VETS 2020

Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium (VETS)

May 26 - 29, 2020 in San Antonio, TX, is a Business Development Conference created by Veterans for Veterans.

Thank you to our 2011 Exhibitors for their on-going support and contributions to the success of VETS!
*Denotes additional sponsorship


coverCurious about what happened at the 2011 Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium (VETS)? Download the VETS2011 Program Guide with details about the agenda, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, attending Federal agencies, and more. 

Download the VETS2011 Program Guide (pdf)

Please find the speaker presentations for the 2011 Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium below. All presentations are in .pdf format. To download, please click on the presenter's name.

Introduction to Federal Contracting


A1. How to use OSDBUs and SBLOs Effectively

A2. Financing Options for Small Businesses

  • Presentations Not Available

A3. Federal Market Research - Who's Buying What You're Selling?

A4. Legal Landmines for Small Contractors

A5. Preparing for DCAA Audit

A6. Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Presentation Not Available

B1. Resources to Grow your Business

B2. Acquisition Training Program I: Understanding the Fundamentals of Costing and Pricing

B3. GSA's Multiple Award Schedule Program: Asking the Hard Questions To Determine If It's Worth The Cost

B4. Legislative and Regulatory Update

B5. Preparing for HR Related Audits

B6. SBIR-Gateway to Unlimited Sole Source Marketing: Positions with all Agencies of the Federal Government

C1. Business Development vs. Small Business: A New Paradigm

C2. Acquisition Training Program II: Understanding the Fundamentals of Indirect Rates - Silver Baron D

C3. The Dynamics of Differentiation and Positioning to Accelerate Small Business Government Sales

C4. Balancing your Insurance Needs: The Risk Assessment

C5: The Capture Process

C6. Technical Proposal Strategy and Past Performance Criteria

D1. Working with Large Prime Contractors: Subcontracting and Partnering Opportunities for Veteran and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses

D2. Information Technology: Understand the Environment and Upcoming Opportunities

D3. Teaming Success Story: Lockheed Martin & Veterans Trading Company

D4. Steps to Successful GSA Schedules

D5. Exporting: An Untapped Market

E1. Women Veteran Business Issues: Obstacles: Truth and Misconceptions

E2. Teaming: A New Paradigm

  • Session was canceled

 E3. Selling to the Corps of Engineers

E4. Successful Procurement Strategies

  • Presentation Not Available

E5. Establishing Indirect Rates: Your Key to Profitability

F1. Social Responsibility: Practical Steps

F2. Update on Small Business Programs

F3. Presentation Skills & Marketing

  • Presentation Not Available

F4. Ask the Advocates 

  • Presentations Not Available

F5. Ethics & Compliance: Why Small Business Should Think Big About Ethics & Compliance

G1. VA Verification Process

G2. Preparing the Winning RFP Response

G3. Pricing Proposals

G4. Veteran Business Boot Camp

G5. Guam Business Discovery



Gladstone Abraham & Company

Mr. Abraham is Chairman of Gladstone Abraham & Company, a private merchant banking group that advises technology based companies on top management strategy and corporate finance. Gladstone Abraham & Company is comprised of senior executives and entrepreneurs with significant experience in emerging technologies. Mr. Abraham has long-standing relationships with major financial institutions and CEO's of multi-national corporations. He has also advised venture capitalists and leading investment banks in special financing situations. Fields of interest include bio-technology & medical devices, artificial intelligence, information technology, energy and the environment. He has considerable expertise in management buy-outs and corporate restructuring. Mr. Abraham has an M.B.A. from Harvard and an M.S.M.E. from University of California at Berkeley where he was a doctoral candidate.

As chairman of Fedship, he has advised European investors and Government agencies of Developing Nations, including India, Sri Lanka and Singapore, on financing of multi-national projects and policy issues involving technology and trade development.

Mr. Abraham is Emeritus President of the Harvard Club of the Peninsula and serves on the boards of several high technology companies. He has been active in civic organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a long time supporter of Rotary International and the San Francisco Symphony.



Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation

As the President of the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation, Barbara Ashe launched the Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) in 2009 and oversees strategic development of the program. VIP, which recently expanded nationally, has already provided 200 veterans the professional training they need to successfully compete for federal government contracts.

For her work to advance small business opportunities for veterans, the Small Business Administration recently named Ms. Ashe the Veterans Business Champion in the Washington Metro Area as well as its surrounding five-state region.

In addition to the VIP program, the Foundation focuses on public safety, health and wellness, and launched a Green Business Certification Program in 2009

Ms. Ashe also serves as Executive Vice President of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce where she oversees the Chamber's programming in the area of government contracting and works closely with the President in the strategic development of the Chamber's programs, events, Board of Directors, and overall management of the organization.

Earlier in her career she was the Baltimore Area Manager at the Burroughs Corporation, which after its purchase of Sperry became the Unisys Corporation.



Don_Bauer_webVice President
Assistant General Counsel
Weston Solutions, Inc.

Don Bauer is Assistant General Counsel with Weston Solutions, Inc., a large prime contractor for both Civilian and DoD Agencies, providing sustainable environmental, energy solutions, property redevelopment and design/build construction services, with offices throughout the US, and in Europe, China, Taiwan and India.

Don brings a breadth and wealth of varied experience derived from 40 years of government and corporate legal practice, with a particular focus on government contract, small business and ethics and compliance law. He is a certified ethics and compliance professional and a graduate of Boston University's "Mini-M.B.A." Program.

After graduating from the Pennsylvania State University, Don received his J.D. degree from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.

He started his legal career as Assistant District Counsel for the Philadelphia Office of the US Small Business Administration, and then held senior legal positions at both RCA Corporation and General Electric Company, before assuming his post at Weston Solutions, some 22 years ago.

Over the years, Don has been and continues to be a frequent lecturer on a variety of compliance, ethics, and government contract matters. Don is a strong contributor to the training and developmental programs provided to Protégé firms through Weston's Mentor-Protégé relationships.

In addition to his "day job", Don also is President of Rothschild Special Services, a compliance and ethics consulting firm with offices outside Philadelphia.



Bridget_Bean_webDistrict Director
Washington Metropolitan Area District Office
U.S. Small Business Administration

During Bridget Bean's tenure as District Director, the SBA Washington Metro Area team has dramatically increased opportunities for local small businesses to compete for, and earn, contracts with Federal Government agencies. She was named District Director of the SBA Washington Metropolitan Area District Office in 2009. This promotion followed five years of service as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Field Operations, during which she oversaw government compliance for all 68 of the agency's district offices and led a cross-disciplinary team to eliminate the backlog of disaster assistance loans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. During her time with the SBA, Director Bean has held leadership positions in key areas such as procurement, field operations, and the Office of the Inspector General. Her knowledge of economic development issues has made Bridget Bean a subject matter expert on a wide range of business topics. She is frequently called upon as a source for journalists working in every medium. An alumnus of George Mason University, she is a member of the U.S. Government Senior Executive Service and a Graduate of the SES Candidate Program. She was named to the Council for Excellence during her participation in the Government Fellows Program.



