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News | Jan. 3, 2017

DCMA Pittsburgh hosts first defense contractor town hall

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 3, 2017 — Defense Contract Management Agency Pittsburgh hosted its first defense contractor town hall at the William S. Moorhead federal building here Oct. 18. Approximately 80 people attended the event.

The purpose of the event was twofold. The first objective was to invite area contractors to attend an informative presentation on a variety of topics pertinent to the defense industry that could assist in the better understanding of the government contract administration process. In addition to the presentations, time was allotted to allow contractors to meet one another followed by a question and answer panel discussion.

A group of employees met earlier this year to brainstorm the idea of having an industry day town hall, develop the format and agenda, and oversee the logistics of hosting such an event. The team was organized by John Brinker, Quality Assurance Group manager. Other volunteers included John Dearmin, April Faris, Wanda Harrison-Moore, Calvin Klaski, Ryan Miller and Cheryl Searle.

After an organizational overview by Navy Capt. Frederick Dini, DCMA Pittsburgh’s commander, each of the functional group managers from the contract management office provided a brief overview of best practices and lessons learned in certain areas. This included quality assurance, engineering and contracts. Each briefing focused on issues that contractors had questions or concerns with.

The event was also supported by other DCMA offices and defense industry partners including DCMA Defense Industrial Analysis Group, DCMA Fusion Center, Department of Homeland Security Protective Security Advisor, Small Business Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, Defense Logistics Agency and Navy Supply Systems Command Weapons System Support. Each of these partners briefed the audience on lessons learned and the key concepts of doing business with the Department of Defense.

At the end of the event, a panel forum was held that consisted of all of the speakers.

“The forum proved to be much more engaging than time was allotted for, but our business base took advantage of the opportunity,” said Dini. “They asked many questions of the acquisition experts we gathered and benefited from all the corporate knowledge they shared.”

Brinker said his team received positive feedback from the participants.

“A feedback card provided in the package indicated the event was a success. A hundred percent of the attendees indicated they would like to have another meeting using this same format, and 100 percent concluded that the event was an overall success.

“DCMA Pittsburgh seems to have found an innovative way to provide information, increase awareness and improve communication with local businesses,” continued Brinker. “We are already in the process of scheduling the next meeting in March of 2017.”

Dini said DCMA Pittsburgh employees wanted to make sure both the agency and contractors benefited from the event.

“The primary reason this event was a success was directly attributed to all the hard work and effort expended by the volunteers to develop and support this meeting,” he said.