What they did: It's not easy for a 32-employee company with sales of about $5 million to win business from clients ranging from Abbott Labs to NASA and the Secret Service. But Berkeley Varitronics -- which designs and makes equipment for testing wireless networks and detecting security breaches -- has done it for years. One secret: investing in top talent. During telecommunications industry turmoil, the tiny Metuchen, N.J., firm snapped up engineers from AT&T, Lucent, and other big players. And the family-run business relies on U.S.-based suppliers to maintain quality control. "If I need a bracket, I'm going to a local shop to get it," says president Scott Schober, 42, son of founder and CTO Gary William Schober, 67. The Schobers' passion for customizing products also sparks sales.
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