Perennial Best Places winner Knight Point focused on ambitious targets
President and CEO Bob Eisiminger ranks the spirit of the team at Knight Point Systems LLC in Reston as one of the company’s biggest strengths. He points to the outpouring of kindness after one of the company’s employees was involved in a serious motorcycle accident some months ago. The man was flown to a shock trauma unit in Baltimore for his recovery.
“When people found out he was in an accident … and they knew he was taking an extended leave of absence, eight people stepped up to donate their leave to him so he could stay on full-time employment for as long as he could before going on short-term disability,” Eisiminger says. “That says a lot about our team.”
The company has been on an upward trajectory for several years now. It was ranked 1,280 on the 2014 Inc. 5,000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., moving up from No. 1,507 in 2013. It has grown from around 140 employees last year to more than 200 today. “We continue to grow,” Eisiminger says.
This year marks the second year that Knight Point has taken the honor of top company in the midsize class on the Best Places to Work in Virginia list. Before last year, the company also topped the small company category for two straight years.
Everyone at the company continues to focus on Knight Point’s “10X” initiative that aims at revenues of $400 million and 1,000 employees by the end of 2022. At the end of 2013 the company had revenues of $68 million. In December, Eisiminger expected the company to finish 2014 with just over $100 million in revenue. “If we continue on that trajectory, we will hit our goal by 2022.”
He is proud that employees, at the company’s headquarters and at field locations, continue to be excited about “10X.” “They realize with ‘10X’ comes more opportunities and job security,” he says.
Most of the company’s employees are located in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. It also has an operations office outside of Charleston, W.Va., and operations in Stennis, Miss.; Ogden, Utah; Philadelphia; and Oklahoma City.
This year Knight Point won 13 new contracts; most of which are prime contracts. “We have had a bunch of wins,” Eisiminger says. “We are refining processes that help us manage our customers and relationships.”
One of the company’s goals is to grow as a service business with the ability to scale up or down as customers’ needs increase or decrease. “It’s about buying what you need when you need it and then being able to turn it off,” he says. “Having that ability is appealing to a lot of customers.”
Offerings range from cloud services to cybersecurity. In June 2014 the company became Cisco Gold Certified, giving it a higher level of expertise within the industry. “We did it in record time,” Eisiminger says of the certification. “It shows when we put our minds to something, we can do it. Cisco certification is a big part of working with service-type contracts.”
Knight Point is one of the few companies that offer a pension and profit-sharing plan. Each year it contributes the equivalent of 7 percent of each employee’s paid salary into his or her plan. “We contribute the whole amount that goes into the plan,” Eisiminger says. “In order to be in the plan, you have to be with the company for two years.”
Employees are vested immediately when they enter the plan. If they stay with the organization, their money continues to grow in the plan. “If they leave the organization, they can take that money and roll it into an IRA, and there would be no tax consequences,” Eisiminger says.
The company is constantly trying to increase the diversity of its team. “We are always looking for women and diverse candidates for IT,” he says. “It is still a male-dominated industry, but that is changing slowly but surely.”
Eisiminger recently attended an onboarding session for new hires. Fourteen out of the 15 new hires were women. “I was glad to see that,” he says.
Eisiminger, a disabled veteran and West Point graduate, continues to serve on the board of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team. “We want veterans that have lost an arm or leg to know that life without limbs is limitless,” he says of the organization’s mission. “We are also involved in Hero Dogs, a program that trains and places service dogs with injured or disabled veterans. Giving back is not just something to do. It’s the right thing to do.”
Best Places to Work 2015 list of midsize employers