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RPI GROUP, INC. IS ONE OF INC. MAGAZINE’S BEST WORKPLACES 2018

RPI Group, Inc. is one of the highest-scoring businesses with standout employee engagement

Fredericksburg, Virginia (May 23, 2018) – RPI Group, Inc. (RPI) has been named one of Inc. magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2018, the publication’s third annual ranking in the fast-growing private company sector.

Hitting newsstands in the June 2018 issue, and as part of a prominent inc.com feature, the award is the result of a wide-ranging and comprehensive measurement of private American companies who have created exceptional workplaces through vibrant cultures, deep employee engagement, and stellar benefits. Out of thousands of applicants, Inc. singled out just under 300 winning companies.

Built in partnership with employee engagement and work culture experts Quantum Workplace of Omaha, NE, Inc.’s Best Workplaces list is a magnifying glass on how innovative companies can truly raise the bar in hiring and retaining the best talent.

What does it take to become a company that workers want to be part of? Inc. magazine says it’s more than good pay and good perks – it’s also about having a clear purpose, a sense of humor, and leadership that makes them all work together.

Robert Pleban, the CEO of RPI, states “It is an absolute honor to be chosen as an Inc Best Workplace two years in a row. This is a direct reflection of our incredible folks in the field and the hard work of our HR/Recruiting staff. We look forward to another outstanding year of taking excellent care of our talented personnel at headquarters and at customer sites!”

The 2018 Inc. Best Workplaces Awards assessed applicants on the basis of benefits offered and employees’ responses to a unique, 30-question survey fielded by each of the applying companies. Responses were evaluated by the research team at Quantum Workplace. For its results to qualify, each company had to achieve a statistically significant response rate based on employee count. Survey scores account for employer size to level the playing field between small and large businesses. All companies had to have minimum of 10 employees and to be U.S.-based, privately held, and independent – that is, not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies.

While researching the entries, Inc. and Quantum saw distinct themes develop:

  • Strong company cultures breed stunning individual and team performance.
  • Workers at the best companies don’t view their employers as sugar daddies. They aren’t mesmerized by whatever giveaways seem to be the latest fad—be it gourmet lunches or beer fridges.
  • When employees feel valued by their organization, they are far more likely to be engaged. This single factor proved to be one of the largest drivers of employee engagement.

“By including an employee survey into this year’s Best Workplaces selection process, we’ve really raised the bar. Companies that don’t score at the very top of their peer group don’t make the cut. So, our hats are off to the winners. They all excelled at engaging their workers, making them feel appreciated, and aligning them behind a mission. And remember, that’s not just our opinion: The employees told us that themselves.” says James Ledbetter, Inc. editor-in-chief.

About RPI Group Inc.

Founded in 2001, RPI is a privately-held company providing a variety of tailored services to the National Security Community, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Commercial marketplace. RPI brings together an accomplished team of national security, systems engineering and cyber and physical security experts with the experience, relationships, and qualifications to support a wide range of clients.  RPI’s core capabilities include:  Cybersecurity & Secure Wireless Solutions, Network/Systems Architecture & Engineering, Industrial Control Systems Operational Technology (ICS OT), Training & Certification Testing, Research & Development, and Security Services. RPI is headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA with offices in Lexington Park, MD; King George, VA; Charleston, SC; San Diego, CA and Littleton, CO. RPI is a CVE verified service-disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOSB); Small, Woman and Minority-Owned (SWAM) and Virginia Values Veterans (V3) company.

About Inc. Media

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today's innovative company builders.  Winner of Advertising Age’s “The A-List” in January 2015, and the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 20,000,000 today.  For more information, visit http://www.inc.com/.

About Quantum Workplace

Quantum Workplace is an HR technology company that serves organizations through employee engagement surveys, action-planning tools, exit surveys, peer-to-peer recognition, performance evaluations, goal tracking, and leadership assessment. For more information, visit www.quantumworkplace.com.

RPI Group, Inc. Awarded Six-Year Contract with VRE

Fredericksburg, VA – RPI Group, Inc. (RPI) was awarded a six-year IDIQ contract worth $1 million with Virginia Railway Express (VRE) to install new security cameras and access control equipment and to ensure integration of the installed equipment with the existing systems architecture. VRE is initiating a modernization of its security camera and access control systems as recommended by a recent Threat and Vulnerability Assessment (TVA), also performed by RPI.

RPI was awarded their first contact with VRE in July of 2016 to perform a risk and security assessment of the VRE bandwidth and network infrastructure, develop a plan to optimize and enhance their critical infrastructure, and provide security training for their end users. This was the first risk and security assessment of this scope and magnitude that was undertaken by VRE. The security camera and access control systems is one of two follow-up task orders.

