The stories here are just a few from business owners who have prospered, in part, due to the services they received from our dedicated team of contract specialists, procurement advisers and administrative assistant. Upon receiving notice of a contract award from the Navy, one client commented that, “…we want to make a positive impact on the state. At full tilt, we’ll be hiring at least five more professional workers to produce and maintain the vehicle. Plus, we’ll be working with local vendors for the main components.”
New Flooring Horizons LLC Alaska PTAC Success Story
New Flooring Horizons, the business Robinson and Cornilio Del Rosario established in September 2015, is based on the hope and opportunity father and son saw in Alaska. Along with hope, it has been hard work, leveraging experience, and family commitment that has been at the core of New Flooring Horizons. Robinson is the majority owner and lead of the company but it is based on Cornilio’s 30 years of experience and business ownership. To get off to a good start, New Flooring Horizons is working with both Alaska PTAC and the Alaska SBDC to understand how to do government contracting and successfully grow.
Working with Alaska PTAC counselor Jody King, Robinson has been able to build on his degree and his previous military experience to successfully win government contracts. He gained a further competitive edge by working with Jody to be certified as an Alaska Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). Like the 8(a), SDVOSB (Service Disable Veteran Owned Small Business) and HUBZone applications Jody and Robinson are also working on, this designation allows New Flooring Horizons to be given additional consideration and points when bidding for contracts.
“Ms. Jody was able to guide me through all the steps required in order to be qualified for several certifications. She constantly displayed a high standard of professionalism and charisma.” Robinson also said of Jody,” She was always willing to help: she was there when I got stuck and repeatedly provided me with guidance in an optimistic manner. I have recommended Jody to other professionals seeking assistance like me. There is no doubt in my mind she is literally changing other people’s lives with her competent, agreeable, and committed approach.”
Alaska PTAC and the Alaska Small Business Development Center are pleased to see how New Flooring Horizons has successfully used the information and technical assistance we’ve provided. We look forward to a long, productive relationship with this amazing business.
Scott Amy has taken wing to the Alaskan skies. As a professional pilot and business owner for 26 years, he recently started a new on-demand air charter company, Skydance Aviation. If it’s an Alaska adventure you want, Skydance Aviation will get you safely to and from fishing, hunting, snow kiting, and kayaking destinations along with flight-seeing around some of Alaska’s incredible parks. Flight seeing trips may not be in demand in the government marketplace, but Scott discovered there is a demand for air transportation services. With help from the Alaska PTAC staff, he is anticipating his first government contract.
“The learning curve has been steep for getting set up to bid and except contracts with federal entities and state agencies. PTAC has been invaluable in their assistance.” PTAC walked Scott through the many requirements for becoming a qualified government contractor that included SAM registration, how to read and respond to a solicitation, how to prepare a bid, and how Bid Match can identify potential work for his company. His passion of flying and knowledge of the great outdoors are great marketing tools for attracting business and will no doubt keep his bottom line AGL (above ground level) as Skydance Aviation enters the government marketplace. Congratulations Scott!
How do you make time to look for new work when you are busy doing the work you have? Some businesses lurch along in classic “feast or famine” fashion, but a better run business looks for upcoming opportunities. Although, by law, most federal open bid contracts above $25,000 must be made public, it can be difficult to make time to find and sort them. The Bid Match program, offered to Alaska PTAC clients, makes looking for new contracts easy: this database program uses a targeted profile to filter posts and send them in a daily email.
Tesla Electric initially met with Alaska PTAC in 2007 and received general information and assistance in the government contracting process. They successfully used this information to win and process a number of successful bids. To stay engaged, Tesla Electric actively uses the Bid Match program. Kim Amar, Tesla Electric HR Generalist, says, “We’ve been awarded several airport reconstruction jobs this year starting at $50,000 and up. With Alaska PTAC daily emails, it ensures no bidding opportunities pass us by.”
Tesla Electric is a successful commercial electrical contracting company which has recently completed jobs in Prudhoe Bay, Kodiak, Petersburg, and Bethel and performs electrical contracting services from sites as diverse as drill rigs and pump stations to construction projects and villages. Like many successful companies, Tesla Electric has entered the government contracting marketplace in order to expand their base and add municipal, state, and federal customers. Through government contracts, they have worked on health clinics, schools, and airports throughout Alaska. It is always rewarding to work with clients who so successfully apply the guidance and information Alaska PTAC provides. Well done Tesla Electric!
