MICC procurement analyst earns Army secretary award

By Daniel P. Elkins, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs OfficeOctober 6, 2022

MICC procurement analyst earns Army secretary award
Heather Scherer earned the Secretary of the Army Award for Small Business Utilization for fiscal 2021 recognizing the exceptional achievements and outstanding support of the Army’s Small Business Program. Scherer is a small business analyst for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. (Photo Credit: Daniel P. Elkins) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Sept. 6, 2022) -- The small business analyst for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, has earned the Secretary of the Army Award for Small Business Utilization for fiscal 2021.

Heather Scherer was announced the winner by Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, commanding general for the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, in a workforce message Sept. 28 noting the award recognizes the exceptional achievements and outstanding support of the Army’s Small Business Program.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized, and I am grateful for my family and a wonderful supervisor that believed in me,” Scherer said.

Mark Massie, director of the MICC Office of Small Business Programs, said Scherer’s award is well-deserved and cited her leadership, professionalism and strong work ethic in helping guide the command’s small business program to new heights during a significantly challenging fiscal 2021.

“Ms. Scherer is an integral piece of our small business program. She is the consummate team player always ready to provide assistance to higher headquarters with small business data. She is always ready to assist in supporting the Army mission,” Massie said. “She does it all, from pulling small business metrics across 30 offices each week and producing outreach events on Microsoft Teams to being the MICC’s focal point for tracking subcontracting reports and ensuring acquisition forecasts are up to date.”

Massie added that her role as project lead for the MICC’s first ever command-wide virtual advanced planning briefing for industry was instrumental to the success of the organization’s small business programs and set the standard for other Army organizations to follow. He explained that reaching industry partners in 2021 in a COVID environment was significantly challenging given restrictions on in-person gathering and social distancing.

Scherer volunteered as project lead and over the next six months thoroughly researched multiple virtual platforms and processes to develop courses of action while mitigating issues that helped streamline access for small business concerns. In preparation for the event broadcast virtually to a national small business industry audience, she designed event graphics, agenda and presentation material, helped develop its schedule and business rules for presenters and attendees, conducted rehearsals, edited scripts and slides, created an online registration, answered more than 120 industry questions, pulled post-event analytics and attendance reports, reviewed and edited more than 430 requirements slides presented to small business representatives, and authored the after action report to help benchmark for future events.

Successes identified for the virtual event included more than 1,600 government and industry partner registrants from across the nation, more than 111 contract requirements briefed in a three-day period, and four high-dollar contract requirements briefed on the event’s industry day.

Scherer emphasizes that a dedication to customers service drives her ability to ensure the success of those she supports.

“Early on in my career with the U.S. Air Force as a pharmacy technician, I learned the importance of customer service and taking care of people. We have the ability to brighten someone’s day with a smile or gesture, and it has such an overwhelmingly positive impact that it can shape an entire organization,” Scherer said. “I believe that maintaining a ‘people first’ mentality is my chief accomplishment, and I am so fortunate to be able to do it every day.”

Joining the MICC Office of Small Business Programs in May 2019, Scherer was previously responsible for managing the Government Purchase Card program for the MICC’s contracting office at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. She admits that duties of an analyst can differ vastly and joining the command’s small business team proved to be a big transition for her. Responsible for numerous tasks supporting the program director, four assistant directors and small business professionals supporting the MICC’s two field directorates, two brigades and 28 contracting offices, she’s often the belly button for many of the actions to include metrics, reports and staffing actions that keep the program on track to goal achievement.

“It’s extremely important for me to take care of those duties so the small business professionals can focus on their mission, and not have to worry about the behind-the-scenes,” Scherer said.

And that track record speaks for itself. The MICC Office of Small Business Programs exceeded all five small business socioeconomic goals in fiscal 2022 for the eighth consecutive year. Contract actions awarded to American small businesses by the MICC totaled more than $2.79 billion in fiscal 2022.

Scherer also played a pivotal role in the oversight of small business subcontracting administration through alignment with higher headquarters priorities and worked with contracting officers from throughout the command to establish more than 125 new profiles in the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System. As the agency coordinator, her oversight of reporting requirements led to increased accountability and timely review that contributed to a 98% program performance rating. The small business analyst also leveraged the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System to modernize processes and procedures improving compliance with the MICC’s small business footprint.

She also assisted MICC contracting offices at Fort Bliss and JBSA-Fort Sam Houston of Texas with their preparation for fiscal 2021 Small Business Administration surveillance reviews allowing both offices to earn satisfactory ratings. Scherer analytics insights also proved helpful with the development of a manpower analysis model capturing workload performance in four functions and more than 20 task areas providing greater insight for leadership’s decision-making.

About the MICC

Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. As part of its mission, MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.