Tenet3 creates defense contracting outpost in Stratacache Tower

Company caps downtown move by welcoming Ricky Peters as chief strategy officer



Smart growth has long been a key tenet for downtown Dayton firm Tenet3 LLC.

The computer science and engineering defense contracting firm has turned heads for two big moves in the past three years — moving from Riverside to downtown Dayton’s tallest office tower and drawing well known local defense executive Ricky Peters.

Peters has joined Tenet 3 as chief strategy officer, effective Feb. 1. He most recently was chief executive of Tangram Flex, another downtown Dayton business, but Peters is also known for leadership positions with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and private firm Ascend Innovations.

As Peters explained in a new interview, he enjoyed watching Tangram Flex’s “amazing path,” growing to became a product-oriented software company. But he felt the time was right to pass the leadership baton to someone else.

On the same day Peters shared that news with Tangram colleagues internally about a year ago, Jeff Hughes, Tenet3 president, gave him a call.

“Somehow, it leaked out,” Peters said with a laugh, adding: “It wasn’t a leak.”

Peters, with his wife, Sherry, had dinner with Jeff and Julia Hughes, who is Tenet3′s chief administrative officer. That sealed the deal.



The three seem to have an easy camaraderie, gently finishing each other’s thoughts in an interview.

“I knew I was looking for another company that I could help grow, but I didn’t necessarily want to run a company,” Peters said. “I knew at this point in my career, I want to help somebody who’s got a really good company, that’s ready to scale. And that’s all Jeff and Julia talked about at dinner.”

It was great fit, Peters said, adding: “One of the deciding factors was the location.”

“I want to be part of the fabric down here. I love that,” he said.

The pandemic slowed but did not stop Tenet3′s move downtown, where today the business takes up the 23rd floor of Stratacache Tower, the storied former Kettering Tower. In all, the company is making itself at home in about 16,000 square feet of space.

“This is the iconic structure in Dayton, Ohio, certainly with some of the best views,” Jeff Hughes said.

He’s not joking. From the east window of his corner office, one can see all the way to Wright-Patterson’s Area B, home to one of his company’s most important customers (and his former employer), AFRL. The Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy are other key public customers.

Tenet3 joins a growing list of defense contractors downtown, including Mile Two, JJR Solutions, Battle Sight Technologies, Tangram Flex and others.



But while Tenet3 is new to Stratacache Tower, the company really is not new to downtown. The business was born in the Hughes’ Washington Twp. home in 2013, and the company spent some time in Dayton’s Tech Town office park before moving to Riverside.

Hughes says a big reason for return downtown: This is where many of the best employees want to be. Julia Hughes noted that when they hire someone, that new employee often moves downtown.

“We had people during COVID say, ‘Well, can’t we just come in? Can we just meet somewhere?’” Julia Hughes said.

“It takes some effort for us to hire and recruit,” Jeff Hughes said. “You want to have an exciting environment. The talent we go after is highly sought after, not just locally but around the country.”

The company has some 50 employees today. Another 25 in three years or so is not out of the question, Jeff Hughes said. Some remote employees work from Texas and New Hampshire.

But Dayton is the company’s home, Jeff Hughes said.

“We’re trying to be smart about how we (grow),” he said. “We want to build capabilities around our intellectual property.”

The company’s name is based on a methodology called the “three tenets of cyber security.”

Cyber-security best practices are a clear company passion. Jeff Hughes said the company has spoken with leaders of Sinclair Community Colleges about offering courses on the subject, for businesses and residents.



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