On the circuit
- By Mark Bisnow
- Apr 25, 2005
Donna Morea decided she wasn't busy enough serving as president of 7,500-employee CGI-AMS of Fairfax, Va., so she and her husband launched a Web site that sells boutique Italian olive oil.
The seed for the culinary venture was planted when the two stayed at a Tuscan villa in the summer of 2000 and were served fresh pressed olive oil. Compared to the brands available back home, it reminded them of "the difference between jug wine and a fine Bordeaux," Morea said.
When they realized that many olive oil producers are too small to have distributors, they launched their own import business at www.olio2go.com, which has attracted a following by word-of-mouth and ads they've placed on Google's site.
Meanwhile, on May 1, her bigger company will celebrate the first anniversary of its acquisition by Montreal-based CGI, which is about three times bigger $3.5 billion in annual sales than AMS was before the merger.
After divesting its classified federal business to CACI because of foreign ownership issues, CGI-AMS is now prepared to create such a business anew. It has set up a subsidiary called CGI Secure to handle classified work under a board chaired by Paul Lombardi, former chief executive officer of DynCorp. Other board members include John Dalton, former Navy secretary, and Bill Schneider, chairman of the Defense Science Board.
CGI-AMS' Fairfax headquarters has grown by several hundred employees, and other U.S. office locations now include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York and Sacramento.
The integration of the two companies has been so rapid, Morea said, that employees "barely remember what life was like before the reorganization."
Although he oversaw sophisticated technology as chief information officer at the Commerce Department, Alan Balutis said the words he now fears the most are "some assembly required." He sees that phrase often as the father of a 14-month-old son. Balutis recently put together a toy convertible car for his son, and he now pushes and pulls it along the sidewalks around his Arlington, Va., home.
Balutis, who also has adult children, said he now understands David Letterman's comments about being both a father and a grandfather rolled into one.
But that's not the only new job in Balutis' life. After serving as executive director of the Industry Advisory Council, then chief operating officer of integrator Veridyne, he was recruited a few months ago to join Input, the leader in market research for government information technology. He came to know the firm's leaders while helping them build an advisory board. Now, he is president of Input's newly created Government Strategies Group, which combines market analysis, consulting and events, and aims to sell the same services to government agencies that it does to commercial customers.
As though that isn't enough novelty, there is another new job in the family: Balutis' wife, Tish Tucker, took a position leading the Program Management Office at the U.S. Agency for International Development this month. She used to work at the Agriculture Department, where she implemented a departmentwide procurement system and earned a Federal 100 award this year from Federal Computer Week for her efforts.
Bisnow publishes the Bisnow on Business e-newsletters, including "CIO Weekly," which feature breezy interviews with leaders in a variety of fields. Free subscriptions are available at www.bisnow.com.