The Founder of our Company, Robert Blackwood, was born in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. , served our country as part of the Naval reserves, and began his career in communications as an electrical engineer. When asked one day to fill in for a sales engineer during a meeting, Bob discovered a passion for working directly with people that forever changed the course of his career. He discovered an industry need for hybrid Sales Representatives who could provide technical insight in addition to more common sales functions, so he went to work for DEI and ultimately became the Director of WW Sales. In 1976, he developed an idea for a niche product that his company was not interested in pursuing, so he took a gamble and decided to start an Engineering firm in Rockville, MD called Tri-Com which focused very specifically on the unique needs of the US Federal Government. As VP of Marketing, he expanded their customer base to include new verticals and developed a worldwide channel of Manufacturer Representatives to help foster exponential growth. It quickly became apparent that there was a major disconnect between technology manufacturers and the customers they support, so Bob decided to sell his portion of the company to focus on his next venture – Blackwood Associates, Inc.
Blackwood Associates, Inc. was founded in Ashton, MD on January 1st, 1977 with the vision of creating a stronger connection between the unique needs of our industry and the technology manufacturers that support it. BAI began focusing on developing a highly technical sales channel that would allow new technology manufacturers to connect with the entities that could most strongly benefit from their innovation. After signing Tri-Com, additional manufacturers such as Reaction Instruments, TRAK Systems, Triton Engineering, and Hekimian Labs quickly jumped on board.
In 1979, Mr. Blackwood hired Rick Morris directly out of college to focus on sales development for Triton Engineering and Hekimian Labs as a Manufacturers Representative in the Mid-Atlantic region. He had no idea at the time that Rick would go on to marry his oldest daughter Pam- They have now been happily married for over 30 years.
A Growing Reputation
BAI quickly became synonymous with cutting-edge technology and as industry became more dependent on large computer networks, we led the charge with products that made monitoring these networks possible. Working with companies such as Digilog, Navtel, Datatel, Tekelec, and IXIA, BAI quickly became a trusted advisor for Network Monitoring and Operations. With increased reliance on PCs and more widespread use of the internet, an industry that was once very specialized now enjoyed a much larger audience, and as the industry changed so did BAI.
Linda Blackwood at an Industry Trade show in Washington, D.C
Pam and Rick Morris purchased BAI in 2002 and expanded corporate competencies to include proactive network monitoring, network automation and network security. Multiple contract vehicles were added and as our reputation fostered expansion, BAI restructured to better meet the needs of its expanding customer base. BAI Commercial is now responsible for Fortune 1000 companies while BAI Federal encompasses multiple account teams focused on Civilian, DOD, and Special Programs. We can now access any program, provide solutions on virtually every contract vehicle, and fully satisfy small business requirements.
Today, with the addition of the third generation of the family to the Executive team, BAI continues to strengthen its reputation by providing the most advanced technology available to the agencies and companies that define this country. We’ve taken significant strides to continually improve the customer experience while maintaining the personal touch that we have become known for. We have refined our process for identifying the technology leaders of tomorrow and invest a significant amount of time to educating industry on the trends and requirements of the future. We have expanded operations to provide cleared Account Managers and support, created programs focused on training and enablement, and most importantly have assembled a staff of innovators that approach common issues with innovation and elegance.
Very few companies boast a history as long and colorful as BAI, and our reputation is our greatest asset. Our team is highly trained, personable, honest, accountable, and operates with a superior level of integrity. That’s the way we do business… Period.