Herring has been with the company since its inception in 2013 and has been a critical part of growing the company into what it is today. Since Knight Federal’s inception, he has been instrumental in every aspect of the company’s growth. Herring’s business development efforts allowed Knight Federal to grow more than 40% in the last two years. During this time Knight Federal added more than 30 employees. His ability to capture, propose and win business led to Knight Federal’s award of its first prime contract in 2017.
In addition to winning the first prime contract, Herring added new contracts and customers to Knight Federal’s portfolio while expanding and fortifying their current capabilities. Recently, he helped Engility, an SAIC Subsidiary, win a $106 million Defense Intelligence Agency contract which includes Knight Federal as a subcontractor.
“SAIC’s partnership in support of this effort has been an excellent experience. Their dedication to the mission never waivers and it shows through each communication. We are thankful to continue our support of this program and appreciate each of the Knight Federal employees who continue to exceed our customer’s expectations,” says Matt Herring.
As an emerging company, Herring wears many different hats in his role. In the competitive world of government services, his understanding of the market and network have allowed Knight Federal to be poised for strong revenue growth in 2019 and beyond.
“Being with Knight Federal has been an awesome experience, sharing a closet office with Chris in the early days without employees to outgrowing our current office space and employing more than 100 people has been both challenging and rewarding. I sincerely appreciate working for Chris and executing his vision. The autonomy and trust he puts in me allows us to move a lot faster than our peers within this industry,” says Herring.
As the Vice President of Business Operations, Herring is in charge of developing business in the Department of Defense and Intelligence sectors, as well as forming strategic partnerships within industry and government.
“The potential for exponential growth of Knight Federal is in very good hands,” says CEO Chris Baeten.
In addition to his focused business skills, Herring is a passionate and community-minded individual. He sets the bar for excellence and strives to achieve that in all he undertakes. Whether it is immersing himself into the growth of Knight Federal or giving back to his local community or alma mater, he makes an impact in many positive ways.
Herring serves as a Big Brother/Mentor through the Washington region’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters. This meaningful, monitored mentorship between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 7-18 years old, in communities across the National Capital Area, develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. Big Brothers Big Sisters has a stellar record in helping children on a daily basis make healthy choices to stay in school, stay out of trouble, and on track toward healthy and productive futures.
In Herring’s service as a volunteer for Highway Heroes Rescue Transport, he drives legs typically from Alexandria to Baltimore for dogs in need of safe transport to a rescue or adoption home.
As a board member of the Friends of Theodore Roosevelt Island, Inc. (FoTRI) since 2017, Herring serves alongside a group of passionate volunteers eager to support the National Park Service in its ongoing efforts to preserve and protect the unique presidential memorial that is Theodore Roosevelt Island. He led fundraising for the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the island to Theodore Roosevelt and raised more than $1,000 in support of the event in both cash and in-kind donations.
FoTRI is a 501(c)(3) organization that was established in 2015 to appreciate the natural beauty and historical significance of the living memorial to Theodore Roosevelt and to ensure that Theodore Roosevelt Island is protected and preserved for future generations. The diverse passions of the board members include: history buffs, admirers of Theodore Roosevelt, conservationists, runners, kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders, birders, dog walkers, and naturalists – reflect the broad range of activities on, and wide appeal of, the Island.
FoTRI serves as an active force for ensuring that the memorial plaza, trail system, and woodland landscape remain a fitting tribute to President Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy of conservation. Herring and the volunteers work to increase the recreational and educational opportunities at the Island, including programming to help visitors appreciate both the beauty of nature, and the force of nature that was the nation’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt. With his help and that of the board members, visitors today and in future generations will enjoy the beautiful and serene natural urban setting that is symbolic of all the natural lands in America that Theodore Roosevelt loved and protected.
Herring volunteers with the University of Florida Alumni Association (DC Gator Club). He also participates in various community cleanups and fundraisers at national parks in the area. Additionally, he supports Catoctin Mountain Park as a BARK Ranger Volunteer with Helen and Keller, his adopted deaf dogs.
Herring is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He obtained his MBA at Nova Southeastern University. Herring is married and resides in Reston, Virginia with his wife Kylie and their two dogs Helen and Keller.
7th Annual Fundraiser Benefits Central Florida School Food Pantries
Sparked by a 60 Minutes documentary on homelessness in Central Florida, Kick Off for Kids began as a quarterly food drive in 2011 organized by Kavaliro, a leading-edge technology solutions and staffing firm providing qualified personnel in information technology, engineering, finance, accounting and administration, founded by alumni from the University of Central Florida.
