Foxhole Technology Inc., Springfield

Wes Hester, president, founder and CEO of Foxhole Technology, Inc., of Springfield, a global IT enterprise solution firm delivering end-to-end platforms and infrastructures to provide quicker, secure data deployment, is a North Carolina native — and champion wrestler.

words Foxhole Technology with cartoonish green running manHe attended the University of Kentucky in Army ROTC and graduated in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, a minor in mathematics — and a commission. Soon after he also received a parachute when he became a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger.

In 24 years of active duty, Hester held a variety of positions that took him and his family around the globe from Forts Bragg, Sill and Ord to assignments in Germany, Korea, Kosovo, Bosnia, Macedonia, Albania and Croatia. The Army thought so highly of his IT skills that he was selected to attend the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., in 1994, where he earned a master’’s degree in software engineering and acquisitions. He also became a principal in CrossLogic, Inc., a North Carolina-based company implementing commercial IT services.

Hester retired from the Army in 2007 as a lieutenant colonel following a final assignment in the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). He founded Foxhole Technology with the motto “Serving our Country from the Foxhole to the Command Center.”

Like Parks, Hester’s military experience and contacts served him well. Foxhole Technology’s client list is a virtual who’s who of defense and government agencies including the Army; Marines; DISA; Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); Federal Bureau of Investigation; Departments of Homeland Security, Commerce, Agriculture and Transportation; and entities such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the Dairy Farmers of America. With an annual revenue steadily approaching $18 million, Foxhole Technology has a presence in Springfield as well as 14 other states and Germany and employs nearly 100 workers.

As a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business, Foxhole Technology accrues distinct advantages in procuring government contracts through the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (MO PTAC). A sister program to the MO SBTDC, MO PTAC helps businesses — including veteran, disadvantaged and women-owned companies — navigate a labyrinth of red tape to obtain federal, state and local government contracts.

Hester sought out Mary Love, director of the Springfield/Rolla PTAC, for training and education on how to enter the contracting arena. He was particularly interested in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program, which provides business development support and mentoring in partnership with larger firms. Love and others on the PTAC team helped Foxhole Technology apply for the program.

Because of its IT focus, Foxhole Technology was accepted into the IBM Mentor-Protégé Program and is currently participating in the development of an ultra-secure FAA system. The solution Foxhole Technology, IBM and cyber security researchers are designing will accommodate FAA’s high-speed networks and will feature entirely new security analytics and approaches to protect large digital and physical infrastructures from hacking, botnets, malware and other forms of cyber attacks.

The federal government has recognized the innovation and value of the work Foxhole Technology provides. In the past two years alone, the firm has been honored with the prestigious Nunn-Perry Award, named for staunch military supporters Senator Sam Nunn and Secretary of Defense William Perry, to recognize outstanding mentor-protégé teams, and the Small and Emerging Contractors Advisory Forum Government Contractor of the Year Award in the $6 to $12 million-in-revenue category.

Hester is quick to credit MO PTAC. “Mary and PTAC have been instrumental in helping us navigate the federal contracting domain,” says Hester. “Mary has also been instrumental as a sounding board and problem-solver for the numerous contracting issues we have on any given week. I cannot begin to count the number of times I have reached out to Mary, and in each and every case, she has steered us right. She’s been invaluable!”

Like many veteran business owners, Hester works diligently to provide employment opportunities to others who have served. The firm is committed to a 60 percent veteran workforce and actively recruits veterans via an internal program that provides charitable donations for every person hired. This program benefits organizations including Disabled American Veterans, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Fisher House Foundation. Foxhole Technology has also purchased combat medical kits for troops in Basra, Iraq.

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