Military veterans make up nearly half of the staff at the Columbia software development company IntelliGenesis.
Their experience in a variety of war zones and training areas all over the world is invaluable to the company, which provides artificial intelligence, computer network operations and intelligence analysis to federal government clients working on national security missions.
“We bring that worldly knowledge to these missions,” said Angie Lienert, its president and CEO. “We understand firsthand the value of the work we conduct.”
A veteran herself — she was an Arabic linguist in the Air Force for six years — Lienert has led the company since its founding in 2007. Over the past six years, its employment has more than tripled, with nearly 60 now working at the Columbia headquarters, a Georgia office and other sites. Fourteen more hires are planned for the next year. Among IntelliGenesis’ staff members are intelligence professionals and data scientists who can bridge the gap between software developers and the operational community.
“We understand the mission areas and data that go into these areas,” Lienert said. “Since we have a very profound understanding of this data, we’re able to build a lot better, smarter software tools and analysis tools for the end users.”
IntelliGenesis offers its employees an “aggressively competitive” benefits package. In addition to health, dental and vision coverage, employees get a flexible spending account, a 401(k) with a generous match and more. Vacation time is generous as well: 20 days of paid time off per calendar year, 12 holidays, and comp time. There are fun events too, like a summer picnic and a holiday party — and all employees get their birthdays off.
As the company grows, Lienert said, she’s making a concerted effort to stay in touch with her staff. She visits a different site every Friday to have breakfast with staff members. The company comes together for quarterly all-hands meetings, where briefings on new opportunities in the market are shared with the staff.
“One of the most important roles that I have is to make sure that I have a very good communication with the employees,” she said.
The company also publishes a monthly newsletter with details about new hires, training opportunities and new contracts, as well as personal updates like weddings and births. IntelliGenesis employees say it’s outreach like this that makes them feel very informed about company decisions.
They also enjoy what they do.
“My job is technically demanding and motivates me to learn more and succeed at a high level,” one said.
That’s no accident, Lienert said.
“We are quite selective about the work that we go after. We choose the higher-end engineering work; we don’t go after a lot of the low-end work,” she said. “We also try to challenge our employees by the opportunities we give them, the training that we offer, to push them to grow into some of the higher levels of engineering and more challenging work.”