Robert_Costello_webVice President
Materials Acquisition and Management
Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control

Since December 2005, Bob Costello has managed and led the Materials organization for LMMFC. He is responsible for the delivery of quality products, on schedule, and at a competitive cost to meet customer expectations in their defining moments, thus his organization's well versed philosophy, 100% Quality/100% Delivery. Bob's current role is to improve overall Supply Chain performance, to facilitate increased factory velocity and improve product reliability to the warfighter. With his leadership, the company motto, "We never forget who we're working for"® is foremost in everything his organization does, but also, he stresses a personal motto, "we're in the job of creating veterans".

Bob is the LMMFC Champion for the Veteran's Affinity Group. His goal is to improve both internal and external relationships with our Veterans employed at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and the Orlando Veterans Administration Clinic. Bob is a member of the INROADS council, where he supports their mission to develop and place talented minority youth in business and industry as preparation for corporate and community leadership. Bob is a decorated United States Marine Corp veteran having served in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970.

Mr. Costello received a Masters of Business Administration in 1992 from Webster University. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Widener University.




Coffey & Company, Inc

Wayne Coffey started Coffey & Company, Incorporated in 1992 after serving as President/COO of Charter Risk Management, the 74th largest agency in the United States at that time. He began his career at Stump, Harvey & Cook which was subsequently sold to Corroon & Black where he was selected to their national "Young Professional's Council." Coffey & Company has developed a well deserved reputation for utilizing unique tools in the areas of risk assessment and personalized service in an industry most people look at as a "necessary evil." Mr. Coffey entered the insurance business after farming for nine years in the Maryland area, raising cattle, hay and organic vegetables. He served for five years on the staff of the Boy Scouts of America, teaching at the national leadership development school. While in scouting he earned the rank of Eagle Scout and was awarded the Vigil honor in The Order of the Arrow which gave him the Indian name "Achgegim", interpreted as "one who instructs".

Mr. Coffey resides in Reisterstown, Maryland with his wife of thirty-five years. He is the proud father of four children and two grandchildren. He is the Founder of a non-profit "No More Stolen Childhoods" and continues to write and speak on the topic of childhood sexual abuse.




Tony Constable is a well-known figure in government information technology (IT) circles. He began working in the IT field in the UK in 1964 and emigrated to the United States in 1968. Since 1975, CAI/SISCo, the company he started in 1975, has quietly assisted domestic and international clients win Price To Win (PTW) studies in support of more than 1,350 major government and commercial IT-, aerospace-, and science & technology-related competitions. With an aggregate value in excess of $1T, these opportunities have involved most branches of government and technology. Later this year, Tony's latest book Hope Is Not A Winning Strategy... But PTW Is will be published. Tony is also a PTW educator and has led scores of seminars on the subject in the U.S. and elsewhere.



Steve_Culligan_webDirector of Sales
Veterans Trading Company

Steve Culligan currently serves as the Director of Sales for Veterans Trading Company. Steve has spent 34 years in the electronics industry during which time he has held positions including Vice President of Sales for Nu Horizons Electronics and regional management positions with All American Semiconductor and Time Electronics.

Steve has an extensive small business background, having been a partner in two successful start-up distribution organizations which were subsequently sold to larger businesses. He was a partner in a manufacturer's representative organization representing several premier semiconductor corporations. Steve also has a technical background; he was a field application engineer for Texas Instruments Products and held a technical position with Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.



John_Davis_webPresident & CEO
SBIR Resource Center

John Davis serves as CEO and General Manager for the SBIR Resource Center, the nation's leading provider of funding acquisition resources to the SBIR/STTR community. Since 1993 the Center has supported more than 3,000 entrepreneurial firms in the pursuit of funding while serving thousands more by working closely with many state/local economic development organizations to establish effective, local SBIR outreach programs. The originator and sustaining force behind the SBIR ToolKitJ, SBIR-ReviewSM and SBIR-LeaderSM product lines, Mr. Davis helps hundreds of applicants to pursue SBIR/STTR annually.

Davis is also a much published author, popular lecturer and often invited speaker on Crafting Federal Proposals and Project Planning, Cost Estimating and Control.

Mr. Davis has earned advanced degrees in both scientific and business administration disciplines and brings over thirty-years of progressive experience as a Research Engineer, Proposal Manager, R&D Program Manager, Marketing Director and C-level executive in leading technical organizations (start ups and small early-stage firms up to Fortune 200 multinational corporations). He is also a long-time, active member of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) B the only organization for proposal professionals in the entire world.

Since 1991, Davis has been honored with continuous biographical listings in publications such as Marquis Who's Who In Science and Engineering, Who's Who In Industry and Finance, Who's Who In America, Who's Who In The World, the Cambridge International Biographical Dictionary, Men of Achievement and many others.



Bob_Davis_webVice President
HeiTech Services, Inc.

Dr. Robert Davis has 35-years' experience in the information technology industry in the Washington, D.C. area. He has held senior positions with large and small, high-tech products- and services-oriented companies during his career. Specific positions held include sales management, capture management, program management, business and market development. Dr. Davis's recent experience includes the design, establishment and management of GWAC IDIQ task order (TO) PMOs that enables rapid and efficient TO bidding. He is a team-oriented executive who brings systems and critical thinking, and innovation to all work assignments.

Dr. Davis holds a B.S. in Management, an M.B.A. with a Concentration in Technology Management and was graduated in 2008 with a Doctor of Management from the University of Maryland University College. Dissertation title – "Does environmental scanning by systems integration firms improve their business development performance?" This work is the first doctoral research into business development and environmental scanning in the systems integration industry.



Diane_DempseyDirector, Socio Economic Business Programs
Intelligence & Security
BAE Systems

MBA with a career spanning over twenty five years in the field of procurement, subcontracts and supplier diversity. She serves on several boards and committees for organizations that advocate for small business: Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council, Community Business Partnership, National Defense Industry Association, TRIAD and Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association. She has received several awards for her work in the small business community, including the 2010 SBA Washington Metropolitan Veterans Advocate. Ms Dempsey was also an adjunct professor at two local colleges, teaching a variety of business and contracts classes. She is a Certified Supplier Diversity Professional.



Scott_Denniston_webPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Scott Group of Virginia, LLC

Scott Denniston is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Scott Group of Virginia, LLC. The Scott Group provides strategic business development services to small businesses in the Federal marketplace. The Scott Group additionally facilitates partnerships and alliances between large and small businesses to compete onFederal contract opportunities as well as identify potential small businesssubcontractors and partners.

