Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2016 Contents Pinson led OSBP from 1995 until mid-
2014, when she retired to go to work for
the Small/Diverse Business & Strategic
Alliances unit at Boeing Defense, Space
& Security. Shortly after her retirement
from public service, she was diagnosed
with cancer and died in December 2014.
During her tenure, the share of total Army
contracting dollars awarded to small
business increased from 25 percent to 32
Perhaps most notable was her impact on
ser vice-disabled veteran-owned small
businesses (SDVOSBs). She launched the
National Veteran Small Business Confer-
ence and Expo in 2005, which grew to
become the biggest event of its kind and
led the Army in exceeding the statutory 3
percent contracting goal for SDVOSBs for
the first time in 2012. Marks said of his
predecessor, “Those are some tough stilet-
tos to put my feet in and follow.”
We interviewed Marks on Oct. 20 2015,
shortly after the Association of the United
States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting &
Exposition, at which OSBP held its third
Army Small Business Seminar.
Army AL&T: You’ve been on the job
with the Army Office of Small Business
Programs since April 2015, so you’re
the new kid on the block. Do you fore-
see changing direction in any way? For
example, some of your stated priorities
are outreach to small businesses and
increased internal advocacy for small
business involvement in contracting—
what else should we stay tuned for?
Marks: Let me start by saying this:
Number one, what I inherited from my
predecessor, Ms. Tracey Pinson, was
really a solid foundation for the A rmy,
which has led the small business commu-
nity in DOD for years.
I’m not changing anything, really. I’m
just emphasizing what senior leadership—
which includes [Assistant Secretary of
the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and
Technology (ASA(ALT)] Ms. [Heidi]
Shyu, as our acquisition executive— and
the Army look for us to do: focus on the
four pillars of mission, compliance, out-
reach and training, which is in line with
Better Buying Power.
So, added to that, what we’re trying to
do is establish some in-house training
that will be provided both to industry
and to our acquisition professionals—
including the latest legislative updates
affecting small businesses, which are a
moving target sometimes. (See “Training
Army AL&T: What is the return on
investment for the Army Office of Small
Business Programs? In the discussion
at AUSA regarding the Small Business
Innovation Research (SBIR, rhymes with
“fibber”) program, it was said that the
taxes paid by Qualcomm, which got its
start as a SBIR, could fund the program.
Do you consider the Army Office of
Small Business Programs a “profit center”
for the A rmy or the government?
Marks: Well, I think when you couch
it in those terms, return on investment,
that’s really what everyone is looking for,
and, of course, we’re not a profit center in
But the return on investment can be
defined as other than just profit centers.
So, for us, the industrial base —which is
most important to our mission support
in order for our warfighters to do their
mission—is where we look for return
on investment. Do we have the right
mix of companies that can come to the
table and do the things that we need
done to provide those weapon systems,
those services and the maintenance
that covers the weapon systems after
production? Small businesses take part
in that. So that’s really the foundation.
It’s not that we just give contracts to
them. What we do is ensure that those
small businesses with the right capa-
bilities, that can support our mission
requirements, get a fair shot at provid-
ing their products and services to the
Army. (See Figure 1, Page 19, for a
breakdown of small business spending
Here are some of the topics
on which the Army OSBP is
contemplating in-house training
for industry and the acquisition
• Using the federal
procurement system as
a market research tool
for small businesses.
• Army OSBP website tools.
• Army Procurement 101.
• Effective proposal writing.
• Women- owned small busi-
ness program basics.
• Long-range acquisi-
• Army command spotlight.
• Mentor-protégé program.
• HUBZone utilization.
• 8(a) training series.
• Small business profes-
sional boot camp.
16 Army AL&T Magazine
IT’S ALL IN THE DELIVERY
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