April 25, 2014

Trendsetters: Software

Mike Vogel | 12/1/2008

Carol Craig
Carol Craig
Craig Technologies
Founder, CEO, CFO, senior software engineer
Cape Canaveral

Husband: Capt. John Craig, a Navy reserve pilot
Children: Danny, 7, and Gillian, 6
Travel: “One of the things I don’t do is travel because I don’t want to be away from my family. If I do travel, the whole family goes with me. It’s almost ridiculous.”
Music: Growing up, Craig played piano and violin. Her adoptive parents even rented her a cello for a month when she wanted to try it. She later found out her biological father and grandfather were professional musicians. She plays handbells in a handbell choir with her husband. [Photo: Brook Pifer]
Carol Craig blows through her life story with such breezy efficiency you would think she’s running through the well-known specs for a government contract her IT engineering and consulting firm is after.

Pause, then, to review the specs. Born of Cuban parents and adopted as a newborn, in college she earned bachelor’s degrees in computer science and computer engineering and a master’s in electrical computer engineering. She joined the Navy and met her fighter-pilot husband, John, in Jacksonville where both were in flight training (she for the P-3C Orion). She started her business in 1999 while stationed in Virginia. Two children later, when the family relocated to Florida in 2004, she elected to suffer a few years of losses to build the infrastructure for a larger company focused on NASA, military and government IT.

In government set-aside jargon, 150-employee Craig is a “fiver” — her business is small, woman-owned, minority-owned, service-disabled, veteran-owned (a knee injured in pilot survival training) and operates in an economically needy area.

Last year, revenue hit $8.6 million, up from $354,288 in 2004. “I’m a planner. I think it was one of the reasons we could have this amazingly steep growth.” She wants revenue to double in 18 months but is hardly the classic manic entrepreneur — once, when some business didn’t go as hoped, she told a colleague, “Did anybody die? Is anybody going to die?

It’s not worth the anxiety and stress.”

She’s had her share. Her first child, Danny, has Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic illness causing motor and other difficulties, chronic feelings of hunger and low metabolism that
can lead to obesity.

“I had always been family-oriented,” Craig, 41, says.

“It shapes the company I have.” Also shaping it: Her optimism. “I’ve always been,
to the point of being annoying, the glass is half full.”

Tags: Trendsetters

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