1st American Systems and Services

Alpa Shah headshot
Winner Tag

Location: Falls Church, VA
Founded: 2009
Industry: Government contracting

2-Time Winner

1st American Systems and Services

Alpa Shah
President and CEO


In the few short years since 1st American Systems and Services first entered the federal contracting arena, the company has grown its revenue significantly. For president and CEO Alpa Shah, this growth is due in large part to her team. Shah notes that there are inherent challenges in finding the right employees, and that new recruits must possess a healthy balance of trust, willingness to challenge ideas, and dedication. “Hiring the most competent person is easy, … but putting [together] a team of talent who complement each other, have the right attitude and still trust each other is the hardest part,” she says.

Quick Tip: “Government contracting isn’t for the faint of heart; it is for the organized, the obstinate and the overcomer.”

Innovation is the other ingredient in 1st American’s secret sauce. Shah notes that bringing transformation to the federal government is challenging, but it is also what sets the company apart. Shah’s team recently introduced new technology — like eLearning, mobile learning edutainment games and virtual learning environments — to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help capture the attention of a new generation of air-traffic controllers. The FAA adopted the change, and this success has led to multiple large contracts for 1st American.