ALASKA PELLET SUPPLY
Al Roskam, owner of Alaska Pellet Supply has tenaciously stayed with government contracting despite a very difficult initial experience. In July 2016 APS secured a contract with the U.S. Forest Service in Sitka for a small annual wood pellet supply worth $3,324 a year and APS continues to supply wood pellets in the Juneau market, including a contract with Sealaska Corporation.
Things looked very different in 2012 when Al worked with Jody King, one of Alaska PTAC’s contract specialists, to secure a $338,000 contract delivering wood pellets to the U.S. Coast Guard wood pellet boilers at the Sitka Coast Guard air station base located in southeast Alaska. Unfortunately, after one initial delivery, the wood boilers shut down due to a mechanical issue and were not used for the next two and a half years.
Alaska Pellet Supply was then caught in the middle of mechanical breakdown and the inevitable bureaucracy involved with resolving a difficult government situation. APS did not immediately find another wood pellet customer and in a sad twist of irony, worked as a subcontractor to remove the very pellets they filled in 2012 when working to replace wood pellet burning boilers with oil fired boilers. Al says, “Even though it has been rocky start for APS, we still owe a lot of gratitude to Jody and the Alaska PTAC team for showing us the way to get started.”
Today, between their commercial contracts and the contract with the U.S. Forest Service, Alaska Pellet Supply continues to promote alternative energy in Alaska and run a successful small business. Al is an inspiration and example for anyone who has the the creativity and grit to start a small business and pursue both government and commercial contracts.
ROBERT B. BLODGETT & ASSOCIATES
Robert B. Blodgett & Associates provides consulting services to oil exploration companies throughout the world. As part of his work he continues to maintain the Alaska Paleontological database: a site he started when he working in the USGS Branch of Paleontology and Stratigraphy.
Clearly, owner Dr. Blodgett, is a man who understands details and complexity, but despite this, he found accessing some of the government bid proposal and payment systems difficult. He especially credits Alaska PTAC contract specialist Jody King for assisting him with registering in the System for Award Management and the IPP federal invoicing system. She further guided him through other aspects of government contracting and he still calls when he finds a particularly perplexing issue. Dr. Blodgett says, “Alaska PTAC has saved many, many hours of trying to scope this out on my own, and I am eternally grateful for this help. They make work as a consultant pleasant and easy.”
With Ms. King’s assistance, along with his private consulting, Dr. Blodgett explanded his services to include geological data, primarily paleontological data, for federal and state agencies including the US Geological Survey, National Park Service, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Survey. In 2016, Dr. Bodgett successfully won and completed two USGS contracts, one for $24,000 and the other for $20,000. He has also recently completed a National Park Service contract. It is at the core of Alaska PTAC services and purpose to assist experts, like Dr. Blodgett, match their skills with agencies designed to protect and catalog United States national resources. Congratulations on your success Dr. Robert Blodgett!
HARMON’S REPAIR STATION, INC.
Anchorage & Palmer
The Anchorage International Airport is the fourth busiest airport for cargo traffic in the world. Within the state, with few roads and a large geographic size, air transportation is key to getting things where they need to go.
Since 2003, Harman’s Repair Station has made sure containers, netting, and pallets needed for air transportation are in safe, working order for commercial air carriers and military facilities. Harman’s Repair Station is FAA approved and certified and can rebuild any size unit loading devices or container in addition to doing net repairs with industrial sewing machines. In fact they are a full-service shop which provides cleaning and preventative maintenance programs for the containers along with doing every kind of repair. Although the business is officially headquartered in Palmer, Alaska, there is an associated plant at Ted Stevens International Airport.
Don Harman has been an Alaska PTAC client since 2009 and truly illustrates the many ways Alaska PTAC provides assistance. In the beginning Alaska PTAC assisted with an overview of government contracting, registering in the System for Award Management (SAM) and getting on a General Services Administration schedule (GSA). Last year Alaska PTAC provided instructions and information to help Harman’s successfully bid on a Federal Bureau of Land Management contract worth $22,560.
All through the relationship with Alaska PTAC, Harman’s Repair Station has stayed engaged with the workshops, webinars, and networking events provided to communicate new opportunities and policy changes. This worked well for them in 2016 when Alaska PTAC assisted Harman’s in successfully obtaining a Small Business Administration HUBZone certification. A HUBZone certificate will boost Harman’s potential for government contracting because it qualifies them to obtain some sole source contracts and a 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions.
Alaska PTAC is proud of the many accomplishments of Harman’s Repair Station and truly believes they show the initiative and capability required to participate successfully in the government marketplace.
