Security Management Solutions

Bill Foos had a great first year. His newly-minted private security and anti-terrorism consulting business grossed far above his expectations, landing him 11 contracts and a major lead within the Department of Homeland Security.

With 25 years worth of active and reserve military police experience, industry contacts and government marketing assistance from the Kutztown University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Foos’ Camp Hill firm was well positioned for another successful year.

In just two years, Security Management Solutions (SMS) provided independent and homeland security consulting to federal agencies such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Federal Emergency Management Agency, states such as New Jersey and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, and private companies like Portland General Electric Co., and British Columbia Hydro Power, to name a few.

And then he got the call. In July 2004, the reservist was summoned to active duty for service in Iraq. He made a few phone calls to inform his clients and packed his bags for Baghdad.

“I had to put my business on hold for a year and a half,” he said. “Any momentum I had going basically came to a stop.”

Foos closed shop and undertook a mobilization tour with the Army Corps of Engineers as the Deputy G3/Operations and Force Protection Officer for the Gulf Region Division of the Corps of Engineers. He served a full year overseas helping with the $18.2 billion reconstruction mission, managing personnel and a structural force protection program with over 500 civilian, military, and Iraqi personnel.

In fact, Foos was able to adapt a security vulnerability risk model he developed at SMS. Operation Iraqi Freedom provided a true test of his abilities to facilitate the exchange of best security management practices among private and public security, law enforcement personnel, and budget managers. His efforts landed him the Bronze Star for distinctive service and a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.

He returned to serve another six months of active duty with the Army Reserves. When he finally completed his support January 13, he had another reconstruction mission on his hands: Security Management Solutions (SMS).

“It’s been a slow rebuild,” he reported. “Fortunately most of my clients are dependent on funding, so the projects were on hold at their end too. We had the framework in place and now we’re just trying to pick up where we left off.”

He plans to mobilize support of his own with another visit to the SBDC. “I am attempting to reconstitute my business and develop a new strategy,” he shared. “Working with Lisa [Clark, Kutztown SBDC Government Procurement Specialist] in the past was a real pleasure.”

Clark believes Foos returned with greater focus. “Bill has an excellent background. He has the contacts, he really knows what he wants to do, he does his homework,” Clark confirmed. “He comes to us for what he can’t do or just to verify that he’s making a smart move. When he came back, he was ready to pick right up from where we started and refocus.”

Despite the delay, Bill’s time overseas may prove a benefit to his business. “It was tough to leave, but I’ve developed an even better position to champion a proactive force protective program,” he said. “I believe I’m more successful as a business owner and consultant because of where I’ve been.”