The idea was to “Fuel the Community” once a quarter by asking for specific food items, such as peanut butter and jelly and other dry goods and nutritious snacks, to donate to local public school food pantries and their backpack programs. As the community rallied behind the efforts of this simple food drive, a few people spearheading the effort began to brainstorm ways to make the program even bigger and better in order to support additional schools.
Fast-forward to today, and the program evolved into a nonprofit volunteer based organization in 2013, called Kick Off for Kids, that relies on community support of tangible donations to make a difference for Central Florida public school students in need. Its mission is to ensure all students have the proper nourishment to sustain the focus needed in order to achieve academic success.
“Knight Federal is proud to support Kick Off for Kids. What began as a simple grassroots effort has evolved into a critical support resource for children that are suffering from food insecurity due to homelessness and extreme poverty in Central Florida schools. We support their mission to raise more money to feed more children,” says Chris Baeten, Knight Federal’s CEO.
Kick Off for Kids hosts their annual signature fundraising event in the fall, held on NFL Kickoff Thursday, which is how the charity’s name originated. This year’s event took place on Thursday, September 5, at Rock & Brews in Oviedo. Proceeds raised from the event generated more than $37K – up nearly $2,500 from last year. Table sponsorships were also sold out this year and there was a generous support from in-kind donations as well. This event generates money to support the mission to buy food for the schools for the year, through table sponsorships, raffle items, games, and a live auction. Knight Federal was a sponsor of the program.
“We are grateful for the support of the Central Florida community to be able to address this increasing need impacting our children and families. Since we held our first event, it has grown exponentially each year increasing the number of sponsors and donations, raising more than $180K to support the local school food programs. Currently, we support 22 schools across Orange and Seminole counties, but we hope to expand that and provide more support as the demand rises and word spreads about our services. The more money we raise, the more food we buy and the more children we feed,” says Lisa Moore, Kick Off for Kids Executive Director.
The Kick Off for Kids program was created to benefit public school students who receive free or reduced lunch, or families facing financial difficulties. The way it works is that each Friday backpacks are filled at the school with nutritious food to be sent home with the students, providing families in need with breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the weekend. The empty backpacks are then returned the following Monday to be refilled. Because the demand is so great, often the families given a backpack are asked to rotate each week.
In its first year, Kick Off for Kids generated more than $10,000 and 2,000 pounds of food. The proceeds were used to purchase food to support six local schools on a quarterly basis throughout the year. In just seven years, the event has grown annually with almost 100% of the donations used to purchase food. Everything is donated or done pro bono, aside from credit card fees. To date Kick Off for Kids has donated more than 95,024 pounds of food, helping to alleviate the problem of hunger for children in Central Florida’s public schools.
Kick Off for Kids
Kick Off for Kids was established in 2013 as a nonprofit organization to ensure all Central Florida students have the proper nourishment to sustain the focus needed to achieve academic success. It stemmed from a quarterly community food drive into an organization dedicated to help “fuel the community” by addressing the need to support local public school food pantry programs. Visit the website at www.kickoffforkidsorlando.com.
2019 CEOs of the Year Announced
The Orlando Business Journal is recognizing 19 individuals as CEOs of the Year for 2019 based on their significant achievements in their careers within the past year, as well as a strong record of innovation, outstanding performance in their work and are active in the Central Florida community.
These dynamic, influential and passionate executives have contributed to Central Florida‘s economy by fueling the economic engines of the community by the thousands of companies, organizations and government agencies that are operating and moving along strongly thereby strengthening the local economy.
These leading individuals don’t lock themselves away in the corner office. Rather, they establish a strong vision for their companies, involve their employees in bringing that vision to fruition and make significant contributions to the community overall.
This year, the Orlando Business Journal is recognizing 19 such individuals in the 2019 CEOs of the Year Awards. The program honors highest-level executives at companies, organizations or agencies based in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Volusia or Brevard counties who have had significant achievements in their careers in the past year.
Award Recognizes High Growth
GrowFL celebrated the mark of the 8th anniversary of its annual statewide awards program, Florida Companies to Watch℠. Presented by GrowFL, in association with Edward Lowe Foundation, Florida Companies to Watch is an awards program like no other. This event celebrates growing second-stage companies headquartered in Florida. Developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, this event is a unique way to recognize and honor second-stage companies that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace with innovative strategies and processes, making them “worth watching.”
Companies from across the state and all industries are encouraged to participate. Selection is based on steady growth in employee counts and revenue as well as strength in leadership, corporate culture, community support and philanthropy, innovation in management or technology, or other factors that contribute to an outstanding organization.
