Employee Spotlight

“SPA’s concern for the individual employee has never changed. It’s a core fundamental for us.”

Remaining with one company for 30 years and counting is a rare feat these days. John B. began his career with SPA as an intern over three decades ago. Why does he stay? Is it still possible to believe that a single company can provide lifetime career satisfaction?

John originally came to know SPA as a youngster. His father worked here, helping to grow the business. Over time, as John observed his father’s involvement, he caught the bug for wanting to be part of a company that hit all the marks: absorbing work, vital to national security; analytical expertise, highly regarded among peers; and a commitment to family, both professional and personal. 

In college, John majored in foreign affairs and minored in computer science. After college he examined many options for work, but he knew SPA had the fit he was looking for. John explains it thus:

Absorbing work: “SPA helps the government make important decisions about national security. We don’t live in the ivory tower here. Our chief value is in helping our customers make sound decisions about matters of serious national interest.”

Analytical expertise: “The core of all we do is analysis. We break down a problem to find the rationale for the right decision. We are known in the analytical world for our rigorous work.”

Importance of family: “I feel like my teams are family. SPA’s concern for the individual employee has never changed. It’s a core fundamental for us.”

To all of this John describes one more element of SPA’s appeal: the emphasis on cultivating intellectual curiosity. “We encourage everyone to learn new things. We want our people to become subject matter experts in an array of topics. We want to see different perspectives and backgrounds in problem-solving.” 

As his father did before him, John Burton now supports SPA corporate business development. “Today, the company is better for having to compete in a tough market. But family stays the same,” he emphasizes.

To pull the family thread, John has maintained a lifelong interest in astronomy, first learned from his father, a navigator in P-3 Orion aircraft. John located Orion, Polaris, and other familiar names in the night sky, wondering why the stars behave the way they do. Today he and his own son share many interesting conversations about the stars, telescope scanning the sky. 

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