DAHLGREN, Va. – What does a film broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation have in common with the success of programs sponsored by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Small Business Office?
Kris Parker, NSWCDD deputy for small business — who won a Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs award in May 2017 — wrote the answer on the top of a white board in his office.
It’s a quote spoken by Sir Michael Gambon in Matthew Vaughn’s Layer Cake: “The art of good business is being a good middleman.”
“The movie wasn’t about the Federal Small Business Program, but I thought the quote was fitting to the fundamental purpose of the office,” said Parker, recounting the 2004 motion picture he saw via BBC. “We facilitate opportunities for small business and identify companies to support those opportunities.”
As a good middleman, Parker is adept at connecting small business owners and executives with opportunities they can parlay into success stories, and he enjoys it.
An important success story in fiscal year 2016 was the command’s ability to award contracts to the tune of three percent, or more, of total contracted dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
Emily Harman, director DON Office of Small Business Programs, congratulated NSWC Dahlgren Division for its first-time achievement of this statutory small business goal — three percent of total contracted dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
“Through your efforts, you have demonstrated the essence of our mission to promote acquisition opportunities where small business can best support the needs of our Sailors and Marines,” said Harman in her letter to NSWCDD Commanding Officer Capt. Godfrey Weekes who presented the award to Parker. “I am confident that you will be able to maintain this level of success.”
Each year, the DON Office of Small Business Programs awards the Statutory Goal Achievement Award for initial achievement of a specific sub-category of Small Business.
“This is a command award, and could not have been realized without the continued leadership of NSWC Dahlgren with support from contracts and the technical departments,” said Parker.
The efforts of NSWCDD leaders in creating a climate to advance small business opportunities through various small business programs and initiatives have maximized opportunities for interested small businesses, resulting in a whopping increase of more than 58 percent in the command’s small business obligations between fiscal years 2012 and 2016.
Moreover, the NSWCDD acquisition and small business best practices promote the use of sources sought requests and industry days for competitive procurements in excess of the $150,000 simplified acquisition threshold. These events are preceded by announcements of the effort and event, demonstrating the commitment of NSWCDD leadership to a robust acquisition process that includes appropriate opportunities for small businesses.
“The standard agenda for our industry days includes an overview of the technical department sponsoring the work, a detailed breakdown of the work in question, and an opportunity to learn first-hand how industry may be able to provide support,” said Parker. “These unique events are consistently well attended and facilitate competition and the introduction of new companies into our market. In fiscal year 2016, four new small businesses who participated in one of these industry day events successfully won prime awards at NSWCDD.”
Additional NSWCDD outreach initiatives include face-to-face meetings and counseling sessions between Parker and small and large business entities — about 80 sessions per year, increasing the awareness of Small Business opportunities at NSWCDD, the Navy and Department of Defense at large. Annual internal small business training is also provided for all contracts personnel.