Pamela O’Rourke, WIPP’s National Partner of the Month – March 2017

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Pamela O’Rourke, president and CEO of ICON information Consultants, serves on WIPP’s board of directors and has been a strong supporter of the organization through her leadership and generous contributions of time and fiscal support. Indeed, Pamela became WIPP’s very first donor to earn the “Trailblazer” title in February by contributing $10,000 to support our education work and advocacy on behalf of women business owners in Washington, D.C.

It’s thanks to people like Pamela that WIPP thrives. Thank you, Pamela!

Q Tell us a little about ICON and its mission.

A ICON Information Consultants, LP, is a Houston-based, woman-owned (WBENC Certified) staffing and payrolling firm. ICON has provided recruitment and payrolling solutions for 19 years and has over 3,500 contractors on staff daily within the US and Canada. Our primary services include Contract, Contract-to-Hire, and Direct Hire Staffing services, Payrolling services, Independent Contractor Compliance and Management services, and Specialized IT Project Management services. We target clients in the Fortune 100 and 500 arena. Some of our clients include Bank of America, John Hancock, Exelon, Deutsche Bank, NRG Reliant Energy, Shell, Halliburton, HP, Waste Management, Schlumberger, Lyondell/Basell, among many others throughout the nation. Simply put, ICON’s mission is to become the best human capital solutions firm in the US.

Q Have you always been an entrepreneur? If not, what inspired you to take the leap?

A Even before ICON’s inception, I maintained a firm belief that clients deserve more. Make the client happy while always doing the right thing, such as staying late, providing outstanding service internally and out, and doing the best job the first time. I realized while working for other firms that the level of service I wanted to provide was far superior to that which was requested of me. At that time, I saw a window of opportunity to channel my energy and work ethic towards a new business venture. As banks accredit no value to best intentions and denied my loan request since “people are not tangible assets,” I created a business plan and solicited two groups of friends to invest in the start-up. Between my own investment and the money I raised, in 1998, I opened ICON Information Consultants LP with $250,000 in capital. I then gave myself six months to make it work.

Q Have you encountered any challenges you had to overcome as a business woman and if so, what have you learned from them?

A ICON Information Consultants began its journey as a human capital procurement firm in the area of Information Technology. IT has always been a male-dominated field, and my approach and tenacity have broken through a few glass ceilings to ensure ICON remains at the top of our clients’ lists (recently, Bank of America noted ICON Information Consultants as their “favorite supplier”). I learned one of my biggest lessons when I first started to hire people. As an entrepreneur, I realized early on that in order to be at the top of my industry, I must build a team that shares my hunger to continuously learn and improve. As a team, we need to be ready, because competitors are poised to seize any opportunities left open. That’s why I survey the competition to ensure that ICON’s competitive advantage is consistently one step ahead of the curve (if not two).

Q Do you have a success story that you are particularly proud of? Tell us about it!

A The first few years of ICON Information Consultant’s existence forms the basis of my success story. Between my own investment and the money that I raised, in 1998, we opened the business with $250,000 in capital. I gave myself six months to make it work. Choosing to work only with Fortune 100 and 500 corporations because of their significant investment in state-of-the-art technology, I managed to cross over into the midmarket range within months. I thought I was going to do $70,000 my first year, but I did $2.5 million. The next year was $7.7 million. The third year was $11.7 million, then $14 million and $16 million. In 2016, revenues exceeded $270 million. That’s how glass ceilings are shattered.

Q Do you have any tips you would like to share with other women pursuing entrepreneurship?

A Get out of your comfort zone and make contacts. Once you have a prospective client’s undivided attention, know what you need to do to get on their radar, be direct with what you do and make sure they know why you’re great. Always remember: be yourself, relax, and bring lots of business cards.

Gloria Larkin, WIPP’s National Partner of the Month – February 2017

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Gloria Larkin, president of TargetGov, has been a staunch ally of WIPP for years. She leads GiveMe5 webinars, responds quickly and effectively to WIPP’s calls to action, and is always on the lookout for new WIPP members. It’s thanks to people like Gloria that WIPP thrives!

Read our Q&A with Gloria to learn more about her and her work.

Q: Tell us a little about TargetGov and its mission

A: TargetGov is celebrating its 20th year in business in 2017! Our mission is to help small, mid-sized and large government contractors win business and aggressively grow their companies. Our clients have won over $3.9 billion in federal contracts in just the last five years.

