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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs General Sessions and Learning Sessions 2019 NVSBE

The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center | Nashville, TN | December 9 - 11, 2019

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General Sessions (Note: These are concurrent sessions occurring 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at different locations. The room locations will be published before the engagement begins.)

  1. How to Do Business with the Veterans Health  Administration (VHA), U.S Department of  Veterans Affairs 
    • Speakers: Dallas Scott and Alan Swygert
    • Veterans Health Administration (VHA) operates a national system of hospitals and clinics. Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) requires a broad range of goods and services. We purchase these goods and services on a national, regional, and local level. Therefore, no matter how large or small your business. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a potential customer.
  1. Successful and Effective Partnering - A Panel Discussion
    • Panelist: Deloitte, Red River, Accenture, LMI
    • Information about how to have a successful and meaningful conversation with a Large Business or global non-profit organization as it pertains to potential teaming, subcontracting opportunities, etc. Participants will gain useful insight to help them better understand how to speak the language and address topics which are important to.
  1. How to Do Business with the Office of Information and Technology (OIT), U.S Department of Veterans Affairs
    • Speakers: James Bryant and James Woodard
    • This session provides an introduction to engaging with OIT to do business.  We will discuss the process for making the initial contact as well as some of the options available for learning more about OIT’s contract opportunities.
  1. Small Business Emphasis for Electronic Health Record Modernization at the Department of Veterans Affairs
    • Speaker: John Windom
    • The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will begin deploying its new electronic health record (EHR) solution in the Pacific Northwest in March 2020. VA’s EHR modernization effort will help clinicians provide a lifetime of quality care for our nation’s Veterans. To achieve this goal, VA will leverage a commercial product, Cerner Millennium, the same EHR solution being implemented by the Department of Defense (DOD). Storing patient data in a common system enables seamless sharing of health information across VA’s enterprise, with DOD and with community care providers. To support this effort, Cerner Corp. is leading solution development, clinical end-user training and deployment activities. Booz Allen Hamilton provides program management, administrative and technical expertise to maximize clinical value. Both Cerner and Booz Allen Hamilton are committed to collaborating with small businesses and have intake processes to evaluate potential partners who can assist with the execution of VA’s cost, schedule and performance objectives.
  1. General Service Administration (GSA) Opportunities
    • Speaker: Chasity Ash
    • GSA's mission is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology and other mission support services across the federal government. This session will provide an overview of Doing Business with GSA to include both Business Lines of GSA: Public Building Services and Federal Acquisition Service. We will also provide a brief overview of the GSA Schedules Contract.
  1. How to Obtain a National Acquisition Center (NAC) Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Contract
    • Speakers: Micole Stephens and Lydia McKay 
    • This session will provide an overview of the National Acquisition Center (NAC)-Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) program, how to determine if FSS is right for you, and the basics of how to navigate our solicitations and submit an FSS proposal.
  1. Small Business Administration, Office of Veterans Business development (OVBD) Programs and Services for Veterans, Service Members, National Guard/Reserve and Military Spouses
    • Speaker: Larry Stubblefield  
    • Did you know there are nearly 2.5 million veteran-owned small business in the United States? These small businesses contribute nearly $1 trillion to our nation’s sales/receipts each year and employ more than five million people. If you’re a transitioning service member, veteran, National Guard, Reserve, or military spouse looking to start, grow, or expand your small business, connect with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Just as you served in the military, the SBA serves you by providing you with free entrepreneurial training programs, access to capital, government contract opportunities, and disaster assistance recovery. Attend this session to learn about SBA’s veteran resources, including Boots to Business, Veterans Business Outreach Centers, and entrepreneurial training programs for women veterans, service-disabled veterans, and veterans interested in federal procurement. Learn how you can turn your dream of business ownership into reality and help your business expand during this session.
  1. Strategic Acquistion Center (SAC) Update on the Veteran Enterprise Contracting for Transformation and Operation Readiness (VECTOR) and Other Programs
    • Speakers: Terrie Bloom and Joshua Dean  
    • During this session, we will discuss VECTOR, a $25B enterprise-wide IDIQ contract umbrella for professional support services. The discussion will include background information, the status of the contract to date, plans for on-ramping in the short-term, and upcoming opportunities for VECTOR.

Learning Sessions 
(Note: The concurrent sessions will occur 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at different locations. The room locations will be published before the engagement begins).
  1. VetBiz Learning Session: Advanced Tactics; Making the Leap from Subcontracting to Prime
    • Presenter: Gloria Larkin - Please watch online session
    • Abstract:  Making the leap from being a subcontractor to a prime contractor is challenging. This session focuses on the business development and marketing strategies required to position a company as a prime well before the RFP is released. Attendees to this session will learn how to keep the relationship with the current prime strong while pursuing and winning business as a new prime contractor. Advanced tactics discussed include targeting appropriate opportunities where one has a higher probability of winning, tips on calculating that PWIN, differentiators that matter in the eyes of decision-makers and actionable steps to mitigate risk in the eyes of the decision-makers.

