Denise Garcia Van Wyngaardt named 2016 Brava Award winner

Denise Garcia Van Wyngaardt, President and CEO of Indigo IT, was recently recognized as a winner of Washington SmartCEO’s 2016 Brava Award. The Brava Awards celebrate the distinguished achievements of 40 of Greater Washington’s top women business leaders.

Van Wyngaardt is the daughter of Lupe and Janie Garcia of Poteet and a 1993 graduate of Poteet High School. Her grandparents, Ted and Dolores Garcia, celebrated 70 years of marriage last October. 

She and husband Shane Van Wyngaardt reside in Potomac Falls, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C. They have two children, 11-year-old Maya who will be in sixth grade and 8-year-old Noah, who will be in third grade.

Indigo IT is a Woman Owned Small Business and Minority Disadvantaged Business Enterprise providing IT professional services to the federal government and is based in Reston, Va.

The company was co-founded by Shane Van Wyngaardt in 2001 and in 2004, Denise became majority owner. The business celebrated 15 years in July.

“I’m grateful for the recognition and honored to be included with such an amazing group of women business leaders in the DC region,” said Van Wyngaardt.

This year’s winners collectively generate more than $1.44 billion in annual revenue and employ 21,320 individuals. Winners were profiled in the July/August 2016 issue of SmartCEO magazine and were celebrated at a July 7 awards ceremony at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.

Denise graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She also holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University in Public Policy. 

She belongs to a women’s CEO group in which half of them are women in business with their spouses.

“It certainly is something you figure your way through. It is not always easy, but we have a good balance working now,” said Van Wyngaardt. “We figured it out after a few years.”

Her previous work experience includes time as a policy analyst and research associate with the National League of Cities and the Institute for Youth, Education & Families, where she worked closely with city mayors and other local government leadership from across the country to develop policy positions and help manage large grants from prominent national foundations. 

In 2014, Indigo IT was named the Small Business Administration National Prime Contractor of the Year, for their work supporting the Defense Information Systems Agency. 

“Being a female CEO of a technology company is rare in the largely male dominated field of federal IT contracting. I also represent a small population of Latina women business owners. In 2013, I was honored that the Women Presidents’ Organization selected me to receive the ‘Women of Color Achievement Award.’ I hope to serve as a role model for women, especially those who aspire to careers in business or information technology.”

As the first on her father’s side of the family to graduate from college, Denise emphasizes believing in yourself. She knows how important your family’s support is, which she has always had and is thankful for.

“Our culture is so family-oriented and it is hard to leave. I still struggle with that, but I never forget where I came from and I visit when I can. I am just a plane ride away,” said Denise.

She knows that her parents are really proud and understand. She advises others to follow the opportunities that come their way.

“Brava winners possess the hallmark qualities of successful leaders — vision, passion, compassion, dedication, perseverance. Each winner in this year’s class exhibits these qualities in all facets of her life, from running her business to tending to her family and donating time and resources to philanthropic initiatives,” said Jaime Nespor-Zawmon, president of SmartCEO. “We are honored to recognize a group of women who are truly making a difference in the world.”

As president and CEO, Van Wyngaardt provides executive leadership and strategic thinking to Indigo IT, helping the company grow to become a leader in the information technology arena. She embraces a philosophy of strong leadership, critical thinking and performance accountability. She emphasizes a value-based philosophy characterized by a strong ethical code of conduct and a commitment to Indigo IT’s core values of responsibility, initiative, service and excellence (RISE).


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