Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Small Business Advocate Awards (SBAA)

7 years ago the NASA Small Business Advocate Awards (SBAA) were created to recognize outstanding efforts and innovative practices by NASA civil servants in support of the NASA Small Business Program.The awards categories are Small Business Specialist of the Year, Procurement Person (or Team) of the Year, Technical Person (or Team) of the Year and Program Person (or Team) of the Year.

For FY14 I am pleased to have selected winners for their extraordinary and unwavering work in support of the NASA Small Business Program.

  • 2014 Small Business Specialist of the Year: Mr. Robert E. Watts, SSC
  • 2014 Procurement Person of the Year: Mr. Craig W. Bowers, HQ
  •      2014 Technical Person of the Year: Mr. Jeffery A. Chambers, GRC
  • 2014 Program Team of the Year: Repair Aircraft Hanger Fire Protection Systems Team, AFRC, the team members are Ms. Andrea C. Basham, Mr. Brain G. Bowman and Mr. Justin D. Reid

I want to take the time to congratulate each and every one of these awardees and look forward to having them and their peers continued support of the NASA Small Business Program.

For more information on past awardees and selection criteria please visit the link to our website: SBAA

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Stennis Space Center Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Industry Day

On February 3, 2015, NASA’s Office of Small Business Programs concluded another successful Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Industry Day event hosted by the Stennis Space Center. 

      A look at SSC during the SDVOSB Industry Day
Presenting NASA FY14 Small Business Prime Metrics
From the left: Robert S. Harris, SSC Procurement Officer receiving the Small Business Champion recognition, Robert E. Watts, SSC Small Business Specialist, receiving FY14 SBS of the Year and Stennis Space Center Director Dr. Richard Gilbrech

Networking with Gwen Johnson, Socioeconomic Business Programs Manager Parsons

With over 300 attendees at the INFINITY Space Center, the Industry Day offered numerous opportunities for SDVOSB owners and representatives to network with government procurement decision makers, other large and small businesses and current NASA prime contractors. Despite the event title, the attendees included more than two hundred representatives from not only Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, but also Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, Women-Owned Small Businesses, and HUBZone Businesses.

I look forward to the future where the relationships that were made at this event lead to contracts. We look forward to seeing you at our HUBZone Industry Day at Johnson Space Center on August 11, 2015.

Friday, January 30, 2015

BusinessUSA Executive Committee Meeting

Yesterday I was proud to host the BusinessUSA Executive Committee Meeting in our Executive Conference room. I will start with a little background information, in 2011 the President issued a challenge to government agencies to think outside the box when coming to organizational boundaries and this is how BusinessUSA came to be.

It’s always great to hear about how successful the online platform business.usa.gov has become. The platform acts as a one-stop shop allowing the user to seek information with ease that is pertinent to their business. As an emerging entrepreneur, finding out the right information can be difficult and frustrating. BusinessUSA included a helpful portal in their site that allows for a more personal and customized experience with tools such as online training and chat forums.

 Listed from the left: Amin Mehr, Manager of Technology & Innovation, Michele Bartram, Manager of Partnerships & Customer Assurance, Efrain Gonzalez: Chief Financial Officer & Administrative Officer, Dennis Alvord, Executive Director, Holly Schick, Deputy Executive Director, Dexter Fredericks, Product Manager

An engaging topic that came up was the presentation on the Digital Strategies Playbook Audit of BusinessUSA. The White House launched the U.S. Digital Services Playbook on August 11, 2014. The playbook consists of 13 topics that were derived from successful best practices from the private sector and the government. Consumers spend money on digital channels to make lives easier. If every business starts to follow these 13 “plays” then digital channels will become more rounded and intuitive. BusinessUSA adapted this methodology to improve on specific areas such as making current progress to integrate automatic testing tools to improve their website and new mobile application.

For more information on this methodology please visit the site.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Bally Ribbon Mills Tour

I am always proud of the contribution small businesses make to NASA’s Mission. Today NASA’s Administrator, Mr. Charlie Bolden, the Associate Administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate, Dr. Michael Gazarik and I toured Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM) in Bally, Pennsylvania to gain insight on the production of the advanced Woven Thermal Protection System (Woven TPS). NASA envisions the great potential for BRM’s advanced woven thermal protection systems on the Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), Orion spacecraft mission, currently scheduled for 2018.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, BRM President Ray Harries and I.

