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Government Contractors Gather in Wilmington for Annual Summit

Published Nov. 13, 2018

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Fort Bragg, Marine Corps Installations East, Seymour Johnson AFB, other Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps installations, and Coast Guard, gathered in Wilmington on Oct. 24-25, for the annual Southeast Region Federal Construction, Infrastructure & Environmental Summit held at the Wilmington Convention Center (The Summit).

   The event focuses on networking and trade show activities that allow businesses to market their services and products to more than 700 general contractors, specialty contractors, engineers, architects and suppliers.  Wilmington District Small Business Deputy Mrs. Donna Walton is the liaison for coordination between the host, the North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC), in conjunction with North Carolina Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis.   

   “As the Small Business Deputy I educate businesses on what the Army Corps of Engineer’s needs, how to compete for federal government work, how to use the Federal Business Opportunities website to look for government work, and the Federal Government Acquisition Regulations,” she said. 

   Mrs. Walton completes and approves through the South Atlantic Division the conference package to include Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, and Norfolk Districts.  She holds informative meetings within the Wilmington District to ensure that everyone who is involved in the conference knows what to expect.  The South Atlantic Division and North Atlantic Division government personnel in attendance are looking specifically for companies at The Summit that can provide a variety of services and supplies to meet mission needs. 

   “Our audience at this conference was for the construction companies, both small and large and either military or civil works, and the Architectural and Engineering firms that can provide designs for the major Military Construction (MILCON) projects and the Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization (SRM) Projects,” she said.  “We need companies that can compete for the MILCON, SRM, and Civil Works projects, and they need to have experience and the manpower to do the job, as well as the bonding capabilities needed for the project.” 

   Mrs. Walton said that several firms at The Summit are veteran-owned or hire veterans.  She said that being prior service can be advantageous.  “A veteran or retired military member can be useful to the company they work for if they have the security clearances required to be able to perform on USACE missions,” she said.  “We manage construction for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg and the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point in Brunswick County.  Both locations require regular and high-level security clearances.  It is also useful if we have set aside a procurement for the Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Socio-Economic category.  They will need to be a SDVOSB to compete and be eligible for award of a contract.” 

   The Summit is held in October each year and included pre-activities on Oct. 24, provided were tours of the U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center and the North Carolina State Port, both facilities are located in Wilmington.  An evening social was hosted by NCMBC for all attendees.

   Opening remarks were presented by Mr. Scott Dorney, Executive Director, N.C. Military Business Center and John F. Downing, Dean of Continuing Education, Cape Fear Community College.  Morning Keynote speaker was Robert B. Hughes, Executive Director, Air Force Office of Energy Assurance.

   The Summit included several breakout sessions for open dialogue between the government representatives and the business community.  All of the agencies in attendance were able to present their agencies forecast during The Summit.  There was also a trade show and separate networking sessions for business and for government.  A round table discussion was held during lunch on how the various Government agencies handle their disaster relief processes after a hurricane. 

   Mrs. Walton was honored at The Summit and received The Summit Individual Award.  She was recognized for “exceptional service, meritorious achievement and conspicuous innovation in the federal construction, infrastructure, energy and environmental marketplace.”  On hand to present her award were Wilmington District Commander Col. Robert Clark, and North Carolina Military Business Center Summit staff members Scott Dorney and Greg Bean. 

   “I was honored to receive the individual Summit award from the North Carolina Military Business Center.  NCMBC is part of the North Carolina Community College System.  I fully support NCMBC and can always count on NCMBC to support the Wilmington District.  North Carolina is the only state in the country with a military business center, as there are numerous military bases from all of the Military Branches in North Carolina.  Again, I was honored to be recognized by the North Carolina Military Business Center and I appreciate all they do for Small Businesses in the state of North Carolina,” said Mrs. Walton.

   For more information about the Wilmington District Small Business Office go to the following link;

For More information about the North Carolina Military Business Center go to the following link