- The Washington Times - Monday, October 1, 2007

When Lani Hay enlisted in the Navy as a teenager 10 years ago, she didn’t suspect that she would one day run a government consulting company with 150 employees and $15 million in annual revenues.

Ms. Hay, 32, president and chief executive officer of Lanmark Technology Inc. (LMT), was named National Minority Small Business Person of the Year at a conference last month in the District.

Ms. Hay was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration for her achievements in growing a one-woman consulting company to a multimillion-dollar enterprise in five years.

LMT, a Fairfax contracting company, was founded in 2000 to consult with government clients including the U.S. Army, Department of Labor, Department of Veteran Affairs and the Internal Revenue Service. The company specializes in information technology, software development, network manage- ment and Web site creation.

“I think my award shows what the American dream really is,” Ms. Hay said. “I didn’t come from a family with money or a recognizable name. I was able to use tools that this country gives to every person and was able to create opportunities.”

Ms. Hay enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy in 1993 with a dream of becoming the first female pilot for the Blue Angels. But women weren’t allowed to participate in combat training back then — and that included flying combat aircraft upside-down in tight formation.

After graduating in 1997, Ms. Hay became an air intelligence officer, collecting and analyzing intelligence in Europe, Asia and the Middle East while on board Navy P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft.

“While in the Navy, I was asked by some contractors to help them with some of their work in the Middle East,” Ms. Hay said. “I still wanted to help when I left the Navy, and they encouraged me to keep working.”

Ms. Hay formed LMT while she was still on active duty, but her business didn’t really start growing until she became a Navy reservist, and her company gained more government clients.

LMT just completed a one-year contract with the U.S. Army, helping the Pentagon process information on missing or detained soldiers.

Army Maj. Andrew Hyatt worked closely with LMT during the contract.

“LMT was great,” Maj. Hyatt said. “They provided three individuals to come in and help us mature. They were all superstars and did a great job. They were very dedicated to the Army and the mission.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the Naval Academy, Ms. Hay received a master”s of business administration from the College of William and Mary in 2002 and a master’s certificate in government contracting from George Washington University in 2004.

She lives in D.C. with her husband Mark and their two dogs.

Bethany Sackett

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