VRE is a commuter train service that links the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) are transportation districts established under Virginia law and jointly own this service. An Operations Board consisting of members from each of the jurisdictions within the VRE service area governs the development and operation of VRE and serves as an advisory board to the VTC and PRTC governing boards.

VRE began its operations in 1992 and carries an average of approximately 19,000 weekday trips on two lines. The primary mission of VRE is to provide commuter-oriented passenger rail service between outlying suburbs and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria urban core. Some tourists and “day-trippers” also ride the trains. The service is heavily oriented towards that core area in the morning peak and in the opposite direction in the evening peak.

RPI Group, Inc. Provides Assessment Services to PRTC

Fredericksburg, VA - November 15, 2017 - RPI Group, Inc. (RPI) Cybersecurity is currently providing Risk and Security Assessment Services to the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission’s (PRTC) Bandwidth and Network Infrastructure.

The PRTC is a multi-jurisdictional agency representing Prince William, Stafford, and Spotsylvania Counties and the Cities of Manassas, Manassas Park and Fredericksburg.

PRTC provides commuter bus service along the busy Virginia I-95 and I-66 corridors to points north (OmniRide & Metro Direct), and local bus services in Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park (OmniLink & Cross County Connector). PRTC also offers OmniMatch, a free ridesharing service. Operated by PRTC in partnership with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) provides commuter rail service along the Manassas and Fredericksburg lines, connecting to transit providers at stations in Virginia and the District of Columbia.

RPI is utilizing a 3-phase assessment approach. Phase One will capture a comprehensive understanding of PRTC’s network topology, data processes and infrastructure. The result of this first phase of data collection will support Phase Two capital budgeting recommendations that provide an optimal investment strategy to offset vulnerability gaps, implement remediation priorities and sustain improvements to the organization’s infrastructure and overall cybersecurity posture. Phase Three will deliver a training and education program that provides PRTC personnel with information about current best practices in cybersecurity, social engineering threats and countermeasures and raising awareness of risky network and online behaviors resulting in an educated and informed staff.

 

Ringing in the New Year with Robotics

RPI Group, Inc., Margaret Brent Middle School’s (MBMS) robotics team has new robotics equipment … and just in time for this year’s VEX IQ challenge.

Student participation in the robotics program exploded this year, jumping from two students last season to over 30 participants for the 2016-2017 program.  “I was overjoyed to see the number of students interested in robotics this year,” said Debbie Orgel, MBMS Robotics Coordinator, “then I was overwhelmed by lack of equipment the school had to support that many students.  The team started fundraising immediately but I knew we wouldn’t be able to raise that amount of money in time for the tournament.”

That’s when Kevin Switick, President of AVIAN, and Robert Pleban, President of RPI Group, came to the rescue and purchased kits and competition equipment so the school could register two teams for the upcoming tournament on Jan. 14.  “We are so thankful to Kevin and Robert for their generosity.  Without their support, we could not have accommodated the large number of students this year.  The team is excited to have such wonderful sponsors,” said Orgel.

Robotics programs have been gaining momentum in Southern Maryland over the past several years.  With local teams, such as the RoboBees, Great Mills High School and Ridge Elementary capturing National and World titles, the community is taking notice.  As more and more schools join the robot revolution, community support is going to be critical.  “Investing in students is an investment in our own company’s future,” said Switick. “These are future AVIAN engineers in training and giving them the tools and materials to learn is a small price to pay for the return on investment in the future.”

Robert Pleban sees the advantages of robotics programs in early education as a powerful motivator for engaging students in STEM fields.  “Many people view robotics as an ‘engineering centered’ STEM activity, but robotics programs are so much more.  The coding / programming necessary to successfully compete in these tournaments is astounding.  These students are technology and computer savvy by the time they enter high school and bring an amazing skillset to the workforce,” said Pleban. “With a projected 51 percent increase in computer science positions over the next five years, robotics programs should be common place in school curriculum if we want to ensure a qualified workforce.”


For further information about VEX IQ and the CSM Robotics Challenge visit stem-link.org/activities/robotics.

For more information about TPP’s STEM initiatives visit stem-link.org.

The Patuxent Partnership works with government, industry and academia on programs and initiatives designed to support workforce development in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), host programs of interest to the Navy and the broader community and supports research and technology development. Visit www.paxpartnership.org.

