From Chili dog to Cybersecurity: Angie Lienert’s journey to becoming one of the most successful entrepreneurs

Since childhood, Angie Lienert was an independent girl with big dreams from small town Frankfort. She considered going to college and getting a regular job too mainstream, and her late teens found her working at a gas station. One day at the gas station, while grabbing a chili dog, it occurred to her that this gas station and chili dog was going to be the rest of her life. This moment of self-realisation is what eventually led to the birth of IntelliGenesis, one of the largest big-data analytics and cybersecurity firm in the US which has the Department of Defence as its main client. With offices in Maryland and Georgia and a third in San Antonio in the making, Lienert’s success in her mission of earning a good living while serving the country; speaks for itself.
Angie’s journey began soon after the day of this chili dog epiphany. She called up an Air Force recruitment office, and soon ended up in basic training. She took up Arabic learning and served as a linguist for the USAF from 1983 to 1989. Following her stint with the US defence, she got an MBA and landed a job at BAE Systems, the British defence contractor, where she was a project manager for technology systems for the U.S. intelligence community. It is here that she decided to build a venture of her won with a work environment so healthy that people would want to come to work every day instead of dreading it.
From its inception, IntelliGenesis specialized in developing software that auto­mated analytics used by the DOD, and launched as a contractor based in Columbia, Maryland. As the business expanded it slowly diversified into big-data analytics which landed them a contract with the US defence to get valuable intelligence. Since then, the organisation has ventured into digital forensics, machine learning, and cyber­security for utility-control systems. While the focus is to diversify the client list, Lienert is clear about one thing. She will not do business with anybody whose does not want to do good to the world. Firmly rooted in her beliefs, Lienert also attaches a lot of importance to workplace environment. She promotes work-life balance and makes constant efforts to promote a healthy relationship between co-workers. With a workforce comprising of 65 percent defence veterans, Lienert makes sure she provides tangible benefits with the job like a $10,000 annual bonus for people who opt out of health insurance because they are still being covered under the military plan. IntelliGenesis also offers unlimited education-expense reimbursement–which can be used along with G.I. Bill benefits.
With deep-set convictions, a passion to innovate constantly and a drive to keep her workforce happy, it is easy to see why Angie Lienert is one of the most respected entrepreneurs of today.

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