Mr. Denniston also serves as the Executive Director for the National Veteran Small Business Coalition whose mission is to transition veterans into business owners and ensure the Federal acquisitionfield is fair for all veteran owned small businesses. He also serves on theBoard of Directors for the American Freedom Foundation and the American Small Business Coalition.

Previously, Mr Denniston was the Director, Office of Small Business Programs and the Center for Veterans Enterprise at the Department of Veterans Affairs. During his tenure, the VA was a leader in awards to all categories of small businesses consistently spending over $3 billion with small business. He has held numerous management positions with the Small Business Administration. He is also active in the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) and is past chair of the Small Business Committee of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA).

He was born in Somerville, New Jersey. He received a B.A. degree in Economics from Waynesburg College and a M.S. degree in Government from Southern Illinois University. He is also a veteran, having served in the US Army.



Bill_Elmore_webAssociate Administrator
Office of Veterans Business Development
U.S. Small Business Administration

Mr. Elmore is responsible for comprehensive outreach to, the formulation, execution, and promotion of policies and programs of the Administration that provide assistance to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans, small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans and small business concerns owned and controlled by Reserve component members of the U.S. Military. Acts as an ombudsman for full consideration of veterans in all Administration programs.

Former SDV small business owner, and former principal, St. Louis Veterans Service Center, providing free transition assistance, business training, job placement, housing, and myriad other services to thousands of veterans and families for 2+ decades.

Mr. Elmore helped create:

  • Patriot Express Pilot Loan for Military Community.
  • Veterans Business Outreach Center program.
  • Service-Disabled Veteran Federal Procurement program.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs VET Center program.
  • SBA Veterans Entrepreneur Training (VET) program.
  • National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
  • VA Homeless Veterans Grant and Per-Diem Program.
  • Resolution Trust Corporation Veterans Affordable Housing Disposition Program.
  • Southwestern Bell Telephone Service-Disabled Veterans Procurement Program.
  • 1980 SBA Veterans Small Business Report.




RGF Consulting Corporation

Mr. Flowers has extensive hands-on experience in the areas of operational management and contract cost and pricing proposals within the federal government and private sector business arena. Mr. Flowers is the 2008 recipient of the US Small Business Administration, Washington, DC Metro Area District Office's Veteran Small Business Champion of the year award for procurement training.

Mr. Flowers has conducted numerous workshops across the country to small business government contractors as well as small business advocates such as Small Business Development Centers (SBDC's), Procurement Technical Assistance Programs (PTAP's), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU'S), other Minority Institutions (MI'S), and various federal and state agencies. Mr. Flowers and his cadre of instructors have been key facilitators for SBA's National 7(j) Basic CEO Training Program across all SBA regions. He has published several cost proposal manuals and has designed numerous cost proposal interactive spreadsheets in digital format for RGFCC's CPE credit courses.

Mr. Flowers has a BS Degree in Business Administration; extensive graduate studies in Financial Management and Supervision; Certificates in Government Cost Accounting and Fundamentals of Indirect Rates from the George Washington Law School. He is a member of the National Contract Management Association, National 8(a) Association, and various other business related organizations.



Joshua_FrankManaging Partner
Powered By Outsourcing (PBO)

Mr. Frank is Managing Partner at Powered By Outsourcing (PBO), a Federal consulting and business-acceleration strategy firm that helps small and medium-sized businesses differentiate, shape, position and win Government contracts. Mr. Frank is a small business expert with more than 20 years in the Federal space and a highly acclaimed speaker on small business techniques, strategies and acceleration. He is author of The Government Sales Manual, utilized nationwide by hundreds of businesses and considered one of the most comprehensive and educational small business resources on the market. Mr. Frank also serves as Executive Director for the Secure Access Coalition, a Washington D.C. not-for-profit coalition, providing members with a platform to influence the legislative and executive branches of the Federal government. Mr. Frank managed MasterCard Worldwide's $2.2 billion DoD portfolio in Washington DC and has designed capture management strategies for small businesses across multiple industries.

Mr. Frank is a former military intelligence officer and is a graduate of Webster University with a Masters in Management Information Systems (MIS) in addition to a Masters in Business Administration from the Walker School of Business.



Eric_Gass_webPurchasing Manager
Turner Construction

 As a Purchasing Manager for Turner Construciton, Eric Gass has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry as a general contractor and owner's representative. He has been highly successful both in operation and project management as well as in his current role of leading the purchasing and subcontracting efforts for many of Turner Construction's large federal hospital projects. Eric is the primary author and developer of Turner's Diamond Plan, a program praised by members of USACE, NSA, and the VA for its focus, culture, depth and commitment to creating true opportunities for Small, Veteran, and Disadvantaged Businesses.

Eric is a Graduate of West Point and was awarded the Bronze Star in the 1st Gulf War as an Armor Officer in the United States Army.



FMGaston & Associates, LLC

Felicia Gaston has over 30 years experience in developing and implementing highly successful business relationships within the federal government market space. This experience includes preparing customer focused business communication documents, including the preparation of successful Technical Proposals – responses to major government and commercial Requests for Proposal.

Ms. Gaston delivers hands on training seminars – nationwide – designed to equip small businesses to prepare complete and compliant Technical Proposals, and has served as workshop presenter for small business and higher education institutions outreach sessions sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, OSDBU, the NIH/National Cancer Institute, and SMARTPROC.

Ms. Gaston is the president of FMGaston & Associates LLC (FMGA), a minority woman-owned consulting firm that coaches small businesses, Institutions of Higher Education and non-profit organizations to successfully develop and implement strategies to capture and retain federal government business.

Ms. Gaston has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Fisk University (Nashville, TN) and a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling and Student Personnel Administration from The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH).



Goldschmitt and Associates LLC

Marc Goldschmitt, founder and CEO of Goldschmitt and Associates LLC, provides governance, PMO, Portfolio and Program/Project management support to Federal Government and commercial clients. A Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), decorated Navy Veteran and pilot, Mr. Goldschmitt has been active in the Federal Acquisition community for more than 30 years.

As a passionate veterans advocate, Mr. Goldschmitt has been active through Veterans organizations, such as VET Force and the National Veterans Small Business Coalition. A Verified SDVOSB, Mr. Goldschmitt has been directly and actively involved with CVE verification issues since its inception.



Gus_Grace_webSenior Business Development Officer
Director, Veterans Relations
Seminar Manager, City/ State Program Manager
Export Import Bank of U.S., Washington DC

Augustine Grace is a Director of Veterans Relations and Senior Business Development Officer at the Export Import Bank in Washington D.C. The Business Development Group provides a number of out-reach services to Veterans, banks and exporters inform them of Ex-Im Banks programs and to encourage their use of these services.