RPI Group Inc. Speaks at Local Cyber Camp

Jeff Watts, Director of Cybersecurity for RPI Group Inc., facilitated an engaging workshop at James Monroe High School in Fredericksburg City, Virginia. A team from RPI joined high-school students as they kicked-off day one of the two week Virginia CyberCamp 2016, a summer state-funded program. The goal of CyberCamp 2016 is to increase awareness of careers in cybersecurity and engage students in project-driven learning, ultimately providing students a foundation in which they can pursue a cybersecurity related course of study and certification during the upcoming school year. James Monroe High School contacted RPI in early spring requesting the company’s voluntary participation. 

Jeff’s two and a half hour presentation revolved around three principles: Cyber Safety, Cyber Security and Cyber Ethics. Through an interactive format, students remained engaged, answering questions, sharing stories, and working with fellow students on case studies while learning basic to advanced cybersecurity fundamentals. Even the adults in the room where fascinated by Jeff’s steganography and netstat demonstrations.     

Matt Skinner, Jacquelyn Brookins and Joe Pleban accompanied Jeff by providing brief introductions and different cybersecurity perspectives.Matt spoke about his traditional college route in discovering his interest in technology and how he has navigated his way towards his current technical career with RPI.  Jacquelyn provided insight to what organizations look for when hiring IT professionals, emphasizing the importance of good communication skills and continuing education. Lastly, Joe caught the crowd’s attention with an interesting look at technology advancements in prosthetics and how Bluetooth technologies have been used to power mimicking movements in prosthetic limbs.  
Overall, Jeff delivered an age appropriate presentation to some highly-advanced technical students. The main purpose for RPI was to get young men and women excited about the cybersecurity field. Jeff opened the minds of high-schoolers to the good they can do for our country with integrity, knowledge and a passion for working in STEM.  

Founded in 2001, RPI Group Inc. is a privately-held, service-disabled veteran owned small business providing a variety of tailored services to the National Security Community and the Defense Department. RPI is headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA with offices in Lexington Park, MD, Dahlgren, VA, Huntsville, AL, San Diego, CA and Denver, CO. RPI brings together an accomplished team of national security, systems engineering and cyber experts with the experience, relationships, and qualifications to support a wide range of clients.  


Additional Links 

Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Education http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2016/039-16.shtml

 

 

RPI Group, Inc. Is Awarded VRE Contract

RPI Group was competitively awarded a contract to perform a risk and security assessment of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) bandwidth and network infrastructure, develop a plan to optimize and enhance VRE’s critical network infrastructure, and provide security training for VRE’s end users.

VRE began operations in 1992 and carries an average of approximately 19,000 weekday trips on two (2) lines. In January 2014, VRE’s Operations Board adopted System Plan 2040 which calls for expansion of service, requiring the addition of railcars, expansion of station and yard facilities, as well as expanding operations to meet the goal of doubling ridership by 2040.

The primary mission of VRE is to provide commuter-oriented passenger rail service between outlying suburbs and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria urban core. Some tourists and “day-trippers” also ride the trains. The service is heavily oriented towards that core area in the morning peak and in the opposite direction in the evening peak.

A risk and security assessment of this scope and magnitude has never been undertaken by VRE. The RPI Group proposal for this effort was ranked first among seven qualified offerors ranging from other small businesses to large businesses with 10,000+ employees. 


Craig Hartburg, the Director of Operations & Security at RPI Group states, ‘“We are excited about the opportunity to serve alongside of VRE to protect and improve their network which is a critical part of the Virginia transportation infrastructure.” 


Founded in 2001, RPI Group Inc. is a privately-held, service-disabled veteran owned small business providing a variety of tailored services to the National Security Community and the Defense Department. RPI is headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA with offices in Lexington Park, MD, Dahlgren, VA, Huntsville, AL, San Diego, CA and Denver, CO. RPI brings together an accomplished team of national security, systems engineering and cyber experts with the experience, relationships, and qualifications to support a wide range of clients. 


Additional Links

VRE | http://www.vre.org/

RPI Group Inc. Sponsors inNOVAtion Hackathon

Woodbridge, Virginia – April 8, 2016- RPI Group Inc. and Team RPI Training were one of the sponsors for the first annual inNOVAtion Hackathon at Northern Virginia Community College. A Hackathon is an event where people come together to solve problems creatively using technology. For the inNOVAtion Hackathon, they scheduled a 36-hour period filled with “tech talks, programming, cyber security practice, and cutting edge creation.” Sponsors created challenges for the students to solve. On Sunday, the participants presented their solutions and ideas to the group of over 350 people. 

