by Carolyn Arnold
In 2004, Lynn Ann Casey decided to go into business for herself after many years of working at a global consulting firm. Almost ten years later, her company, Arc Aspicio, a management consulting and information technology firm that focuses on homeland security and intelligence, has seen continued growth and success. Casey attributes this to her company’s passion for their work and strong culture of learning and respect.
“We continue to grow,” Casey said. “I think this year — knock on wood — we’re tracking for more than 30 percent growth.” Arc Aspicio’s growth is particularly impressive considering that the government is working less with agencies because of smaller budgets and sequestration.
Casey’s decision to start her own company grew from her interest in law enforcement and her desire to work closely with clients. “I’ve always been interested in law enforcement and criminal justice back, to when I was at Fairfield,” said Casey, who majored in English and minored in sociology and anthropology. “I took a sociology course in criminal justice, taught by Dr. Rose Rodrigues, that had a big influence on me.”
Managing a company also came naturally to the entrepreneur. When she was a student, Casey worked at the independent student newspaper, The Mirror, and discovered that she enjoyed handling the day-to-day activities that kept the newspaper running smoothly as much as writing. Today, Casey continues to work with clients on project work in addition to leading the company.
Arc Aspicio, which can be translated from Latin as “architecting a vision for the future,” has won successive awards from organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for being one of the best small businesses. The company has ranked four years in a row as one of the fastest-growing private companies by Inc. Magazine, and named as one of the best places to work in Virginia, by Virginia Business.
Casey and her colleagues have worked with ten of the 16 agencies within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). They have consulted on matters related to transportation security, border enforcement, immigration, emergency management, information sharing, and national protection.
DHS is still young, so Arc Aspicio’s role is constantly evolving. “DHS is dynamic and has a constantly changing mission,” said Casey. “So we can be helping them with issue, ‘A, B, and C,’ for example, and then the Boston Marathon bombing will happen and we’ll then work on issue ‘D’ as well.”
Recently, they have worked with multiple agencies to combat human trafficking. “It’s a growing issue in the country that not many people know about,” she said. “It’s a newer issue, but it’s pressing. The President mentioned it in his State of the Union, and we’ve been doing a lot of interesting work on it.”
Arc Aspicio also partnered with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, an organization that recruits rescued dogs and partners them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried in the wreckage of disasters.
The partnership was a natural fit for the dog-loving company. “When we started the company in our basement our dog came to work everyday,” Casey said. The company has since outgrown Casey’s basement, but they’ve found a unique way to combine their love of dogs with homeland security. “This past year we did a pro bono project to help them with a strategic issue they were having and we’ve sponsored two search dog teams.”
Casey, who is currently attending the Harvard Business School Owner/President Management program and expects to graduate in 2014, said that since she launched her company with the goal of being the most trusted homeland security company in the nation, she has been proud of the quality of Arc Aspicio’s people and their ability to help clients fulfill their missions to make the nation more secure and prosperous.
“We build true consultants,” she said. “When you’re in consulting, it’s all about people and talent. We’re not selling widgets or clothing; we’re selling our people’s advice and solutions.”