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Small Business Forum attracts hundreds for day of networking

U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville
Published Oct. 31, 2019
Leaders from the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, host a question-and-answer session during the 2019 Small Business Forum at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., Oct. 24, 2019. The event gave businesses an opportunity to connect face to face with members of the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville.

Leaders from the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, host a question-and-answer session during the 2019 Small Business Forum at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., Oct. 24, 2019. The event gave businesses an opportunity to connect face to face with members of the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville.

Hundreds of representatives from businesses small and large attend the 2019 Small Business Forum in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., Oct. 24, 2019. The event gave businesses an opportunity to connect face to face with members of the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville.

Hundreds of representatives from businesses small and large attend the 2019 Small Business Forum in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., Oct. 24, 2019. The event gave businesses an opportunity to connect face to face with members of the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville.

Brandy Wilkerson, a project manager with the Utility Energy Service Contracting program from the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, greets an attendee of the 2019 Small Business Forum at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., Oct. 24, 2019. The event gave hundreds of business representatives an opportunity to connect face to face with Huntsville Center program and project managers and acquisition professionals.

Brandy Wilkerson, a project manager with the Utility Energy Service Contracting program from the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, greets an attendee of the 2019 Small Business Forum at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., Oct. 24, 2019. The event gave hundreds of business representatives an opportunity to connect face to face with Huntsville Center program and project managers and acquisition professionals.

Hundreds of representatives from businesses small and large attend the 2019 Small Business Forum in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., Oct. 24, 2019. The event gave businesses an opportunity to connect face to face with members of the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville.

Hundreds of representatives from businesses small and large attend the 2019 Small Business Forum in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., Oct. 24, 2019. The event gave businesses an opportunity to connect face to face with members of the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Oct. 31, 2019) – The 2019 Small Business Forum attracted hundreds of representatives from businesses small and large to the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center to connect with professionals from the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Oct. 24.

In the main hall beneath one of the only authentic Saturn V launch vehicles in the world, a gathering of Huntsville Center contracting officials and program and project managers, representing more than 40 programs, were on hand to meet with industry partners to answer questions and explain how the Center does business.

In the auditorium, Huntsville Center senior leaders provided guests an overarching view of the Center’s unique mission that covers five business portfolios (medical, base operations and facilities, energy, operational technology, and environmental), along with panel discussions, question-and-answer sessions, and a close look at the acquisition process.

These leaders included Col. Marvin L. Griffin, commander; Lt. Col. H. W. Hugh Darville, deputy commander; Albert “Chip” Marin III, programs director; Christina Freese, business director; Colleen O’Keefe, contracting director, along with the whole team from the Office of Small Business.

“Huntsville Center is all in today,” Griffin told attendees at the event kickoff. “We’ve got a lot of key folks here, so take advantage of the opportunity.”

Woven into Griffin’s overview was the Center’s historical timeline illustrating why the Center operates the way it does and how businesses play a key role.

“The common thread here is that it’s constantly evolved over time as new needs arose, new requirements have come up in highly technical, very specialized areas,” he said. “Where it made sense, Huntsville Center picked up those missions with all the capabilities and technical expertise.

“We rely on industry as we develop those technical competencies,” Griffin continued, “and the contract capabilities to make these services and capabilities work for our warfighters and our nation.”

In fiscal 2019, Huntsville Center directed awards valued at more than $791 million to small businesses with more than 2,420 contract actions. As in years past, many of these businesses were local to the Huntsville area.

Rebecca Goodsell, chief, Office of Small Business, said Huntsville Center’s policy is focused on providing “maximum practicable” prime and subcontracting opportunities to small firms.

“Small businesses are the economic growth engine for America,” Goodsell said. “Small businesses provide jobs, innovation and competition in industry."

Held in conjunction with the forum was an acquisition industry day, which was an opportunity for Huntsville Center to inform industry representatives on an Emerging Environmental Requirements Acquisition contract created to support work assigned to the Corps of Engineers for programs such as Formerly Used Defense Sites, Military Munitions Response Program and the Department of Defense Environmental Restoration Program.

Learn more about the Emerging Environmental Requirements Acquisition contract opportunity at www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=4173f87d6043ec20c8b64af7d5b35329&tab=core&_cview=0.

To learn more about doing business with Huntsville Center, visit www.hnc.usace.army.mil/Business-With-Us.

Also be sure to visit the Center’s website for its collection of program fact sheets at https://www.hnc.usace.army.mil/Media/Fact-Sheets.

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Editor’s note: Mark Thompson, a Huntsville Center public affairs specialist, contributed to this story.