FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii--More than 180 Hawaii small businesses, including 27 exhibitors convened at Fort Shafter's Hale Ikena Community Club on Nov. 23 to discover how to benefit from Army contracting opportunities.

Co-sponsored by the Army's Office of Small Business Programs Expeditionary Contracting Command and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District, the Hawaii Army Industry Day hosted company representatives from across the state ranging from custom identity apparel distributors, cleaning and equipment suppliers, education product and furnishing suppliers, mechanical, electrical and architectural engineers, industrial compressor and sandblasting equipment suppliers and green energy innovators.

Dana O. Hauanio, Director Honolulu Minority Business Enterprise Center U.S. Department of Commerce, University of Hawaii Manoa, Shidler College of Business, said, "Our presence here today is to provide minority-owned businesses access to contracting resources and capital to boost their success."

Duane Inoue, SBPECC Associate Director said, "Our organization focuses on fostering opportunities for small business by providing them central contracting regulations and helping them better understand the government contracting process."

Minella Segi, sales manager for a local, customer-focused apparel business said that by attending the event, she and Corporate Account Manager Mona Ragodos hoped to increase their visibility and exposure to the Army and its Morale, Welfare and Recreation organization.

Lt. Col. Douglas B. Guttormsen, P.E., Honolulu District Commander, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers said, "This forum is a great opportunity for the Army, the Corps and the local contracting community to get to know each other better. Construction is a team effort and we all have a role to play. We're all working to support Soldiers, their Families and local communities with the best possible facilities and services."

According to SBPECC Director Col. Michael Hoskin who is responsible for the contracting mission in Hawaii, Contracting Command here is a little more than a year old. Hawaii Army Industry Day was his idea.

"I intend to offer several events each year similar to the one today to showcase the U.S. Army Contracting Command's commitment to our nation's small businesses."

Inoue said that businesses which had initiated interest in Army contracts by logging onto the command's Web site and registering were invited to the day's event by email, and that anyone interested in doing business with the Army should visit

Hoskin is an Army contracting professional with more than 17 years of experience in expeditionary contingencies including Operation Iraqi Freedom where he managed various contracts including Kellogg, Brown and Root, a company which delivers major infrastructure projects, base operation services and construction management and engineering services.

"Many small businesses have been employed by major contractors for sub-contract work in the past, mainly because they haven't known how to navigate through the government's contracting process maze. My goal is to educate those smaller businesses so they have a chance to earn a bigger piece of the Army's contracting pie."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16