Friday night featured keynote speaker, Dr. Ray Letteer, SISO of the U.S. Marine Corp followed by the beginning of the 36-hour coding period. Saturday included a tech expo and tech talk by RPI’s Jeff Watts who spoke about wireless assessments and advice for the cybersecurity career field. Sunday concluded the event with presentations and awards. RPI was excited to see the results of the Virtual Reality Display as a result of their sponsored challenge. 

RPI’s booth was fitted with Ubertooth One Bluetooth device that displayed Bluetooth emitters as well as a spectrum analysis of Bluetooth frequencies. There was also a wireless assessment tool passively scanning the wireless activity throughout the conference. RPI also gave away an Ubertooth One, an open source 2.4 GHz wireless development platform suitable for Bluetooth experimentation. 

Founded in 2001, RPI Group Inc. is a privately-held, service-disabled veteran owned small business providing a variety of tailored services to the National Security Community and the Defense Department. RPI is headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA with offices in Lexington Park, MD, Dahlgren, VA, Huntsville, AL, San Diego, CA and Denver, CO. RPI brings together an accomplished team of national security, systems engineering and cyber experts with the experience, relationships, and qualifications to support a wide range of clients. 

RPI Director of Cybersecurity is speaking at ISACA Virginia Chapter Luncheon Meeting

Fredericksburg, Virginia – February 25, 2016- Jeff Watts of RPI Group Inc. is speaking at the ISACA Virginia Chapter Luncheon Meeting at the Place at Innsbrook on Thursday, March 3rd in Glen Allen, Virginia. He will be discussing the challenges of ICS/OT that focuses on older technology, requires local and remote access, and has damaging service interruptions. The presentation will address ways to assess and secure ICS/OT and help identify a path forward for their secure use on individual networks including how to properly accredit them on DoD networks under the Rick Management Framework (RMF).

As an independent, nonprofit, global association, ISACA engages in the development, adoption and use of globally accepted, industry-leading knowledge and practices for information systems. ISACA was incorporated in 1969 by a small group of individuals who recognized a need for a centralized source of information and guidance in the growing field of auditing controls for computer systems. Today, ISACA serves 140,000 professionals in 180 countries.

Jeff Watts is the Director of Cybersecurity for RPI Group Inc. For the last 15+ years, Jeff has worked supporting the DOD in various positions starting at the MCNOSC, administering VPNs, firewalls, routers, and switches in support of the Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN). In 2003, he went to work for the USMC DAA providing support in the areas of IA risk management and vulnerability assessments as well as drafting policies for secure WiFi use, Firewalls, VPNs, and remote access. Jeff has experience in all aspects of the C&A process to include working directly for the CA and DAA, supporting customers going through the validation process as well as conducted many validations as a USMC Validator. Additionally, he conducted IA training for more than 1000 DoD personnel, participated in the development of commercial wireless networking policies for the USMC, DoN, and DoD as well as working with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) on wireless network discovery tools and techniques. Jeff has been selected to present at many conferences including DallasCon, NSA sponsored Joint Wireless Working Group (JWWG), Federal Computing Weekly (FCW) Homeland Security, AFCEA East and West, NSA Red Team/Blue Team Symposium (REBL), USMC IA Conference, and the DOD Cyber Crime Conference. He joined RPI in late 2015.
 

Founded in 2001, RPI Group Inc. is a privately-held, service-disabled veteran owned small business providing a variety of tailored services to the National Security Community and the Defense Department. RPI is headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA with offices in Lexington Park, MD, Dahlgren, VA, Huntsville, AL, San Diego, CA and Denver, CO. RPI brings together an accomplished team of national security, systems engineering and cyber experts with the experience, relationships, and qualifications to support a wide range of clients. 

Additional Links

ISACA:  https://www.isaca.org/Pages/default.aspx

Event Information: http://www.cvent.com/events/assess-and-secure-industrial-control-systems-operational-technologies-ics-ot-/event-summary-6646b0a95c544fd7b24261574966c150.aspx?i=2c62aeeb-cc6b-4313-ac64-7b39c2110913

RPI Group Inc. Receives Veteran Institute For Procurement Certification

RPI Group Inc. recently completed the Veteran Institute Procurement (VIP), a comprehensive training and certification program that helps veteran-owned businesses strengthen their ability to win government contracts and do business with both military and civilian agencies they once served in uniform.

On October 22, 2015, RPI Group Inc. was one of 50 businesses from 13 states and the District of Columbia to graduate from the National Center for the Veteran Institute for Procurement. During the program’s graduation, Robert Pleban was presented with a congressional citation on behalf of RPI Group Inc.