Mr. Grace has primary responsibility for Veterans Relations and the training seminars at Ex-Im Bank, as a training coordinator and lecturer. He has responsibility for outreach to Veteran Owned businesses and developed marketing programs and outreach efforts to promote the bank's programs.

Augustine Grace has held a number of positions at the Export Import Bank in Washington D.C. He was formerly a Marketing Officer providing guidance to exporters, buyers and bankers on all Ex-Im Bank programs. His forte is international lending, and he has spent most of his tenure as a loan officer lending to public and private sector entities in Latin America.

Mr. Grace received his B.S. degree in Mathematics from Central Connecticut State University in 1966. After a three year tour of duty in the Army, he joined the field of international banking in New York. He was awarded his M.B.A. from Fordham University in 1981. He also obtained a graduate degree from Stonier Graduate School of Banking (Rutgers University) in June 1981.



CFO Leasing, Inc.

Kevin Grimes is a Compliance Consultant with CFO Leasing, Inc. CFO Leasing specializes in Federal Contracting and assists businesses with proposal writing, GSA Schedules, DCAA compliance, training, staffing, and the services necessary to secure contracts/grants. Over the last year, CFO Leasing has helped companies secure over $500M ($.5Billion) in federal contracts. CFO Leasing has a global client base that includes clients in the U.S., Iraq, Dubai, Germany, Afghanistan, and Western Asia.

Mr. Grimes specializes in DCAA compliance and accounting system implementations and migrations. He has studied over 300 hours of DCAA curriculum provided by the Defense Contract Audit Institute (DCAI). He teaches federal contract courses through Georgia Tech (GA), Wayne State University (MI), New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and the Wharton School of Business SBDC (PA).

Mr. Grimes is a veteran of the elite United States Navy Nuclear Submarine Force and is widely held as the youngest person in U.S. Naval History to graduate #1 in Nuclear Submarine School (BESS). Mr. Grimes earned a Master's Degree in Accounting from Florida Metropolitan University and has pursued doctoral studies in business leadership. Mr. Grimes has been featured in media outlets nationally, including, Black Enterprise Magazine, Crain's Detroit, VIBE, The Atlanta Business Chronicle and The Dolphin.



Office of Small Business Programs
Office of the Undersecretary of Defense
Acquisition, Technology & Logistics
U.S. Department of Defense

Mr. Andre J. Gudger was appointed as the Director of the Office of Small Business Programs in March 2011. Mr. Gudger serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense on small business matters.

Mr. Gudger's career spans more than 15 years in the defense, intelligence, and investment banking industries. Previously, Mr. Gudger worked on key technical and financial initiatives with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Union Bank of Switzerland, and AT&T.

From 2003‐2009, Mr. Gudger served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Solvern Innovations, a corporate entity which provided acquisition support and cyber solutions through training, research, and innovation. During this period, Solvern Innovations provided software development and commercialization through technology transfer to the Human Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland College Park. In 2009, Solvern Innovations was acquired by TeleCommunication Systems where Mr. Gudger served as the Senior Vice President of the Cyber Intelligence division.

Mr. Gudger currently serves on several boards throughout the region, including the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the Maryland BRAC Small & Minority Business Advisory Board, and the Cyber Advisory Council.

Mr. Gudger received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. He received his Master in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he had the opportunity to study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Tec de Monterrey in Mexico, FundacaoVargus University in Brazil, and Gdansk University in Poland.




Halfaker and Associates

Chief Executive Officer F. Dawn Halfaker founded Halfaker and Associates in January 2006 in response to the radically changing business environment brought on by the growing need for dynamic consultants with specialized experience to provide national security services to the Federal Government. Captain (Ret) Dawn Halfaker has extensive management experience as a Military Police Officer in the United States Army. She was subsequently wounded during a combat patrol near Baghdad in 2004, earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for her service.

Dawn remains very active with veteran's affairs and is a member of many of the veteran's service organizations and serves on various advisory committees. Specifically, Dawn serves as the Vice President of the Wounded Warrior Project Board of Directors. Additionally, Dawn served on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Committee for OIF/OEF soldiers and families and is actively serving on the Secretary of Labor's Advisory Committee for Veterans Employer Training and Employer Outreach and the Department of Veteran Affairs Readjustment Committee.

Dawn holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Arts in Security Studies from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.



Marylyn_Harris_webFounder and Executive Director
Women Veterans Business Center

Marylyn Harris is the President and CEO of Harrland Healthcare Consulting, LLC, a Healthcare Management Consulting Company, headquartered in Houston, Texas. Harrland provides customized Staffing and Training Solutions to individuals, corporations, not-for-profits, military and Government entities domestically and abroad. Harrland is a certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business, Texas Historically Underutilized Business (TX-HUB) and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE). Marylyn served in the US Army for eleven (11) years and during the Gulf War in support of Operation Desert Storm.

Marylyn is a long-time Veterans Advocate and serves as Executive Director of The Veterans Information and Resource Project (The VIP Project)/dba Women Veterans Business Center, a Texas-based non-profit organization that educates Veterans and Military Families. The VIP Project/WVBC Services include, OUTREACH/Networking Events, Business Training/Women Veterans Business Bootcamps and low cost Business Consulting Services. The VIP Project publishes the Award Winning Veterans Resource Guide, '25 FREE Resources EVERY Texas Veteran Needs To Know.'

Marylyn holds advanced degrees in Nursing (MSN) and Business Administration (MBA), is a 2010 graduate of the Florida State University School of Business Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (FSU-EBV) and serves on the SBA National Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs.




Procurement Outreach Program (POP)
Nevada Commission on Economic Development

Mr. Horn manages the Nevada Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) created under a cooperative agreement between the Department of Defense and the state of Nevada. The center focuses primarily on education, marketing, and technical assistance for Nevada firms interested or currently involved with the government/corporate contract marketplaces and their specific programs.

Mr. Horn has a total of 44 years of government contracting experience; which encompasses 20 years military, 10 years private sector and 14 years directing PTAC activities. Mr. Horn is a dynamic leader with 41 years of supervisory experience and holds a Contract Management degree and a Procurement Assistance Professional certification.



Advantage Consulting

Sid Jaffe is President of Advantage Consulting, Inc., which is located in Northern Virginia. The company, established in 1992, has worked with more than 1,600 Government Contractors. The practice focuses on providing clients with solutions relating to business development, marketing, federal proposal support, professional training, strategic planning and support of M&A activities. The company is best known for providing Business Development, Capture Management and Proposal training and support to technical professionals, having trained over 16,000 people in business relationship and acquisition techniques. Mr. Jaffe specializes in assisting contractors entering the market in developing strategic and tactical approaches and then assisting in the development of teams to pursue specific agencies, commands and opportunities. Prior to co-founding Advantage Consulting, Sid had a 17-year career as a National Account Manager for AT&T. He has spoken at many business organizations and has been a featured guest on nationally televised business shows. Sid has served on the International Board of the ACG, a premier M&A organization, and is a Past-President of the ACG National Capital Chapter. He has served as Vice President of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and has chaired committees of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the George Mason University Century Club.



