Death by Cyber Security!

Cyber! Cyber! Cyber!

It seems like that’s all you hear about these days, particularly in the world of government procurement.  So what’s all the big push?

If you are not an IT company then it may seem very foreign to you and the importance of it may escape you. Personally, I count myself as one of the relative unknowing in the masses as far as how people get into my computer from around the net. But in the last few months, I have become greatly aware that my “they won’t come after me” attitude will not hold water. Small businesses are getting hacked all the time and a stat that was passed on to me is that 60% of all small businesses that get hacked are out of business in 6 months.

Add to that that, if you do not implement minimal security requirements while working with the DoD they can cancel your existing contracts, exclude you from future competition, and can even charge you if you lie to them. Do not wait until you are losing revenue to implement some basic measures to protect your systems. And we can help.

On December 12th, Manufacturer’s Edge is hosting an event in Loveland titled “The Importance of Cybersecurity for Manufacturers with Pat Toth.” I would recommend it for any industry. Pat Toth is a Computer Scientist with NIST, the National Institute of Science and Technology, and is the author of NIST SP 800-171. You know, that requirement everyone is trying to meet by 31 December. No better company to keep if you are trying to figure it all out. Manufacturer’s Edge is a great partner to Colorado PTAC and I can wholeheartedly endorse this event.

Another great opportunity to gain some knowledge is on the 19th of December where Colorado PTAC, the Pikes Peak NMCA, and Pikes Peak SBDC are teaming to bring you a full morning of training on various topics, a lot of them on cyber issues. Register for that program here.

Coming into compliance with NIST SP 800-171 is not an insurmountable task. I have read the requirements and they are not that hard to address but you do need to examine what you are doing now and what you need to implement. When you leave your house or your car I bet you lock them.  Data is every bit as valuable so we should do our part to protect it. I hope to see you at a training event soon!

 – Dennis Casey, Executive Director, Colorado PTAC

New Staff Members

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — I am happy beyond words that we were able to attract and hire Stephen Leisenring in the role of a full time counselor in the Catalyst Campus office.  Steve came aboard on September 15th as we were trying to move in our new home.  Steve worked as the Director of Contracts for Vectrus for a time and before that served a long and prosperous career in the U.S. Army.  Steve served as they Deputy Director of Contracting for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Commanding General, Joint Theater Support Contracting Command, and Commanding General, Mission and Installation Contracting Command amongst many prior leadership positions.  Steve’s knowledge of government contracting far surpasses most in the industry and we are truly blessed to have him join our ranks.  When I asked Steve why he would work for a non-profit when he could make much more in industry he simple told me he was passionate about what PTAC does and is looking to give back to the community.  In the short time he has been with us he has already contributed immensely to our effectiveness and ability to get potential government vendors to the right places.

Heather Johnson also joined our ranks as the new Outreach Coordinator.  Heather is a Marine Veteran where she worked in Public Affairs then received her degree in communications from Hawaii Pacific University.  She and her husband recently moved here from Hawaii and is calling Colorado Springs home now.  This was an easy hire for me as well!  Heather worked with a non-profit dog shelter in Hawaii doing their public outreach and website.  I looked them up and saw the quality work she did for them and was happy  make her the offer.  Heather maintains our social media sites, website, printed material, and manages our newsletter and other email efforts.  I have been impressed with her zeal and abilities.  Welcome aboard Heather!
 – Dennis Casey, Executive Director, Colorado PTAC

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

CATALYST CAMPUS, Colo. Springs – Almost 200 people from local government and the El Paso County business community joined the Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center on October 12th for a ribbon cutting to officially open PTAC’s and SBDC’s new offices at the Catalyst Campus in downtown Colorado Springs.

“El Paso County is proud to support the Small Business Development Center and continue a strong partnership with the Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the small business community,” said Board of El Paso County Commissioners President Darryl Glenn, who spoke at the event. “We work hand-in-hand with SBDC, PTAC and other organizations in the Pikes Peak Region to insure that County government is enhancing local businesses’ abilities to thrive and bolster the local economy while keeping the region and its leaders on the cutting edge of the business world.”

Along with Commissioner Glenn, Dennis Casey, the Executive Director of PTAC, and SBDC Executive Director Aikta Mercoulier, as well as Catalyst Campus founder Kevin O’Neil spoke at the ribbon cutting. Mercoulier asked the 150-plus supporters in attendance to raise their right hand and pledge to continue to support small business. The pledge said, “Whenever I can, wherever I go, when I support small business, I’m supporting a dream.”

Photo Courtesy of the SBDC

“This ribbon cutting was more than another great event,” said Mercoulier. “It was an event that celebrated the collaboration of partners, our staff, clients, friends and families in support of small business throughout the Pikes Peak Region”

PTAC’s goal is to generate employment and improve the general economic condition of the state by assisting companies including those eligible for preferential consideration in obtaining and performing under local, state and federal government contracts. The SBDC offers business consulting and training to maximize the economic potential of entrepreneurs within the region.

The vision of Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation is to create an economic development “cluster” to expand the aerospace and defense industrial base in Southern Colorado through a collaborative infrastructure platform that supports entrepreneurs and small businesses.

