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GovConnects Comes Into Its Own

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Now in its fourth year, GovConnects continues to evolve and reinvent itself as it strives to implement its mission to educate, advocate and better connect the local federal government contracting community members with government customers, research and academic resources and each other.

Using various tools and platforms, the program assists the growing federal contracting industry in Howard County, raising its profile and taking advantage of the ever-growing cybersecurity sector. The past year was another of positive momentum: More than 600 people were welcomed at its various events and programs.

Membership in GovConnects has grown as well, now comprising about 11% of the Chamber membership. Industries represented range from cyber to health information technology, intelligence, engineering, management consulting, recruiting and proposal preparation.

New Initiatives

As of result of this growth, the program was able to start several new initiatives, including the following.

  • Women in Government Contracting Leadership Forum in March (held for the second time in March 2016), which provides women in the federal government contracting arena the opportunity for professional and personal development.
  • CFO Roundtable for federal contractors, a small group of financial thought leaders that share best practices as they navigate the economic and compliance pressures that come with operating in the federal government environment.
  • C-Level dinner/speaker series, a networking event just for senior level federal contracting executives.

These events have solidified in 2016 and continue to draw dedicated audiences as participants recognize the value of these small, informal settings, where attendees can ask the questions they need and get honest, useful answers they can implement.

Even More Events

The BizBreakfasts, which often feature procurement specialists from various federal government agencies, have proven so valuable that they have moved from quarterly to bi-monthly in 2016.

Education and professional development continues to be offered via the Business Learning and Growth Series, giving attendees the opportunity for one-on-one interaction and discussion of current topics with those who are familiar with the latest regulations, policies and information. Attendees consistently rave over the subject matter as experts with experience on DCAA audits, mergers and acquisitions, and talent recruitment routinely share their experiences and advice.

The program’s flagship event continues to be the annual conference. Whereas last year’s cyber conference focused on issues with migration to the cloud, this year’s conference delves into targeting the critical infrastructure and how to keep utilities, transportation and health services secure in this ever-growing digital world. Other topics include the Internet of Things (IoT), which deals with how we safeguard connected devices and networks in the Internet.

In just a short timeframe, the GovConnects program has proven to be a federal contractor’s most trusted business ally. For more information on how to join GovConnects and participate in programming, visit the website www.GovConnects.com or email Leonardo McClarty at LMcClarty@howardchamber.com.