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Hanscom PEOs lauded for small business practices

Posted 8/6/2014   Updated 8/6/2014 Email story   Print story

    


by Justin Oakes
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


8/6/2014 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Two Hanscom program executive officers were recently recognized at the Air Force level for their contributions and efforts within the small business community.

Maj. Gen. Craig Olson, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks PEO and Steven Wert, Battle Management PEO, were two of four recipients of this year's Director's Outstanding Senior Leader Small Business Achievement Award.

The award is given to those who have demonstrated leadership towards achieving small business goals, established a program climate responsive to small business concerns and routinely incorporated small business awareness, outreach and support within their assigned missions.

"I couldn't be more proud of the men and women who make up our battle management programs," said Wert. "Through their hard work, I see firsthand the benefits that come from small business contracting, namely increased competition, enhanced industrial base capability, lower prices and ultimately better performance within the programs."

The battle management PEO attributed part of the success to a high emphasis on outreach.

Over the course of last year, Wert met with more than 50 small businesses on a one-on-one basis to discuss opportunities to work on the myriad programs he oversees.

Other outreach efforts included: a Defense Technology Initiative CEO Roundtable, an event attended by many industry CEOs and the lead for the Small Business Association of New England; a small business reverse matchmaker; an all-day event featuring briefings from 24 businesses; and a keynote address during a Hanscom Representatives Association meeting, an organization comprised mostly of small businesses that do or seek to do business with the Air Force.

While outreach efforts contributed to the director's high honor, it all came down to performance.

A directorate such as battle management that is comprised of several large acquisition programs is not traditionally conducive to small business prime contracting due to the size, scope, complexity and capabilities required.

However, "Mr. Wert took several measures that led to impressive success in increasing small business prime contracts," said Bill Donaldson, Small Business director at Hanscom. "His strategies have paved the way for marked increases in small business prime contracting for fiscal year 2014 and beyond."

In fact, the PEO stressed small business prime contracts and set-asides in every acquisition panel. Battle Management team members reviewed every contract action within the directorate and investigated the potential for small business participation both as prime and subcontractors. Some of the programs where this approach was used include Force Protection Security Services, Air Force Distributed Common Ground System Sustainment Support and C2 Air Operations Suite.

Wert's Battle Management Directorate obligated more than $127 million to small business contracts alone and surpassed its performance goal by approximately 43 percent for the year.

However, it wasn't solely Wert and the Battle Management team that received high honors from Air Staff. Olson who heads the C3I and Networks organization was also named among the winners.

"It's a great honor to receive this recognition," said Olson. "The men and women of the C3I and Networks Directorate do an outstanding job of supporting small businesses and, by doing so, strengthen our industrial base and ensure we deliver superior capabilities to our warfighters."

The C3I and Networks PEO emphasized small business awareness and fostered an environment for feedback during several events specifically aimed at small businesses.

A small business forum was held where potential and current contractors engaged in open communication with Life Cycle Management Center officials. In addition, during reverse matchmaking sessions with industry, Olson focused on key program areas that had small business contract potential.

The New Horizons conference also presented a climate where contractors could voice their concerns. Approximately 17 small businesses had the opportunity to present their capabilities to Olson during the outreach event.

Performance was also another major factor when determining award recipients.

The C3I and Networks Directorate obligated more than $85 million to small business contracts, surpassing the Air Force's goal by 76 percent. Additionally, the directorate exceeded their performance goal by approximately five percent.

"Mr. Wert and General Olson are two outstanding leaders who have shaped a positive small business climate within the Center," said Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore II, LCMC commander. "Their bold initiatives and remarkable team efforts have bolstered competition in the marketplace, expanded the industrial base and produced innovative, cost-effective services and products for our Airmen."



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