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Top Forty Under 40

By Industry News

Home and family Virginia Beach; fiancé and three children, two 15-year-olds and a 4-year-old.

Volunteer activities I have worked with Executive Women International’s Hampton Roads Chapter since 2004, first serving as sergeant-at-arms and presently serving my second term as treasurer. My team at IntellecTechs is in the early stages of developing a Web site that will mentor veterans back into the civilian workplace and/or help existing ones find jobs. I also provide seminars on different business topics to a large number of organizations.

How do you balance your time? It is not easy, that’s for sure. I have a great support system in place that allows me to be a mother, run a business, volunteer, attend school fulltime, write and exercise. I think the most important thing to do is to set limits and live in the now.

How do you choose your volunteer activities? I never turn down the chance to speak to a group of parents, no matter how small or how large. I want the public to be educated on both the benefits and dangers that information technology poses, especially where it concerns our children.

Advice for young people in the workforce Love what you do and never give up. Find someone to push you to your limits and help you grow. Remember to treat people the way you want to be treated and be careful not to burn bridges.

Your proudest accomplishment My children. They are wonderful. One of my sons spent the summer working with me, and I received great feedback. Also, growing the business to where we are at this point makes me very proud.

Professional goal in the next five years To grow the company and create jobs for Hampton Roads. I want this company to provide a workplace that people love to come to each day.

The biggest factor in your success My family has definitely been the biggest factor in my success. My father raised me in the business world in a little café in Colorado. My fiancé was the driving force in allowing me to make this huge leap into owning my own business. I could not have done this without the team we have here at IntellecTechs.

If you could change one thing about Hampton Roads I would have to say I would change the traffic. Sometimes it makes it a little rough to get where you need to be because it is so unpredictable.

Downtime My family and I love to watch the Carolina Tar Heels. One of my sons plans on attending UNC in a few years, so we are practicing.

What gets under your skin? People who think they cannot make a difference and say the words “cannot be done,” especially when it comes to technology. It can always be done, somehow or some way. We live in a technological age .

Jeri Prophet CEO, IntellecTechs Inc., Virginia Beach

By Industry News

INTELLECTECHS INC. is a products and services provider to commercial, local, state and federal government organizations with a focus on innovation.

IntellecTechs provides support to clients domestically and abroad.

Starting the company

I started IntellecTechs in 2008, with the encouragement of my husband.

Hardest part of launching the company

The hardest part of launching another company was the toll it would take on my family, especially my children. My eldest son sacrificed so much growing up while I was in the Navy and then while building my previous firms. His childhood was spent in server rooms and classrooms. His time was often spent loading servers right alongside me. In 2008, when my youngest was only four, we took a family vote and it was decided that everyone was willing to pitch in.

A lesson learned

There are some customers that you are never going to be able to please, so pass them along gracefully.

Risks taken

Associates thought I was foolish. The economy was bad and it was the worst possible time to start a business, but we were fortunate. We flourished.

Biggest obstacle overcome

The biggest obstacle I faced was the subtle bigotry of low expectation given to women in the technology industry.

What or who helped the most in establishing the business?

My family, Margaret Cave, my fellow veterans and my clients. Without their support, I couldn’t have done all of this. Our clients have been amazing. They have been instrumental in our establishment from day one. We started out with nothing and were able to grow to nearly 350 clients and it was all through referrals. Thanks to Margaret’s great customer service, we have been able to maintain them.

Other business partners

There have been so many business associates and professionals who have provided us with great advice, services and encouragement over these past five years. Most notable are TFA Benefits, The Frieden Agency, Stewart & Co., as well as Tonya Perkins at Old Point National Bank. The relationships we have fostered with them and so many others are invaluable.

Greatest innovation

I believe my greatest innovation was clearly the process changes put in place that allowed our team of geniuses, stars in their own right, to come together in a synergistic symphony of training, coding and design that allows IntellecTechs to provide its customers with what others simply cannot.

Company growth

The company has nearly doubled in both employees and revenue this year. We are in the process of building out our current location. This new 10,765-square-foot office space will include our new computer build center. Our workforce recently added 39 veterans this year, bringing our total prior military workforce to 44 veterans. The year has gotten off to a great start. Current data reflects IntellecTechs will experience a record growth of nearly 30 percent during the first half of the year alone.

Earning a profit

The company earned a profit after the first year in business and has been growing each year. Current figures indicate IntellecTechs will show a record profit again this year.

