The Corporate Soldier

Corporate Corridors Magazine – by Becky Bergman

Darryl Moody was sitting at his desk on the eighth floor at BearingPoint, Inc. when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon on 9/11. From his Tyson Tower office in McLean, Va., Moody watched in horror as smoke billowed from the 60-year-old structure. “I remember thinking, `this can’t be happening,'” says Moody.

Darryl Moody was sitting at his desk on the eighth floor at BearingPoint, Inc. when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon on 9/11. From his Tyson Tower office in McLean, Va., Moody watched in horror as smoke billowed from the 60-year-old structure. “I remember thinking, `this can’t be happening,'” says Moody.

When the dust finally settled, the 45-year-old exec ? a former captain in the U.S. Air Force turned defense and intelligence consultant ? vowed to do what he could to make America safer.

It didn’t take long: within weeks, Moody, then a vice president within the consulting firm, was on the front lines of the nation’s security efforts.

Moody was instrumental in helping to build the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and three members from BearingPoint had been selected to build the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from the ground up.

“If you have gone through a commercial airport, a BearingPoint professional has been at every checkpoint,” says Moody.

“If you had your checked baggage screened, that was a process that BearingPoint developed.”

Moody keeps a sobering reminder that has become his calling in his professional life at BearingPoint: a picture of New York Firefighters in the WTC ruins sits near his desk.

“I believe so deeply in this mission,” he says. “It’s one of those few areas of consulting where failure is not an option. Mistakes are not tolerable ? it’s life and death situations.”

Moody also has a personal reason for making the nation a safer place in the aftermath of 9/11: his teenage daughter frequently travels from California to his home in Virginia.

“She played a big role in what I do,” says Moody. “When your child flies, you’re already worried about diversions because of weather, but to worry about hijackings is unnerving.”

BearingPoint ? and Moody ? still maintain many pre-DHS relationships with government clients such as the Secret Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The company’s client roster reads like a corporate who’s-who list of high-profile names: The Justice Management Division of the Department of Justice, FBI, CIA and the National Security Agency.

Moody, now the company’s senior vice president for Homeland Security, has also developed an impressive list of accomplishments since his military days in the early 1980s.

As a captain in the U.S. Air Force, Moody worked as a project manager for electronic warfare and chemical warfare Research and Development. He was also responsible for purchasing chemical defense items.

After leaving the U.S. Air Force in 1985, Moody joined then ? Peat Marwick Mitchell, which later became KPMG, Inc. ? BearingPoint’s predecessor organization.

During the early years at the consulting firm, the exec was responsible for building new organizations from the ground up, including the Defense Department’s Joint Logistics System Center at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s housing inspection unit.

When BearingPoint created its homeland security and intelligence practice nearly two years ago, it only seemed logical to place Moody at the helm, where he now oversees a staff of 700-plus.

A Leader in the Making

There were no tall-tell signs or any stand-out indication that Moody, the oldest of seven children, would emerge a leader in the corporate arena.

“I wasn’t the captain of the Pee-Wee Football team or the president of a school club,” says Moody.

But the father of four has always been a self-starter who recognized opportunities. At 16, Moody worked part-time bagging groceries on the Air Force base, where his father was an aircraft mechanic.

“I worked for tips only,” he says. “I learned real fast about the importance of customer service. The nicer I was and the more efficient I was, the better the tips were.”

As a teen, he also learned that what he put into a job or project, he got out of ten-fold. “The more hours I worked, the more money I made,” he says.

Watching his father also helped to deepen Moody’s work ethic and enforce the value of commitment. “Planes had to fly no matter what,” he says.

After earning a business degree in Management Information Systems from Memphis State University in 1980, Moody ? born in California and raised mostly in Ohio ? followed his father’s footsteps and joined the U.S. Air Force.

At the time, business professors were predicting a recession that would cripple the nation’s economy and leave many jobless. What initially was an alternative to a down economy turned out to be a foundation for a life-long leadership role.

Much like his father, Moody has taken life’s curve balls with stride. In fact, Moody has always approached crossroads throughout his life with a nonchalant, easy-going attitude.

“I believe that no matter what I do or what direction I go, I will be equally successful,” says Moody. It’s an attitude that has paid off and received notice.

Moody’s many accomplishments have been recognized, most recently in Consulting Magazine, which named him one of its top 25 Influential Consultants in the nation for 2004.

“I think that an award such as this is really a reflection of the team that stands behind you,” says Moody. “After all, I can be a great visionary, but I need good people who have the skills to execute that vision.”

“I guess I’ll list it on my resume if I ever get fired,” jokes Moody.

Business is Secure

Moody is not likely to be out of a job any time soon. The need for homeland defense has spurred big business, say analysts, who speculate overall national security spending exceeds $55 billion annually.

“It’s hard to categorize the different areas of spending and who is spending that money,” says Moody, who adds that the tab probably runs higher than $55 billion. Many law and consulting firms are developing their own homeland-security practices while universities across the country are adding homeland-security courses to its curriculum.

For instance, the University of Denver, Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University all offer graduate-level homeland-security courses. BearingPoint, a publicly-held company (NYSE: BE), has witnessed the growth first hand. The business consulting firm posted revenues of $885.5 million for the second quarter ending June 30, 2004, an increase of $105.4 million – or 13.5 percent – over the quarter ended June 30, 2003.

The public services revenue for the second quarter of 2004 was $360.6 million, representing an increase of $77.4 million ? or 27.3 percent ? compared to the three months ended June 30, 2003. While that may be good news for BearingPoint and its public sector market, Moody says there is no celebratory song and dance.

“This is not a job where you high-five each other,” says Moody. “You’re happy because you may have won a competitive bid with against another company, but then the nature of why we’re doing this at all begins to sink in.”