Federal Contracting Summit

Federal Contracting Summit

Get the Win!

Hosted by the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center at Morehouse College

The annual Federal Contracting Summit is our premier networking and training event for small business owners and interested parties to learn how to “WIN” federal government contracts.

This year’s theme, “Get the WIN” is for small businesses seeking to perform services and sell products to the federal government. During this summit, there will be four breakout sessions (i.e., Opportunity Response, Successful Federal Financial Strategies, Effective Networking & Capture Management, Contract Execution & Customer Service) that focus on skill areas needed to improve the business’s chance of winning contracts or expanding existing contracts with their federal customer.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Morehouse College Bank of America Auditorium, Walter E Massey Leadership Building

Currently $59.25 for a limited time – early bird discount ends soon!


9:00 a.m.
Registration, Networking, Continental Breakfast

10:00 a.m.
General Session speaker, Neil McDonnell

11:15 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Room A: Opportunity Response -BOA, Allen Shipes
  • Room B: Capture Management & Effective Networking , Reena Bhatia


1:00 p.m.

Keynote Speaker & Lunch

  • Grant Warner (In Person)
  • Vice Admiral Holsey (Video Address)


2:15 p.m.
Networking & Booths – Atrium/Hall

2:45 p.m. 

Breakout Sessions (afternoon)

  • Room C: Corporate Financial strategies for federal contracts (Panel Discussion)
      • Panelists: Sherry Martin, Rosemarie Drake, Michael Bagley, Earl Camp, Alonzo Llorenz Panel
      • Hosts: Paul Wilson & Bart Njoku-Obi
  • Room D:  Contract Execution & Customer Service, Ben Styles & Mary Ritz

4:00 p.m
Networking & Booths – Atrium/Hall


Terri Crook

Career Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Chief Executive Officer of “It’s Only Halftime with Terri Crook LLC”, Terri’s insights and amazing energy have transformed the lives of women globally by empowering them to get their second win(d). As a career coach, Terri is respected for her mastery of teaching people how to redesign a plan that moves them out of their comfort zone and into their calling zone. Terri is the author of “It’s Only Half Time – Your Playbook to Your Second Win(d)”. Having been a leader in a major government agency of more than 20 years has equipped her to provide a clear and practical blueprint for personal success. As an emcee, Terri brings the “WOW” factor while creating unforgettable experiences. She keeps the program moving with interactive activities, laughter, and spontaneity. Many attendees have shared that “It’s a treat to engage in the fun while enjoying her passion!” Terri has the gift of keen observation and captivates audiences with re-enactments of insightful and timely material. Terri’s ability to impart life lessons through her sense of humor and energy is pure magic.


Allen shipes

Allen Shipes is the Managing Director of NetQuarry Inc.’s Bidspeed and has engage over 10,000 Small Businesses in providing subject matter expertise with Government procurement. A veteran of the United States Air Force, Mr. Shipes has managed Department of Defense aircraft and facilities design projects through various phases of requirements definition, design, test and integration of hardware and software for multiple weapon systems and sub-systems. He has coordinated the capture of over $14 billion dollars of Government business and developed, managed and executed multi-million-dollar proposals for companies and clients around the world. Mr. Shipes holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

alonzo llorens

Alonso Llorens is a partner in the Atlanta office of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP (“Parker Poe”). At Parker Poe, Mr. Llorens is in its corporate transactions group where he routinely handles, among other things: private equity and debt offerings; mergers and acquisitions (buy and sell side); initial public offerings and general corporate law. His legal career started with the federal government, in Washington, DC. Upon graduating from law school, Mr. Llorens worked as an attorney in the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Honors Program and, upon its completion, he worked with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the Division of Corporation Finance. Mr. Llorens is a frequent speaker, and he is also an author. His first book was a novel entitled, “The Mirror,” which is a political thriller. Mr. Llorens’ second book, “The MBE’s Guide to Raising Capital,” is a financial guide explaining the various stages of the capital raising process and the steps Minority Business Enterprises should consider taking in order to successfully pursue such an endeavor.

