For federal contractors in the Fort Meade Region, the FMA Industry Day is a singular opportunity to gain new insights and connections.
“There is no other event like this,” said FMA President Doreen Harwood. “It’s the largest unclassified industry event held yearly that gathers together senior acquisition executives from the National Security Agency, U.S. Cyber Command and the Defense Information Systems Agency.”
Scheduled for March 7th, the half-day event at the Westin Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel will include a panel discussion by those acquisitions officials and ample opportunities to question them about strategic initiatives, contracting processes, agency needs and specific opportunities.
“FMA Industry Day is focused on the big picture – big threats, big needs and helping the community understand what is going on with these major organizations,” Harwood said. “From there, people can dig into specifics with each agency regarding contract opportunities.”
“Audiences at previous Industry Days have really liked this format,” said Bill Dunahoo, President of Praxis Engineering, Chair of Meade Business Connect and moderator of the panel discussion. “We reserve about half the time for questions and you hear information that you haven’t heard elsewhere. Based on some things we learned about Cyber Command at a previous Industry Day, my company made some business changes and spent more cycles focusing on different contracting areas.”
Each year reveals different trends and developments within the three agencies. For example, DISA embarked on a modernization initiative a few years ago that altered its contracting prospects. NSA recently completed a major reorganization which significantly changed its acquisitions staff and communications about contract competitions. Meanwhile, Cyber Command is in the process of establishing its contracting operations and is eager to partner with private industry to address emerging technology challenges.
FMA Industry Day is timed to provide insights on government acquisition strategies for the current and upcoming fiscal years, providing
“industry with a refreshed picture of agency acquisitions that covers an 18-month period,” Harwood said.
This year’s Industry Day will also feature keynote speaker Teresa Shea, formerly the Director of Signals Intelligence at NSA and currently the Executive Vice President, Technology at In-Q-Tel, Inc.
Shea will discuss the acute need for government agencies and private companies to develop partnerships that spur technology innovations and change the way government operates. She will also explore processes that can facilitate effective partnerships, such as In-Q-Tel’s process of investing in and driving development of select technologies, and ways that integrators can channel small-company innovations into government missions.
FMA Industry Day is also a major networking opportunity.
“People use it as a large, aggressive networking session because you have the who’s who of defense contractors, intelligence contractors and other companies in the room,” Harwood said.
Currently exhibitors include Anne Arundel Community College, DataStax, KeyW Corporation, LG-TEK, Lockheed Martin Corporation, ManTech, National Instruments, Next Century Corporation, NSA Technology Transfer Program, Raytheon, Tower Federal Credit Union and Vision Technologies.