One-on-One: Interview with Jeff Poore, president of Numerica Corp.

Each month, BizWest asks a business leader to participate in a question and answer feature to help shed light on a business topic, an industry or add insight to a field of endeavor. This month, Jeff Poore, president of Numerica Corp., based in Fort Collins.

BizWest: You recently opened an office in Colorado Springs that will specialize in your aerospace work. Tell us more about that. What share of Numerica’s business is in aerospace? What are some projects currently underway?

Jeff Poore: We chose Colorado Springs because it’s an important hub in Colorado’s space ecosystem and for military space operations at the national level, too. Not only does this give Numerica a physical presence to better support our Department of Defense customer base overall, but specifically we are closer to space customers and the current growth in space programs. While most of the work being done out of the Colorado Springs office is related to our Space Situational Awareness (SSA) business line, the location also offers a great talent pool to draw from to support other areas of our business.

Right now, SSA represents about 30 percent of our business overall, but we see that growing with new projects launched this year, such as the commercially augmented mission operations (CAMO) in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory. This project delivers a commercial pipeline of data and analytics that enhances our DoD customer’s ability to detect, characterize, and predict the changing physical location of objects in orbit around the Earth.

BW: Also in the news lately was your sale of the Lumen product line to LexisNexis. What does that sale permit you to do?

Poore: We’ve been fortunate that all three of our business focus areas (SSA, Air and Missile Defense (AMD) and Law Enforcement) have been on growth trajectories. The most recent divestiture of our law enforcement business and the Lumen product line was a strategic move to focus more deeply on our core defense business lines with SSA and AMD where synergy exists with both technical programs and algorithms.

BW: Where do you see the most growth occurring for your company? What product line or discipline is getting the most attention?

Poore: Over the past several years, we’ve worked hard to navigate a transition from a pure research and development focused company to one that now offers market-leading products to our customers. We develop and bring to market technology that gets used to solve some of the most important challenges in the space and air missile defense industries.

Innovation is alive and well here at Numerica and some really cutting-edge tech is being offered. There is a ton of interest and activity around our deep space surveillance that is supported by a global network of Numerica-owned and operated terrestrial telescopes to detect, track and characterize all objects in orbit. This is perhaps the largest commercial catalogue of deep space objects available. There is also interest in the capabilities we are creating for short range air defense. Both of these offer an amazing opportunity for our team to advance new solutions in these growing fields.

BW: How many workers do you have in Northern Colorado and how many in Colorado Springs? Do you have hiring plans for this year and next?

Poore: We have 80 employees across the company, post-sale of our Lumen product line, and nine members of our team work out of our Colorado Springs office. As a company we value the stability and want to be very deliberate about the growth we pursue. Right now, that means we are working to constrain our growth to ensure we can have the best people working the most important projects for our customers. That said, I expect we’ll grow our headcount by 10 percent per year for the next several years.

BW: You have traditionally hired highly educated workers, mostly with masters and doctorates in their fields. Is that still the case, and in what areas are you facing the most challenge in terms of finding the workers you want?

Poore: Having extended deeper into hardware and software product offerings, we now have a team with a more diverse academic background, including a mix of bachelors, masters and Ph.D.s. While the mix has changed, the quality and character of person has not. At the end of the day, we know our folks want to build cool stuff with other talented people they enjoy being around. We work hard to create an environment that supports this happening.

Each month, BizWest asks a business leader to participate in a question and answer feature to help shed light on a business topic, an industry or add insight to a field of endeavor. This month, Jeff Poore, president of Numerica Corp., based in Fort Collins.

BizWest: You recently opened an office in Colorado Springs that will specialize in your aerospace work. Tell us more about that. What share of Numerica’s business is in aerospace? What are some projects currently underway?

Jeff Poore: We chose Colorado Springs because it’s an important hub in Colorado’s space ecosystem and for military space operations at the national level, too. Not only does this give Numerica a physical presence to better support our Department of Defense customer base overall, but specifically we are closer to space customers and the current growth in space programs. While most of the work being done out of the Colorado Springs office is related to our Space Situational Awareness (SSA) business line, the location also offers a great talent pool to draw from to support other areas of our business.

Right now, SSA represents about 30 percent of our business overall, but we see that growing with new projects launched this year, such as the commercially augmented mission operations (CAMO) in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory. This project delivers a commercial pipeline of data and analytics that enhances our DoD customer’s ability…