Dendy Young stepped down as Chairman of GTSI this spring, after 11 years at the helm and as a ubiquitous figure on the NoVa tech scene. He's ready for new challenges (one of which is psyching himself up for a big birthday next week, see more below). Last night we caught up with him at the Tower Club.
At Tower Club last night, bidding adieu to Ernst & Young's Jon Shames and Jeff Fialko, who are off to other cities for the firm.
Don't keep us guessing! What are you doing?
I've started a new venture, McLean Capital, LLC. It's essentially two of us doing financial engineering. I'm an engineer by training, and my associate, Ed Morris, has a heavy finance background: He's been a CFO, and raised funds for the original Iridium. If you remember their great big phone, you had to be pretty good to raise those funds. We're focused on buying and building spinouts.
What's that mean?
When corporations buy other firms, they frequently inherit divisions they don't want. So McLean Capital would help them either package an unwanted division and sell it off, or recreate it as a stand-alone new company.
With Jim Beaupre of FedResults last night. These two have been working together 30 years. They shared the same mentor, Lee Johnson, who Dendy says was the first guy who figured out how to sell computers to the government.
Got a client?
We're working with a company right now that has a division that's not consistent with the parent's core mission and, therefore, the division is getting short shrift even though it's grown up with the company. It doesn't have the parent's focus, the financial infrastructure, or the necessary re-investment to make it what it could be.
You'll do strategy?
Yes, but we'll also set it up with its own infrastructure-like IT and human resources functions that used to reside with the parent. We'll provide whatever it needs to stand alone. It will be our equity and we'll own it.
The Usual Suspects: Dendy, Pillsbury Winthrop's Steve Meltzer, Fed Sources' Tom Hewitt, Tech Council of Maryland's Julie Coons, and Sage Communications' Larry Rosenfeld.
No, we would plan to hold for five or ten 10 years. If it's flipped, it will just become someone else's stepsister, whereas it may need further capital for growth before then. It needs a benevolent majority shareholder right now.
Other things you'll do?
We're also involved in an international company that wants to establish a toehold in the US. We'll work with them to set up a separate corporation here to introduce their technology into the States. Our value is we know the market and can bring capital.
How are you going to celebrate your big birthday?
Andrea and I are hiring a 57-foot catamaran to sail through Tahiti for 10 days. We haven't been there, but love sailing in the Virgins.
Which birthday is it?
The one that best approximates the length of the boat.
Can you be online?
You could, if you have a 2.4 meter dish for decent Internet coverage. But we decided that's too big for us.
So how will you spend your days on board?
I'll be windsurfing. One of my major goals is to become competent in it. And we plan to anchor in the evenings in secluded bays to drink exotic "somethings" and enjoy Tahitian sunsets.