Future plans

Over the past few months, we have started penetrating into the federal government marketplace with some recent contract awards. We are starting to solidify our partnerships with successful federal contractors and are currently hiring in new markets. As an 8(a) certified by the SBA, service-disabled veteran and woman-owned business, we believe the opportunity for growth is significant.

Biggest challenge for the future

As technology changes, cyber security will continue to play a major role in what shapes our future not only as a company, but as a nation. We will continue to work in lock step with our clients not only to respond to support issues, but also to be proactive in identifying problems before they occur. We will continue to provide our customers with dependable and cost- effective IT services to support their daily operational and strategic growth needs.


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USO Gives Thanks During Holiday Season

By Industry News

Navy Mobilization Processing Site (NMPS) hosted the 6th Annual Thanksgiving luncheon on Naval Station Norfolk Nov. 15.

The luncheon is an annual event for wounded warriors, hosted by the United Service Organization of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia (USOHRCV), a non-profit organization with a mission to enhance the quality of life of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

November has been designated as Warrior Care Month and this year, to expand the lunch celebration, USO combined efforts with various local businesses to help make the event more memorable for those who attend.

Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Mattie Hackney gives a Sailor cookies during an event sponsored by the United Services Organizations (USO) in the hangar bay aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). George Washington returned to her forward operating port of Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka Nov. 22 after a nine-week patrol. George Washington is the Navy’s only full-time forward-deployed aircraft carrier ensuring security and stability in the western Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David A. Cox/Released)

“When I heard the USO was looking for donations for the lunch, it was a no brainer to call everyone I knew and say it’s time for us to do our part,”

said Jerri Prophet, CEO of Intellectechs and volunteer for the event.

More than 40 volunteers from the USO and the Hampton Roads community came out to help prepare and serve food for single Sailors who reside in the building, wounded warriors and service members who are rehabilitating or in a transient status and their caregivers at NMPS.

“It feels absolutely great to be a part of this,” Prophet said. “I’m always thankful for service members actively serving and those who have previously served, and however we can help, we absolutely want to.”

The event has grown tremendously from the first year, starting with only 60 wounded warriors coming out to take advantage of the home-cooked meal.

“We first started the lunch because of a group of individual augmentee’s (IA) were coming back from a year of being deployed from overseas and hadn’t seen a good Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings,” said Ann Morris, center director of NMPS, USO. “This year we anticipate between 200 and 400 personnel coming through today, and between 200 and 400 coming tomorrow for leftovers, just like home.”

For some, the lunch is more than just an annual event. The meaning behind it hits home and becomes an incentive to continue the USO lunch tradition.

“It’s something personal to me. When I was a military wife stationed in New York and my husband was out to sea away on deployment, there was a time I went through Thanksgiving without a dinner,” said Morris. “So it’s important to me for these guys who are away from home who don’t get a Thanksgiving dinner, to know that this for them.”

The food preparation for the lunch is a task all in itself, beginning days before the event actually takes place. Cooked turkeys, side fixings and baked goods made from scratch are all prepared in the kitchens of volunteers and brought in the day of the event.

Carol Beddard, a volunteer from St. John’s Lutheran Church and who they call the Cookie Lady, has been a part of the luncheon for five years and donates her time, as well as five to six dozen home-baked cookies, every Wednesday at the USO.

“It is my Wednesday today, and when I did not come yesterday, it felt strange.” said Beddard about coming to the USO on a Thursday. “It’s a part of my life and I love coming in and seeing the enjoyment from these Sailors.”

The event not only serves as a place where service members can come and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal during the holiday, but it also provides service members an opportunity to enhance camaraderie.

“This is so nice for the USO to do this for us,” said Engineman 2nd Class Wayne Carter, who is returning from an IA in Kuwait and transiting through NMPS on his way back to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “It’s definitely a way to bring togetherness to those who are passing through the area like me.”

“It is a great idea and very well put together,” said Operation Specialist 2nd Class Denim Jarrell, who is also transiting through NMPS after an IA. “I’ve visited USO’s in other locations and they are always so helpful with their accommodations.”

Although the luncheon is only an annual event, what emerges from it is more than a once-a-year incentive for some.

“The interaction with these Sailors is so rewarding.” said Beddard. “The friendships I make here last a life time.”

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Molly A. Burgess, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic