MacAulay-Brown, Inc. (MacB), a leading national security company with its National Capital Headquarters located in Vienna, Virginia, is a very different company today than when it first started out 37 years ago. Founded by John MacAulay and Dr. Charles Brown in 1979, the company has gone through several iterations of change and weathered decades of economic storms. It wasn’t until recent years and through the leadership of Sid Fuchs that the company transformed into a powerful organization providing cybersecurity services, and advanced engineering and product solutions to defense, intelligence, homeland security and federal agencies.
Sid Fuchs joined MacB as President and CEO in 2011, during a period when mid-tier companies were beginning to face challenges to growth and expansion. Over the next few years, it would be very clear that mid-size contractors were “too big to bid on small business contracts, but too small to bid on huge contracts,” said Mr. Fuchs at the ACG National Capital Monthly Meeting held on July 21, 2017 at the Ritz-Carlton in Mclean.
MacB is a family owned business, which in contrast to large corporations, Fuchs said, presents unique advantages because of the agility it provides as well as a long term view of the business and a real willingness to invest today for growth tomorrow. “When you work for a family owned company, it is critical that you not only get along with the family, but really understand and appreciate their long term vision and goals,” recalled Mr. Fuchs.
When Mr. Fuchs joined MacB in 2011, the company offered a variety of services including systems engineering and technical assistance (SETA), support services, advisory services, help desk support, and infrastructure-based services to federal agencies, but lacked a strategic focus. Over the next four years, MacB would lose a large chunk of their revenue due to small business conversions, insourcing, protests, and project cancellations – all as a result of the shrinking federal budget and an oversupply of defense contractors. When the government shutdown in 2013, Mr. Fuchs decided some drastic changes needed to take place in order for the company to not just survive, but thrive.
He realized the company needed focus and a true strategic direction which would mean transforming the company’s culture. The core of this strategy was to offer differentiated solutions and subject matter expertise that would be focused on the government’s mission critical projects and initiatives. Fuchs directed the company’s investments to enhancing the capability set while obtaining new customers. New capabilities such as intelligence operations and analysis, cloud engineering and data analytics, cybersecurity tools, operations, and platforms, along with manufacturing were added to the portfolio. During the same time, the company completed three acquisitions to support this new path to growth that would not necessarily create scale but bring products, solutions, and customers to MacB.
In addition to a new portfolio of product offerings and customers, Fuchs knew the culture needed to evolve to a high-trust and results-oriented environment in order to move MacB forward. He did just that by building relationships with his employees, partners, customers, and shareholders; by creating a learning, risk-taking and failure tolerant environment; and by giving opportunities for many to step into leadership roles and develop professionally.
Today, the company remains focused on key growth enablers that are driving record-setting results across the board, which is an indicator of the successes they have experienced under Fuchs’ leadership and strategic direction. Corporate transformation is quite possibly one of the biggest challenges a company can face, but MacB has shown it can be done with the right strategic direction, leadership, ownership, and employees in place.