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Last Update: Sunday July 25, 2021

Key Idea: Offer Fascinating Work

Joe Fergus (above), Mark Gross, Dave Young and Jodi Johnson examine the basics. Joe says that pay and benefits are important, but interesting work is the best way to attract talent.  More...

Key Question:


Offer fair wages, benefits and fascinating work.  Joe Fergus loves his company because he has been able to hire smart engineers who are working to solve interesting problems.  This goes back to his original goal of starting a company much like Bell Labs where he worked for eight years.

You don't have to be in a sophisticated business to use Joe's idea. Everyone in an organization doesn't always get to work on the front edge of ideas but if someone is doing something new, everyone in the company can get a buzz from that activity.  You have to find ways for some employees to be dreaming about and working on new ideas.

The strong business owners we know offer rewards for new ideas, pay for continuing education, set aside funds for new product or service development and promote from within.  Remember that while you probably have plenty of dull, boring jobs, those jobs are not dull and boring to a person who is new to your company or your industry.  Know that when a person gets dull and boring in that dull and boring job it is time for you to challenge that person with a new responsibility.

Ideally, every person in every job thinks their work is fascinating.

Think about it

Are you fascinated with your own work?  Who on your payroll needs to be challenged to learn something new?  How do you reward new ideas?  How do you fund new products and services?  Do you let customers create new products and services?

Clip from: Veterans Think Big

Let us celebrate and honor the contributions of our veterans. 

Washington, DC and the nation:  Defenders of freedom. Patriots.  Veterans.   These people come from every part of society and from every corner of the nation.  They get special training and they serve their country.  Some enter combat and some get injured. In one way or another, they all come home,  and are discharged or retire from the military.  Many join the workforce and begin re-creating their life with the special honors and experiences of being in the US military.

Meet four veterans who came home and started a business and each of them has become enormously successful.  They have all been creating jobs for many years now and are all highly respected within their industry.

In this episode of the show they each tell how they started companies to provide services to the military.   They explain that doing business with the federal government is different than selling goods and services to the private sector. 

All three have fast-growing businesses that range from $26 million to $70 million in annual sales.

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Joe Fergus, Founder

3684 Centerview Drive Suite 100
Chantilly, VA, VA 20151

Visit our web site:

Office: 703-961-9080

Business Classification:
defense contractor

Year Founded:

Offer Fascinating Work

VOICEOVER:  These fast growing companies have to compete for talent.

JOE FERGUS (COMTek) :  There are several reasons why I think that this would be a great place to work. First we, our salaries are exceptionally competitive.  That’s one aspect of the equation. Our benefit packages are competitive for the industry.  We offer things like 401K and tuition reimbursement, those kinds of things.  So I think that there are some things that any family can hold on to, but more importantly we offer the kind of work that people are interested in doing. 

MARK GROSS (Oak Technologies):  It’s a great honor to do what we do every day.  I mean we get to support and train our soldiers and that support has real consequences.

(To his employee) That’s very impressive.

I try to create a, a real pleasant work environment.  We encourage telecommuting.  We’re very flexible with people.  I’m a big believer in so long as the job gets done and the customer’s happy, everything else is irrelevant to me.  If we have the right people we generally don’t have to micromanage. 

DAVE YOUNG (Oberon):  Our product as I mentioned earlier is our people.  We sell their services.  And it takes a lot of time and energy to hire good people, so we want to retain them, we want them to build a career here  and you do that in a lot of the same ways you keep customers.  You talk to them.  Communication. You can make a lot of mistakes in business with your employees as long as you’re talking to them. 

JODI JOHNSON (Oberon):  We have a philosophy of sharing ownership with the folks who helps us grow and who are overachieving here and you know, helping Oberon achieve its corporate goals.  So in the early days Dave and I owned all the stock, but today we have 40 other shareholders and some are very significant.

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