Howard County is just one of 30-plus offices across the globe for Camber Corporation, which has 2,300 employees and does about $435 million in business. The firm provides daily interface on technical, programmatic and operations issues.
Yet Camber continues to remain entrepreneurially oriented as its staff members work in acquisition management and decision support, engineering, training, modeling and simulation, software development, operational expertise and information technology. Service projects and products delivered by Camber support government and commercial customers that include the federal departments of defense, energy, transportation, education, and treasury, as well as the Veterans Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and state and local governments.
“One way we remain entrepreneurially oriented is by working with a lot of small businesses,” said Cindy Farkus, vice president and division manager for the National Intelligence Division and Government Solutions Group. “Camber began as a small business, so when we are building our teams as we go after proposals, we look for small businesses and try to help grow them. We never forget our roots.”
Farkus is based in Howard County, and part of her job involves overseeing Camber’s work related to critical security and intelligence solutions that affect national and international security.
Camber is dedicated to nurturing and expanding partnerships with other companies, as well as with the international, governmental, non-governmental, political, military, private sector and civil society sectors. “We realize that, in today’s world, you can’t operate in a vacuum and you can’t be U.S.-centric,” said Farkus. “So many companies have a foreign interest, and we support their efforts. It’s a whole Camber approach.”
Within the national security area, the company provides expertise in intelligence; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protection; and unmanned systems. Camber employs specialists who conduct independent technical reviews and evaluations of non-medical CBRN defense systems and medical diagnostic equipment. In addition, it provides advanced trainers and maintenance for unmanned systems.
Training is also a key service offered. The company provides real-world training and readiness solutions, including the conceptualization, development and implementation of many preparedness programs.
Camber delivers professional support services across the Department of Defense in support of advanced concepts, research and development and material acquisition. In addition, its specialists deploy technology related to inventory management, health and usage monitoring, and critical systems monitoring and sustainment.
Part of Camber’s training relates to logistics, maintenance operations and condition-based maintenance solutions for acquisition, sustainment and weapons systems.
A Growing Market
Camber’s presence in Howard County is comparatively recent. Founded in 1990, the company expanded into the intelligence market in 2005. Farkus came to work in the Howard County location in 2013.
She began her career in the intelligence community as a Russian linguist and analyst while serving in the United States Air Force.
As its engineering solutions expanded, Camber engineers and technical specialists increasingly began building and applying models to represent the larger physical and integrated systems environment in support of advanced concepts and research efforts.
Simply put, it’s about making the world a safer place. Within its International Peace, Security and Development Consulting division, Camber assists partner nations with security sector reform, disaster management and international peacekeeping operations. The company’s mission is to strengthen the ability of the international community and partner nations to successfully build and keep peace in complex emergencies, achieve positive advances in security sector reform, promote sustainable development, support meaningful disaster risk reduction and disaster management and provide effective humanitarian assistance.
Chamber Provides Local Ties
Farkus said she first learned about the Howard County Chamber of Commerce when she started noticing information from the chamber geared especially for women in government contracting. “We helped set up a conference, and Camber has been a sponsor of conferences,” said Farkus.
She was struck by the number of people with whom she could connect. “You can attend different events to meet people in the community, and when you understand their businesses, you begin to understand how those community members are making a difference.”
Chamber membership means more than just networking, though that’s an important aspect, said Farkus. “I think being involved with the Chamber is about strengthening all the businesses and all aspects of life. This is Howard County. This is where we live and work.”