Billy_Jenkins_webVeterans Procurement Liaison
Office of Veterans Business Development
U.S. Small Business Administration 

Mr. Jenkins serves as the Veterans Procurement Liaison for the SBA. Responsible for the delivery of the U.S. Government's Veteran's Procurement Program for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB's) as required by Executive Order 13360. During his tenure as a Veterans Procurement Liaison, the number of agencies accomplishing the minimum 3% goal has increased.

Mr. Jenkins has a 35 year career with the SBA and four years with the US Air Force. He spent 28 years of his career as a contract specialist, procurement analyst, after which he obtained a position as the Senior Contracting Officer for the SBA headquarters in Washington, DC.

Mr. Jenkins often conducts workshops and presentations at Veteran Business Outreach events for Federal Government agencies, and other business organizations all across the nation. He has proven to be one of the most effective and pronounced spoke-person for veteran business owners.

He has achieved many awards for his volunteer work, including:

  • Certificate for Outstanding Contributions to the White House Conference on Small Businesses from the President of the United States in 1980.
  • Certificate for Outstanding Contributions, Professionalism and Commitment to the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program in 2009, from USDA. 



Tony_Jimenez_webPresident & CEO

Tony Jimenez is the founder and President & CEO of MicroTech — the national "Public Sector Integrator of the Year." A trailblazer in Government Technology, Tony was named to the 2010 "Federal 100" — significantly influencing how the government uses Information Technology.

A decorated military veteran and passionate advocate for the Veteran community, Tony has testified before Congress about Veteran-Owned-Business rights. He has received a multitude of industry honors, including being named Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year; CEO of the Year; a Minority Business Legend; Veteran Small Business Champion; Top CEO Philanthropist; one of "The 25 Most Powerful Minority Men in Business," and among the "Most Influential Hispanics in Technology."

He has been profiled in the media by CNN, Business Week, INC. Magazine, American Legion, Veterans Business Journal, Washington Technology, CRN, Hispanic Engineer, The Connection Newspapers, Hispanic Executive, Washington Business Journal, and Hispanic Business.

Tony is a board member of the American Red Cross of the National Capital Region. His business is recognized as the No. 1 Veteran-Owned Business in the Washington area. He is a member of the Department of Commerce National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise and has lent advice to Presidents Obama and Bush on national economic issues.



Percell_Johnson_webPresident & CEO
Cassel Incorporated

Percell Johnson is the owner and CEO of Cassel Incorporated, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business. Cassel was founded in 1989 and provides global customized packaging solutions. Currently, Cassel has over 150 employees with offices in Washington State, New York, Shanghai China, and Shenzhen China. Marquee clients of Cassel include Proctor & Gamble, RR Donnelley, Nordstrom, and the University of Washington. Cassel has been honored with various awards, including the Minority Supplier/Distributer firm of the year by the San Francisco Regional MED Week in 2006.

Percell strongly believes in giving back to the community, and has been the president of the Lenny Wilkens Foundation for fifteen years. The Lenny Wilkens Foundation benefits the Odessa Brown Children's Clinic (OBCC), a satellite of Children's Hospital. Percell was the former chair of the Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee of the Northwest Minority Supplier Development Council. Percell has also served on advisory boards of many different organizations including the Business and Economic Development Center (BEDC) at the University of Washington, The Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and Rainier Scholars, among others.



Tom_Leney_webExecutive Director
Small and Veteran Business Programs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Thomas (Tom) Leney serves as the Executive Director for Small and Veteran Business Programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he is responsible for programs that promote small business participation in VA contracting, with special emphasis on service-disabled and other Veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs and VOSBs). Mr. Leney is a member of the United States Senior Executive Service.

Prior to his government service, Mr. Leney gained practical insight into the opportunities and challenges facing small businesses through his leadership in two successful small businesses, Evolver, Inc., and Professional and Scientific Associates. His personal experience as a government contractor has enabled Mr. Leney to mentor small businesses on the complexities of government contacting. His earlier work at Winrock International and the United Nations Foundation overseeing the development of projects to support the U.S. Government and the United Nations around the world has given him an understanding of the complexities of partnership development on many levels.

Mr. Leney is a Veteran of the United States Army, serving from 1973 to 1995. He led an armored cavalry squadron in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 and was the Chief, Strategic Plans and Policy for the Department of the Army. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. He holds a Maser of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University.



David_Leonard_webSenior Area Manager
U.S. Small Business Administration, Nevada

David Leonard is the Senior Area Manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in Nevada and responsible for the delivery of all SBA programs and services to new and existing small business owners in Nevada outside Clark county. His office is located in Reno at 745 W. Moana Lane.

During his SBA career, David has served as SBA chief of economic development in Alabama, SBA chief of finance and portfolio management in Georgia, SBA surety bond chief for Area II that included 18 states, a national examiner of SBA preferred lenders throughout the U.S. and its territories, and a disaster loan officer. David has an MBA in finance and international business from Georgia State University.



Sue_Malone_webPresident, Strategies for Small Business
Director, Marketing
Superior Financial Group

Superior Financial Group is the number one lender under the SBA Patriot Express Program. Sue's involvement began with the program's inception in 2007. Every year since the beginning, Superior Financial Group has been the number one Patriot Express lender by volume. Last year SFG funded 751 Patriot Express Loans with the second largest funding 122 loans. In addition, SFG funded 537 veteran loans with the second closest funding 186. We are here to help our veterans and their families. In addition Sue has been involved with the Entrepreneurship Book Camp for Veterans with Disabilities and has chaired the finance panel at the annual Veterans Affairs Small Business Conference. She works tirelessly to give our veterans and their spouses an opportunity to obtain capital so they can be successful entrepreneurs. "Bring us your hero's their victories bring freedom to all of us."



Pam_Mazza_webManaging Partner
PilieroMazza, LLC

Pamela Mazza is the managing partner of PilieroMazza PLLC a Washington DC law firm representing small to mid-sized government contractors nationwide. The firm's practice areas include Government Contracts Law, Business and Corporate Law, Small Business Programs, Labor and Employment Law, Government Relations Services, Intellectual Property Law, Native American Law, Trade Association Law and Litigation.

Ms. Mazza's practice areas include counseling in general business matters, government contracts, government relations and all aspects of the SBA programs. Ms. Mazza has a national reputation on small business issues and is a frequent speaker and panelist on procurement and small business matters. She also conducts in house training for corporations on small business government contracting issues.

