Where Do You Go to Find
Government Contracts?
Wednesday, March 3, 9am - 4pm ET
Understand the organizations and resources available to help your small business with government contracting and learn successful strategies from the event’s small business owner’s panel.

Meet key players for your team: Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Small Business Administration (SBA), Michigan Defense Center (MDC), Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), along with small business owners panel who are successfully contracting with government entities now.

Take the right steps in the right order to become a successful government contractor. Speak with the experts that can make it happen!
9:00am Opening Remarks
Congressman Bergman is driven by his commitment to serving others. While in the military, he launched two successful startup businesses in the medical equipment field, maintaining an obligation to both his nation and his customers simultaneously. As an entrepreneurial leader focused on mission accomplishment and customer satisfaction, Congressman Bergman knows how to get things done.
Congressman Bergman is honored to serve as a member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee and Veterans Affairs Committee.
9:15 am Michigan Defense Center – Introduction to Defense Contracting
The Michigan Defense Center (MDC) is the state’s lead voice for the defense and homeland security economy. Learn about the defense ecosystem in the state, and activities and resources the MDC offers for Michigan companies to be successful in the defense supply chain.  
Speaker: Vicki Selva, Executive Director MDC  
Vicki Selva is the Executive Director of the Michigan Defense Center and leads a robust team of professionals to Protect and Grow Michigan’s defense, defense aerospace and homeland security industries and missions. Vicki has been managing budgets, developing programs and strategies for the Michigan Defense Center since 2013 in various roles and is a leader in reshaping the State’s efforts to protect and grow missions and industry in federal contracting sectors of the economy. She is an architect and manager of the State of Michigan’s Protect & Grow Strategic Initiative for Michigan’s defense assets, industry and community, has co-developed and implemented the Federal Contract Bid Writing Services Program for Michigan companies, and is constantly developing the state’s marketing and communications strategy for Michigan’s defense sector. Vicki is a Board Member for the National Defense Industry Association- Michigan Chapter and has been appointed Michigan Representative to the NDIA National Policy Committee. Vicki is the Chairperson and Director for the Michigan Defense Exposition, a nationally recognized annual showcase of Michigan’s Army assets and supporting industries. Ms. Selva has also volunteered her time to mentor young professionals with the Women in Defense (WID) Association and is also a member of the Association of U.S. Army (AUSA). Vicki Selva has been awarded the Macomb County Partnership Award, the NDIA Volunteer of the Year Award and is recipient of the 2017 Women in Defense/Crain’s Horizon Innovation Award. Nominations include the NDIA National Red Ball Express Award given to members of the defense community with expertise and a history of supporting tactical wheeled vehicles and the National Association of Defense Communities Annual Accomplishment Award. Prior to taking a leadership role at the Michigan Defense Center, Vicki built her reputation working with defense entities, global, national and local companies and has developed many important relationships with key members of industry, government and academia through her decade long service with U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin.
9:30 SBDC: Importance of Operational and Financial Controls When Contracting with the Government
Set expectations for referrals through the process.  
Speaker: Laura Marohnic, Michigan SBDC 
Laura Marohnic, MBA, CGBP is the MI-SBDC Regional Director covering the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She specializes in financial analysis, loan package preparations, and is a Certified Global Business Professional with NASBITE. Other areas of experience include human resource management, purchasing, medical credentialing, system analysis, retail sales, inventory control, and manufacturing. She grew up in Upper Michigan working in a family retail business. Laura has experience in both for-profit and non-profit businesses as well as past experience as a small business owner of a retail party store and a small trucking operation. She worked with the SBDC in New Mexico prior to returning to Michigan bringing experience and tools to the MI-SBDC.
Speaker: Lance Wolfe, Michigan SBDC
Lance has a bachelor's degree from Northern Michigan University with a double major in Political Science/History and a double minor in Military History and Secondary Education. He is a graduate of the Army’s Logistical Command School. He has served on both active and reserve duty as a Captain managing heavy maintenance operations for the U.S. Army. Lance has 25 years of Economic Development experience working with employers across the northern region of Michigan.
Areas of Expertise: Retail/Hospitality, Medical Professionals, Construction, Manufacturing, and Professional Services.
10:00 PTAC and SAM.gov (System for Award Management) Registration, Bid Match
The mission of the statewide network of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) in Michigan is to achieve government contracting success for clients through the connection of educational resources, advanced-level counseling engagements, and network/resource introductions. The PTAC staff are subject-matter experts on procurement opportunities and contracting activities, providing the most current and relevant information available. The PTAC will provide insight into the research process and coach you in the use of the information obtained.   
Speaker: Leanne Kachmarsky, Networks Northwest  
LeAnne Kachmarsky was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula and is a graduate of NMU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. She is very passionate about helping small businesses succeed and promoting the local economy, and that’s why working as a PTAC Counselor for Northwest Michigan PTAC for the last 2+ years has been so rewarding. LeAnne comes to PTAC with a wealth of past experience working previously for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as a Provider Specialist, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals as a Senior Executive Pharmaceutical Representative, Select Realty with 8+ years of being an independent contractor/Realtor, and Michigan Works as a Business Consultant. LeAnne still holds her real estate license, is a Certified Veteran Evaluation Counselor, and has an Associate’s Certificate in Contract Management from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Speaker: Cathy Fairbanks, Networks Northwest
Cathy Fairbanks is the Northwest Michigan Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Regional Director covering the entire Upper Peninsula and the 10 counties of northwest Lower Peninsula. Cathy has been with the PTAC, a program of Networks Northwest, for eight years. She is a Certified Federal Contract Manager and has her Master Certificate in Contract Management. Cathy provides counseling and training to businesses who want to sell their products/services to the government (federal, state, and local) and government primes. In addition, she provides direction and oversight for the program’s operations and budget for multiple locations.