The first program of its kind in the nation, VIP is conducted by professional subject-matter specialists in the essentials necessary to win government contracts: law, accounting, insurance, human resources, marketing and proposals. It also provides participants with access to Federal and prime contracting executives along with a national network of veteran owned small businesses that they can team with on opportunities.

Since its launch in 2009, VIP has helped 546 service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses grow.  A survey of 184 of the program's graduates determined that 2,018 new jobs were created and the size of their businesses increased by an average of 49% within a year of graduating from the Institute. More than 82% of surveyed graduates credited VIP for equipping them to make recent business decisions and avoid unseen pitfalls. Additionally, veteran-owned businesses are more likely to hire, mentor and train other war veterans as they transition to private life, which is a national priority.  

"We are honored to give back to the men and women who served our country by providing them with the tools necessary to succeed as government contractors." said Barbara Ashe, President of the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation. “We hope this training fosters their success as businesses and employers.”

VIP is a three-day, 27-hour comprehensive certification program. Participants must be a C-level leader in a Veteran-owned small business operating for at least two years with a minimum of 3 full time employees, and experience working on government contracts as a prime and/or sub-contractor to a prime. With volunteer instructors and at no cost to participants, VIP is fully funded by the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation, partners, and VIP sponsors.

For information on VIP: Barbara Ashe, 301-738-0015 x215; bashe@mcccmd.com

For additional information, please visit www.NationalVip.org or the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation

Jeff Watts of RPI Group was a Panelist on the 3rd Annual Cyber Security Panel for the AFCEA Quantico Potomac Chapter

 As a part of National Cyber Security Awareness month, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Quantico Potomac Chapter hosted their third annual Cyber Security Panel at the Clubs at Quantico, VA.  The panel was moderated by Dr. Ray Letteer (Senior Information Assurance Official, USMC) and provided an open forum on the Risk Management Framework (RMF) processes and procedures as they apply to the Industrial Control Systems (ICS)/Operational Technology environment within the defense community. The Panel included participants from DoD CIO, NAVFAC CIO, HQMC C4 IA, and Jeff Watts of RPI Group.

Jeff Watts joined RPI in 2015 after working within the DOD for over 30 years including time as a systems engineer on the Space Shuttle project at Vandenberg AFB, CA, an Electronics Warfare Technician (EWC SW/AW) and Master Training Specialist for the US Navy, and for various defense contractors in the cyber security and secure wireless arenas. For the last 15+ years, Jeff has worked supporting the defense community in various positions within the Marine Corps Network Operations and Security Center (MCNOSC) and HQMC IA providing support in the areas of IA risk management, Certification & Accreditation (C&A) support, training, secure architecture design, vulnerability assessments, and secure wireless network installations and maintenance. Jeff has presented at numerous conferences to include NSA sponsored Joint Wireless Working Group (JWWG), Federal Computing Weekly (FCW) Homeland Security, AFCEA East and West, NSA Red Team/Blue Team Symposium (REBL), USMC IA Conference, and the DoD Cyber Crime Conference.

RPI Group, Inc. Adds Director of Cybersecurity to Support Growing Business Area

 RPI Group announced today that it has hired Jeff Watts as Director of Cybersecurity to lead business development efforts for its growing Cybersecurity and Secure Wireless Solutions business areas. 

Mr. Watts brings over 30 years of experience within the commercial marketplace and the Department of Defense (DOD) to RPI including time as a systems engineer on the Space Shuttle project at Vandenberg AFB, CA and as an Electronics Warfare Technician (EWC SW/AW) in the US Navy. After leaving active duty in 1998, he relocated to Virginia where he has worked in the DOD marketplace in various cybersecurity positions/organizations to include the Marine Corps Network Operations and Security Center (MCNOSC), Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) C4 Information Assurance (IA) where he provided support in the areas of IA risk management and vulnerability assessments, and transferred to the Smartronix Cyber Solutions group before joining RPI Group in their Fredericksburg, VA office.

Jeff has experience in all aspects of the Certification & Accreditation (C&A) process to include working directly for the Certification Authority (CA) and Designating Accrediting Authority (DAA), supporting customers going through the validation process as well as conducting numerous validations as a USMC Validator. Additionally, he has conducted IA training for more than 1,000 DOD personnel, participated in the development of commercial wireless networking policies for the USMC, Department of the Navy (DoN), and DOD as well as working with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) on wireless network discovery tools and techniques.  Mr. Watts has presented at many conferences to include NSA sponsored Joint Wireless Working Group (JWWG), Federal Computing Weekly (FCW) Homeland Security, AFCEA East and West, NSA Red Team/Blue Team Symposium (REBL), USMC IA Conference, and the DOD Cyber Crime Conference.