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James L. McNeil

50, founder and CEO of McNeil Technologies Inc. in Springfield, Virginia
October 1, 2003
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/64460

Description: Management consulting company

Start-up: $4,500 in 1985

Sales: 2003 projected sales of $46 million

Fed Up: After a long stint working with the federal government in international programs and two years at a small contracting company, McNeil decided to use his expertise in his own venture as "a way [to lift] the glass ceiling."

Divide and Conquer:McNeil Technologies Inc. (McNEIL) has four main divisions: language services, consulting services, information management and security services. A smaller portion of McNEIL's business is Dunwoody Press Inc., a subsidiary that publishes language books, dictionaries and glossaries, and McNeil Multilingual Inc., which concentrates on commercial language work for clients such as Merrill Lynch and Geico Insurance.

Big Screen: One of three contractors selected by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to supply airport passenger and baggage screeners, McNeil Security Inc. (a McNEIL subsidiary) is the only minority firm participating. Its Rochester International Airport contract with the TSA is worth $12 million in annual revenues and runs through 2004. Although it was a big win for McNEIL, they'd already been providing security services to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Covert Op: The threat of terrorism has other McNEIL divisions in demand, too. Its language services division has been translating Middle Eastern languages and documents for the government. And if there is a terrorist alert, McNEIL's information management center can be found handling background operations for the government.