West Virginia and Massachusetts Woman-Owned Firms Take Top Honors in Federal Contracting

8(a) Graduate Firm of the Year; Industry Leaders also to be honored during National Small Business Week

Washington, Sept. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Small Business Administration announced two women-owned firms will receive awards honoring their work in federal contracting.  

  • Action Facilities Management, Inc. (AFM), an 8(a)-certified commercial facilities management firm specializing in infrastructure and security support services from Morgantown, West Virginia;  and
  • Specialty Materials Inc. (SMI), a firm specializing in composite fiber and prepreg products that support the aerospace industry from Lowell, Massachusetts, has been named the National Subcontractor of the Year. 

These two women-owned small businesses were selected from among a strong field of candidates submitted by SBA’s ten regional offices.  

Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year:  

Diana Lewis Jackson, President, and CEO, Action Facilities Management, Inc. (AFM)
Morgantown, West Virginia

Diana Lewis Jackson is President and CEO of Action Facilities Management, Inc. (AFM), a minority-owned, woman-owned certified small business specializing in government and commercial facilities management. With more than 300 employees, AFM supports clients in 11 states and Washington, D.C. They provide a full spectrum of integrated facilities management, infrastructure and security support services with core competencies in facility operations and maintenance, construction, administrative support services, and emergency management.  

Diana is a graduate of the SBA’s 8(a) Program and was the SBA’s  8(a)-Graduate of the Year in 2016 and 2013 West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year.  

Small Business Subcontractor of the Year:  

Monica Rommel, CEO, Specialty Materials Inc. (SMI)
Lowell, Massachusetts

Monica Rommel is an innovator and entrepreneur with 35 years of leadership in materials science related to the use of composites in advanced aerospace applications. Rommel is the Chief Executive Officer for Specialty Material Inc., a woman-owned small business specializing in composite fiber and prepreg products since 1971. Rommel purchased SMI with her company, Global Materials, in 2019. SMI is the only remaining source of continuous boron fiber in the world. Its materials are primarily used to reinforce advanced composite materials. SMI’s products support several industries, including aerospace, aviation, and sporting equipment, with improved structural integrity and controlled thermal expansion. It is a volume producer of Chemical Vapor Deposition based Boron and Silicon Carbide fibers. 

These awards are a part of the SBA’s National Small Business Week virtual events on September 22-24, 2020. Additional honors will be awarded to industry leaders, including the Dwight D. Eisenhower Awards, the 8(a) Graduate Firm of the Year, as well as the finalists for the National Small Business Person of the Year. 

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence recognizes large prime contractors that have excelled in the utilization of small businesses as suppliers and subcontractors within the construction, research and development, services, and manufacturing industries.  

Winners were selected for the following Eisenhower Award category: Research & Development and Services.

Research & Development:

Mr. C. Scott Anderson, Assistant Director for Operations
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) 
Lexington, Massachusetts 

Mr. C. Scott Anderson is the Director of Operations for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lincoln Laboratory (MITLL), which operates as a federally funded research development center on behalf of the Department of Defense. The laboratory conducts research and development pertinent to national security for DOD, the military, and other federal agencies where national security is mission-critical.  It focuses its research on: space systems and technology, air, missile, and maritime defense; communication systems; cybersecurity and information sciences; intelligence; surveillance, and reconnaissance systems and technology; advanced technology; tactical systems, homeland protection, and air traffic control.  

The laboratory subcontracts more than $500 million annually, with 40-50 percent going to small businesses. In FY 2019, MIT LL awarded 43.6 percent in subcontracts to small businesses totaling $264.7 million. Additionally, through MIT LL’s efforts to support small and disadvantage businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses received .81 percent of subcontracting dollars totaling $5 million, small disadvantaged businesses received 3.5 percent in subcontracting dollars totaling $21.5 million, women-owned small businesses received 22.2 percent in subcontracting dollars totaling $134.6 million, and HUBZone-owned businesses received .3 percent in subcontracting dollars totaling $1.6 million.  


Carla Elena Undurraga
Sector Manager and Small Business Liaison Officer
Global Supplier Diversity Programs
Northrup Grumman Systems Corporation
Technology Services Sector
McLean, Virginia  

Carla Elena Undurraga serves as Senior Manager and Small Business Liaison Officer for  Northrup Grumman Technology Services (TS), an innovative leader in delivering full life cycle solutions and services supporting mission-critical networks and systems in six primary focus areas, including sustainment & modernization in aircraft, electronics, and software, strategic missile systems support, secure infrastructure & cyber operations support and training support services. Some of its clients include the U.S. Department of Defense, federal, civilian, health agencies, and the international defense communities.  

In FY 2019, Northrup Grumman Technology Services awarded 51 percent in subcontracts to small businesses totaling $655.6 million in contract dollars and 6.7 percent in subcontracts awarded to small disadvantaged businesses totaling $112.19 million. Northrup Grumman also awarded 9.2 percent in subcontracts to women-owned businesses totaling $118.3 million and 5.2 percent in subcontracts to HUBZone-owned small businesses totaling $66.3 million. It also awarded 5.5 percent in subcontracts awarded to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses totaling $70.5 million.  

8(a) Graduate Firm of the Year:  
Cy A. Oatridge, CEO, Oatridge Security Group, Inc. 
Tacoma, Washington

Cy A. Oatridge, is CEO of Oatridge Security Group, (OSG) Inc., a graduate of SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, which provides protective service programs that meet and exceed commercial and government requirements. OSG offers armed and unarmed security officers, executive protection, fire alarm systems, electronic security, and consulting services. It is established as a small business leader in the protective security services industry in the greater Northwest area and beyond. OSG operated out of an office space that was less than 250 square feet for six years of its tenure in the 8(a) Program. Now, OSG has more than 115 employees and $10 million in revenues.    

The company participated in the SBA Mentor-Protege program with Evergreen Fire and Security and was able to secure many government contracts. As a result of this program, OSG was able to expand business operations to Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Colorado, and California. 

SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program is a nine-year program that provides socially and economically disadvantaged firms access to government contracting opportunities and specialized business training and counseling to help them become viable competitors in the federal marketplace.  


About Federal Government Contracting Goals 

The federal government awarded over $132.9 billion in federal contract dollars to small businesses in FY19, the highest the federal government has ever awarded to small businesses.  The $132.9 billion in prime contracts and the $90.7 billion in subcontracts awarded to small businesses translate to the creation of more than one million jobs.  This represents an incredible impact on the American economy that supports job creation, innovation, and growth.   

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit https://www.sba.gov.


Cosponsorship Authorization #SBW2020. SBA’s participation in this Cosponsored Activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products, or services of any Cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. 


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