By Jeffrey C. Doepp, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs
Norfolk (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic leadership, along with the Office of Small Business Programs, Capital Improvements, and Acquisition representative professionals, were key participants at the 2019 Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Small Business Outreach & Industry Day, March 19-20, in Norfolk, Virginia.
The SAME Small Business Outreach & Industry event featured agency panels presenting their respective program briefings and contracting opportunities, a joint session with the Design Build Institute of America, as well as one-on-one matchmaking tables.
“I enjoyed the event and meeting with so many of our industry partners,” said NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Commanding Officer Capt. Rich Hayes, who, along with Executive Officer Capt. Jeffrey Lengkeek, attended the conference. “Events like these give us the opportunity to share experiences, learn about new products and technologies, and talk about how we can achieve our shared goal of delivering timely and quality projects to our supported commanders.”
Cmdr. Thomas McLemore, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic operations officer, along with panel members Eric Allen of Capital Improvements and Kim Kahler of Acquisition, shared information about the NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic mission and local business operations with the engineering society during their agency briefing. The briefing was followed by an open forum session for audience questions and answers.
“Engagement with industry is a priority in the new NAVFAC Strategic Design 2.0 initiative,” said Hayes, addressing the audience prior to the Mid-Atlantic panel briefing. “Early and productive engagement helps us to reduce risk for all parties as we push even harder to be the responsive, agile facility team our Navy needs. We absolutely need our private sector partners to be part of the solution.”
Hayes added that events like this provide all parties involved the opportunity to learn from each other and move forward with providing the best products and service for their customers.
Andres Medina, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Office of Small Business Programs assistant deputy, was on hand to also engage with industry professionals during the event’s matchmaking and networking sessions.
“It’s important to be here and represent the command’s Small Business Programs,” said Medina, a Yabucoa, Puerto Rico native, who has worked at NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic for eight years. “The NAVFAC commitment is to support the small business community through effective industry outreach such as this, and provide them with maximum practicable opportunities to participate in our acquisition program as both prime contractors and subcontractors.”
The NAVFAC Small Business Program is comprised of highly skilled and dedicated professionals located at each NAVFAC contracting office where, as Medina added, offers guidance to small businesses, including service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, and women owned small businesses.
“These small businesses are vital to our nation's economic health and security,” he said.
The Society of American Military Engineers is a nonprofit professional engineering education organization that actively promotes the advancement of both individual technical knowledge and the collective engineering capabilities of governments, the uniformed services and private industry. Their goal is to unite public and private sector entities and individuals in the architecture, engineering, and construction fields to prepare for and overcome natural and man-made disasters, acts of terrorism and improve security at home and abroad.
NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic is the Systems Command that delivers and maintains quality, sustainable facilities, acquires and manages capabilities for the Navy's expeditionary combat forces, provides contingency engineering response, and enables energy security and environmental stewardship across an area of responsibility that spans from Georgia to Maine and as far west as Illinois. As an integral member of the Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic team, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic provides leadership through the Regional Engineer organization to ensure the region's facilities and infrastructure are managed efficiently and effectively.