A discussion on small business ownership and USGIF membership
Tina Patterson is the principal of Jade Solutions, a woman-owned small business providing clients with business and marketing consulting services including proposal development and management, product management, and project management. Many of Patterson’s clients are federal contractors working with the intelligence and defense communities. Patterson has been a USGIF Individual Member since 2015 and is a member of the Foundation’s Small Business Advisory Working Group. She has also participated in USGIF’s Awards Committee since 2015. Patterson spoke with trajectory about her business and how USGIF Individual Membership has helped her grow professionally.
How did you learn about USGIF and why did you become a USGIF Individual Member?
I heard about USGIF while working for a former employer. When I became a USGIF member I was seeking to be involved with organizations that might support my clients. I leveraged networking with other small businesses as well as USGIF materials and events to stay abreast of hot topics and trends in the GEOINT field since I interact with clients who provide services to the defense and intelligence communities.
As a small business owner, USGIF Individual Membership has been very helpful. I was also surprised at how reasonably priced individual membership is. Based on my experience, USGIF works with its members. USGIF’s Small Business Advisory Working Group is wonderful, and so is meeting other individuals at meetings and USGIF events such GEOINTeraction Tuesday. I don’t feel lost like I have with other associations. USGIF volunteers and staff are very welcoming and open.
What led you to start your own business?
After working for federal contractors and experiencing layoffs, I decided it was time to stick my toe in the water and see what it’s like to have a business of my own. I began my business in 2014 with the intent to provide my clients the same level of customer service I would want to receive from a business. Jade Solutions has four guiding principles: fortitude, integrity, focus, and accountability.
There’s a public perception that running a small business is glamorous, but that’s not always the case. Some days you’re up late working to meet a deadline or anxiously awaiting a payment from a client. But at end of the day, it’s rewarding and worth it.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m a polyglot. I speak five languages: Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, English, French, and Spanish.
What excites you about being a part of the GEOINT Community?
The cross cutting effects and applications of geospatial intelligence excite me. Whether talking about weather, human and drug trafficking, identification and neutralizing cybersecurity threats, or tracking the spread and eradication of human viruses—all of this information is GEOINT.
What advice do you have for other small business owners?
Don’t give up! Say ‘yes’ to opportunity, find or establish a network of individuals that you can run ideas by, but who are also supportive and provide honest feedback about your goals and dreams. Join organizations such as USGIF that support small businesses and attend networking events as your schedule and budget allow.
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