Ms. Mazza serves as general counsel for the Small Environmental Business Action Coalition, the National Veterans Small Business Coalition, the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation. She serves on the Chamber's GovConNet Council and is an instructor for the Foundation's Veterans Institute for Procurement. She is a member of the M&T Bank's Greater Baltimore/Washington Director's Advisory Council, the Professional Services Council and Women Impacting Public Policy.



Porcelain on Steel

Donna McAleer is an award-winning author of Porcelain on Steel: Women of West Point's Long Gray Line who speaks and writes on the topics of leadership, strong role models, team building and boundary breaking. Donna has studied and practiced leadership for more than twenty years as a 1987 West Point graduate, Army Officer, business leader, non-profit executive director, high school and youth coach, and national bobsled team member. She earned an MBA at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration of the University of Virginia

Following her successful career in both the public and private sectors, Donna became an active board member, serving on three alumni boards at West Point, as well as being a founding member of Journeys Within Our Communities.

Donna is an avid outdoor enthusiast, with a particular passion for skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, hiking, golfing and traveling. She is a PSIA and ACE Level 2 ski instructor at Deer Valley Ski Resort in Park City, Utah, and served on the board of directors of the Professional Ski Instructors of America – Intermountain Division..




Rod_McKinley_webSenior Vice President
Strategic Partnerships

Rod McKinley provides strategic leadership, business development, and marketing support for MicroTech with a focus on government consulting and IT network, services, solutions, and products. He identifies and qualifies business opportunities in all stages of the business life cycle and develops strategies, plans, and actions to successfully assist clients and industry partners in developing and delivering best value, best practice solutions. He leads activities by identifying winning themes, ensuring clients' needs and requirements are met, expanding capabilities, and targeting new business areas.

After an impressive Air Force career, his final assignment was as the 15th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (CMSAF). He represented the highest enlisted level of leadership, and as such, provided direction for the enlisted corps and represented their interests, as appropriate, to the American public, and to those in all levels of government. He served as the personal adviser to the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Air Force on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, and proper utilization and progress of the enlisted force.

Mr. McKinley has a Bachelor's in human resource management from Saint Leo College, FL and a Master's in human relations from the University of Oklahoma.




Mr. Mehan has extensive entrepreneurial experience with over 23 years of proven industry vision in the Federal sector. Mr. Mehan single handedly developed what the Federal industry sector acclaims as the "most serious game-changing business development tool" ever built for the Federal sector.

As the successful founder and owner of FEDMINE, Mr. Mehan specializes in all aspects of running the firm, from researching Federal data sets pertaining to Federal contracts, grants and Federal business opportunities, to fine-tuning the database architecture, and managing all aspects of software development.

Mr. Mehan has extensive experience in the use and analyzing of Federal contract data sets, and he frequently speaks on innovative methods of doing business with the Federal government. Prior to FEDMINE, Mr. Mehan was the founder and CEO of SMAC Data Systems, Gaithersburg, MD, a company that was in business from early 1990 through 2002 with revenues close to $30 Million.

Mr. Mehan holds an M.B.A. in Information Systems, with a major in Expert Systems from Marymount University, Arlington, VA. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree in 1978, and studied in Salzburg, Austria before coming to the U.S. in 1984. In early 2011, Mr. Mehan was accepted amongst the prestigious ranks of Stanford's Who's Who list, and is the chief sponsor of The Murray J. Schooner Award for Veteran Owned Businesses.




Troy Mizell founded AvKARE in March 2007, a Service Disabled – Veteran Owned Small Business, headquartered in Pulaski, TN. AvKARE's core business is the supply and development of healthcare products to include pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and equipment. Mr. Mizell is an innovative and motivated sales professional with over 14 years experience in business development, sales and product development. He has an extensive background in business management, team building and marketing.

Troy served in the US Army (Infantry) from 1985 to 1994. In addition to serving in the 101st Airborne Division, he supported the logistical and tactical needs of the NATO Commanding General's deployed Tactical Operational Command Center in Germany. In these duties Mr. Mizell gained vast experience in project development, logistics planning and team leadership. After the military he studied mechanical engineering manufacturing and worked in various positions in product development, quality control and manufacturing production.

Mr. Mizell also served as President of Homeowners Financial in mortgage banking for 7 years where he managed compliance and business development. He is very passionate about and devoted to the training and business development of all veteran and service disabled veteran entrepreneurs.



Jim_Moody_webChief Operating Officer
Veterans Enterprise Technology Solutions, Inc.

Mr. Jim Moody, co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of Veterans Enterprise Technology Solutions (VETS), Inc., is a very successful small business owner. A retired U.S. Naval officer, Mr. Moody has over 22 years of business development experience for small and large businesses. VETS, Inc., a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), specializes in providing IT support services, program management, administrative support, acquisition, and intelligence analysis support services to Government clients. Under Mr. Moody's leadership, VETS, Inc has experienced significant growth since its' founding in 2005. Based on 2009 revenues, VETS, Inc was ranked #218 by Inc. Magazine's 2010 List of America's Fastest Growing Privately Owned companies. VETS, Inc revenue tripled again in 2010 and has again been nominated for the Inc 500 List. Having just completed its' 6th year, VETS, Inc is on target to perform over $60 million dollars in revenue during 2011.

Mr. Moody is also a co-owner and President of CPS VETS, Inc., a successful SDVOSB and Small Business Administration (SBA) certified HUBZone Small Business. CPS VETS, Inc. specializes in providing IT support services, program management, and consulting support services to Government clients.

Mr. Moody is a founding Board Member of the National Veterans Small Business Coalition (NVSBC).



James_Nicols_webSenior Business Development Specialist
SDVOSB Coordinator
Business Development, Customer Outreach & Vendor Support Branch
GSA/Federal Acquisition Service

Mr. James Nicols currently serves as Senior Business Development Specialist for the Business Development, Customer Outreach & Vendor Support Branch in Region 2 of GSA's Federal Acquisition Service.

In this role, he oversees all business development and contractor support efforts for more than 1300 GSA Schedule contract holders who provide an extensive portfolio of product and service offerings under GSAs Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program. He also provides pre-Award and business development advisory assistance to hundreds of small and mid-tier businesses through his leadership role in GSA's 21 Gun Salute Initiative. This program is GSAs national initiative to promote business opportunities for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs).

Mr. Nicols, a Vietnam-era and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF/Afghanistan) veteran, brings more than 30 years of Government Business Development experience to his position. As a dual-hatted Cryptology/Intelligence Officer in the Naval Reserve, Jim retired in 2004 as a LCDR after a long career with the Program Support Office of NSA's Special Operations Branch. Mr. Nicols is also a former Foreign Service Officer with the Intelligence & Research Branch of the US State Department having served in Moscow, Warsaw, Europe and the Middle East. Mr. Nicols also spearheaded veteran outreach efforts for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VISN3), in Manhattan before joining GSA in 1995, and was responsible for targeting NYCs under-served veteran population, eventually increasing VISN3s health care and benefits enrollment by more than 3000 veterans.