Cathy is on the Board of Directors of the statewide organization Procurement Technical Assistance Centers of Michigan (PTAC’s). Since 2018, she has served as the Vice President. Cathy has been on the Executive Board of the PTAC’s for the past four years.

Cathy was recently recognized for her work with the defense industry. She received the 2018 Women in Defense Michigan Chapter Horizon Industry Award. The Women in Defense Michigan Chapter is a non-profit organization formed in 2007 to help “strengthen and influence the defense and national security industry by inspiring women, cultivating leadership and grow relationships.”

Cathy started her career in Business Information Systems. She has her BBA in Business and Technology and her MS in Career and Technical Education. Cathy has over 20 years as a small business owner in agriculture, construction, and retail combined, as well as extensive experience in software development and education.
11:00 Michigan Defense Center – Bid Targeting System (BTS) and Proposal Writing Services (PWS) Grant Program 
The Bid Targeting System (BTS) is an online database free to Michigan companies. Learn about how BTS can help you identify suitable federal contracting opportunities, what federal and state contracting officers consider your company’s strengths and weaknesses, and what your company can do to be more competitive. Also, learn about the grants that thee Michigan Defense Center offers to help offset the cost of engaging a pre-qualified bid-writing firm for your proposal.  
Speaker: Dustin Frigy, Program Manager - Business Resources  
Dustin Frigy is the Manager for the Business Resources Programs offered to Michigan companies and MEDC by the Michigan Defense Center. These programs directly assist Michigan companies in all stages of defense, defense aerospace and homeland security contracting and engagement. Dustin has been involved with purchasing for more than 19 years in professional positions with the Federal Government, State of Michigan, and various local government agencies. Before his role with the Michigan Defense Center, he served as the Director of Defense Logistics Agency – Procurement Technical Assistance Center in mid-Michigan for over 12 years, where he led a team of Procurement Consultants helping regional businesses secure hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts. Dustin holds a Bachelor of Business and Master of Public Administration from the University of Michigan.
11:30 Contractor Panel
Talk to current Michigan-owned businesses that are successfully doing business with the federal government.
Noon Lunch Break / Q&A / Chat with Contractors
1:00 Small Business, Big Threat…Cyber Security Awareness
Yes, even small businesses are at risk of cyberattacks. In fact, small business is more vulnerable in many ways. This workshop is designed for small business owners (no technology background assumed).

