Published on Nov 17, 2023

DBJ: Dayton defense leader shares how it's 'positioned' heading into 2024

One of the region’s top defense contractors has experienced a banner year, between expanding its reach with a new office in Colorado Springs to naming a new president.

The Dayton Business Journal recently spoke with Jose Hidalgo, president of Beavercreek-based Frontier Technology Inc., to discuss his new role at the company, FTI’s recent growth and what 2024 holds.

You’ve been in your new role as president since March; what’s been keeping you busy in that time, and what’s next on your list?

My honeymoon period is almost ending. I would say the biggest difference is the scope of responsibility. Before, I would handle certain groups and be in the know, and now I have very competent people handling those groups. My role is more about supporting them in being successful. It takes more of a business strategy view and forces me to focus on the external piece.

In the time you’ve been with FTI, how has the company grown and how is that growth being continued?

We’ve grown quite a bit since I’ve joined the team. We’ve gone through a business transformation. At one point, we were very heavily trying to use technology but focusing on growth through our Phase III contract vehicle. Now, we’re going back to focusing on solving our customer’s problem through technology and expertise, and having the contract vehicle being more of the icing on the cake.

How has 2023 been for the company? What are some of the major highlights?

A big highlight was our large contract with the Air Force — $63 million. We moved heavily into space with that announcement with the Colorado Springs facility, and another large facility in Huntsville around our cyber capabilities. Defense, and cyber, are growing more, and we see tons of growth in the Navy, tons of growth in space, growth in wargaming and in the Air Force. There’s a lot of good things. We’ve grown 10% in employment and we’re very focused in our community.

What does 2024 look like for FTI?

I think it looks great. One of the things that we’re doing quite well over the last few years is we’re investing heavily in new technology, before the customer has the need for it. We’re investing heavily in data analytics such as system integration, system processing, data normalization and data visualization. We’re also investing in predictive AI. We also do modeling and simulation, wargaming, model-based engineering, defensive cyber to a lot of synthetic training capabilities. Putting all those pieces together, we’re well-positioned to do extremely well in the next few years.

Based in Beavercreek, FTI is a leading provider of mission-tailored technology, deep data expertise and services for the U.S. Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and other agencies of the Federal Government. The company brought in $509.88 million in prime contract awards in 2022, making it one of the 25 largest defense firms in the Dayton region, according to DBJ research.

FTI operates in 34 states with 500 employees total and offers seven facilities of varying clearance levels nationwide.

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