ManTech recently sponsored a workshop entitled, “Big Security for Small Business” for the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) in Chantilly, Virginia. As a mentor company in the MPP, ManTech partners with and provides guidance to small companies that seek to expand their work within the government contracting industry.

Kevin Phillips, ManTech’s president and CEO, opened the workshop with inspiring words about the importance of procuring security and talent at speed:

“In order to support the national security requirement, we absolutely, absolutely want to prime the right talent. And we absolutely need to get them in faster.” 

ManTech President and CEO Kevin Phillips at the DOD Mentor-Protege Workshop
ManTech President & CEO Kevin Phillips at the DoD Mentor-Protege Program

Several additional ManTech leaders attended the workshop to share from their own repertoire of knowledge with the protégé companies attending the annual instructional and networking event.  

Tracy Durkin, one of ManTech’s directors of security, spoke to the audience about insider threats, sprinkling in vignettes of lessons learned and best practices that she has cultivated from her own experiences throughout her seasoned career in security.

Yvonne Vervaet, ManTech’s senior vice president of Growth and Capabilities, moderated an afternoon panel focused on trends in information technology security and what every small business should know and which featured the following ManTech experts:

  • Jim Webster, vice president and chief information security officer
  • Scott Jackson, executive director and solutions architect
  • Tim Schaad, executive director of CyberRange and Advanced Cyber Range Environment

While ManTech is now more than 50 years old and employs more than 8,000 people worldwide, it began in 1968 with a single U.S. Navy contract. Not so long ago, ManTech itself was the very type of small government contractor that today it helps mentor through organizations such as the DoD MPP.

Among the many themes touched on by the various speakers, by the end of the day, a single unifying theme stood out: Action counts. 

Echoing the common business admonition against “paralysis by analysis,” or “letting the perfect be the enemy of the good,” ManTech’s CISO Webster offered this advice: “Don’t wait for the perfect solution, don’t wait until you have a complete plan,” he said. “Identify those high risks you’ve got right now. Make things more secure today than they were yesterday.”


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