Q: Have you always been an entrepreneur? If not, what inspired you to take the leap?

A: I have been both an employee and an entrepreneur. I took the leap 20 years ago because I wanted to do something that no one else was doing—help businesses see great success and increase their revenues with a targeted, proactive marketing and business development process.

Q: Have you encountered challenges you had to overcome as a business woman and if so, what have you learned from them?

A: The challenges have been constant, and access to capital is one of the biggest. Through the years, I have had several business loans to grow my business, and none of them were the amount I asked for. It’s an issue even to this day. In applying for a line of credit, I was offered less than half of what I thought it should be. I had the chutzpah to say exactly the amount I thought they should give me (more than double what they offered) and was pleasantly surprised that they agreed. In the past I wouldn’t have pushed, but now, I do.

Q: Do you have a success story that you are particularly proud of? Tell us about it!

A: My proudest moments are when our clients contact us and tell us of their awarded contracts and successful business growth. It feels like my children are successful and I am one proud parent! The first billion was a heady milestone. Now as we see the four-billion milestone coming this year, we are ecstatic about their success!

Q: What is the biggest lesson learned working with the federal government?

A: The biggest lesson is that the federal government market is constantly changing. The rules and regulations are burdensome, yes, but success is predicated on having a strategy and plan that addresses this constant change and adapts proactively, with a trackable, measureable and scalable process. Seeing it work in real life is extraordinary!

Q: Do you have any tips you would like to share with women pursuing federal contracts?

A: This is a demanding market and one must be well prepared, have a well-thought-out roadmap, the discipline to execute it, and measurable actions to track success. This is truly the market in which you can think BIG and see results. But it takes effort and knowledge; use the experts to help you!

Q: Tell us about your experience as a WIPP member. What resources and value has WIPP provided that has been helpful to you and your company?

A: WIPP has truly changed my life. I started getting involved as a committee chair, then learned how to talk to my Congress people. I participated in virtually every area WIPP works in and found a home on the procurement committee. Then I worked my way onto the government board, and then to Chair of the Educational Foundation. Thanks to WIPP, I have testified before the House Small Business Committee, and traveled to more than 15 states and had lifetime trips to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Japan and Oxford, England to speak or work with women in those counties. Working to start the GiveMe5 program, and supporting it through the years has been a great highlight. WIPP has impacted more than 30,000 women business owners through GiveMe5! And I am deeply honored to have many WIPP members as clients and heart-felt friends.

10 Things You Should Know From the Linda McMahon Hearing

By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Chief Advocate

On Jan. 24, the Senate Small Business Committee held a hearing on the confirmation of Linda McMahon (former WWE CEO), to become Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA). Here are the 10 things you should know about her hearing:

  1. SBA is still part of the cabinet—President Obama elevated the position of SBA Administrator to cabinet level. President Trump is sticking with that change.
  2. Existing programs are safe…for now—When questioned by numerous senators on specific program commitments, McMahon repeatedly said that if the program is working then it should be continued.
  3. She will go to bat for small business in the executive branch—McMahon sees herself as the small business advocate within the executive branch, and will go to other agencies and make sure that more federal contracting opportunities are provided to small businesses.
  4. She will work to expand the 5% contracting goal for women—Senator Duckworth (IL), asked about the 5% goal, and McMahon expressed support for women entrepreneurs, broadly, “I have been very forthcoming in wanting women entrepreneurship to grow. And I will continue to support that, it is very near and dear to my heart.”
  5. She has a history working with Veterans—According to McMahon, WWE was always concerned about veterans and how to help create jobs for them. Senator Cardin (MD) discussed the Veterans Institute for Procurement (VIP) program and noted its impact and high performance.
  6. Look for an emphasis on mentoring—Given McMahon’s background in business mentoring, she may focus on programs that incorporate mentorship. As co-founder of Women’s Leadership LIVE, McMahon’s organization educates entrepreneurs about all facets of starting and expanding their business.
  7. She wants to help free small businesses from burdensome regulations—While many senators asked questions about regulatory burdens on small businesses, Senator Ernst brought up the PROVE It Act—legislation passed out of committee last session that empowers the SBA Office of Advocacy to require agencies to analyze rules for their small business impact.
  8. Speaking of advocacy—McMahon expressed support for expanding the independent SBA Office of Advocacy to ensure that the voice of small business is heard on federal regulations.
  9. She wants small businesses to participate in anticipated Infrastructure projects—When asked about promoting fair opportunities for small businesses to compete for work in the highly anticipated infrastructure plan, McMahon stated that small business participation was a given.
  10. Streamlining cumbersome federal contracting—McMahon expressed support for streamlining the alphabet soup of federal websites and databases like SAM and FBO.

