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  • 03 Aug 2020 11:12 AM | Kenn Rivers (Administrator)

    On behalf of the GCA family, Richard Brooks, Pamela Harris, Kim Yang, Herman Kitt and myself, Abraham Xiong, we are saddened and heartbroken to let you know that Myra Cisse passed after a battle with cancer. Myra was our friend, business partner, and a champion for small businesses.

    MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR MYRA:

    GCA is planning to host an online Memorial Service for friends and the business community to celebrate Myra’s life. It is set for Tuesday August 11th at 5pm to 6:30pm.  If you have a few words to share, let us know so we can consider it.

    Here is the link to RVSP: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4248735439771108879

    VIDEO MONTAGE TRIBUTE TO MYRA:

    We're putting together a tribute video for Myra, so if you have any Myra moments, Myra’isms, funny stories, pictures, songs, or poems. You can also record a short video of you sharing a few words.

    - Keep your video short, ideally, 30 seconds

    - Send video in MP4 file format to: info@govcontractors.org

    - Due Wednesday evening

    Myra was a champion for the small business community and for so many of us. Her life and professional career leave a legacy of impact, hope and promises for entrepreneurs throughout the world. She empowered thousands of companies through her passion to support entrepreneurs in their journey of learning about government contracting, certifications for small businesses, and accessing the opportunities with supplier diversity programs.

    Myra started her business Certification Consultants, LLC as a way to help small businesses obtain certifications. In 2015, she became partners at Government Contractors Association to further the vision of enabling even more companies to access the billions of dollars of government contracts. Through Myra’s work, many of the companies which she helped to get certified into the 8a Program, WOSB, SDVOSB, HUBZone, MBE, WBE, and other certification programs are now thriving and growing businesses. Some of them are winning millions in government contracts.

    Through Myra’s collective work at GCA, over 10,000 entrepreneurs have been trained and most importantly, businesses have won more than $900 million in government contracts. She traveled around the globe leading trade mission trips from the US to South Korea. She supported international companies in their expansions. More notably, she was a voice for the small business community and a bridge between government agencies and small businesses.

    Myra left us too soon, but she left a legacy of impact. In her final words, she said to tell everyone that "She loves us very much."

    GOFUNDME

    A GoFundMe campaign has been set up. As you contribute to this GoFundme campaign, it is your way of saying “Thank you” to Myra and how she has touched you. All funds from this GoFundMe will go to support Myra’s daughter, Bianca, settling her estate and medical expenses. Thank you in advance for your donation and support.

    https://gf.me/u/yma5t4

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  • 11 Jul 2020 10:20 AM | Kenn Rivers (Administrator)

    A few weeks ago I began a series addressing each of the 15 Departments of the Federal Executive Branch of the government.  The goal is to give you the information you need to begin identifying departments who may be buying your products and services. 

    This department is one we are all familiar with.  The Department of Education is charged with establishing the policies for the nation’s schools and it coordinates most federal education assistance.  There are a dozen key agencies that support the Department of Education; some of which are familiar to us as well.  They include the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Office of Postsecondary Education, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education and Federal Student Aid.  

    The aforementioned agencies are the ones that we think of when we think of the public school systems.  Curriculum, assistive technology, textbooks, testing, accreditations and more, from Pre-K - Graduate levels, are all handled by these agencies.  If your business supports educating Americans, it’s likely to fall under the Department of Education.  

    With the Department of Education - and all of the departments, for that matter - I encourage you to think vertically.  Vertical integration is a big issue in corporate strategy, especially with firms reevaluating what parts of their value chain they want to keep and which parts to outsource.  For example, your company may perform binding services including spiral binding for workbooks.  A textbook publisher may outsource the binding portion of their business because it isn’t cost effective to have the equipment needed when that is such a small part of their overall business.  Your firm could be the partner to whom they outsource.  

    Continue thinking “outside the box” and look at grant opportunities for your business. We don’t often think about grants when we think of government contracts but those options are readily available as well.  The Office of Innovation and Improvement, for instance, makes strategic investments in innovative educational programs and they administer more than 25 grant programs, i.e. Charter schools.  In this agency, in particular, and the Department of Education in general, you’ll find a lot of grant opportunities.

    The last few agencies that complete the 12 key agencies of the Department of Education are the Office for Civil Rights, the Institute for Education Sciences, the Office of English Language Acquisition, the National Assessment Governing Board and the National Center for Education Statistics.  

    The Institute for Education Sciences provides the evidence on which education policies and practices are based via four centers; the evaluation center, research center, statistics center and the special education research center.  If your company conducts research or develops analytical software or manufactures assistive technology for special needs kids, then there may be contracting opportunities in the Institute of Education Sciences for you to consider.

    As I mentioned earlier, this series is to move you beyond the obvious needs you may think of when you consider some of these departments and see what actual niches may exist for your business.  The goal is to get you started down the right path so that you can truly see what opportunities await.  

    Good Luck.

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