Vice Admiral Alvin Holsey

Vice Admiral Alvin Holsey is a native of Fort Valley, Georgia and was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program at Morehouse College in 1988, where he received a degree in Computer Science. He earned a Master of Science in Management from Troy State University in 1995 and attended the Joint Forces Staff College in 2010. His military decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (five awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit, campaign and service awards.

Ben Skyles

Ben Skyles is a seasoned healthcare industry leader with more than 20 years of experience providing technology solutions and services to various government agencies and partners. In his current role as founder and CEO of ProSource360, Ben leads a rapidly growing organization responsible for providing the government sector much-needed innovation, especially in managed services supporting STEM-focused initiatives and electronic health records (EHR) management. Ben actively leads in areas such as cybersecurity and IT modernization; agile and scrum development methodology; Lean Six Sigma process engineering; large-scale systems development and integration; and risk assessment and regulatory compliance auditing. He is an active Morehouse College alumnus and a board advisor to the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center.

Bart Njoku-Obi

Bart Njoku-Obi is the Business Opportunity Specialist with the US SBA Georgia District Office. Prior to joining SBA, he garnered 18+ years of experience spanning organizational strategy, business model analysis, operations improvement, teaming, and legal counsel. He is entrepreneurial-minded with management or project experience at venture-funded technology startups and large enterprises, coupled with public service in regulatory compliance. He has consulted with firms in Silicon Valley CA, Research Triangle Park NC, Atlanta GA, and overseas. Bart is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) by NASBITE International, and a Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE) by the American Society for Quality. He earned his MBA from Wake Forest University in Information Technology Management and E-Business, and Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University School of Law. His undergraduate degrees are from NC State University in Economics and Agricultural Economics. Bart is licensed legal counsel in California, North Carolina and Georgia.

Earl Camp

Earl Camp is Vice President of Business Development at Now, where he is responsible for managing channel partnerships. Prior to join Now, Earl served as an Area Vice President for Purchasing Power, an online purchase program helping large and mid-size corporations purchase brand products and learning solutions. He has also work in various sales and business development roles for Purchasing Power (acquired by Flexpoint Ford), PGi, Harbor Payments (acquired by American Express), KeyCorp and Morgan Stanley. Earl holds a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), where he graduated cum laude. He studied abroad at the American University of Paris. He later participated in a Corporate Strategy Executive Program through the Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Chicago.

Grant Warner

Dr. Grant Warner is the Bank of America Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Director of the Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE). A collaboration among the Black Economic Alliance Foundation, Spelman College, and Morehouse College, the CBE aims to grow the pipeline of Black entrepreneurs and connect them to investment opportunities. By increasing investment in Black-founded companies, the CBE will ultimately contribute to closing the investment gap. Prior to joining the CBE, Dr. Warner served as the Director of Innovation for the College of Engineering and Architecture and the Office of Research at Howard University. He was the Howard University PI for the Mid-Atlantic NSF I-Corps Hub which is a $15MM effort to catalyze the lab-to-market ecosystem across Mid-Atlantic region. Dr. Warner is also co-PI for the Pathways to Commercialization effort which is exploring the commercialization capacity at HBCUs across the country. Additionally, he has extensive experience in Lab-To-Market commercialization. He has supported the signature Lab-To-Market accelerator in the country, the I-Corps program, across several federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Energy. He has served as an instructor in those programs and helped to develop the curriculum to support “deep tech” innovation.

Mary ritz

Dr. Mary Ritz has been in the business of empowering, educating, and encouraging people to reach their maximum potential for over thirteen years. Dr. Ritz is the Owner and Founder of Almenta International, a training and consulting organization founded in 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa. She moved to the US in January 2014, where she re-established the same business model and company. As an International Facilitator, Speaker, and Consultant, Dr. Ritz has had the privilege of working at an international level in North America and across Africa with small, medium, and large diverse organizations. She has worked with diverse companies such as LG, P&G, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA); Anthem; Home Depot, LinkedIn, InnoVent, Econet, American Tire Distributors (ATD) among many others.