This was a conciliatory confirmation hearing. Given the contentious nature of other confirmation hearings, it was unknown what tone McMahon’s hearing would take. But the hearing went well. Senators were polite and McMahon was responsive to concerns. With so much partisanship in Washington, it was positive to see McMahon’s interest in working with the committee—both sides.

In With the New

By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Chief Advocate

With inauguration festivities up ahead and a newly elected Congress hard at work, it is time to get down to business. The New Year serves as a good reminder that while there may be some new faces in Washington, many of the policy ideas are those we have seen before. Below are some highlights of what is both old and new in Washington for 2017.

Old and New. For the first time in years, our Country has unified government in the House, Senate, and White House. The difference this time is that the government is united by the Republicans, not Democrats. Amazingly, it’s only been six years since the Democrats controlled the government. New—now the Republicans are in change.

Old. Some problems don’t change. Creating more opportunities for women entrepreneurs to access capital continues to be a major theme for WIPP in 2017. Today, women entrepreneurs receive only 4% of commercial loan dollars. WIPP’s access to capital platform Breaking the Bank has been well received by policy makers because it is focused on solutions.

New. Some problems just surfaced. WIPP recently released a report, “Do Not Enter: Women Shut Out of U.S. Government’s Biggest Contracts,” finding clear evidence that women-owned small businesses have limited opportunities to win some of the federal government’s most sought-after contracts, despite a proven ability to deliver innovative goods and services. The report also outlines steps policy makers can take to rectify the problem.

Old. 2016 Was certainly a year of regulations for federal contractors. From Paid Sick Leave, to Overtime, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces—it was often difficult to keep them straight.

New. 2017 is the year of deregulation. President-elect Trump and the U.S. House have strongly indicated many Obama administration rules will be repealed. The House just passed the Midnight Relief Act to quickly repeal any rule finalized in the last 60 days of an Administration. WIPP supports efforts to make it easier for women entrepreneurs to work with the government.

New. Government contracting finalized. While it took many years, SBA has finally released the new all-small business Mentor Protégé Program, and new rules making it easier for WOSBs to work with other WOSBs. WIPP looks forward to working with SBA to ensure WOSBs can use these program changes to grow our businesses.

Old. Wait –Nothing gets repealed in government contracting, there is just more to pile on.

Old and New. In 2017, 125 women hold seats in the U.S. Capitol building. One hundred and four women hold seats in the U.S. Congress, making up over 19 percent of the chamber. A greater percentage of women serve in the U.S. Senate, where there are 21 women (making up 21 percent). While the total number of women is identical to the number last Congress, there is one key difference—64% of the new women elected are women of color.

New. Firsts in Congress. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware is the first woman, and woman of color to serve from Delaware. Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto is the first woman, and first woman of color Nevada has elected to the U.S. Senate.

As WIPP prepares to work in the 115th Congress, we plan to present our ideas based on input from membership. We will work with all Members of Congress, and the new Administration, because one of the few things everyone agrees on is that enabling businesses to grow strengthens our economy. Women are entering the ranks of business ownership at record rates, and launching a net of more than 1,100 new businesses each day. We will work for the next several years to reinforce and grow the success of women’s business owners.

So what are we waiting for—let’s get to work.

Janice Hamilton: WIPP National Partner of the Month – December 2016

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Janice Hamilton

Interview with Janice Hamilton, CEO and founder of CarrotNewYorkContinue reading

WIPP leadership at NASDAQ

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WIPP joined with the NYC Department of Small Business Services to ring the NASDAQ opening bell on Friday, in honor of Small Business Saturday.

WIPP leadership at NASDAQ

WIPP National Partner of the Month – November 2016

laurie-artis-pictureLaurie S. Artis – President & CEO of Civility Management Solutions

1.Tell us a little about your company and its mission.