– Matt Steiner, Deputy Public Information Office, El Paso County

PUEBLO, Colo. – Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) will hold office hours in Pueblo starting Aug. 9 to provide government contracting assistance for local small businesses.

A new partnership between Pueblo County Office of Economic Development and Geographic Information Systems (EDGIS) and Pueblo Latino Chamber of Commerce makes this possible.

“This partnership allows us to provide more consistent support to the community of Pueblo and we hope to make a big impact,” said Dennis Casey, executive director, Colorado PTAC.

The Latino Chamber of Commerce will house PTAC every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 215 Victoria Avenue, Pueblo, CO. 81003.

PTAC will offer individual counseling and classes on all aspects of government contracting from this location.

Colorado PTAC is headquartered in Colorado Springs with satellite offices in Aurora, Westminster, Fort Collins, Golden, and Pueblo. PTAC educates and assists and Colorado small businesses wanting to grow their business through government contracting at any level – federal, state, county or local. Funded by federal, state and private contributions, Colorado PTAC is one of 97 programs across the country providing expert procurement guidance at no-cost to any Colorado business. Since inception in 2009, Colorado PTAC has provided government acquisition assistance to more than 4,000 businesses. Clients have received more than one billion dollars in government contracts awards which impacted more than 21,000 jobs throughout the state. Colorado PTAC is the only organization in the state that focuses solely around selling to the government.

Contact: Dennis Casey | (719) 667-3849 | d.casey@coloradoptac.org

We are seeking qualified candidates to join our team in Colorado Springs as Procurement Counselors.
See the position descriptions for each role below:
**Please submit a cover letter and résumé to info@coloradoptac.org with the subject line of “(PT or FT) CS Procurement Counselor”.  Please have at least three references available to attest to your work in government procurement.**
Colorado PTAC provides assistance to any Colorado business seeking the government as a market for their products or services.  The assistance provided includes but is not limited to market entrance requirements, seeking opportunities, proposal management and contract performance.

Gallatin, TN  June 21, 2017The Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) presented its 2017 Outstanding Project Award to the Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) for their collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a Virtual Industry Day to reach small businesses in nineteen states.

The Colorado PTAC was approached by the US Army Corps of Engineers’ 88th Regional Support Command, Huntsville Alabama to assist them in conducting a wide-area “Virtual Industry Day” for their upcoming contract solicitations. The PTAC’s role was to coordinate outreach with other PTACs throughout the nineteen-state area and facilitate broadcasting the briefings to as many other locations as possible. To accomplish this, the Colorado PTAC secured the use of the El Paso County Colorado Commissioners Hearing Room, which had the capability for real-time internet broadcast.

The Colorado PTAC reached out to other PTACs for cooperation with the event; ultimately thirty-eight (38) procurement centers participated during the broadcast, with more than 250 vendors attending.  At each location, PTAC facilitators were able to accept questions or comments and text them to Colorado PTAC staff at the live event, who in turn provided the questions to the speakers. Ultimately, all questions and comments were answered by written announcement on the federal government’s official contracting website, Federal Business Opportunities (FBO.gov).

The Army Corps’ acquisition team was impressed by the participating PTACs’ willingness to help and their ability to assemble such geographically dispersed vendor communities for direct access to the briefings. The 88th Command’s Contracting Officer stated that there was no way they could have presented the briefings in person at so many locations. The event economized their travel expenses and time and provided consistent briefings to all participating regions and vendors.

APTAC’s Outstanding Project Award recognizes an accomplishment that stands out from the usual activities that all PTACs organize and undertake.  The award is given to projects that benefit all APTAC members and/or serve as a model for other PTACs to emulate.  The Colorado PTAC’s innovative use of local resources and their leadership in coordinating this broad collaboration among PTACs represents just such a project.

APTAC is the professional organization of and for the 98 Procurement Technical Assistance Centers awarded under the Department of Defense’s Procurement Technical Assistance Program.  APTAC supports the PTACs by providing them important information, professional networking, comprehensive training opportunities and a voice in national government contracting assistance and policy arenas.

The Colorado PTAC was established to generate employment and improve the general economic condition of the state by assisting Colorado companies—including those eligible for preferential consideration—in obtaining and performing under local, state and federal government contracts.  The core of their procurement assistance program is counseling and education, and they provide confidential procurement counseling at no cost.

 

“GSA has released the first ever iBook version of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which is available free from iTunes . According to Dan Briest, Program Manager of Acquisition.gov in GSA’s Office of Acquisition Policy. “We’ve had multiple requests for a downloadable version of the FAR because contracting exists regardless of whether there’s a strong WiFi signal where you are.” Mobile is the ultimate device for people on the go. “We realized that not everyone works in a traditional wired office these days, but they still need instant access to the FAR. This includes people working in the field who are without Internet,” recounted Briest.

Readers can perform searches, write notes, and highlight or save the sections they use most often. This is totally free – and it’s going to stay that way.

Rule changes occur as often as once a month. iBook owners will receive a notification each time there’s an update, with the new editions downloading, free, the next time they connect to WiFi. The iBook is always available to download again from the cloud, should the user upgrade a tablet or phone, or delete the FAR iBook in error. You can expect to see the FAR available in the Kindle and Google Play stores soon. To get your free copy of the FAR iBook, visit iBooks today.”