DC and NOVA Posts Host Successful Small Business Event

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The SAME Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia Posts held their 8th Annual Joint Posts Small Business and Government Conference on Jan. 15, 2014.

Originally scheduled to be held Oct. 15, 2013 at the Fort Belvoir Officers’ Club, the Posts had already sold out on Exhibitor Space and a planned attendance of 185. However, due to Sequestration that resulted in government agencies’ inability to participate at the time, the event was rescheduled to January. In fact, rescheduling enabled the Posts to access larger venue rooms at the Officers’ Club to expand Exhibit Hall space, add more guest speakers, a banquet lunch, as well as meeting sessions for one-on-one business matchmaking.

 DC NOVA Joint Post event 2With a record breaking attendance of more than 325 participants, and  sponsors and exhibitors representing small and large firms across the greater DC area, along with 15 federal, state and county agencies participating in panel discussions and business matchmaking sessions, this was a most successful conference. It echoed SAME’s unique ability to facilitate valuable networking, the building of community relationships, and fostering of an exchange of business resources, capabilities and forecasting of opportunities between the private sector, government and local economic development groups.

The conference program included a discussion in the morning with local economic development leaders: George N. Harben, CEcD, CCR, Director of Prince William County Department of Economic Development; Steve Hargan, Interim Business Development Officer of Loudoun County Economic Department of Development; Val P. Hawkins, CEO and President of Alexandria Economic Development Partnership; and David K. Lewis, Business Development Specialist for Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation. Additionally, Anthony Ruiz, Assistant District Director/8a for Business Development Program for the U.S. Small Business Administration presented on SBA’s small business programs, including new regulations highlighting HUBZONE businesses and Mentor-Protégé programs.

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A Federal Agencies Panel discussion was held in the afternoon that included presentations from Scott Wick, AIA, LEED AP, PMP, Chief Architect, USACE HQ; John Nessius, Deputy Operations Officer, NAVFAC Washington; Trish Culbreth, Veteran’s Advocate of the Headquarters Office of Small Business Programs, Defense Logistics Agency; Dennis Milsten, CCM, Associate Executive Director of Facility Programs and Plans, Department of Veterans Affairs; and Corey Forshee, Supervisory Chief, Civil Engineer Support Flight at 11th Contracting Squadron, Air Force District of Washington.

 DC NOVA Joint Post event 3Rounding out the day was a Business Matchmaking session. Several government agencies including the U.S. Air Force, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Navy, Department of Transportation, the National Science Foundation, Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Defense Logistics Agency, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security participated along with seven prime contractor firms. Each was matched up with individual small business firms to exchange capabilities, interest and potential opportunities to build business relationships.

Many thanks to all this year’s sponsors, volunteers and attendees who helped make the 8th Annual Joint Posts Small Business and Government Conference such a great event!

(Contributed by Connie R. Myers, Atkins, Northern Virginia Post Publicity Director)

 

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