Civility Management Solutions (CMS) was established to not only employ individuals in professional services but to also mentor and train them in becoming better workforce partners.  In the Marine Corps, we are constantly mentoring to improve others and ourselves, and for those that receive it, it can increase their life personally and professionally.  We are working hard to develop both an east and west coast office, and to add the HUBZone certification to our certifications.  Also, as a Woman Veteran, of course, CMS is focused on supporting both civilian and military, nationally and abroad.  My life story has well prepared me to work with a diversity of individuals, doing a diversity of work for this country, and I am honored at the opportunity to once again serve the United States.

2. Have you always been an entrepreneur?

Yes, I have always been an entrepreneur as I sold candy as a child from my parents’ home; modeled professionally as a teenager in high school; (tried) medical billing and was scammed; marketed holistic products that I still use; and began an outdoor BootCamp exercise program.  So, yes, I have always been an entrepreneur.

What inspired you to take the leap?  

Being inspired by seeing another woman, much younger than myself own and operate a company with over 200 employees was truly some revelation … I can do this!  After working onsite in the government, and inside the corporate office, I really enjoyed the work.  I have thanked her several times since leaving her company, as I am grateful that I had an opportunity to gleam this world before taking the leap.

3. What is your biggest lesson learned from working with the Federal Government? 

You must be a people person!  If you’re not, then you are depending on others to do that for you; whereas, there is no better representation of your company than yourself and being 100% owned, this is important.  You must enjoy working with people and be willing to work with them to give both satisfaction and appreciation despite the obstacles that may come from them.  I love people, and that allows them to appreciate me and relationships are important.

4. Do you have any tips you would like to share with other women pursuing Federal Contracts? 

Put on your big ones (smile) … as this business is not for the faint of heart. It is truly a marathon, and you have to stay focused, stay involved, stay teachable, and get connected.

5. Have you encountered any challenges you had to overcome as a professional business woman and if so, what have you learned from them? 

Yes, I have encountered several challenges, but the worst was dropping my salary to minimum wage in order to stay employed by my company and not seek a job.  In reality, in order to become SBA certified as a WOSB or EDWOSB you should be working for your company full time “during normal business  hours.”  Upon submission of required documentation to Department of VA to become verified I learned then that they can prove this through your tax returns.  So, what I learned is that you need to operate in integrity at all levels in order to ensure success that can be maintained for years to come and stay out of trouble with the government.

6. Do you have a success story that you are particularly proud of? Tell us about it! 

I have responded to a Sources Sought and helped influence the set-aside, then responded to the solicitation and won the opportunity!

7. Tell us about your experience as a WIPP member.

Wow, fascinating, as it is great to be surrounded by women on a mission.  As a WIPP member I have learned so much from great teachers through WIPP webinars; I have been ‘sold out’ on the fight for women in business due to participating in congressional sessions alongside WIPP; and lastly, I truly enjoy being surrounded by women that are determined to make a difference for themselves and others.

What resources/value has WIPP provided that has been helpful to you and your company?

Webinar sessions, Congressional meetings, and testimonies.

Interview with NDC’s Jane Campbell, President of WIPP

jane-campbell1.Can you shortly describe your professional background? Is there any achievement/lessons learned that you are most proud of or would like to share with us?

I started my career in neighborhood development with the Volunteers in Service to America program (VISTA), worked with women’s advocacy organizations for many years, returned to neighborhood economic development and then ran successfully for the Ohio House of Representatives. My path as an elected official included 12 years in the legislature, 5 on the Cuyahoga County Commission and a 4 year term as Mayor of Cleveland. After serving as Mayor, I started my own business doing economic development consulting including advising Goodyear in the financing of their new Headquarters in Akron, OH. I also served as a fellow at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. The real estate crash sent me back into the public sector as Chief of Staff to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Staff Director for the Senate Small Business Committee.  Now I lead the Washington office of the National Development Council (NDC), an extremely creative nonprofit dedicated to bringing capital into underserved communities to create jobs, build affordable housing and create communities. NDC provides small business lending especially to women and minorities in underserved areas.

In every position that I’ve had the opportunity to hold I worked to be sure that women were full participants, that low income and minority communities were well served and that public private partnerships between government, business, and local community leaders were key to the engagement.

