It took Ivelisse Alemany two years and an estimated four pounds of paperwork, but she finally was awarded Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program certification, which aims to help minority and disadvantaged businesses through federal contracts, last September.
For Alemany, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has only been in Pennsylvania for six years, the achievement is impressive enough on its own, but she has taken her company, Markant Corporation
, along for a successful ride. Markant, which provides professional, technical and web-based information technology services and enhancements to the federal government, has run lean and earned repeat business, resulting in steady growth that has doubled its workforce to 30 since 2007.
After earning her Master's degree in human resources management, she wasn’t looking for a managerial job six years ago, but that’s what a friend steered her toward and she landed the position for Markant. When the owner wanted out of the IT business, Alemany didn’t want to let Markant go. So she went in on the business with its former (and current) CFO Carl Hintz, with Alemany purchasing 51 percent.
“It was very challenging and scary at the time, but we believed we could improve the business,” she says. “There was already cash flow, which made it easier for us to borrow money and focus on growth.”
Alemany, by the way, still handles all HR duties, because “I like working with my employees, and I don’t want to forget where I came from.”
Markant, which moved to its current location at the Murata Business Center
in Carlisle in December 2008, provides IT expertise that aim to boost the security, performance, efficiency and responsiveness of its customers. The company's IT pros develop and customize software, support secure networks and e-mail, and provide information assurance support for federal agency customers.
The company bids on contracts and has actually provided local jobs for federal installations in Mechanicsburg and Chambersburg. Recently, Markant provided experts to help protect Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) data for the Department of Defense and Alemany is confident that the company will secure at least two more contracts by the end of the year, allowing the company to add even more staff.
“Some people try to diversify but you can’t do everything,” Alemany says. “It’s going well for us with the federal government and that’s where we want to stay.”Source: Ivelisse Alemany, Markant CorporationWriter: Joe Petrucci