Cherokee Nation Businesses to buy ETI Professionals Inc.

BY JAMI MURPHY
Former Reporter
01/13/2011 09:30 AM
CATOOSA, Okla. – Officials for Cherokee Nation Businesses were expecting to close the deal for another Colorado-based business before February. This time it involves ETI Professionals Inc., a company that offers strategic project management and staffing solutions.

According to a CNB press release, the Lakewood, Colo., company “caters to many large federal agencies and commercial clients providing services in information technology, science, engineering, mission support services, research and development, facility management and program management.”

The company also has regional offices in San Antonio, Baltimore, Tampa, Fla., and Shirley, Mass, but CNB Chief Executive Officer David Stewart said that its administrative offices would be relocated to Catoosa.

ETI Professionals has 375 employees and contracts in 40 states, servicing the United States Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Employees currently working for ETI would be retained, Stewart said, and as contracts increase more hiring would occur.

“A lot of these jobs are contract-based and located at the particular government office in which they work. So a major piece of the business is providing the talent necessary for the government to accomplish certain objectives,” Stewart said. “There will be hiring going on as they generate additional contract revenue, which they already have and been very successful. We will also add staff here locally for administrative support to help administrate the company.”

Stewart said ETI Professionals fits within CNB’s growth strategy to “develop an IT infrastructure and company base” in order to “develop new career opportunities and eventually bring back jobs and opportunities” into the tribe’s jurisdiction.

“ETI is known for providing customer-focused, strategic solutions for its clients,” he said. “Those strengths, combined with CNB’s deep knowledge and expertise in the IT and professional services fields, will add to the reputation of CNB’s IT companies as a total solutions provider to government and commercial clients.”

Steven Bilby, president of CNB’s IT group, said ETI is primarily focused on federal contracting.
“This acquisition opens many doors for us to expand our current businesses into markets we haven’t yet penetrated,” he said. “ETI will be a great addition to the CNB family of companies.”

The Cherokee Nation Jobs Growth Act of 2005 established CNB as the tribe’s economic engine with its primary goals being job creation and generating funding for tribal services.

CNB owns businesses in the fields of IT, aerospace, environmental, health care and construction. It also has a set of guidelines it adheres to when pursuing acquisitions and only pursues companies that are successful, profitable and stable, according to the CNB press release.

Susan Holland, ETI president and founder, said she was honored to become a part of the CNB organization.

“I started ETI in 1992 with $1,500 and the dream of a great company,” she said. “Building this company has been my life’s work for 18 years now, and I am tremendously proud of what ETI has accomplished. It is now my goal to secure ETI’s future as we proudly become part of the CNB family.”

According to CNB, Holland and co-owners Greg Kilkenny and Allen Christy have signed agreements to stay with the company to guide ETI as it enters the CNB organization.
The company’s legal name will become Cherokee Nation Government Solutions, but will also continue to service clients under the ETI name.

CNB officials did not disclose ETI’s purchase price when asked by the Cherokee Phoenix, citing confidentiality reasons. The Phoenix has filed a Cherokee Nation Freedom of Information Act request asking for the purchase price.

In 2009, CNB purchased an IT company called ITX out of Fort Collins, Colo. The two purchased companies are not related in any way, Stewart said.

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