About Us

Our Story

9th Way Solutions was founded in 2018 by CEO Steve Ikirt, former CEO of Information Innovators Inc. (Triple-i). In 2019, he acquired VA T4NG prime contractor, Insignia Technology Services, creating 9th Way Insignia. Together, led by experienced industry leaders with a dedicated back office team, we continue to support and grow our customer base within the Department of Veterans Affairs while extending software development, enterprise architecture, enterprise IT, and data analytics capabilities to other agencies including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Transportation, and Commerce.

An employee-centric culture is the cornerstone of our organization. As an SDVOSB, we value people who have served our country, participate in our communities, and support their families. We believe that diverse perspectives give rise to the best solutions. And while technology may facilitate progress, it’s people that achieve it with ideas, collaboration, and hard work. 

Our Values

Courage

Our team upholds courageousness as a core value because it leads to positive business outcomes. Open and honest communication with colleagues, partners, and customers fosters trusting relationships. We encourage people to try new things with a sense of urgency and optimism, creating an environment of learning and growth. When we put ourselves “out there” by voicing our ideas, it demonstrates a commitment to the team and to the mission—and that culture is contagious.

Integrity

We are aware that our actions have consequences—whether intended or not—and we take care to always act with integrity. This means that we are honest, fair, and hold ourselves accountable for the work that we do and how we do it. We believe in listening to our employees with an open mind—no one in our company is too important to hear constructive feedback. Further, we maintain a work environment where every team member is treated with respect and compassion.

Excellence

Our customers count on us because we are competent, reliable, and take initiative. All too often contractor teams become complacent and their customers are forced to accept the status quo. We aren’t satisfied with mediocrity; our teams are committed to working side-by-side with customers to understand and tackle their program challenges, great and small. Our leadership recognizes program-level accomplishments company-wide to promote a culture of excellence.

Leadership

Steve Ikirt

Chief Executive Officer

Steve is a retired Army LTC, with over 21 years of service to our nation. Prior to 9th Way Insignia, he was the co-founder and CEO of Information Innovators Inc. (Triple-i) along with his wife, Debbie Ikirt. Steve grew Triple-i from 4 employees in 2001 to 950+ full-time employees in 2017, prior to selling the company. His duties included managing company officers, multiple acquisitions, and charting the course for the company-all the while successfully consulting for a dozen government agencies on more than 80 government contracts over a 16-year period.

Steve has 35 years of military and civilian experience in the fields of information systems acquisition, health IT, cybersecurity, and telecommunications. His management experience includes over $1.5B of DOD programs.

Melissa Chapman

President

Melissa has led a number of successful government and private-sector projects, many of which have had lasting impact on the evolution of health information technology. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a significant capacity to understand complex problems; deconstruct those problems into their technology, process, and staffing components; and develop feasible, reliable solutions that address those problems in a sustainable way.

Melissa’s career highlights include VP at Salient CRGT, VP at General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, and CIO for both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Nancy Van Balen

Chief Growth Officer

Nancy’s dynamic career demonstrates a solid track record of growth, a broad range of experience, and sound management practices. For more than 25 years, she has supported both large and small businesses in identifying, pursuing, and delivering reliable, citizen-centric services for the federal government. As Chief Growth Officer at 9th Way Insignia, she is responsible for all corporate growth, solution architecture, and technical proposal resources—all focused on demonstrating an understanding of customer needs and missions. The teams Nancy assembles build sustainable, impactful solutions for research challenges and deliver exceptional IT and digital services for critical Government programs. 

Nancy is very active in the federal contracting community, and in particular cares about optimizing the experiences of war fighters transitioning into veteran programs, as well as ensuring that Korean War and Vietnam War veterans can access the full spectrum of care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Philip Vincenzes

Chief Technology Officer

Phil has over 40 years of executive leadership experience in the
technology industry and has led teams delivering solutions in support of national
security, defense, finance, and military suicide prevention. His specializations include the design of visually compelling analytics and knowledge-based solutions and assisting clients acquire and integrate emerging technology capabilities. Phil’s analytic and knowledge-based solutions have been recognized by governments and academia worldwide from Congressional inquiries to CNN News broadcasts.

 For 9th Way Insignia, Phil is responsible for technology strategy, innovation, and solution development in support of Federal clients, and leading research and development efforts in emerging technology, including artificial intelligence, automation, and advanced analytics. 

Will Williams

Chief Service Delivery Officer

Will has provided operational leadership on critical federal enterprise IT programs for more than 25 years for companies that include HP Enterprise Services, AECOM, and Unisys. He served as VP at both Triple-i and Salient CRGT, where he led a team of 330 professionals at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) providing end user services support for 25,000 federal employees. As Director of Operations for the ESA III program, he led more than 200 personnel at HP Enterprise Services in providing Enterprise IT services for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Will brings not only proven operational prowess, but also a razor-sharp mission focus on customer problems. He is an expert at consensus building and creating high-performance teams that deliver consistent results to our clients.

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Kimberly Cole

Executive Vice President of Human Capital

With a 20 plus year proven track record of building high-performing teams and cultivating strong employee relations, Kim is a trusted advisor to both senior management and frontline staff. She champions employee well-being, recognizing that a happy and fulfilled workforce is essential to achieving our business objectives.

Kim’s extensive knowledge in employment law provides our company with a competitive edge, minimizing risks while maximizing opportunities for talent development and organizational growth. She is instrumental in guiding our approach to recruitment, performance management, and employee relations, ensuring that we uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct and legal compliance.

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John Stortz

Executive Vice President of Operations

John brings 26 years of industry experience and started his career in government contracting after leaving the Army in 1998. Before John started working with 9th Way Insignia, he was a Client Delivery Executive, a role very similar to his role as Program Director. He was also a Subject Matter Expert and provided Management Consulting in the area of IT Infrastructure and Security. Leveraging his extensive experience and expertise in program management, John has been instrumental in driving the growth and success of 9th Way Insignia.

John prides himself as a Husband, Farther, and Soldier. Any of the achievements he has earned are a credit to the great people he has had the pleasure and honor of working with and for. Looking ahead, John envisions 9th Way Insignia evolving into a large business within the next 5 to 10 years and is dedicated to ensuring that 9th Way Insignia maintains it small company values as we grow into a large business.

Quality

9th Way Insignia is committed to quality in everything that we do. We maintain an ISO 9001:2015 certified quality management system (QMS) that includes continual process improvement across all client-facing and back office processes.

We use metrics to track our performance over time and identify opportunities for improvement. Our executive leadership team are all participants in the ongoing development of our QMS.

Community

Our company is committed to giving back to the veteran community in any way we can. In 2019, we started the Teaching Veterans Technology (TVT) program offering paid technical training to veterans looking to enter the IT industry. Coursework and certifications in areas like cyber security, network administration, and programming provide these individuals with knowledge and skills that make them more marketable in the workforce. To date, we have provided training to more than 40 veterans—some of which we have even been able to offer full time employment. Contact us to learn more about participating in the TVT program at 9th Way Insignia.