Reed named top Suffolk businessPublished 9:56pm Thursday, April 25, 2013
In the case of a husband and wife at the helm of Suffolk’s newest award-winning small business, what happened in Vegas didn’t actually stay in Vegas.
“We met out there at Vegas” during an awards event for the International Council on Systems Engineering, said Steve Waddell, vice president of Reed Integration. Becky Reed, its president and CEO, had recently launched Reed Integration in Alabama.
A romance that was sparked in Las Vegas caught fire, and in 2003, after a traditional wedding to Waddell, Reed relocated to Hampton Roads along with her company, which was reincorporated in Virginia.
While Reed worked to get the fledgling enterprise moving, Waddell carried on in his job at the time, providing them with health insurance.
A decade later, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce has named Reed Integration its Suffolk 2013 Small Business of the Year. The company is now competing for the regional title, whose winner will be announced May 23.
Reed Integration is new to Suffolk, having relocated earlier this month from Portsmouth to a larger headquarters in Harbour View, where it plans to employ 10 professionals.
The company provides technical services, like systems engineering, project management and functional analysis, to government and commercial clients, and Reed and Waddell say Harbour View brings them closer to the action.
“We are excited about the new cyber commands,” Reed said, referring to the four military commands expected to complete their move into North Suffolk this year.
The company is “truly ground-up,” she said, explaining that it “did not have contracts there waiting for us” when it was established.
“We are all workers,” she said. “We don’t have room for people who aren’t used to having to dig in and do the work themselves.”
But experience has taught Reed the importance of encouraging input from employees, she said.
Waddell added, “We are very selective in who we bring on board.” The company’s next local hire will be made this coming week, he said, and it is also interviewing for opportunities at its Charleston, S.C., Huntsville, Ala., and Alexandria offices.
The chamber award was a welcome surprise, Reed said. “They showed up with flowers and champagne and told us we were a winner!” Waddell added.
Reed said the company expects to continue growing. That’s the main reason it moved into the new larger headquarters, she said.
“We have really good infrastructure for our small business, and we want to continue to expand that,” she added.
“On the federal side we want to grow … (and) we also support state government on the training side, and private clients, and we want to continue to grow that as well.”