Contract Solutions Inc. CEO and founder Corliss Udoema has learned many lessons in her life, but she believes giving back to her community may be the most important.
“Never forget to remember where you came from,” says Udoema. “Reach out and help someone else. I give because there have been times when I didn’t have anything, and I needed help.”
Udoema was recognized by Washington Business Journal as a Washington, D.C. philanthropic small business for the fifth straight year in 2022. Contract Solutions placed third on the list, with $199,000 in giving.
Located at 10627 Crestwood Drive in Manassas, Contract Solutions Inc. provides support services for government clients at the federal and state levels, as well as private industry clients. The company specializes in acquisition support, training solutions, human resources, and technology solutions.
After a long career in the federal government, Udoema had retired in New Bern, North Carolina when a friend asked if Udoema could help her with a contract.
“I said I would do it and would not charge her,” Udoema recalled. “But my friend said, ‘Yes, you will. And you are going to start your own company.’”
After starting the business in New Bern with less than $50, she relocated to Prince William County to be closer to her granddaughter and later her great grandchildren. Since headquartering in Manassas, Udoema has built Contract Solutions into a national award-winning, debt-free company worth $4.3 million in revenues, with dozens of employees managing a large team of contractors.
The company’s low turnover in contractors on site has contributed to Contract Solutions’ reputation for excellence. Udoema believes being a good listener is critical. She believes that these 4Ps are critical: Prayer, Planning, Preparation, and Patience. She has built her business, her reputation, and her philanthropic efforts on these principles.
Udoema is president of Agape Love in Action, Inc. (ALIA) a nonprofit 501c (3). Operating from the same headquarters building in Manassas, ALIA’s team of fewer than 10 employees undertake several philanthropic endeavors each year.
One of their projects is “Hope in a Bag,” which provides personal care items for unhoused people. One year, ALIA, with help from community volunteers packed and distributed more than 17,000 bags. As a senior citizen herself, Udoema is thrilled at the success of the free computer technology program that ALIA has been sponsoring since 2016, often providing free computers.
In addition, Udoema ensures ALIA offers contracting support and business mentoring for veteran-owned businesses through the Business Battle Buddy program. They also conduct annual projects to raise funds to donate to veterans, active duty, and veteran-owned non-profit organizations.
“I’m an old Southern preacher, and I believe in shining a light to be a blessing to someone,” says Udoema. “I want to be an example—not for what I say—but for what I do.”
Located at 10627 Crestwood Dr. Manassas, VA 20109