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that collaboration is vital to success and that women are incredibly hard workers.

2. When did you hear about WIPP for the first time and what resonated with you the most?

I learned about WIPP when I was Sen. Mary Landrieu’s chief of staff.  Sen. Landrieu chaired the Senate small business committee and we found WIPP to be one of the most effective coalitions on Capitol Hill. Later when I was the Staff Director of the Senate Small Business Committee under the leadership of Sen. Maria Cantwell I saw WIPP in action when several hundred women appeared to advocate for greater federal contracting opportunities.

3. What shaped your decision to become WIPP President?

The partnership that we are creating between the National Development Council(NDC) and WIPP is a new frontier of creative engagement.  For over 40 years NDC worked to bring capital into underserved communities by providing training in economic development finance, technical assistance to communities and economic development entities, the creation of Public private partnerships and lending to small businesses – especially those businesses owned by women and minorities. Our work with WIPP will strengthen both organizations as we pursue access to capital for women entrepreneurs, creating the strongest voice for women whose businesses are creating jobs and futures for key populations. 

I took the role as President of the WIPP coalition to strengthen this partnership and to provide the leadership needed for WIPP to move into the future while staying fully committed to my work as director of the NDC Washington office.  Knowing that Roz Alford is there as Managing Director to lead the day to day work of the office allowed me to say yes.

4. Do you have any particular vision for WIPP?

Our Coalition of businesses and associations can emerge from its already strong position to be clearly the voice of women entrepreneurs.  By building a strong national network of women in business and advocates for women in business the WIPP Coalition should be able to enhance opportunities by connecting policy makers and women business owners to craft meaningful policy that will enhance access to capital, improve contracting opportunities and create a fair tax code.

5. Do you have any message for WIPP members? 

The strength of the WIPP Coalition is the active engagement of our members – please join in our work!

Federal Contracting Success Story of Mickey Swortzel’s New Eagle Consulting Company

Interview with Mickey M. Swortzel, CFO of New Eagle Consulting

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  1. Tell us a little about your company and its mission.

Mickey Swortzel: We are a engineering services and product distribution company that also develops products used for control systems. Those are found in multiple applications; we focus largely on commercial vehicles, trucks, vans, and most often fleet vehicles. We are looking to provide efficiency in the fuel areas by focusing on alternative, electric, and hybrid vehicles to make them more efficient and less pollutant.

Our mission is making the world a cleaner place to live.

We are also helping our customers by providing the expertise of our engineers in customized hardware and software solutions.

  1. Have you always planned on doing business with the federal government?

Mickey Swortzel: Yes, we’ve always wanted to do business with the federal government since our founding in 2008. However, it took quite some time until we managed to score our first contract in 2014.

  1. What shaped your decision to start pursuing Federal Contracts?  

Mickey Swortzel: My husband and I cofounded the business and we grew up in Dayton, Ohio which is a home for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The industry was always prevalent in the local economy so we’ve seen the value that government contracts can provide to the city. It’s sort of in our DNA.

We also knew that we had a solution that they needed and it was just a matter of getting noticed as we are a small business.

As mentioned above we were pursuing federal contracts for 6 years until we managed to get the first one. During that time, we were working on developing relationships, we listened to what they needed and, most importantly, we worked on getting validated as a business.

How has this shaped your business?

Mickey Swortzel: It dramatically changed our business for the better. We have engaged 2 different consultant experts who helped us a lot in the process. We also became DCAA compliant and one of the consultants helped me to pass the audit.

In general, we were doing everything we needed before as well. We just needed to put it into the federal government language and present it in a way they could understand. That’s where the consultants were very helpful.

  1. How do you think ChallengeHER and the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) program help women business owners in the process?

Mickey Swortzel: Going through the WOSB certification process helped us to position our unique value. One of our consultants told me: “You have an incredible value proposition. You just need to make sure you get known and recognized for it.” That’s the area where educational events like ChallengeHER can be very helpful to spread this message among WOSBs. On top of that the educational portion is incredibly important especially the DCAA lessons which is a fundamental part of being successful as a federal contractor.

Although being WOSB certified hasn’t helped us to get the current contract, we are definitely better positioned now to get additional contracts in the future.

