Never Give Up!
Under Darwin's Supervision, FSE continued to prosper at CDC's Bldg 15 Virology Laboratory. Nevertheless, 1993 found FSE at its all-time low point. We only employed thirteen (13) people companywide and FSE's CPA advised FSE to close the doors.
However, Darwin Parker once again rode to the rescue. To quote Winston Churchill, "Never, Never, Never Give Up!"
The Year of Enormous Growth
FSE grew from just one contract to six contracts. Revenue grew 800% in just one year. By 1996, FSE continued on in the growth mode.
This is a test. You may recognize the two FSE employees on the front row, L-R.
(Photo Caption: Atlanta Employees August 1996 CDC World Headquarters)
That would be Dan Tarkington and Darwin Parker. How many other FSE Atlanta employees can you name from 20 years ago?
1995, 1996, 1997
Nominations and Wins
Under Darwin's Leadership, CDC nominated FSE for The Small Business Administration's Prestigious Outstanding Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year three years in a row. If you don't succeed at first, try, try again! FSE finally won in the Southwest Region in 1997. When FSE was compared with the other nine 1997 Small Business Regional Winners, FSE was named the 1998 SBA National Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year.
(Photo caption: June 4, 1998: FSE was recognized by the SBA as the 1998 National Prime Contractor of the Year. Photo taken in the Office of Senator Paul Coverdell (Washington, D.C.). From left: Darwin Parker, Senator Coverdell, Dan Tarkington, Dave Ruehlman)
Unprecedented CDC Growth
Under Darwin's leadership, FSE grew with CDC:
- First, numerous buildings were added to FSE's contract at the Roybal campus.
- Then came the Chamblee and Lawrenceville campuses.
- Thereafter, additional new buildings were added at the Roybal, Chamblee and Lawrenceville campuses.
Fast Forward to 2016
Today FSE's CDC stewardship responsibilities have grown under Darwin's leadership from 13 employees in 1993 in one building to now encompass:
- 3.4 million square feet of office and laboratory space,
- All three Atlanta-area campuses, and
- 220 FSE employees.
The Day Has Come
Darwin's last official work day at CDC was June 30, 2016. However, Darwin continues to stay on in a reduced capacity through the end of 2016 and possibly on into 2017
Perhaps our CDC client, Ted Hyatt, provided the most on-target assessment:
Thanks for all you've done for CDC. Your cooperation and focus on what's best for CDC is exemplary and beyond any other government contractor I've ever worked with.I feel confident that you've trained Darren well and expect no hiccups in the transition, which is essentially in place now.
It has been a true pleasure. I hope your retirement is as successful as your 29 years here."
In summary, no single FSE employee is more responsible for FSE's growth, culture and reputation than Darwin Parker.
30 June 2016