By Krista K. Catian, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific and NAVFAC Hawaii participated in a small business industry forum hosted by the Honolulu Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) July 23 at the Honolulu Country Club.
"The annual Hawaii Small Business Forum provides a positive learning environment for NAVFAC and our small business professionals to actively engage with the small business community in Hawaii," said NAVFAC Pacific Commander Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg.
More than 250 people attended the 11th annual forum where small businesses are invited to learn about contracting opportunities within the local area.
NAVFAC Pacific Guam Program Management Officer Cmdr. Keith Barton provided status on small business utilization to support the Guam realignment program.
"Our small business community provides excellent support to the program," said Barton. "There's roughly an even split between the number of projects we awarded to small business and those that have gone to large business in the Guam realignment. We believe that by separating out smaller portions of larger construction contracts or identifying smaller projects, we'll continue to create collaboration and perform well in this regard."
NAVFAC Hawaii Executive Officer Capt. Ed Sewester served as a panel member on the upcoming planned procurements session.
"Small businesses are a big part of our family to make things happen for the Navy," said Sewester. "It has been a trend over the past three to five years where 40 to 50 percent of NAVFAC Hawaii's volume of business has been awarded to small business. We take it seriously, we abide by the laws, and we put tools in place to provide opportunities to small businesses."
NAVFAC Pacific Deputy Director for Small Business Jennifer McGuire, NAVFAC Hawaii Assistant Deputy Director for Small Business Lisa Roth, NAVFAC Pacific Contracting Officer Richard Keener, and NAVFAC Hawaii Contracting Officer's Lynne Morita and Wayne Jyo conducted match-making sessions that included one-on-one discussions with contractors.
"The match-making sessions and one-on-one discussions are a crucial part of this forum as it provides small businesses the opportunity to learn how to successfully do business with the government during this fiscally challenging time," said McGuire. "It also serves as a great forum to listen, learn and network."
This year marks the 50-year celebration to honor America's 27 million small businesses. Small businesses include service disabled veteran-owned small business, historically underutilized business zone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns.