PSRI Technologies, can I help you?”

“Good morning, PSRI Technologies.”

PSRI Technologies logo

Natasha Conley, owner and president of PSRI Technologies, LLC, a minority and woman owned IT solutions, call center/help desk and staffing firm, recently expanded from her Jefferson City base to the suburbs of St. Louis. At the moment, she has one administrative assistant and a business development executive in training in Chesterfield, but she’s the kind of hands-on entrepreneur who doesn’t mind answering calls.

One helpdesk in particular fields inbound and outbound inquiries from military and civilian students from all over the U.S. and anywhere in the world.

“PSRI Technologies — yes. Yes, sure. Can I call you right back?”

Conley came by her trade naturally. She’d worked for her parents’ company, Professional Services Resources, Inc. (PSRI) in Jefferson City, a firm which has performed a variety of services for Missouri, Rhode Island, New York, Illinois, Arkansas and Indiana, to name a few, for years. That firm’s worked on projects for the Missouri Social Services Call Center, Child Support Enforcement and SAM II (Statewide Advantage for Missouri), the state’s fully integrated financial, HR and payroll system. Conley says the variety of work was interesting, if not always riveting.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Central Missouri State University, her father persuaded her to move to Springfield, Ill., to help with a project while earning a master’s degree in management information systems from the University of Illinois.

“I have to admit, I was kind of leery,” she says about the agreement. “How would an arrangement like this work out? But he [her father] said to give it a year to see if I enjoyed it.” And how was it? “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”

In fact, it was better than that. She’d already known that her parents didn’t want to get into federal contracting. They considered it too time consuming, too intricate, with far too many hoops to jump through — all of which, incidentally, can be true. But how to break into the federal contracting game?

Bill Stuby, a retired MO PTAC procurement specialist, knew the answers: Certification in the SBA’s 8(a) program, which helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the government marketplace, and securing a GSA Schedule (a listing of federal supply contracts) with the General Service Administration, the federal government’s primary supplier.

Stuby also helped her refine her ideas sufficiently to spin off her own company and perfect a business plan to achieve 8 (a) certification. He then helped her build a network and familiarize herself with the federal bidding process. It took a few years, in which she worked for her parents and gradually mastered the intricacies of her new business, until she gained her first prime contract with the U.S. Forest Service in Springfield, Ill. in 2009.

Since that time, her staffing contracts have expanded to several states, the General Services Administration and the U.S. Army Management Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. That contract is essentially a help desk, aiding Army students and contractors with online education issues from almost anywhere in the world from just down the street to Afghanistan.

PSRI Technologies today employs 10-15 individuals, many seasoned, retired government employees (the number fluctuates according to the number of contracts) and enjoys steady, increasing annual revenues.

Conley’s won several large contracts in the past two years. Although she declines to say how large, because of fierce competition, it’s safe to say a few have been in the seven-figure range. She’s also gained state and local government contracts, including a recent staffing and data analysis contract for the Missouri Department of Social Services. Contracts like these have been scarce the past few years but Conley learned, adapted and thrived.

“Yes, we survived the recession well,” she says. “The key for us was controlled growth. I thought it best to focus on areas where we are very good, and not areas where we were not so good — to stay in your own lane, if you will. Controlled growth was not about getting big fast but staying comfortably in the businesses we’re good at, controlling growth to have longevity.” This is the strategy her parents have successfully followed in their business for nearly three decades as well.

And Stuby continues to inform and advise her on upcoming awards and other opportunities.

“Bill is great!” she says. “One good thing about Bill, if you have a question, he’ll give you a ring right back. If he doesn’t know the answer, he’ll point you in the right direction.”

Conley also says she’s now more confident about taking over her parents’ business when they eventually retire.

Then it’s back to a call.

“PSRI Technologies …"