Loyal following Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009
Finalist
Technology

The employees of Engineering & Computer Simulations Inc. really believed in Waymon Armstrong. After Sept. 11, 2001, the company lost its R&D funding, forcing Armstrong, the company’s founder, president and CEO, to lay off every one of his employees. Yet, the employees kept working with Armstrong for four months after that without pay until he could obtain adequate funding to keep the vision alive. Another layoff in 2003 didn’t dissuade employees, either, as Armstrong eventually rehired nearly all of his original employees. Looking at Armstrong’s history, maybe employees learned from him the value of taking such risks.

To form ECS in 1997, he used 22 credit cards, mortgaged his home, didn’t collect a paycheck for more than three years and borrowed money from family to keep his company and his vision afloat.

That vision paid off as he became a pioneer of using digital media and computer-based training applications to develop “serious games” or “games for good,” defined as systems used to visualize, experience and rehearse virtual worlds and tasks unique to medical, disaster or combat situations.

In August 2008, ECS was selected to bring medical training applications to Baghdad, and his simulations resulted in more than 50,000 combat medics receiving training. Additionally, 25,000 people have been trained at the Department of Homeland Security using the company’s virtual networks.

ECS has experienced an increase in revenue of nearly 200 percent and an increase of more than 110 percent in net income since 2007.

How to reach: Engineering & Computer Simulations Inc., (877) 823-9991 or www.ecsorl.com