Local defense contractor quietly landing large contracts

Defense firm rides wave of new contracts

How does a defense contractor celebrate when a third of its new contracts are classified?


Engineering and technical services contractor MacAulay-Brown is moving into new sectors of government work that it can’t discuss, but the new contracts are greatly increasing the company’s revenues, the firm’s leaders told the Dayton Daily News in an interview at its headquarters off Grange Hall Road.

The company has recently received new contracts with the FBI in counter-terrorism analysis work, federal cyber-security and classified manufacturing for the federal government in an 80,000-square-foot facility in Virginia, where employees can’t talk about where they work.

The dollars involved are significant. But company officers can’t say much more than that.

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“Most of it is classified,” said Tim Lawrence, senior vice president and general manager of the company’s Advanced Technology Group. “I’d love to be able to tout everything. We’re the hero of something we can’t talk about.”

Sidney Fuchs, the company’s president and chief executive, said the business has not wavered from its local focus, even with 17 offices nationally. “MacB,” as the company is often called, is growing nationally, but it is also growing briskly in the Dayton area, company officers say.

Fuchs said when he joined the company six years ago, local officials sometimes asked him if the business planned to leave the Dayton area. After all, much of its work and contacts were anchored in Washington, D.C., and it does have an office in Alexandria, Va.

“I think the headline (of this story) is, ‘We kept our commitment,’” Fuchs said. “We didn’t move the company’s headquarters. We didn’t leave the Dayton area. We didn’t sell the company.”

“We’re continuing to grow here because we’re getting the right contracts,” Lawrence said.

When Mia Kerivan-O’Malley, MacB’s senior vice president and chief administrative officer, joined the company in 1988, there were 80 Dayton-area employees. Today, there are about 450 local workers, with 1,500 nationally.

“We’re growing right now in Dayton, significantly,” Lawrence said. “In fact, my group has been growing by at least 10 percent the last five years in a row.”

In the last few years, contract awards were flattened by budgetary sequestration. But with a new presidential administration, there’s a possibility of greater defense spending — a plus for MacB.

Last month, the company saw more than $10 million in awards from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Air Force Materiel Command. Earlier this month, it was named in a two-year job worth up to $11 million via a subcontract with IAP Worldwide Services Inc.

Kerivan-O’Malley said the company is picking up a mix of hardware and software development.

“It’s the type of work that really attracts the young engineering potentials,” she said. “We’ve established relationships with several universities that know we provide good work.”

Fuchs sits on the board of advisers for the Wright State University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. Lawrence is an advisor to Wright State’s electrical engineering program.

“I am encouraged that things are picking up,” Fuchs said. “I think it’s a general vibe in the community. People hear more about defense. More intel. More defending the country. I think that narrative has cranked things up a bit.”

“We feel pretty good about what’s going to come up here for the next couple of years,” said company spokesman James Soos.

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