DC/NoVA Posts Host 9th Annual Joint Small Business Event

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Two of the largest Posts in SAME came together in February for the ninth installment of their Joint Posts Small Business and Government Conference. The Northern Virginia and Washington DC Posts co-sponsored the conference, which was held Feb. 25, 2015 at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va.

This year’s event drew more than 250 participants and a combined 31 sponsors and exhibitors representing small and large architectural, engineering, construction and technology firms. And with 14 federal, state and county agencies participating in panel discussions and matchmaking sessions, the conference provided valuable networking and business development opportunities for agencies and businesses as well as for an open exchange of information between the private sector, government and local economic development groups.

The program included a morning Local Government Agencies Panel discussion with Tara Palacios, Director of BizLaunch, Arlington County Small Business and Entrepreneurial Assistance Network; George Harben, CecD, CCR, Director of Prince William County Department of Economic Development; Rick Morris, Business Development Officer of Loudoun County Economic Department of Development; and Erin Oliver, Procurement Technical Assistance Center Specialist, D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development.

In addition, a Federal Agencies Panel discussion was held in the afternoon that included presentations from Frank Benvenga, PMP, Acting Deputy Chief of Programs NS Project Management Division, USACE Baltimore District; Capt. Jay Mitchell, P.E., CEC, USN, Operations Officer, NAVFAC Washington; and Wayne Brim, Contracting Officer, Small Business Specialist, U.S. Coast Guard C41T Service Center.

A Business Matchmaking session rounded out the program. Several government agencies and prime contractor firms each matched up with individual small business firms. Small business participation is an important goal of the government and of large businesses.

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A large part of the success of this year’s Joint Posts Conference was due to the support of our sponsors and an army of volunteers. Thanks to conference co-chairs Tawania McFadden Williams, Small Business Director of the DC Post, Jeannine Nelson, Small Business Director of the NoVA Post, and the hard-working committee members. NoVA Post President Capt. Robert Bevins, P.E., USCG, served as Master of Ceremonies. DC Post President Brian Moore, P.E., LEED AP, Louis Berger Group; DC Post Programs Director John Thrower, CCM Global Engineering Solutions; NoVA Post Secretary Cynthia Gallo Lee, Aerotek; and NoVA Post Director-at-Large Jamare Bates, Black & Veatch, also were instrumental in delivering a successful opportunity to support the exchange of information and transparency that is so valuable within the A/E/C-government acquisition marketplace.

Presentations from the 9th Annual Joint Posts Small Business and Government Conference are available on the NoVA Post website by clicking here.

(Contributed by Connie Myers, NoVA Post Publicity Director, with information from Jeannine Nelson)

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