, even on a limited basis, will help connect all of us to more closely relate to our vision and important mission.”