A look at technology solutions provider REI Systems (and how to get hired there)

By strictly defining what success means, REI Systems has retained a “vast majority” of its customers over its 30-year history. The technology solutions provider works in both the public and private sector, with a couple customers you’ve probably heard of: NASA and the Executive Office of the President of the U.S.

Here’s a look at the tech company who defines success by unsolicited positive feedback, instead of a list of checked boxes.

REI Systems rundown

Size: About 500 employees

Industry: Information Technology and Services

Locations: The company’s headquarters is in Sterling, Virginia, but the company has another office in Chantilly, Virginia, and a couple of offices in the Washington D.C. area.

Founded: 1989

Founders: Shyam Salona and Veer Bhartiya

CEO: Shyam Salona

Mission: REI Systems is dedicated to creating innovative software solutions for federal government agencies. The company defines success not by meeting scheduling or financial goals, but by receiving unsolicited positive feedback about the impact their solutions have had.

How much do REI Systems employees make?

The average salary for an REI Systems employee is $131,890 per year. Ladders estimates are based on our calculations.

REI Systems Jobs

REI Systems is currently hiring for 70 open positions, including a Senior Proposal Manager and a Proposal Manager to work in the Sterling, Virginia headquarters. Find a list of open roles on Ladders’ REI Systems Jobs page.

What REI Systems says it takes to get hired

“At REI Systems we strive to find people who are looking to be their best self,” said Ashley Keeton, a marketing and communications specialist at REI Systems. “We want to find good, hardworking people and then find a role that fits their strengths. A positive employee culture and a solid work-life balance are top priorities to us.”

CEO Shyam Salona urges anyone interviewing with the company to research the organization and be familiar with the kind of work that it does, but he encourages candidates to go beyond the basics.

“The one thing I would emphasize is consciously, explicitly look for a culture fit,” Salona told Ladders.

Candidates should compare company values to individual values and make sure there’s a solid fit. Interviewers will be evaluating this fit during the interview, and interviewees should, too.

“Given that you’ll be engaged at that workplace hopefully for years to come, it’s important that there is alignment in what you think the values should be and what the organizational culture values,” Salona said.

REI Systems Office Life

“Office life at REI Systems is unlike any other I have been a part of,” Keeton said. “A lot of companies talk about employee morale and culture, but REI Systems actually backs up their talk with actions.”

The REI Systems people services team is 100% dedicated to employee retention. According to Keeton, the organization conducts employee check-ins to make employees feel heard, appreciated, and allow them to voice any concerns.

A unique aspect of the company is that it has a full-time career coach on staff who employees can meet with to discuss what they see for their future and make a plan of how the company can help them get where they want to be.

Some offices like happy hours, but employees at REI Systems have The Happy Feet program, which allows employees the opportunity to get together for bonding and exercise. Groups of employees have competed in marathons, 5Ks, even a triathlon together. According to Salona, nine employees from the Happy Feet program are currently training to go to the Mount Everest base camp together.

“Leadership makes it a priority to ensure their employees feel appreciated and have opportunities to grow, they set the example from the top making it a culture at REI Systems and not just an idea.net,” Keeton said.

To celebrate REI Systems’s thirtieth anniversary, the company held activities and celebrations in June.


  • Health insurance (health, dental, vision)
  • Mental health care
  • Flexible spending account
  • Health savings account
  • Supplemental life insurance
  • Accidental death & dismemberment insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Performance bonus
  • Charitable gift matching
  • 401K plan
  • Employee stock purchase plan
  • Stock options
  • Maternity & paternity leave
  • Family medical leave
  • Vacation & Paid Time Off
  • Paid holidays
  • Sick days


  • Employee assistance program
  • Company social events
  • Free lunch or snacks
  • Professional development
  • Diversity program
  • Tuition assistance
  • Job training
  • Apprenticeship program

REI Systems employee reviews 2019

Reviews on Glassdoor range from one-star reviews titled “Bad culture. Unprofessional” to five-star reviews stating that REI Systems is the “a place to feel valued.”

Others encourage that the office is a “good place to start your career” with “good opportunities and provides employees with the “ability to change career if you have right skill-set.”

“Very satisfied with the entire experience,” one reviewer wrote. “The company clearly invests in their people.”

The reviews, whether positive or negative, all come to the consensus that if you work at REI Systems, you’ll have many options for professional development because the company “clearly invests in their people.”