Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays

As another year closes out, I am proud to be a member of what I believe is the best team of Small Business Specialists (SBS) in the entire federal government. This team has proved this time and time again through innovative new initiatives, strong showings at outreach events and their commitment to the NASA mission.

I understand that the team could not have done this without all the other people throughout NASA that are involved in the acquisition process and I want to say “thank you” to them as well.  Most importantly I do want to draw attention the unprecedented support the team received from the Administrator and several other members of the senior leadership team. This support was instrumental in the team’s success.  

I have no doubt that we will meet next year’s challenges with the same determination and hard work that we faced 2012 with. I want to wish everyone a safe, healthy, happy holiday season and a happy new year.   

Monday, December 2, 2013

NASA Industry Forum

Despite recent challenges faced by the federal government, NASA has remained committed to developing our relationships with both large and small businesses nationwide. We plan to continue this commitment with the formation of the NASA Industry Forum (NIF), an agency-wide effort to share center-level information that concerns NASA and NASA’s contractors.

As I’ve mentioned before, NASA is a decentralized agency, with ten centers spread throughout the country. Our goal in the creation of this forum is to make sure the Office of Small Business Programs remains directly engaged with each Center’s areas of concerns while gaining insight into the issues faced by our contractors in order to discuss possible solutions or improvements.

The NIF will be comprised of both large and small business contractors from each of NASA’s Centers. During the meetings, which will take place no more than twice per year in Washington, D.C., NIF participants will have the opportunity to discuss their center’s business environment and any related issues. This forum is designed as a chance to exchange ideas and the NIF will not be requested or expected to reach consensus decisions, nor provide consensus advice or recommendations to the Agency.   

With a considerably knowledgeable and dedicated forum created, there will exist the possibility that NASA Senior Management or Mission Directorates will address the NIF to discuss future missions of the Agency. The first meeting of the NIF is tentatively scheduled for mid-March, 2014, and I look forward to another avenue with which to enrich the NASA Small Business Program.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Celebrate Small Business Saturday November 30, 2013

Small Business Saturday®, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses around the country that create jobs and boost the economy, is November 30, 2013. Small Business Saturday® was created in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers. Small businesses have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years and employ over half of all private sector employees. First there was Black Friday, and then Cyber Monday, and now Small Business Saturday® will help drive shoppers to America’s job creators. 

My team is taking the pledge to shop small and we hope that you too, will be playing your part in making this day a great success for small businesses.  

For more information on how to support Small Business Saturday® in your area, or to get great Small Business Saturday® marketing tips and resources, check out www.sba.gov/saturday and follow us on Twitter @NASA_OSBP, #SmallBizSat.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Happy 15th Birthday International Space Station!

The first module for the International Space Station (ISS), the Russian Zarya module, was launched fifteen years ago today, on November 20, 1998. Currently, the ISS is the largest structure in space ever built by human hands, and the international crews have continuously occupied it since 2000. A consortium of fifteen nations have contributed to this achievement and we are especially proud since SpaceX’s, a small business at the time, Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial vehicle to successfully attach to the ISS and return cargo to Earth a year ago. 

The team at NASA put together a fantastic inforgraphic detailing the incredible accomplishments by the ISS. Take a look below or click here!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Go Maven!

When I saw the successful launch of MAVEN, or the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvoluioN mission, today, I was filled with a deep sense of pride for the agency’s accomplishment and for the small businesses that played a part in making this possible. I will be highlighting these companies within the coming weeks, delving into their contributions into helping the agency meet its mission. MAVEN will take ten months to get to Mars and will take critical measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere to help scientists understand climate change of the Red Planet’s history, unlike the orbiters, rovers and landers looking for signs of life in Mars history.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Planning Ahead

The start of the fiscal year is a stressful time for federal agencies and businesses alike. Despite this, as we close out FY13, I’d like to stress to all businesses who hope to do work with not just NASA, but any agency, to not let your plans for the future start to slip. One point I make at every speaking engagement or counseling session for businesses is that you must do your homework and plan ahead. Some businesses see this as a cursory glance of upcoming procurements a few months before they are released; however, to be successful, planning must start up to years before that point.

It is necessary to know what is happening in your realm of business before opportunities are posted in the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) database. By then, for many, it’s too late to seriously compete. NASA offers multiple avenues to get information regarding upcoming procurements. First and foremost, networking is essential any small business into opportunities with plenty of time to prepare. This includes events that NASA holds regularly, such as our Industry Days, or events that are attended by federal agencies. Business to business networking is a great way to share information and potentially come up with teaming or subcontracting opportunities that may not have been on your radar.

Another, NASA specific avenue is the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS). NAIS posts competitive NASA acquisitions over $25,000 that businesses can sort by date, classification, location or key word. The NASA Consolidated Acquisition Forecast also provides a forecast for this fiscal year and upcoming fiscal years directly from the centers. This will provide even more time to being planning for upcoming acquisitions.

NASA has built one of the greatest small business teams in federal government, with the Small Business Specialists providing valuable information. If any small business has a question regarding a specific opportunity at a NASA center, these individuals provide a great first contact to learn more about the acquisition.