  1. How has it helped your business?

Mickey Swortzel: WIPP in general helped me to put a Capability Statement together and get through the required registrations. All of the educational portion has really helped me to understand the value that we have and channel it to get heard.

  1. What percentage of your revenue comes from government contracts?

Mickey Swortzel: About 25%. We want to stay diversified but we certainly want to increase that proportion in the future.

  1. What contracts are you currently working on? What have you worked on in the past?

Mickey Swortzel: We are currently working on a Phase 2 contract for the Department of the Air Force which will take about 18 months in total to complete. We are also working for DOE as a subcontractor however we prefer focusing our energy on prime contracts.

  1. Does your business export?

Mickey Swortzel: Yes, we are exporting our engineering consulting services and electronic hardware around the globe.

  1. What would you recommend to other WOSBs doing business with the federal government?

Mickey Swortzel:

  • I would absolutely recommend utilizing WIPP educational resources. Going through the website and being in touch with the team has been the quickest and most efficient way to find information as I started this process.
  • Business owners should also recognize that it takes a long time to get federal contracts and don’t give up.
  • The stronger the business is the more attractive it is for government contracts. You are not wasting your time even when you don’t win the contract. You are building a strong business which you need in order to ultimately win contracts.
  • Realize the WOSB opportunities and take advantage of them. Getting WOSB certified is very important and it’s worth whatever time and energy is required.

WIPP National Partner of the Month – August 2016

Faye's Headshot_DSC_0024 (disc b).JPG-2.5 megWIPP National Partner of the Month – August 2016

Faye Coleman, Principal of FEC Enterprises, LLC.

We sat down with Faye to hear a little bit more about her business and her relationship with WIPP.

 

Tell us a little about your company and its mission.
After selling my former government contracting company of 31 years in March of 2015, I started my current consulting practice, FEC Enterprises, LLC., a multifaceted executive coaching, diversity training and leadership development organization that helps owners/executives of small-to-mid-size businesses and non-profit organizations achieve the success they seek through intuitive problem solving and focused action planning.

Our mission is to inspire business executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals in transition to unlock their full potential, and realize the success they seek.  Along with executive and transition coaching, we offer our clients a range of additional human capital enhancement services, such as leadership and diversity training, organizational change management and retreat facilitation.

Have you always been an entrepreneur? If not, what inspired you to take the leap?
I started my first company, Westover Consultants, Inc., in 1984, after several years of working in senior management positions in various government contracting firms in the Washington DC area.  Over time, I realized that working for myself was the only way that I could truly ensure that the projects I spent my time on would always reflect my personal values.  Over the course of 3 decades, Westover Consultants grew to become one of the most highly regarded professional services firms of its size in the DC metropolitan area, and developed a reputation for improving the human condition with each undertaking.

What is your biggest lesson learned working with the Federal Government?
In government contracting, there are certain attributes that every business owner must master in order to be successful in this unpredictable and often politically volatile field. Chief among them are (1) integrity, (2) flexibility, and (3) resilience.

Do you have a success story that you are particularly proud of? Tell us about it!
High on my list of success stories is the work Westover Consultants did providing emergency, disaster mental health counseling services to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina who were scattered throughout the Gulf States.  After identifying and screening over 1,600 counselor applicants within a 2-week turn-around time, we staffed nearly 1,245 two-week deployments of clinicians to shelters, clinics, hospitals, and outreach facilities across the Gulf Coast over an 18-month period, in 2005 and 2006. Our teams were comprised of licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers; substance abuse and pastoral counselors, nurses and other mental health professionals with expertise across multiple, complementary disciplines. Our government client, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), acknowledged the life-saving work of our staff and clinicians with the “Spirit of Recovery Award”, which they presented to Westover Consultants at the conclusion of the contract.

Tell us about your experience as a WIPP member? What resources/value has WIPP provided that has been helpful to you and your company?
I have been an active member of WIPP since 2005, and in 2007, I was the recipient of WIPP’s Diversity Leadership Award”.  As a current WIPP board member, I can personally attest to the difference that WIPP makes for women business owners. Through WIPP’s unparalleled advocacy on behalf of women business owners, my company, and countless others, continue to benefit from expanded federal procurement opportunities, training and technical assistance in business development, increased knowledge about and access to business capital resources, and enhanced credibility with congressional leaders and decision makers of both parties.