When USGIF’s Small Business Advisory Working Group started up in July 2011, it had a simple mission—find new ways to bring small business members together to collaborate and share best practices.

“We are focused on interactions with the end customer as well as larger companies like Lockheed Martin and Booz Allen Hamilton, who often bring small businesses into the equation,” said working group co-chair Gary Adkins, president and CEO of Fredericksburg, Va.-based Applied Geospatial Solutions International Inc. “We want to create an environment and avenue to make small business members aware of activities and opportunities, especially those involving potential customers.”

Group membership is open to any USGIF member who falls within the U.S. Small Business Administration’s definition of a small business. The group’s mission is to provide USGIF small business members a voice within the Foundation and the overall GEOINT Community, as well as a means to connect with potential business partners within industry and government.

Lunch and Learn

The group meets on the second Thursday of every month, from 11 a.m. to noon at the USGIF headquarters in Herndon, Va. Recent meetings have featured guest speakers such as USGIF Board Member Chris Tucker, Lockheed Martin’s TW Scott, and Brian Loggins of Booz Allen Hamilton.

“Each month we are seeing steady growth, which is encouraging since it’s the members who truly lead the group,” said Adkins, who co-chairs the group with USGIF’s Exhibitor and Member Services Manager Bill Allder III. “Currently, we have 15-20 people attend our monthly meetings either in person or via teleconference. We generally talk about our progress and collaborate on strategies to improve access and exposure for small business USGIF member companies.”

Going forward, the group plans to hold quarterly luncheons called the Small Business Engagement Series. At the first luncheon, held in April, the group hosted Sandra Broadnax, director of NGA’s Small Business Program Office, and Tonya Crawford, NGA’s director of Acquisition and Contracts.

“They talked about how small businesses can best interact with the NGA,” Adkins said. “This was an excellent interaction opportunity and included a Q&A session where the 40 people in attendance were given the opportunity to gain valuable insight into working with the NGA. The events serve as wonderful networking and educational opportunities.”

Featured image: NGA’s Sandra Broadnax was a guest speaker at a recent members-only presentation luncheon hosted by USGIF’s Small Business Advisory Working Group.

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Posted by Peter Fretty

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