Paulsen Productions

Gerald Paulsen is the President/CEO of Paulsen Productions, Inc. (VOSB), which he founded in 1994. An Army veteran, Mr. Paulsen is now a very successful and respected business owner, internationally recognized expert in the field of professional development, and published author. His company conducts customized professional development programs throughout the world, and has operations in the United States, Brazil, Guam and China.

Mr. Paulsen works with federal and state governments, coaches Fortune 500's & assists small companies worldwide. Mr. Paulsen is a mentor to many veteran business owners, and is involved in many veteran associations around the country, serving on many of their boards and lending his expertise.

Gerald now resides in Guam several months a year operating Guam Business Discovery, a division of Paulsen Productions, hosting discovery/networking trade missions for businesses looking to expand and grow with the $30 billion military buildup related to the relocation of the Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

He is the recipient of the 2008 United States Small Business Administration Veteran Business Champion of the Year Award and for his commitment and dedication to the people of Guam, he received the Ancient Order of the Chamorri from the Government of Guam, their highest honor.



Bridget_Pulivarti_webPractice Director
Government Contracting & Recruitment
Helios HR

Bridget Pulivarti is the Practice Director for Government Contracting and Recruitment at Helios HR. Bridget brings an expertise in the field of talent acquisition and retention, technology and government contracting compliance. She has managed employee claims and grievances as well as compliance audits from the Department of Labor including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Department of Labor (Wage and Hour) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). To date, Bridget has designed and delivered nearly 175 Affirmative Action Plans, and participated in over twenty successful OFCCP compliance and discrimination audits.

Bridget has also developed and managed full-life-cycle recruiting programs, adding headcount, back-filling, top-grading talent, and contract start-ups. Her government contracting recruiting experiences include both CONUS and OCONUS, cleared and non- cleared positions.

She graduated cum laude and holds a B.A. in Organizational Communication from Concordia University Wisconsin with a concentration in organization development. She also holds her SPHR certification.



Mid-Atlantic Region
Clifton Gunderson, LLP

A new addition to the Mid-Atlantic team, Tim leads the firm's Mid-Atlantic Regional Tax Services Practice based in Baltimore, and has a wealth of experience serving clients in the manufacturing, technology and service industries, both publicly-traded and closely-held business entities with operations in multiple locations. He has been a corporate tax consultant for 18 years, which includes 11 years of experience with a leading international public accounting firm. His well-rounded career gives Tim key insights that enable him to advise all types of clients on a wide variety of high-level tax and business issues including complex corporate tax planning and structuring, tax accounting, R&D tax credits, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate international tax. Prior to Tim's career in public accounting, he served as a United States Marine for 11 years.



Al_Saxon_webSr. Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Vision Technologies, Inc.

An early member of the Vision Technologies executive team, Al Saxon has directed the development and implementation of the highly successful sales & marketing strategies for the past 11 years. Al led the company's transition from a commercial-only company to federal contractor with tremendous results. In the relatively short span of 5 years, Vision Technologies has grown from a solid $18 Million commercial company to an $80 Million IT Integrator supporting a wide variety of federal clients in both the civilian and DoD markets. Al is responsible for the development of Vision Technologies' Schedule 70 contract, and led the company's efforts to secure the VETS GWAC contract in both functional areas. While securing contracts in excess of $50 Million using the Schedule 70, and over $160 Million on the VETS GWAC, Vision Technologies has established a record of flawless performance, project execution and providing an outstanding customer experience.

Vision Technologies has been recognized as one of Entrepreneur Magazine's Hottest Companies in the US, CRN Magazine's Top 20 Fastest Growing VARs for 2010, and as an Inc 5000 company for the last 4 years in a row. Al leads the efforts of the company in support of a variety of veteran and service-disabled veteran causes.



Penan & Scott, P.C

James Scott, Jr., CPA is a founding partner of PENAN & SCOTT, P.C., an accounting and financial consultant firm located in Rockville, Maryland.

Mr. Scott is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants; District of Columbia Institute of Certified Public Accountants; and Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. He also is a member of the National Veterans Small Business Coalition, and a board member of a community bank in Maryland.

Mr. Scott has extensive experience negotiating directly with DCAA and other cognizant government contractor auditing agencies to resolve rate and contract issues. He has significant experience with auditing financial statements of closely held, non-public companies, with a specialty in government contractors. He also assists clients with sophisticated tax and business planning, structuring merger and sale transactions capital infusion and bank financing.

Mr. Scott received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting - Cum Laude - from the University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland. He began his career with Ernst & Young, after serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps.



Stephanie_Sherwood_webCorporate SB Program Manager/SBLO
Weston Solutions, Inc.

Stephanie began her federal procurement career in 1991 as a Subcontract Administrator for Westinghouse Idaho Nuclear Co. and Lockheed Martin at the Idaho National Laboratory, a US Department of Energy Nuclear Facility. She continued her career in Honolulu, HI developing contracts/procurement procedures and implementing vendor management guidelines for American Savings Bank, a subsidiary of HEI. Stephanie oversaw the bank's Vendor Management Program and ensured compliance with the US Treasury Department's OTS reporting requirements. In 2005, Stephanie began employment with Weston as a Subcontracts Manager in Honolulu, HI. She managed Weston's subcontracts for federal task orders in Weston's Pacific Division, South Korea, and Japan. Since January 2007, Stephanie has managed Weston's Small Business Program and served as Small Business Liaison Officer. Weston's SB Program encompasses federal contracts for many DoD and Civilian Agencies, in addition to State and Local Government, and Commercial Clients. Stephanie's role at Weston is two-fold: 1) assisting Program Managers and Subcontract Managers with market research, strategic sourcing, and opportunities with qualified SB firms while further promoting SB subcontracting goal attainment and 2) serving the Small Business Community through outreach and networking, counseling, and mentoring assistance. Stephanie presently serves on the DoD Mid-Atlantic Regional Council for Small Business Advocacy and the SAME Philadelphia Post's Small Business Committee.



Office of Small Business Utilization
U.S. General services Administration

Pamela Smtih-Cressel is the Director for the Office of Small Business Utilization for the GSA. Ms. Smith-Cressel has been employed with the U.S. Federal Government for 26 years. During those years, she has worked with the Internal Revenue Services Department, United States Air Force, U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Naval Weapons Station.

Ms. Smith-Cressel meets with lead procurement officials on a regular basis to develop new acquisition strategies that will afford small businesses an opportunity to provide services in areas where there participation has been minimal.

