Arria Hines of Allegheny Science & Technology honored for innovation
BRIDGEPORT — The CEO and president of a Bridgeport technology management company has been been recognized with the 2017 Outstanding Woman in Technology Award.
Arria Hines runs Allegheny Science & Technology, which has its corporate office in White Oaks Business Park in Bridgeport, along her her partner Bob Wentz. Hines has led AST from a two-person company with one government contract in 2009 to nearly 240 employees and more than 14 contracts with multiple federal agencies in just seven years.
TechConnect West Virginia presented the award to Hines Thursday in Charleston with its stated goal of recognizing leadership in innovation and technology-based business development in West Virginia.
“The Spirit of Innovation program is an opportunity to spotlight success stories throughout the state and recognize the people and organizations that support innovation-based economic development,” said Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnect.
Hines was specifically commended for her work in expanding technology jobs in the Mountain State.
“We are thrilled to honor Arria Hines as our 2017 Outstanding Woman in Technology,” Barth said. “Her drive and determination have made Allegheny Science & Technology one of America’s fastest growing private companies. Ms. Hines sets the bar very high, and her success in leading this technology solutions company is great news for West Virginia.”
A native Lewis Countian, Hines still resides near Weston with her husband Michael and one son. She also has three other grown children.
“I am truly honored to receive this award. Being recognized by TechConnect as an Outstanding Woman in Technology is not only a huge honor, but exciting for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This award amplifies that technology and entrepreneurialism are not just ‘guy things,’” Hines said.
Allegheny Science & Technology has a co-corporate office in Tysons Corner, Virginia. There are about 20 employees in the Bridgeport office, with a total of 60 working in West Virginia, and there are 180 more employees in Colorado and the Washington, D.C. metro area, she said.
“Our company focuses on federal government contracting. We do very little commercial work. We focus on research & development projects for federal agencies like the Department of Defense, NASA and the Department of Energy,” Hines said.
She called her husband her biggest fan, who helps make all the work she does a little easier.
“When your primary focus is on government contracting, you have to be very adaptable to the budget and diverse. We didn’t want to work in just one agency. We focused on management and technology in engineering and software systems engineering. That is the core of what we do. We provide a very good value in those arenas. We are diversified with different agencies and those core services,” Hines said.
She received her Bachelor of Science in accounting at West Virginia Wesleyan College and earned her master’s in business administration from West Virginia University. She founded her first company in 1989 and had a successful career as a program manager for SAIC and Ranger Golf Corporation until co-founding AST. The company had revenues of $50 million in 2016.
Hines was also named the Small Business Administration 2016 West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year. She is a member of the board of directors for Teaming to Win, a West Virginia non-profit organization that provides educational, networking, business and workforce development opportunities. Hines also serves on the West Virginia University MBA Advisory Council and the I-79 Development Council.
“I’m also on the former governor’s STEM Council. I’m very passionate about that. You lose a lot of young girls in middle school. They believe they can’t do math and science. I want to get the word out to young girls and women that they can do technology development,” she said.
Hines commended the company’s employees for the success they are realizing.
“It’s all due to the great people in the company. We have an excellent corporate staff helping in the foundation of company. We have very low attrition. The success of the business is based on the people at the company,” she said.
The award ceremony was part of the 2017 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Day at the state Capitol. Hosted by TechConnect and the TransTech Energy Business Development Program, the event highlights West Virginia’s science, technology, engineering and math based economy, which employs over 48,000 people in the state.