Knight Federal was proud to be among the 50 winners of the ‘2018 Florida Companies to Watch’ award. The selection criteria is based on the following: the identification of standout companies expected to see significant growth over the next several years. Honorees were selected from more than 500 nominations by GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation. Factors included: strength in leadership, competitive market position and innovation in technology.
“The 50 honorees represent a diverse range of second-stage companies from across 20 Florida counties,” says Dr. Tom O’Neal, Executive Director of GrowFL. “While some of these businesses are fairly new, others are well-established. All demonstrate an entrepreneurial style that promotes steady growth. For example Knight Federal is a company that was established in 2013 but has experienced steady growth and creation of jobs due to its strategic business development strategies and innovative company culture.”
According to GrowFL, the 50 honorees generated nearly $1 billion in revenue and added nearly 1,000 jobs between 2014 and 2017. “This is a strong group of companies that deserve this special recognition given annually to the state’s top second-stage companies,” says Dr. Chris Morton, GrowFL Chairman and CEO of NanoPhotonica. Second-stage companies are defined as those with 6 to 150 full-time employees and between $750,000 and $100 million in annual revenue. There are many programs and incubators promoting start-up businesses; GrowFL is the only Florida program that focuses exclusively on second-stage companies. An awards ceremony was held on February 9th, 2019 in Tampa.
GrowFL provides strategies, resources and support, including strategic research and peer-to-peer CEO mentoring and leadership development, to second-stage Florida companies. Created by the Florida Legislature in 2009 and grounded in the philosophy of Economic Gardening® — growing existing businesses in a community, region or state — GrowFL is a critical component of the state’s economic development strategy and Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. GrowFL is certified by the National Center for Economic Gardening through the Edward Lowe Foundation. Website: http://www.growfl.com
About the Edward Lowe Foundation
Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a national, nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through research, recognition and educational programs, which are delivered through entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs). The foundation focuses on second-stage companies — those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. Website: http://www.edwardlowe.org
Knight Federal Organizes Team for IOA 5K Walk/Run
Knight Federal is excited to organize a company team for this annual event hosted by IOA, celebrating its 25th year of offering the “largest office party” in downtown Orlando.
On April 18 at 6:45pm, more than 18,000+ people are expected to participate in this 5K walk and run – making health and wellness a priority for companies, but also giving back to the Central Florida community – by providing meals for the hungry and funding for the Track Shack Youth Foundation. Track Shack offers programs to train from Zero to Fit and Walk/Run Exercise Programs. For more information, contact Samantha Mooney-Outlaw, our Knight Federal Team Captain for details on how to get involved. Family and friends are welcome to join our team!
Knight Federal Participates as Gold Level Sponsor
Golfers from businesses across Central Florida participated in the 8th annual Veterans Day Golf Tournament to benefit Fairways for Warriors Orlando Chapter. The event was held on Friday, November 8, 2018, at the Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando. This year’s event was sold out and raised more than $50K – setting a new record!.
“Fairways for Warriors is significantly changing and saving the lives of our nation’s combat wounded veterans and their families. We are so fortunate to be a corporate sponsor for this annual event and take pride in helping those that have sacrificed so much for us,” says event organizer and Knight Federal’s CEO Chris Baeten.
Fairways for Warriors is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization dedicated to providing a better quality of life for the nation’s wounded veterans by using golf and golf instruction to wounded service personnel and their family members.
Golf has proven to be an excellent tool for mental and physical rehabilitation, and Fairways for Warriors is giving these brave men and women the opportunity to heal from their most significant injuries – unseen injuries such as depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), etc.
For more information on how to support this organization or to get involved in the 2019 event, visit www.fairwaysforwarriors.org. All donations are tax deductible!
Knight Federal Participates in the Annual Heart Walk at UCF
Braving a cold morning, team Knight Federal with their family and friends, took part in the annual American Heart Association (AHA) Heart Walk on Saturday, November 3 at the University of Central Florida campus.
The team raised more than $1K in support of its goal to support the AHA in its fight to prevent heart disease and stroke, while funding research and education to save and improve lives.
“Organizing for our first Heart Walk this year was a great honor. Many employees in our organization have been touched by heart disease in some way, so it was a great event to give back and celebrate life. I look forward to doing it again next year and raising even more for this great cause,” says Samantha Mooney-Outlaw, Knight Federal’s Contracts Administration Manager.