BRM, a successful Small Business Innovation Research Phase III company has been a valuable partner to the agency and is using unique thermal protective materials to help develop a safe way for astronauts to travel into deep space and ultimately Mars. 

Ms. Pamela Ream, a BRM Harness Maker and Filler demonstrating the hand weaving process.

Mr. Ray Harries, President of BRM, led the tour and what I found particularly fascinating was seeing the advance Woven TPS process and the 3-D Multifunctional Ablative TPS for Orion. It was inspiring to see innovative technology firsthand that stem from game-changing small businesses. NASA is proud to be associated with these high-tech small businesses that are essential for us to complete our various missions.

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year's Message

As we say farewell to 2014 and welcome the New Year, we all reflect on what has transpired over the last 12 months and brainstorm new resolutions for the next 12 months.  We all look for improvements in our successful endeavors, however, let’s also look at our weaknesses so we can emerge stronger than ever. 

The NASA Office of Small Business Programs will continuously look for new innovative and creative ways to promote the development and management of NASA programs that assist all categories of Small Business. 

As you think about your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions, consider your local small businesses and think of ways to support them! We are looking forward to seeing the new ways that small businesses will help NASA achieve its mission next year.

I want to wish you and your families a happy holiday season.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Message

From the NASA Office of Small Business Programs, we would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday. With the winter holidays quickly approaching, we hope everyone has a joyous holiday break celebrating and spending time with family. If you are travelling to visit family or friends, please travel safely.

I would like to thank the Office of Small Business Programs Team and the Small Business Specialists at each of the NASA centers for their hard work this year. Happy holidays to all!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Year in Review: 2014

As the year 2014 comes to a close, I would like to take the time to reflect on some of the amazing accomplishments and events for NASA as an agency as well as the NASA Office of Small Business Programs.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden gives a speech at the announcement of the FY 2013 SBA Procurement Scorecard.

As you may know, NASA received the grade A on the Small Business Administration (SBA) Scorecard for FY 2013. I am proud of the efforts of the entire NASA Small Business team, as well as the Office of Procurement for helping us achieve this goal for the second year in a row. We look forward to continuing this success in the years to come.

The setup of the NASA booth at the Marshall Space Flight Center HUBZone Industry Day on June 11, 2014.

The NASA Office of Small Business Programs also successfully executed four Industry Days this year that were focused at increasing small business participation in three set-aside categories. The events took place at:

·      Armstrong Flight Research Center, February 4, 2014, Women-Owned Small Business Industry Day, 283 attendees
·      Marshall Space Flight Center, June 11, 2014, HUBZone Industry Day, 508 attendees
·      Langley Research Center, August 13, 2014, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Industry Day, 322 attendees
·      Kennedy Space Center, October 28, 2014, Women-Owned Small Business Industry Day and Expo, 318 registered attendees, 611 attendees
At the KSC WOSB Industry Day and Expo, we had the highest participation rate to date and we hope to continue this succes. For 2015, there are two Industry Days planned that I would like to encourage you to attend:
·      Stennis Space Center, February 3, 2015, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Industry Day – to register visit http://bit.ly/1yhkdPL.
·      Johnson Space Center, August 11, 2015, HUBZone Industry Day

A photo of some of the attendees at the October NIF meeting.

The Office of Small Business Programs also successfully hosted the inaugural NASA Industry Forum (NIF) Meeting in March in Washington, D.C. and the second at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in October. The goal of the NIF meeting is to ensure that the Office of Small Business programs remains engaged with each of the ten centers spread across the country; representatives from NASA headquarters meet with small business representatives from each of the ten centers along with the centers’ large and small business contractors to discuss the business environment and address any concerns. I am happy to celebrate a successful second year.

A shot of the filming for the HBCU/MSI video.

The NASA Office of Small Business Programs also held its first ever Historically Black Colleges & Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions (HBCU/MSI) Partnerships Meeting at Marshall Space Flight Center in September. NASA is the only government agency with a goal for doing business with HBCU/MSIs and has reemphasized the HBCU/MSI One Percent Goal, so we were proud to host this event in order to encourage these institutions to do business with NASA. View the video we filmed for the HBCU/MSI Partnerships Meeting at http://bit.ly/1pUQ3DY.

I’d like to thank everyone for their contributions to NASA and the NASA Office of Small Business Programs this year, and we hope that we can continue to develop and grow in the year to come.