MoCo to host procurement conference for businesses

Tuesday - 4/27/2010, 10:55am EDT

Barbara Ashe, executive vice president, Montgomery County Maryland Chamber of Commerceand Michael Bowlds, president, Mountaintop Marketing Group, member, Montgomery County Maryland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

Business leaders looking for a competitive edge in winning federal contracts will have the opportunity to meet directly with key purchasing agents from government agencies.

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce 2010 Congressional Procurement Conference & Expo, is coming to Rockville in May.

Barbara Ashe, executive vice president of the Montgomery County Maryland Chamber of Commerce told Federal News Radio 36 workshops and informational workshops will be held including "how to be successful as government contractors."

Ashe said when the doors open at 8 am on Wednesday, May 5th, there will be 84 exhibits, "14 federal agencies, six large prime contractors and industry experts to help connect businesses to procurement opportunities."

This is no local, Mom and Pop goat show and beauty contest. Ashe said small business contracting in the county rivals anywhere in the country.

It's a huge part of our regional economy, but actually in Montgomery County, we're second in the nation for small businesses that procure to the federal government. So it's not only a big part of our regional economy but very much so in Montgomery County. This conference will pull regionally and we actually have hotel information. We have folks coming in from all over the country to have this type of opportunity.

Michael Bowlds, president of the Mountaintop Marketing Group and a member of the Montgomery County Maryland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, told the Federal Drive the conference is as unique as the county itself. Contracting officers and program managers will be there, including Holly Donawa, the Contracting Officer for DHS's EAGLE II Program.

The kinds of procurement officials, said Bowlds, "who folks would likely never have an opportunity to have any contact with" otherwise.

The advantage, said Bowlds, is that federal contracting officers have the opportunity to find businesses that can be successful for the agencies as well.

In addition to DHS, FDA and NIST will be represented, as well as contractors Lockheed Martin, L3, Clark Construction, Hughes Network Systems, and IBM. "Many times," said Ashe, "your access to government procurement is through teaming with a prime."

The expo will be held at The Universities at Shady Grove, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, in Rockville.