Small Business Training Week 2020 focuses on future growth
By Rachel DeloachSeptember 18, 2020
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs held its annual business training virtually this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic with a message of rebuilding for future growth in small business contracting.The event’s message and theme -- Refocus. Rebuild. Resilient -- was created as small businesses reel from the effects of COVID-19, said Thaddeus Martin, director of the Office of Small Business Programs at Army Materiel Command Headquarters.“Small Business Training Week 2020 was an opportunity to refocus our efforts on the small business community by learning the best practices to help rebuild and reemerge as more resilient and better-equipped to withstand future economic impacts,” he said.Despite the virtual event, Martin said attendees were inspired and engaged by a notable roster of speakers and variety of interactive breakout sessions.“This event provided attendees insights on developing effective and efficient acquisition strategies, best practices in market research and building the Defense Industrial Base utilizing critical HUBZone and Women-Owned Small Businesses,” he said.The virtual training event also featured an award recognition portion in which AMC Headquarters Small Business Enterprise won all five Army Small Business Awards: Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business, Women-Owned Small Business, HUBZone Small Business, and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business.The Army commands, direct reporting units, program executive offices and Army service component commands were evaluated on five criteria.“The criteria consisted of meeting or exceeding Army small business goals, the contribution of outreach initiatives, the impact of those initiatives such as positive results from senior leader support, and public relations promotion of the program area such as in print, radio, television and electronic media,” Martin said.Cindy Wagoner, contracting officer at Army Contracting Command-Rock Island won the Contracting Professional of the Year Award for her significant impact in the small business community.“Her consistent efforts helped Army Sustainment Command in exceeding their small business goal in the Small Disadvantaged Business Category,” said Martin. “ASC exceeded their business goal of 4.5 percent by more than double, achieving a 9.72 percent in fiscal year 2019.”Martin was also a winner at Small Business Training Week 2020, garnering the Tracey L. Pinson Small Business Professional of the Year Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership, initiatives and dedication to the Small Business Program.“I am proud to be a part of the group who won individual awards, despite the challenges we faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.