Organized by the San Diego Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), this interactive, immersive and virtual event hosted over 200 government agencies and industry organizations. The event covered exciting and relevant topics with live presentations, insightful panels, networking events and virtual exhibit booths. Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to meet key government and industry contracting personnel through multiple one-on-one matchmaking sessions.
At the event, NAVWAR Executive Director John Pope served as a panelist during an executive round table where government experts addressed business challenges and identified opportunities surrounding COVID-19. Pope spoke about the importance of the defense-industry partnerships in today's increasingly competitive environment.
"We are tasked with rapidly delivering information warfighting capability in all domains - this is a tall order on a good day, let alone during a worldwide pandemic, but we are up for the challenge," said Pope. "Our adversaries are not taking a break, and we can't either. Now more than ever we must ensure that our defense and industry partnerships remain strong, as these partnerships are critical to our Nation's efforts to maintain technological superiority and military readiness today and for decades to come."
NAVWAR's Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) Director, Dan Deconzo, also spoke about how to best do business with NAVWAR during these trying times, while also providing participants with an overview of NAVWAR's small business programs. NAVWAR OSBP is a dynamic advocacy that provides training, expert advice and guidance to ensure quality solutions for Navy and Marine Corps acquisitions and maximizes contracting opportunities to small businesses.
"Small business plays a vital role within the defense and industrial base to support our national defense strategy and the warfighters that keep our nation secure," said Deconzo. "By better supporting small business needs, small business can, in turn, better address warfighter requirements. Our aim is to maximize opportunities for these small businesses while utilizing their power across the nation to help protect our future."
The event concluded with a contracting officer panel where NAVWAR's Director of Contracts, Nancy Gunderson joined other procurement professionals, educating attendees on NAVWAR's mission areas and functions, small business goals and future contracting opportunities.
"The threats to our mission - and our nation - are evolving too rapidly for us to remain comfortable in the established pace of defense acquisition," said Gunderson. "At every opportunity we must innovate, lead and drive new ways of doing business with small business, working together to outpace our adversaries in the development and delivery of the most advanced warfighting capabilities available. It is our priority to better support and leverage small businesses to enhance mission execution across the Department of Navy."