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Baltimore’s Top Workplaces, midsize No. 3: BrainTrust doesn’t need to be sticky to keep employees

After 20 years in the intelligence business, Bob Kiffney founded BrainTrust, an information technology consulting group, in 2010 to help protect the nation against threats and improve its security.

Kiffney was skilled in cloud computing — the delivery of computing services like servers, storage, analytics and intelligence over the internet.

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Since then, the Annapolis Junction-based company has grown to 170 employees and expanded its services to include systems engineering, data analysis, software design, and mission operations and deployment support in both public and commercial sectors.

“We have people that operate all over the world,” said Kiffney, BrainTrust’s president and CEO.

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One of Kiffney’s early goals for the company, as he put it, was benefits that weren’t “sticky.”

“A lot of companies try to make their benefits what I call sticky, like vesting in your 401(k) plan for example,” he said. “If it takes you a year to vest, that means you’re giving back your 401(k) money if you ever leave. With our company, we immediately vest all the 401(k) contributions. … We also contribute 10% without requiring the employee to put in any match.”

BrainTrust also recently increased its health care contribution, paying 70% of employees' health care costs.

Employees say, along with the company’s benefits, they enjoy working with the latest technology. They are also proud their work helps keep Americans safe and appreciate the social events and activities BrainTrust organizes to keep them connected, including curling, ax-throwing, skiing and hospitality tents before Ravens football games.

Above all, though, company leaders are always accessible and supportive of employees' interests, said Lear Kaufman, a BrainTrust engineer.

“It’s just a great company that’s very easy to work for,” he said. “There’s not a lot of restrictions, not a lot holding you back. If you want to succeed and get ahead, they’re there for you.”

In August, BrainTrust became a subsidiary of EverWatch, a Virginia-based company that provides intelligence, defense and deployed mission support for the U.S. government, but it continues to operate on a stand-alone basis.

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