Michael Bagley

Michael Bagley is a Founding Partner of GillmanBagley. GillmanBagley is a leading provider of financial services to small businesses and middle market companies. Michael is an expert with over 30 years in commercial lending and contract finance. His experience is in business development, portfolio management and financial operations. Michael built and managed portfolios within banks and nontraditional lending firms consisting of commercial real estate loans, lines of credit, invoice factoring, asset-based lines, and cashflow loans. Prior to founding GillmanBagley, Michael’s career included national bank brands; Trust Company and BB&T now known as Truist; SouthTrust now known as Wells Fargo; Fidelity Bank now known as Ameris Bank, Action Capital Corporation, and Triumph Business Capital.

Neil McDonnell

Neil McDonnell brings 20+ years’ experience as a small business owner and federal contractor, personally winning and supporting numerous government contracts at the US Army, Navy and Air Force, HHS, VA, DOT, DOI, DOE, the Executive Office of the White House and numerous large and small prime contractors.After leaving the Army, Neil spent 20 years as a small business government contractor delivering IT and Professional Services in the federal market. As host of the GovCon Training for Federal Sales podcast series and a leading LinkedIn GovCon influencer, Neil brings unlimited energy, clarity, and passion while freely sharing his hard-learned knowledge from years of skin-in-the-game experience. His content has been viewed over 3M times in the last 12 months. He currently serves as the Founder and President of the GovCon Chamber of Commerce, an organization dedicated to the success of small businesses nationally. Since 2018, he has hosted more than 300 'live' federal sales training events and over 400 'Set Aside' calls leading to more small business set asides. His organization has trained thousands of small business government contractors, helping them win well over $3B dollars in federal contracts.

Paul Wilson, JR.

Paul Wilson, Jr., VP of Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the H. J. Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE), is an innovative and effective entrepreneurial leader with nearly 20 years of experience creating and delivering high caliber consulting and training solutions to small businesses, corporations, non-profits, and professionals at all levels. He has extensive industry experience that spans leadership roles in small business development, supply chain management, procurement, and supplier diversity. Previously Paul has leveraged his Master of Science in Organizational Management and Bachelor of Business in Supply Chain Management to impact several industries and companies across the United States. Some of his previous client engagements include Southern Company, Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC), Nevada Energy, Vectren, Louisville Gas & Electric, AEP, Edison Electric Institute, Indiana Utility Association, Utility Purchasing Management Group, San Diego Chargers (NFL), Carolina Panthers (NFL), Minnesota Vikings (NFL), and multiple other organizations.

Reena Bhatia

Reena Bhatia is the Chief Executive officer of ProposalHelper and BidExecx. She brings more than 30 years of experience in business development, account/capture, and proposal management for various international markets and the US Federal contracting sector. She has helped large, US defence contractors with strategy planning, international market entry, developing bid strategies and capturing opportunities with a high probability of win. Reena Bhatia holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a bachelor’s degree in management from Trine University.

Rosemarie Drake

Rosemarie A. Drake serves as the State of Georgia Deputy District for the U. S. Small Business Administration, She is responsible for managing the team’s efforts to carry out the SBA’s mission of outreach, training, business development, and program compliance. She also served as the 7(a) Program Division Chief in the Office of Capital Access from October 2019 until January 2022. Her role as Chief included developing and recommending Agency wide policies and procedures which govern the SBA’s 7(a) loan program. Rosemarie has over 25 years’ experience in commercial lending, complex credit, and financial analysis, entrepreneurship and serving on advisory boards for nonprofit entities focused on lending to underserved markets.

Sherry Martin

Sherry Martin joined SBA Complete in March 2023 and serves as the Senior Vice President, Director of Client Bank Development. Within her role she will be responsible for engaging, enrolling, expanding, and empowering banks to increase access to capital by offering SBA lending services. She most recently was the Director of Government Guaranteed Lending at Georgia Primary Bank where she was responsible for restructuring and growing the banks SBA/USDA lending division. However, in early 2020 her focus swiftly shifted to the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). With 20 years of experience in government guaranteed lending, Sherry has a solid foundation in Small Business lending. Her career has progressed from loan processor to portfolio manager to business development to manager of a Government Guaranteed Lending division. Her thorough understanding of SBA and USDA lending policies and procedures is what sets her apart. Small business is truly Sherry’s passion and purpose; it shows in the way she tirelessly serves her community and the industry.