FISHEYE CONSULTING LLC
Stephen Grabecki is the owner of FISHEY Consulting, a one-person firm that provides consulting on all aspects of fisheries, and as Stephen says, includes “from boat to throat.” He specializes in biology, ecology, environmental studies and permitting, fishery development & management, and seafood safety & quality. Many of his clients are in the petroleum, mineral, hydroelectric, and seafood industries, and now the government sector.
In 2012, a decline in fishery dollars coming into the state moved Stephen to revise his business services to greater emphasize his environmental and bio sciences capabilities rather than his fisheries services. FISHEYE Consulting was created and he began to explore the government as a potential customer. He worked with the Alaska PTAC first on setting up a Bidmatch profile, developing a Statement of Qualifications, attending several PTAC events, and eventually bidding on a contract:
“We received our first federal award, from the US Forest Service, to develop a plan to deal with the waste from the sockeye salmon sport fishery in the Kenai / Russian River Complex. PTAC’s My Bid Match service presented the opportunity, and PTAC’s training sessions showed us how to best work with USFS’ Contracting Officer.”
Stephen continues to utilize our services and attends many of PTAC’s “Meet the Prime” and “Meet the Agency” events for networking opportunities and to continue to understand government contracting processes as FISHEYE Consulting moves through the present and future changes in government purchasing.
WORK ZONE TRAFFIC CONTROL & MAINTENANCE LLC
Trish Early and Cindy Hudgins started their own traffic control company in 2014 by bringing Trish’s already established business training and certifying flaggers for road construction industry and Cindy’s background in office management to start their own traffic control company. With a lot of questions, they contacted the Alaska PTAC for help. PTAC specialists provided assistance with obtaining a DUNS number, registering in the SAM database, navigating the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) application process, creating a Statement of Qualifications, and then finally activating a Bid Match profile.
Work Zone started with nothing more than determination- no equipment, work truck or money for payroll. Trish and Cindy were their own employees. Using Trish’s pickup truck and renting various devices, they secured and finished 2 DOT drilling projects. They were soon able to purchase their first flatbed work truck, signs and other equipment for the business. They look forward to growing their business in the years ahead, knowing that the Alaska PTAC will be there every step of the way.
MARK MEYERS PHOTOGRAPHY
Mark Meyer, owner of Mark Meyer Photography, was unsure of the budget he was preparing for a Department of Agriculture/Forest Service RFP. “An addendum to the Department of Agriculture/Forest Service RFP for this contract added a budget ceiling, which we felt was too low for the scope of work. PTAC helped us understand the role a budget ceiling plays in federal contracting and offered some advice including offering alternative scopes of work that we could accomplish within the government’s budget. Although we did not do this in our initial proposal, because of the conversation with the Alaska PTAC we were prepared when we received a request for best and final offer. In the BAFO we offered an alternative scope of work and won the contract. Without this advice we would not have been prepared to act quickly enough to rewrite the proposal.” The contract value was $25,000 – an important contract for a small photography business.
After being laid off and with job prospects scarce in the Alaskan Community of Bethel, Jody Malus decided to attend several PTAC workshops being presented in Bethel to learn more about doing business in the government marketplace. The workshops included an introduction to government contracting and an overview of federal and state socio-economic programs like 8(a), HUBZone, and DBE. As a female military veteran, Jody had expressed interest in starting a business that had government contracting opportunities.
Working together with the Alaska SBDC, Jody developed a business plan that included PTAC assistance with market research to identify contract dollars being spent in the region and lead Jody to open a janitorial supply service. She won her first government contract 90 days later with the City of Bethel and another contract award five months later. She said without PTAC’s help she would never have had enough information on how to bid on a contract and a great service was provided to a small business in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
Research has also found entrepreneurs to be risk takers and this client had her share. In early 2005, Joan Herrmann learned about the Small Business Innovation Research program – a program that encourages small businesses to engage in Federal Research and Development (R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. PTAC’s partner program TREND assisted her company with navigating the program and in 2006, securing a $100,000 SBIR award.
The award however, was only a jump start for the project. The product development cycle is very complex, exciting, and expensive. Joan had to move through idea generation, to concept, and to beta testing, to business analysis, technical implementation, and then to commercialization. It also involved numerous unsatisfying meetings with potential collaborators, making decisions based on evolving application and design options that only a few people understand, securing financial resources to keep the project alive, and the challenging climb out of the valley of death.
However, in meeting those challenges over the past six years, ProjectKEEPERS recently unveiled a new cloud-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) tool to improve grant administration and project management proficiency. The online system is accessible from many devices, such as desktop or laptop computers, smart phones or ipads and can be used by all business types including for-profits, non-profits and government entities.