On the circuit

EDITOR'S NOTE: Longtime businessman and radio commentator Mark Bisnow has been covering the Washington, D.C., business scene in print and on the air since 1997. In this column, he shares tidbits about the personal and professional lives of government contractors.

Anteon's chief executive officer, Joe Kampf, says he rejuvenates by taking his family skiing in Colorado in February. But this year, he found a company that arranges dog sledding. His group of eight did their usual downhill thing at Batchelor Gulch outside Beaver Creek, but for a couple of hours one day, they piled into four sleds, each pulled by 12 huskies, through an idyllic path in the woods with 5 inches of fresh powder and sunny blue skies.

For Kampf, it's blue skies back at Anteon, too. The company's projection for 2005 is $1.44 billion, up from $1.25 billion last year. He says the only time he's totally relaxed and not thinking about the defense budget is when he is skiing with his family. But, now that he's back, he says fiscal 2006 looks good for simulation, training and weapon systems modernization. Hey, you can only relax for so long.

Meanwhile, Frank Islam, CEO of QSS Group, recently had an excuse to go to the warm temperatures of Florida. In the past year, the Army became a significant customer for the company, which earned $300 million in revenue last year. So Islam said he felt he should attend the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference in Fort Lauderdale.

He started QSS in 1994 mainly doing work for NASA. Now, he said, NASA accounts for less than 50 percent of the company's workload, and the Coast Guard and the Centers for Disease Control have become major customers.

Many people claim they can make the trains run on time, as the old saying goes, but John Nyland will be put to the test. Nyland is head of the public-sector division at IBM Global Services, running a $2.5 billion, 1,000-employee business unit. He's the senior executive for all 7,000 IBM employees at that location, managing common needs ranging from parking and facilities to philanthropy. Now, after taking the Delta Air Lines and Amtrak shuttles half a dozen times during the past 23 months to the lower Broadway offices of New York City Transit, Nyland got word that IBM has finally won a five-year contract to run all computer operations for the subway, surface rail and bus systems in New York.

Indus CEO Shiv Krishnan is moving up in the world. Instead of seeing the Department of Motor Vehicles in Vienna, Va., when he looks out his window, he now enjoys a view of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. — a bonus for consolidating local staff from his former Gallows Road headquarters to the old Boeing building half a mile away.

When Indus won a place on the Commerce Department's Commerce Information Technology Solutions Next Generation contract, it was easier for him to gather the staff for a celebration. Still, many of his 500 workers remain on-site at the Transportation Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's severe storm center in Oklahoma.

Indus earns an average of $85 million a year in revenue, but Krishnan is in discussions with a defense-oriented company that would bring Indus to $100 million this year. He's used to prudent gambling: During the holiday season, he and his wife went for the first time to Las Vegas, where they started with $20 and played the wheel of fortune to $150.

Bisnow publishes the Bisnow on Business e-newsletters, including "CIO Weekly," that feature breezy interviews with leaders in a variety of fields. Free subscriptions are available at www.bisnow.com.

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