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Titans Breakfast featuring Walt Havenstein

an NVTC Signature Event

September 23, 2010

On Thursday, September 23, nearly 500 attendees came out to The Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner for the first event of NVTC's 2010-2011 Titans series. Keynote speaker Walt Havenstein, CEO of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), shared his insights about government contracting, inspiring the next-generation technology workforce, SAIC's headquarters relocation and the company's small businesses subcontracting goals.

Walt Havenstein, CEO of SAIC
NVTC Chair Brad Antle, president & CEO of Salient Federal Solutions, served as the event's emcee and Jason Welz, regional vice president of Comcast Business Class, the event's signature platinum sponsor, introduced Havenstein.

In his remarks, Havenstein described the federal contracting landscape as ever-changing and the current cutbacks as part of contracting's natural evolution. However, he believes the government's current caustic attitude towards contractors leads to uncertainty, which, in turn, leads to decreased investment by contracting companies. In addition, Havenstein said he is hesitant to applaud the government for its cost-cutting measures, given that it hasn't created an environment where those measures are going to be effective.

On the topic of insourcing, Havenstein argued that he supports the government doing the government's work, but that it first needs to define what "government work" is. He explained that he would rather see the government decide what it shouldn't be doing, then decide what functions it should insource, as opposed to insourcing and then subsequently deciding it can't stop doing something because it has to use insourced staff. He shared that SAIC had 1,600 positions insourced in the last 18 months, but, as a company of 45,000 employees, it is able to deal with that loss. The impact of insourcing is much worse for small companies.

Despite the threat of insourcing and defense contracting cuts, Havenstein urged companies to seek out opportunities for growth. For SAIC, those areas include national security; military readiness and sustainment; energy, renewables and smart grid technologies; and cybersecurity. He also discussed how subcontractors fit into SAIC's contracting strategy and encouraged small businesses, in particular, to submit their company profiles on SAIC's website to be considered for future subcontracting opportunities.

SAIC's Walt Havenstein with NVTC Chair Brad
Antle of Salient Federal Solutions
According to Havenstein, SAIC's headquarters move to Virginia last year was an acknowledgment that the center of gravity of its business, customers and the investor community is here in the region. He credited former NVTC Chair Mike Daniels, who helped found NVTC, for defining SAIC as a Northern Virginia company.

Finally, Havenstein argued that the technology industry has a critical role to play in helping to inspire the next generation of innovators and inventors, stating "there aren't enough of us" to sustain the growth our industry needs. Discussing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs such as FIRST, on which he serves as chair, Havenstein explained that students in high school STEM competitions and activities, as opposed to high school sports, are much more likely to "go pro" in their field. Concluding his remarks, he highlighted NVTC's Equal Footing Foundation, which supports computer clubhouses for underserved youth in Fairfax and Fauquier Counties, and encouraged all companies to engage in STEM initiatives, such as those at the Equal Footing Foundation and FIRST.

The morning ended with a question-and-answer session in which Havenstein addressed what SAIC will look like in 2015, how he hires top talent and private industry's potential role in managing transportation. He closed by urging attendees to support STEM education programs through monetary contributions, staff volunteerism or internships where students can get real-world experience in their chosen STEM field.

Event Video


Signature Platinum Sponsor: Comcast Business Class
Platinum Sponsors: Consumer Electronics Association; Latisys-Ashburn; Transformation Systems, Inc.; Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company
Gold Sponsor: BB&T Capital Markets | Windsor Group; Cox Business Services; Neustar, Inc.
Silver Sponsors: Apptix; Fairfax County Economic Development Authority; Harris IT Services; ICF International; Korn/Ferry International; Marymount University; Micron Technology; Protiviti/RHI; Serco; Telos Corporation; TRAINING SOLUTIONS, INC.; Travelers Insurance Company, United Bank; University of Phoenix
Single Event Sponsor: GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus

Media Partner: SmartCEO

Media Sponsor: Capital Business

For more information about sponsorships for this event, click here.

The Ritz-Carlton
1700 Tysons Blvd
McLean, VA