Monday, April 26, 2010

Dr. Barry Goss | Pro2Serve

After spring break we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Barry Goss on campus here at the University of Tennessee. He is the founder of Pro2Serve, a company who's new headquarters is located on the campus of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Pro2Serve stands for Professional Projects Services Inc. Barry's company is a National Security Engineering company that has twice been named to the Inc. 500. They primarily do work for the DOE and the NSA but are planning to expand into the DOD and DHS. Barry started his career at SAIC a unique company where he was able to build his own business inside of its corporate framework. During that adventure Barry moved from the technical side of things into marketing where he began to analyze market trends in science and technology. He wanted to figure out how to get a half a step ahead of the market. The trend he saw was that the technical industry was moving away from employing engineers for a career and moving toward project based employment. This concept was not new, there were plenty of staffing companies in existence but these companies focused on low skill level jobs. Big companies were starting to bring in outside help to complete projects rather than hiring more people and keeping everything internal. When Barry realized the trend he decided to leave SAIC and start his own company. The way work was getting done was on a project basis, so Barry decided to start a staffing company that would provide technical expertise by project demand. During the formation of his company Barry and his team decided to include in their bylaws that the company would commit to giving back 10% of each years profits. At the end of the year 10% of the profits were set aside for distribution during the following year. Eventually Barry went out looking for investors, and he landed a 7 figure venture capital investment but not without some arguments about the companies commitment to give back. Dr. Goss was not a huge fan of venture capitalists and ended up buying the investors out to take back control of his company. Today Pro2Serve does government contract work within its four major business units: Core Engineering Design, Physical Systems Security, Environmental Management, & Nuclear Security. 75% of the employees at Pro2Serve hold high level government clearances. Barry's final words of wisdom were "never burn bridges" and "always give more than you receive".

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