Department of Defense large prime contractors and small businesses that participate in the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program recently joined DoD representatives at the 2007 Mentor-Protégé Conference in Temecula, Calif., March 5-8.
The conference provided an opportunity to share ideas and celebrate 17 years of success. More than 500 attendees received information on initiating a mentor-protégé agreement, ways to overcome challenges, best practices, and rules and regulations pertaining to DoD contracting and procurement.
Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition and Technology James I. Finley delivered the keynote address March 6 focusing on the theme “Building Strategic Partnerships for National Defense.”
When the Mentor-Protégé Program began in 1991, there was only one Mentor-Protégé agreement. Now industry participants have formed nearly 1,000 more agreements. The scope of the program now includes women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and historically underutilized business zone concerns.
In a recent Web-based survey of 48 former protégés conducted by the Government Acountability Office, most reported that the program was a valuable experience that enhanced their business development and helped increase their contracts and revenues. Verifying the value of the Mentor-Protégé Program, 98 percent of the protégés reported that they would recommend the program to other eligible small businesses. Presently, more than 230 firms participate in the program, representing the manufacturing, service, construction and research and development industries.
DoD honored eight mentor-protégé teams, consisting of large DoD contractors (mentors) and their small business protégés. The Acting Director for the DoD Office of Small Business Programs, Linda B. Oliver presented each team with the 2007 Nunn-Perry Award on March 7 during the conference.
The winning teamsrepresent six different states and almost all of the small business sub-groups, including women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and Native American-owned small businesses.
This year’s winners are the following mentor-protégé teams:
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. and Cabrera Services Inc
Lockheed Martin MS2 and Epsilon Systems Solutions Inc., Products Sector
Lockheed Martin MS2 and Geodetics Inc.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and R&D Electronics Inc.
Northrop Grumman and Hi-Tech Electronic Manufacturing Inc.
Raytheon Missile Systems and The ENSER Corp.
Science Applications International Corporation and Oak Grove Technologies LLC
Science Applications International Corp. and Oberon Associates Inc.
In addition to the winning teams, the DoD honored 12 historically black colleges and universities/minority institutions, and procurement technical assistance centers with a brand new award. The award honored the dedication of the following institutions to the mentor-protégé program: Alabama A&M University; California State University, Long Beach; Central Missouri State University; Florida International University; George Mason University, Mason Enterprise Center; J.F. Drake Technical College; North Carolina Central University; Prairie View A&M University; Southern University and A&M College; Southwestern College; The University of Texas at El Paso; and Tuskegee University.
In January the review panel for the Nunn-Perry Award recommended eight teams for the award. The basis evaluation was based on how well each mentor-protégé team worked together to achieve cost-efficiencies, enhance technical capabilities, and increase DoD prime contracting and subcontracting opportunities for the small business. One hundred nine other mentor-protégé teams have been honored with Nunn-Perry Awards since 1995.
The Nunn-PerryAaward is named in honor of former Sen. Sam Nunn and former Secretary of Defense William Perry.