The Osage Nation’s business arm has elevated the leader of Osage Nation Environmental Services to chief executive officer of its three environmentally-oriented companies that participate in the federal program aimed at boosting businesses owned by disadvantaged people and tribal nations.
Russell Goff, who was hired on at ONES in October, has 30 years of experience as a federal contractor and manager in environmental compliance and information technology – the same focuses shared by the three Osage LCC companies that were formed under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program for small business development.
The three companies are:
• Osage Pinnacle Design Group, which specializes in construction and unexplored ordinance;
• ONES, which centers on natural resources and environmental compliance; and
• Osage Government Services, which concentrates on information technology.
Under the 8(a) program, fledgling companies are given a leg up by being able to get government contracts without having to compete with more established businesses for four years, after which they transition to independence after nine years.
Currently, the three companies are in varying points on the 8(a) timeline, Goff said: ODPG is nearing the end of the nine-year cycle, ONES is at the middle of it, and OGS is at the beginning. Whether ODPG carries on as a viable business remains to be evaluated, Goff said. “It mas multi-year contracts and revenue coming in now, but I don’t believe there’s been a lot of marketing for growth, but mostly managing and maintaining what they have. We need to take a look at whether to grow that business – or is there another ending for that business?”
The two contracts ODPG has are for maintenance in Indiana at the state’s Army Ammunition Plant and Jefferson Proving Ground, a former munitions testing site.
ONES, which Goff said is midway in its 8(a) life, also has military contracts, mostly having to do with natural resources and environmental compliance at Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Campbell, Ky., contracts that were part of a joint venture with Goff’s previous employer, Whitetail Environmental out of Jay, a company that has grown from three employees to about 85 since it was incorporated in 2010. Those two contracts are worth about $2.3 million a year.
Goff spent more than nine years at Whitetail Environmental, an employer he said gave him the experience of taking on many different roles rather than being a dedicated cog in the wheel of huge government contractors for which he had worked early in his career.
“I enjoy the process of building something and being responsible for everything from invoicing to marketing to personnel issues,” he said.
Goff has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Emery University in Georgia and a master’s in environmental systems engineering from Clemson in South Carolina. He grew up on “the Space Coast” near Cape Canaveral on Florida’s eastern coast.