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News | April 17, 2017

Land and Maritime Small Business Office wins Vanguard Award

By Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

The Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded the Verdure Award to the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Office of Small Business Programs for their contributions to buying method efficiency and innovation.

Each year, the DoD recognizes individuals, teams and component agencies that make the greatest impact on the Department’s goals related to small business during its Vanguard Awards ceremony.

DLA Land and Maritime’s Small Business Office received the award based in part on their significant accomplishments in four specific areas including training, market research enhancement, performance tracking and data management.

Coleen McCormick, Land and Maritime’s Office of Small Business Programs associate director, said her office provides a wide range of support solutions for those who wish to work with the agency.

“Our program managers offer specialized services for companies represented by a variety of socioeconomic groups,” McCormick said. “We try to offer total small business program management through our vendor training – including basics of contracting, the bidding process, order fulfillment and support services throughout the entire process.”

The DLA Land and Maritime Small Business office took advantage of analytical tools, including a market research capabilities database and a vendor performance historical tracking tool. Heath Berkshire, a supplier operations division chief at Land and Maritime, led the project to develop the Vendor Performance History (VPH) tool and was included in the Verdure Award citation.  

The Columbus, OH office provides vendor training through their Technical Knowledge Online (TKO) program six times each year. During the training Land and Maritime team members teach and assist vendors how to successfully navigate contracting with DoD and specifically with DLA. Each session includes an intensive two-day training seminar on all aspects of doing business with the agency.

McCormick said due to their outreach and market research efforts, the DLA Land and Maritime OSBP team contributed to the approximately $1.8 billion contract dollars awarded to small businesses, a growth of three percent over the previous year.

The office saw growth across all socioeconomic categories, with the largest increase reflected in their awards to Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. That group saw an increase of more than 57 percent from the previous year, awarding $133,756,640 in contracts in 2016.

According to Land and Maritime Small Business Specialist James Secrist, the office also increased award dollars that year to Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) zone businesses and women owned small businesses by 11 and three percent, respectively.

During the most recent fiscal year, DoD’s Office of Small Business Programs procured 22.95 percent of all prime contracting for the Department, exceeding their goal for the third consecutive year.

"I couldn't be more proud of our entire team in the Small Business Office," said Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. Michelle Skubic. "They constantly impress me with their professionalism and innovation to help grow small business opportunities. This is a well-deserved award."

Amy Sajda, director of DLA's Small Business Programs, received the Small Business Director Award for Excellence. The awards ceremony took place during the DoD’s Small Business Training Week April 3-7 in Atlanta, GA.