Learning Sessions
: The following sessions were conducted in advance of NVSBE.
  1. VetBiz Learning Session: Doing business with the VA  
    • Presenter: Robert Overbey - Please watch online session
    • Abstract:   Are you a small business owner looking to do business with the Department of Veterans Affairs? Are you just starting out and looking to understand more about the VA, what they purchase, and how they make purchases to support Veterans? If these topics interest you, then please join VA OSDBU and Robert Overbey, Esq. a Customer Advocate from the VAs Office of Procurement Acquisition and Logistics (OPAL) as we dive into a background on the various VA facilities and organizations. Specifically, the OPAL and its underlying Contracting Offices: the Technology Acquisition Center (TAC), the Strategic Acquisition Center (SAC), and the National Acquisition Center (NAC). If you're interested in learning more about these offices, what they buy, what the VA buys, and how they buy it, then please join this session!
  1. VetBiz Learning Session: Submitting for Verification  
    • Presenter: Ozell Johnson - Please watch online session
    • Abstract:  Do you know the steps you as a small business owner must take to start the process to become VA verified? Are you working on the reverification process? If you are, then join Ozell Johnson, from the VA OSDBU CVE office to learn about: the two-step process for submitting required business documents; how to submit a change to information regarding your firm’s status. Learn more about the one-on-one interaction available with CVE staff members to assist you through the application process and understand how to identify issues earlier in the application process. What options are available to firms that have difficulty meeting the program requirements as laid out in 38 CFR Part 74, and what resources are available to the Veteran prior to submitting your application. Join us today for an in depth look at submitting a verification or reverification application!
  1. VetBiz Learning Session: Responding to a Sources Sought Notice and RFI  
    • Presenter: Elizabeth Harrington - Please watch online session
    • Abstract:  What is a Sources Sought Notice (SSN)? What is a Request for Information (RFI)? What are the differences between the two? And, specifically, why is it so important for you as a small business owner to respond to an RFI and an SSN? This course is designed to help you as a small business owner understand the differences between these two items, and the benefits and advantages that you receive from responding. Did you know the advantages to responding include influencing acquisition strategy and distinguishing yourself from competitors? We will examine these topics as well as provide an overview on how to locate SSN’s and RFIs in FedBizOpps during this session. 
  1. VetBiz Learning Session: How to Produce a Compliant NAC-FSS Proposal (Intermediate)
    • Presenter: Lydia McKay - Please watch online session
    • Abstract: This course will build upon the “How to Obtain a National Acquisition Center (NAC)-Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Contract” course by delving deeper into the solicitation documents, discussing in detail the areas of the solicitation which you must complete and submit as part of your FSS proposal package.  This discussion includes the review of two, step-by-step proposal guides that will assist you with submitting an accurate, thorough, and complete Vendor Response Document, commercial sales practices, and proposed pricing files.
  1. VetBiz Learning Session: Financial Literacy
    • Presenter: Rod Johnson - Please watch online session
    • Abstract:  Are you just starting out as a business and trying to determine whether what type of business entity you should be? LLC? LLP? S-Corp? Do you know how the Small Business Administration (SBA ) can help you throughout your businesses lifecycle? Are you interested in learning how to secure SBA Backed Loans, and how to progress your business through the various stages of financial growth? If these topics interest you, then this session is for you! 
  1. VetBiz Learning Session: Doing Business with GSA
    • Presenter: Chasity Ash - Please watch online session
    • Abstract:  GSA's mission is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology and other mission support services across the federal government. During this course we will provide an overview of Doing Business with GSA to include both Business Lines of GSA: Public Building Services and Federal Acquisition Service. We will also provide a brief overview of the GSA Schedules Contract. 
  1. VetBiz Learning Session: How to Obtain a NAC-FSS Contract (Beginner level) 
    • Presenter: Lydia McKay and Micole Stephens - Please watch online session
    • Abstract:  This course will provide an overview of the National Acquisition Center (NAC)-Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) program, how to determine if FSS is right for you, and the basics of how to navigate our solicitations and submit an FSS proposal.  Additionally, we will discuss the proposal review and award process as well as best practices for a successful proposal.
  1. VetBiz Learning Session: Mitigating Risk to You and the Buyer
    • Presenter: Tracy Berryhill - Please watch online session
    • Abstract:  Risk Mitigation: What is it? Why is it important? What does it mean to me as an SDVOSB or VOSB? This session will answer these questions and discuss how mitigating risk can bridge the gap between your small business and procurement opportunities. After participating in the course, you will understand how showcasing your small businesses capabilities can help mitigate not only your risk, but the risk to the buyer. And finally, how can teaming, via Prime/Subcontracting, Joint Ventures, or Contractor Teaming Arrangements benefit your small business, while mitigating risk to you, and the buyer? 
  1.   VetBiz Learning Session: Procurement Readiness Overview
    • Presenter: DeLano McVayl - Please watch online session
    • Abstract:  What is Procurement Readiness? Is my company procurement ready to do business with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)? Join us as we identify the fundamentals of procurement readiness, identify contracting strategies and outreach support, and become verified to compete for VA set-aside opportunities. 
  1.   VetBiz Learning Session:  Building an Effective Capabilities Statement
    • Presenter: Tarek Maaraba - Please watch online session
    • Abstract:  Your capabilities statement is your company’s resume. It is often the first contact you will have with Procurement Decision Makers (PDM). Do you know what a Capabilities Statement is, or why it is so important? Do you know the five key areas for your capabilities statement? If your capabilities statement is the best way to get your foot in the door, wouldn't you want it to provide your company’s information in the best, most efficient way? This session defines what a capabilities statement is, why it is used, how to create one for your small business, and the information you should include in each of the five sections to effectively market your business to PDMs.