About 90% of L&J Building Maintenance LLC’s business comes from state and federal contracts per Daina Williams.
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reviews and sounding board sessions. Jennie Jackson, Jeremy’s wife and third co-founder, who handles finance and operations responsibilities for the team, found the accounting and auditing classes pertaining to government contracts advantageous as well. “Competing in this complex environment can be daunting,” said Jackson, “so it’s important to reach out to experts like the PTAC.” Since many larger companies have strengthened their cybersecurity, Billinger said a growing number of adversaries have begun infiltrating smaller companies. “The Target attack on customer accounts was routed through a small business, and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management was breached due to stolen contractor credentials, compromising the personal information of millions of federal employees,” she said. So, in addition to pursuing government contracts, Anneal currently works with clients working in manufacturing and service capacities for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). They provide commercial services to small businesses striving to implement new DoD cybersecurity requirements from the National Institute for Standards and Technology. “Being back in the private sector and seeing what small businesses are accomplishing and partnering with them to keep them safe and contributing to the Kansas economy is extremely rewarding,” said Jackson. Billinger agreed. “Much of the nation’s intelligence work is taking place on the East Coast. It’s unexpected to find high-quality intelligence jobs in Kansas, but building intelligence analysis operations where well-qualified Kansans can go to work to protect our country drives what we do here every day.”
L&J BUILDING MAINTENANCE LLC Daina Williams, general manager for L&J Building Maintenance LLC, oversees a multi-state Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business started by his late father Lonnie in 1986. Operating in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and Tennessee, the company provides a variety of building maintenance and refuse and recycling services. Williams estimates that about 90 percent of the company’s business comes from state and federal contracts, including the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army and the Kansas City International Airport. L&J Building Maintenance employs about 75 individuals, many of whom are minorities and veterans like Williams’s father, who served in the Air Force. “As a small business, it’s rewarding to know that the government has set aside a percentage of contracts to benefit veterans who have put their lives on the line by helping them earn a living,” said Williams. Starting around age 12, Williams began honing his work ethic helping his dad empty trash, chop wood and cut grass for government landscaping jobs. After graduating from Washburn University, Williams joined the company full-time in 2000. “When I was younger, I didn’t fully understand my dad’s philosophy that
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the customer always comes first, but as I continued to develop experience, I got it,” he said. “I never, ever turn my phone off because our customers need to know that they can text or call anytime, whether it’s to report an unemptied trash can or a security issue. They know we’ll handle their concern no matter what because we want to keep them happy.” About 10 years ago, L&J Building Maintenance secured a contract with the federal government that enabled Williams to purchase additional equipment to provide trash hauling services on military bases. “As a result of that contract, our business model expanded,” he said. “We were able to add staff and become much more involved beyond the janitorial and landscaping work we’d been doing.” Williams had originally planned to leave Topeka after earning his bachelor’s degree and is grateful his father intervened to change the course of his career. “I love what I do and it’s gratifying to know that my dad asked me to stay and join him in the business,” said Williams. “I’m proud to continue a legacy that began with a single law firm client that took a chance on him, and I’m eager to see what we accomplish next.”