April 26, 2012
S&K Technologies is a player at the table of the world economy
By B.L. Azure
S&K Technologies CEO Tom Acevedo discusses the personnel make up and education requirements of S&K Tech employees. (B.L. Azure photo)
ST. IGNATIUS — Last week members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council visited with the staff and board of S&K Technologies at its corporate headquarters outside of St. Ignatius. They were given an update on present activities as well as the recent five-year $975 million contract S&K Technologies was awarded.
The prime contract is for its S&K Aerospace, LLC, for the Parts and Repair Ordering System (PROS) IV Program from the U.S. Air Force. The contract will offer support services to the USAF, Army and Navy foreign military sales customers located throughout the world.
The PROS IV team – including Parts and Repair Technical Services, Inc. (P.A.R.T.S. Inc.) of Stockbridge, GA, General Dynamics Information Technology of Fairfax, VA, and S&K Aerospace – will provide spares supplies, component maintenance, and task order support to provide logistical, wide-ranging technical services, and other support services for the nearly $1 billion worth of military hardware to the foreign customers in more than 90 countries.
S&K Technologies won the contract in competition with similar enterprises.
S&K Technologies CEO Tom Acevedo said the now well-established track record of the enterprise as well as its unique ownership by a tribal nation tipped the scales in S&K’s favor.
“Our logo with the feather is a draw,” Acevedo said. “People get interested from the get-go when the find out it is tribally owned.”
Dermot O’Halloran, senior vice-president of Corporate Development at S&K Technologies, told Tribal Council members that the tribal affiliation of S&K Technologies is the “biggest hammer in the tool kit” that helps nail down contracts.
Tribal Council Chairman Joe Durglo queries S&K Technology personnel about the decision process related to investments. (B.L. Azure photo)
He added that its versatility, flexibility and track record as a well-managed organization make it highly regarded in the world business economy. “Our success is a product of our total commitment to total contract management,” O’Halloran said. “We have a mission that supports our community through economic viability, education and career opportunities.”
O’Halloran went through the list of the S&K subsidiaries, their history and the contracts they have received throughout the years.
S&K Technologies was formed in 1997 as a division of S&K Electronics. In 1999 S&K Technologies became an official stand alone Limited Liability Corporation. Since then like Jack’s bean stock it has grown rapidly. It is now comprised of several affiliated corporations that include it as the parent company of subsidiaries: S&K Aerospace; S&K Global Solutions; S&K Environmental; TerraEchos, Inc.; S&K Security Group; and, S&K Logistics Services.
The federally chartered corporation owned by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes employs more than 400 people at its subsidiaries located throughout the United States and the world.
Besides St. Ignatius there are offices and staff at Arlee and Missoula; Anchorage, Alaska; Bremerton, Wash.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Moab, Utah; Houston, Texas; Warner Robins and Byron, Georgia; Dayton, Ohio; Franklin, Tenn.; Washington, DC; Baghdad, Iraq; and, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“We’re here on the Flathead and are part of the world economy,” Acevedo said. “We are integrated into it by the nature of our business. We are well known in the U.S. but we are better known in Saudi Arabia. People in the Middle East approach us for business.”
“The S&K brand name is sought throughout the world,” O’Halloran added.
Since 1999 the original $150,000 investment by the tribal government has resulted in more than $14 million in dividends.
However the future of S&K may be thornier than the rosy past due to the present state of the world economy and the anticipated cutbacks in the U.S. defense budget.
“The operation and maintenance budget for the Air Force is expected to decrease by 42 percent and the Navy will see a 25 percent decrease,” Acevedo said.
“We are looking beyond military contracts with the federal government,” O’Halloran said. “The contracts are not guaranteed but we have an existing relationship with the federal government and that helps get a foot in the door for competitive contracts.”
And it is a big foot.