From humble beginnings, the AHA has grown into the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke for nearly 100 years. A shared focus on cardiovascular health unites more than 33 million volunteers and supporters as well as more than 3,400 employees. Learn more about the AHA’s impact over time.
Heart disease is the number one killer worldwide, and stroke ranks second globally. Even when those conditions don’t result in death, they cause disability and diminish quality of life. The AHA is working to see a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Its mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.
The AHA’s size and scope lets the organization have real impact. The AHA has invested more than $4.1 billion in research, more than any United States nonprofit organization. Read more about the AHA’s life-changing funded research breakthroughs.
If you want to help you can still donate to help the Knight Federal team reach the goal! We need to raise $1K more! Visit our company fundraising page – http://bit.ly/2AJykcf
Knight Federal employees received a boost when Jay Redman, author of The Trident, The Forging and Reforging of a Navy Seal Leader, showed up at the headquarters office to kick start the five-year anniversary celebration of the company with a day of motivational speaking on becoming a better leader.
Partnering with Redman’s organization, the Combat Wounded Coalition, Knight Federal is working with them to identify combat wounded veterans to participate in the Purple Knight Initiative program.
As a team building celebration, employees and their families or special guests were invited to stay at the Hilton Buena Vista Palace near Disney Springs to relax and enjoy and participate in outings as a group to foster camaraderie.
“Recognizing that our employees are our greatest asset, I wanted to ensure that they understood how important they are and that this is a milestone that everyone can participate in moving forward. As our company continues to grow and generate success, it is shared and celebrated by everyone as a team that moves in cadence with one another,” says Chris Baeten, CEO of Knight Federal Solutions.
Knight Federal Solutions is one of the fastest growing companies in Central Florida, currently employing 86 people. In 2013, the company’s gross revenue was $47,797. Over the years, this grew exponentially, eventually grossing $8.3M in 2017. The company continues to experience impressive revenue growth anticipating annual gross revenue of $12M in 2018. Its success can be attributed the management style and approach of its CEO. Knight Federal Solutions was formed as a subsidiary of a holding company that owned multiple entities. Baeten was the managing partner of the firm at its inception. He acquired the business in December 2015 and has been operating as the company’s CEO ever since. Knight Federal Solutions provides simulation and training, cybersecurity, information technology, finance and intelligence analysis solutions to the Defense and Intelligence sectors.
Timothy L. Baker, the former director of the Resource & Acquisition Management Office of the Joint Staff J7, has been appointed to lead the Purple Knight Initiative, a Wounded Warrior Internship program developed by Knight Federal Solutions.
Baker was a Senior Level executive, overseeing a $900M annual budget, managing a $180M annual contract portfolio and all assigned facilities. He joins Knight Federal with an extensive background in military operations at the federal level, as well as serving in the U.S. Navy for more than 23 years retiring with the rank of Captain. Baker has many received many awards including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and other various service awards.
Knight Federal Solutions’ Purple Knight Initiative connects employers with qualified, impactful and passionate Combat Disabled Veterans to support their business in hopes of providing Wounded Warriors meaningful career opportunities in industry or the federal government to support their recovery and provide them with the opportunity to build the future they so richly deserve. The goal is to provide paid internships to Wounded Warriors seeking to learn a new career, in fields that are conducive to their disabilities and desires for employment, with their safety and welfare in mind first.
“Throughout my 47-year career of supporting the Navy, USJFCOM, The Joint Staff and industry in various leadership positions, I have recognized that the highest quality, most successful organizations have leaders of integrity, high moral and ethical character and who place the welfare, professional and personal development of their staff as their primary objectives. Knight Federal Solutions is such a quality organization and the Purple Knight Initiative is our company’s commitment to our nation’s wounded war veterans. Through our Wounded Warrior Internship Program, we are giving these American heroes the opportunity to continue to serve our great nation out of uniform and to pursue career opportunities for themselves and their families as part of their program of recovery. Taking care of our people is our core value and what distinguishes Knight Federal Solutions from other companies and it is a great personal honor to be part of this,” says Baker, director of the Wounded Warrior Intern Program for Knight Federal Solutions.
The goal of the program is to provide paid internships to wounded warriors who are looking to learn a new career, in fields that are conducive to their disabilities and desires for employment.
“We are thrilled to have Tim in this position. His knowledge and expertise are an integral component to this program that will take it to the next level and help so many deserving combat disabled veterans. I look forward to working with him to build this program into a national model for others to adopt and implement,” says Chris Baeten, CEO of Knight Federal Solutions.
For more information on the Purple Knight Initiative, click here – https://bit.ly/2urG4MF.