Government Technology Insider recently spoke to Will Harman, Vice President of Research and Development Services at ARServices to learn more about how ARServices doubled its talent pool. Harman shares insights on how this was made possible after securing a prime program management contact with DTRA and what the future looks like for ARServices.
Government Technology Insider (GTI): As someone with experience managing large contracts, including multiple past contracts through Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), what it will be like managing the prime DTRA contract?
Will Harman (WH): Leading and managing our DTRA Program Management Office (PMO) contract is an exciting opportunity due to both its large complexity and importance to supporting DTRA’s unique Research and Development (R&D) mission. Our prime contract with DTRA will be the largest contract that I’ve personally led as a program manager. However, during my nearly 29 years of military service I spent nine years assigned to DTRA R&D with my last assignment as the R&D Deputy Director. This experience coupled with five years of GovCon program management experience supporting DTRA and other agencies, provides me with a strong foundation to build upon. I’ve also managed multiple large construction contracts as an Operations Director with state and local government in Virginia, at times managing over 120 people at once – the largest contract I managed there was worth approximately $300 million.
This PMO contract between ARServices and DTRA covers DTRA’s entire R&D portfolio that includes a broad range of strategic stakeholders and teammates. We’ve recruited new people with very specialized expertise and experience to lead our advisory & assistance services (A&AS) teams across the five R&D Departments. Our team is poised for success and ready for the challenge.
GTI: Since winning the DTRA contract, the team at ARServices has grown. What does the talent pool look like today, and what does that mean for the future?
WH: We now have a fully staffed internal DTRA PMO team with a diverse talent pool that has nearly doubled our corporate talent pool. We’ve sought out people with R&D experience who understand technology and are experts in their core functions such as strategy, policy, finance, acquisition, budget, and of course program management. In the future, we plan to draw from this talent pool to develop future leaders and program managers who can grow and extend our services in many directions. Everyone has the opportunity gain new learning experiences and expand their skillsets. This talent also provides ARServices with new capabilities to help us grow and win new opportunities within many different markets.
Many senior leaders at ARServices bring extensive military experience to the table. Is military experience a significant part of company culture at ARServices?
WH: Prior to our recent growth, veterans made up about 45 percent of our talent pool. We highly value military experience as part of our company culture. Our corporate support for veterans is reflected in our ARServices’ Veterans Resource Group (VRG) which is an outreach program to support veterans as well as recruit more veteran talent to the company. Our VRG membership includes both veterans and non-veterans who desire to improve our overall corporate community support. With a large percentage of our contracts in the DoD, we can provide our customers with personnel who have the appropriate military background to better serve our customers. For example, all senior leaders on the DTRA PMO contract have relevant military experience. At the same time, we also invest in, and recruit, non-military folks who bring unique talents that balance and round out the team.
To learn more about how ARServices has helped federal agencies with research and development, business transformation, and integrated logistics, click here.