Ms. Smith-Cressel works tirelessly as an advocate to increase procurement opportunities for small, minority, veteran, service disabled and woman-owned businesses in California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. Her passion is to help bridge the gap between Federal Government and aspiring entrepreneurs. She has been an instructor at local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), where she teaches entrepreneurs how to become successful Government contractors. She hosts monthly GSA Schedules workshops and attend Small Business roundtables, procurement conferences and more.

She also serves as a board member on GSA Child Care Centers and an officer on the Department of Defense Western Region Council for Small Business Education and Advocacy, provides pertinent information by participating in seminars, workshops, and individual counseling.



Michelle_Stratton_webSmall Business Deputy
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Sacramento District

Ms. Stratton started her Federal career in August 1981 at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, CA. In 1995, she was accepted into the Copper Cap Contracting Program through Randolph Air Force Base. After working at McClellan AFB for 19 years – upon base closure, Ms. Stratton accepted a position in the Small Business Office at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Ms. Stratton has been the Small Business Deputy for the Sacramento District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since 2000. The Small Business Office is responsible for coordinating set-aside acquisitions with the SBA and contracting officers. The SBO office is responsible for serving eight western states and awards on an annual basis over $300 Million dollars to small businesses. As the deputy, Ms. Stratton uses outreach fairs, capability briefings and conferences to develop sources for the different categories awarded by the Sacramento District.

Ms. Stratton graduated from University of San Francisco in 1995 with a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration. She also holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Management from American River College.

Ms. Stratton is a Sustaining Member in Society of American Military Engineers, and a long time member of the National Contracting Management Association. She is also a board member of the Dept. of Defense Western Regional Small Business Council.




DAN_STURDIVANT_033_5X7Outreach Programs
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Dan Sturdivant serves as the Assistant Director for Outreach and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business Coordinator; OSDBU,     U. S. Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Sturdivant is responsible for policy, strategic planning, outreach and the development and oversight of DHS's small business programs (including, Minority, Women-Owned, Veterans, & HUBZone firms). Additionally, at Homeland Security, Mr. Sturdivant is also responsible for the implementation of the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business set-aside Program; serves as the DHS, OSDBU liaison to the Congressional Black Caucus; keeping them apprised of the DHS small business programs, goals & achievements, new initiatives and continuous outreach efforts and activities.

One of Mr. Sturdivant's most effective & innovative outreach activities is one that he created in 1994, while at the Department of Treasury, which is called Vendor Outreach Sessions or VOS. This unique concept allows the small business community access to the DHS component Small Business Specialists, "IT" Program Managers, or prime contractors, once a month, via prearranged 15 minute appointments. The appointments, which are made online, provide the vendors with a future "onsite" opportunity to discuss their capabilities and learn of potential procurement opportunities. DHS held its first Vendor Outreach Session October of 2003.




Mark_Thomas_webManaging Counsel
Reid Law PC

Mark R. "Hawk" Thomas is Managing Partner at Reid Law PC, where he represents small businesses seeking to establish, protect, or enhance their presence in federal markets. Colonel Thomas is an attorney, engineer, aviator, author, and distinguished military officer with more than twenty‐five years combined experience in federal technology development, government contracting, and legal advocacy. His practice is exclusively tailored to guiding clients through the legal complexities, bureaucratic barriers, technical challenges, and business decisions inherent to transactions and disputes involving commercial enterprises and federal agencies. Colonel Thomas provides clients with specialized legal counsel arising from a unique confluence of senior acquisition credentials, broad technology expertise, seasoned business acumen, and focused legal skills, together with the intrinsic synergy and superior value arising from these qualifications in a single advisor. He earned his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he was a Ben S. Wendelken scholar and served as Business Editor of the Denver University Law Review. Colonel Thomas holds graduate degrees in business and military operations, along with postgraduate credentials in defense systems management, national security strategy, and federal procurement policy. A critically acclaimed national speaker on small business federal contract law, he has authored and presented numerous papers across a diverse spectrum of engineering, military, and legal topics.



Whitman Veteran Outreach Programs
Whitman School of Management
Syracuse University

Ray Toenniessen is the director of Veteran Outreach Programs at Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management and a former Army Officer. He is also the National Managing Director of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) Program. More than 300 wounded warriors have graduated from the EBV program since its inception in 2007, and the program is now being offered on seven college campuses across the U.S.

Ray completed his BA in International Relations at Syracuse University and is completing his MBA at the Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Ray has spoken at numerous veteran events, wounded warrior units and military hospital's around the country about entrepreneurship as a transition strategy. Over the past year, Ray has worked to develop and implement a full portfolio of educational and training programs in entrepreneurship and small business management offered to military personnel, veterans and their families.



Bill_Webster_webAssistant Commissioner
Office of Travel, Motor Vehicle and Card Services
Federal Acquisition Service
U.S. General Services Administration

Mr. Webster is the Assistant Commissioner for Travel, Motor Vehicle, and Card Services (TMVCS) in the Federal Acquisition Service within GSA. In this position, Mr. Webster oversees the procurement and delivery of over $35 billion worth of travel, motor vehicles and purchase card services. Among his responsibilities are the Airline City Pair program, providing the Federal government cost avoidance and savings of approximately $6 billion; GSA SmartPay purchase, travel, and fleet cards, valued at $30 billion; vehicle purchases of $1.4 billion; and the leasing of 214,000 motor vehicles to Federal agencies valued at $1.3 billion.

As the Assistant Commissioner for TMVCS, Mr. Webster was chosen as the Designated Senior Executive in Charge of Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Initiatives for GSA. One of the main initiatives of this effort is the 21 Gun Salute, which is divided into seven areas that include Awareness, Advocacy, Innovation, Training, Recognition, Accountability, and Partnerships. The 21 Gun Salute is designed to help GSA to meet and exceed the 3% contracting goal with SDVOSBs.

Mr. Webster served as the Director of GSA Fleet from 1998-2007, overseeing vehicles in the U.S., Europe, and Central America. Mr. Webster was also the Deputy Executive Director for GSA's Public Buildings Service. His other positions include Customer Service, Logistics, Procurement, Property Management, and Financial Management in the former Federal Supply Service and Public Buildings Service



FRANK_WICKERSHAM_webVice President
Corporate Responsibility
VSE Corporation

Currently Mr. Wickersham serves as a Vice President with VSE Corporation, Alexandria, Virginia. He was promoted to Vice President, Corporate Responsibility (Veterans Outreach) during the summer of 2009. He designed, developed and deployed VSE's Veterans Outreach Program. These VSE sponsored programs currently reach 35,000 veterans and supporters. Additionally, VSE volunteers have been trained and are now mentoring Wounded Warriors in several locations across the country.

Before entering the private sector, Mr. Wickersham completed a 27 year career in the United States Marine Corps.

VETS 2019 is focused on one thing—the success of your Veteran-owned Small Business. Will you be a part of the conversation?