This timely discussion includes the most common areas for concern and action for small business owners:
• Cyber Security Best Practices
• Protecting Your Company Information
• What to do if your company has been breached
• Password Practices
• Physical Security
• Buying and Selling Online
• Physical Security
• Mobile Security
Speaker: Scott Tabor, Michigan SBDC
Scott is a cyber-security professional passionate about raising awareness of everyday cyber threats and trends.
Prior to joining the Michigan SBDC, Scott served as an IT Security Analyst at Ferris State University for 3 years. As an IT Security Analyst, he managed full disk encryption, mobile device management, Office365 security policies, and provided security awareness training through multiple platforms. He has assisted with incident response, vulnerability and risk assessments, data loss prevention, and data security access.
Scott graduated from Ferris State University in 2012 with a degree in Information Security and Intelligence and obtained a program certificate in Geographic Information Systems. He also received a degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris State University in 2009.

2:00 MMTC - Core Services with ITAR and Cyber Security Audit Tools for Government Contractors
Speaker: Kristin Smith, MMTC Regional Director
After being away from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Kristin has returned to her home town to support a thriving U.P. She has held previous positions all throughout Southern California to Atlanta as a Configuration Specialist, Application Trainer, Program Analyst, and Account Manager for the past 10 years. She graduated from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and Marketing.
As the Regional Office Manager she will be responsible for 15 counties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Kristin is passionate about process improvement, project management, account development, client support and product roll outs. She is excited to be involved with the community to be able to share her wealth of experiences and knowledge.
Speaker: Jeff Williams, MMTC Program Manager - Cyber Security
Jeff Williams is a Program Manager for The Center’s cybersecurity team, leading our efforts to educate and equip small and medium-sized manufacturers to guard against the growing threat of cyber-attacks. One of his main areas of focus relates to the cybersecurity requirements outlined in NIST Special Publication 800-171, designed to protect the information security systems of contractors working with the Department of Defense. In addition to serving Michigan’s manufacturing community, Jeff also is involved with training other Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers across the U.S. This effort will enable those centers to provide cybersecurity services to manufacturers in their states.
Jeff has more than 20 years of experience in implementing and supporting network systems including servers, workstations and infrastructure components. He has worked at The Center twice before as both Senior Applications Designer and IS Director, gaining experience with various software systems handling estimation, implementation, development, and project management. Jeff specializes in administrating and developing database systems, as well as schema development, data management and security. In 2017, Jeff received the Acumatica Development Network’s (ADN) “Most Valuable Professional” award in honor of his work.
3:00 SBA: Federal Certifications Focus: 8(a) Business Development Program, HUBZone, Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned
Speaker: Tom Vargo, SBA Lead Business Opportunity Specialist
3:45 WRAP-UP: MDC Protect & Grow Program
Learn about the state’s defense, defense aerospace and homeland security economic strategic plan.
Speaker: Cheryl Pavic Henner, MDC Program Manager - Protect and Grow
Cheryl is the Program Manager for the Michigan Defense Center’s Protect & Grow Initiative. She is a retired Air Force Reserve Lieutenant Colonel having served in various roles at the operational and strategic levels as an engineering officer including two deployments to Southwest Asia in support of the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan. She also served as a lead partnership facilitator for the Air Force Community Partnership Program, a Secretary of the Air Force initiative that develops installation-community partnerships. In her civilian career Cheryl has worked for public and private organizations in construction management, community planning and development, finance, technology, and government consulting. She has a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, an MBA from California State University—Sacramento, and a Master of Natural Resources and Global Sustainability from Virginia Tech. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
Speaker: Laura Marohnic, Regional Director, SBDC
Laura Marohnic, MBA, CGBP is the MI-SBDC Regional Director covering the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She specializes in financial analysis, loan package preparations, and is a Certified Global Business Professional with NASBITE. Other areas of experience include human resource management, purchasing, medical credentialing, system analysis, retail sales, inventory control, and manufacturing. She grew up in Upper Michigan working in a family retail business. Laura has experience in both for-profit and non-profit businesses as well as past experience as a small business owner of a retail party store and a small trucking operation. She worked with the SBDC in New Mexico prior to returning to Michigan bringing experience and tools to the MI-SBDC.
Connect with a Michigan SBDC consultant:
Access our video library: