Sliding into home base.
Naseem Saab has the kind of commute that makes suburbanites sigh with envy–he merely has to walk downstairs. Saab’s home office is the launching point for his company, Herndon-based DPS Consulting, which provides contact and business management software and services. Saab talks about emigration, the Marines, and tucking his son in at night.
What kinds of challenges did you find when you first came to this country from your native Lebanon?
The biggest was leaving the comfort and support system of a very happy, lively family and some great true friends. Throughout my college days I was constantly distracted by the continuation of the Lebanese civil war and worrying about the family and friends that I left behind. Today, in hindsight, it turns out that I was one of the fortunate ones that had the opportunity to emigrate to the U.S. and start a new life. I feel grateful for the opportunity and take a lot of pride in being a good citizen to my new country.
Why did you decide to start DPS Consulting?
In 1985, one of my first jobs after college was running the computer department of a large grassroots organization. The membership database was managed on an IBM miniframe while the rest of the office was using PCs running applications that I created.
Many of the associates and organization that we interacted with were impressed with the level of automation that we applied throughout the organization to get our work done effectively and efficiently. I created DPS as a vehicle to deliver the various personal requests that I received for consulting and programming services.
What kind of work are you doing for the military?
For the last seven years I’ve been the lead developer on a system that the Marines use to track the processing of reservists as they are mobilized and demobilized. Within the last year, this system was also converted to meet the specific mobilization needs of the Navy. With the current political situation calling for massive deployment of our troops, these applications are proving to be critical for the military.
Why do you choose to run the company from your home?
I typically work long days, every day. If I were to work these hours from a commercial office, my wife and my son would not really get a chance to know me. A home office affords me the opportunity to spend quality time with my family. We can eat meals together, I can read a story to my five-year-old son each evening, and be home when he wakes up in the morning. I could not do that if I was working in an office a distance away from my home.
What has been the most rewarding thing about running your own company?
I basically make the decisions that affect my work and my life. I simply do not have to do tasks that don’t make sense or run counter to my principles and beliefs. My dad was a workaholic and a perfectionist. So, I have been brainwashed to not know how to do something half-right–I strive for perfection and am hard on myself for a hint of anything less. Being able to decide for myself what level of effort that a task justifies is one of the key benefits of being my own boss. That is rarely an available option when reporting to a hierarchy of supervisors and decision makers.
do you know a Beltway company we should cover? Let us know about it. Send your local profile candidates to [email protected]