Courtney B. Spaeth

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Location: Tysons, VA
Founded: 2007
Industry: Professional services

Courtney B. Spaeth
CEO

growth[period]

Growth[period]’s mission is to help clients achieve strategic and sustainable expansions. “When I was a young girl, I saw a mini-series on TV called The Winds of War, based on the book by Herman Wouk, which I then proceeded to read. It inspired me … to pursue a career working with our nation’s military and in national security,” says Courtney B. Spaeth, CEO of growth[period]. “I started growth[period] as Nat’l Security Associates Worldwide when the country was in the midst of a major global economic meltdown.”

Fun Fact: Spaeth created a policy that requires each employee to volunteer for a minimum of eight hours per year for any charitable cause they choose.

The state of the economy initially proved difficult for growth[period]. “When I first started my business, I could not have anticipated how challenging an environment it was going to be for new business owners,” says Spaeth. “The uphill climb that plagues any startup company was even steeper for me as a female executive in the national security industry.” But as it turned out, a number of companies were turning to government work to compensate for losses in the commercial sector. “I was able to translate this demand into opportunity by marketing advisory services to companies that were focused on market entry and strategic growth in the federal security sector,” says Spaeth.

Spaeth says her success in a male-dominated field has largely been driven by confidence in her own abilities. “I am comfortable with my femininity — I love wearing dresses and high heels, and styling my hair — but I balance this with extreme competence, in a way that engenders respect,” she says.