Corporate History

How We Got Here

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GKG is Founded

A coffee cup and pen resting on a napkin with "Golden Key Group" logo on a wooden table surface.

Like many great things, the plans for GKG started on the back of a napkin. The idea, of course, evolved and GKG began as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) in the basement of Gretchen McCracken’s home on May 12, 2002.


First Prime Contract

EPA flag flying in front of a grand government building with classical architecture and green trees.

In 2007, GKG received its first Prime contract award to support the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). We would go on to partner with EPA for thirteen years, providing a multitude of HR services.


New Headquarters

Modern multi-story office building with reflective windows under a clear blue sky.

In December of 2011, GKG officially moved into a corporate building, after the back-office support spent many years working from home (well ahead of its time). GKG Headquarters have moved to a few different buildings, but remain in Reston, VA to this day.

Our current Headquarters are directly across from the Wiehle-Reston East metro stop and house about 50 employees, with ample room for touchdown space, and large partner and customer meetings.


Army ROTC Contract

Group of U.S. Army soldiers standing in uniform, with focus on a soldier in the foreground, looking intently forward.

In 2018, GKG began its support of the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. Over the following years, we provided 344 personnel (328 instructors at 233 colleges and universities across the nation and U.S. territories) to support the U.S. Army Cadet Command (USACC’s) mission of training and commissioning the future leaders of today’s Army

As a result of growing out of the small business size, we continue to support Army ROTC currently as a subcontractor. Based on our strong performance with the Army, we have also supported the U.S. Air Force ROTC program.


DOC PP&B Contract

Golden Key Group Ribbon Cutting

In 2020, GKG was awarded the Personnel Action Request, Payroll, and Benefits (PP&B) Services contract by the Department of Commerce Enterprise Services office. The six-year contract, with a value of up to $110 million, marked the largest contract for GKG to date.

As part of the contract, GKG built a 20,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Shared Services center. GKG selected Landover, MD for the facility because of its proximity to the New Carrollton transportation center and its accessibility to the Capital Beltway, Route 50, and Interstates 95 and 295. The location has drawn top talent from across the Washington, D.C. region, and our talented team completes thousands of HR transactions at this facility each month.


HIRE Vets Gold Medallion

Collage showcasing the U.S. flag, "Hire Vets 2021 Gold Award" from the Department of Labor, and diverse military personnel in various uniforms, illustrating commitment to Human Resources excellence

Golden Key Group was a 2021 recipient of the HIRE Vets Gold Medallion Award from the U.S. Department of Labor. The HIRE Vets Medallion Program is the only federal award recognizing exceptional achievements in veteran employment. GKG met a robust set of criteria to earn the designation.

The HIRE Vets medallion is one of four official certifications GKG has received as a veteran-friendly employer. In March 2021, GKG became Virginia Values Veterans (V3) certified – an official program of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In July 2021, GKG became Hire Our Heroes certified – the top destination for veterans seeking employment. In July 2022, GKG received the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve Patriot Award.



Three professionals in business attire stand confidently with the logo "dia" and a backdrop of a space satellite and American flag, the text stating "committed to excellence in defense of the nation through workforce optimization.

GKG received a Multiple Award IDIQ prime contract award for the Office of Human Resources Operations and Services at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

With this win, GKG can provide support and services that will aid OHR in achieving its strategic and operational programs, projects, and priorities. GKG is one of only six companies to win the IDIQ. The award has a 5-year base with a 3-year option period and a ceiling of $370 million.


GKG celebrates 20 years

Golden Key Group 20th anniversary graphic

In 2022, GKG is celebrating  its 20th year, having supported over 50 federal departments and agencies along the way. We’re excited to continue redefining workforce optimization for the federal government.