NCMA RI – 2024 Ocean State Workshop

On January 24, 2024, the RI Chapter of NCMA held the 5th Biennial Ocean State Workshop (OSW) at the Naval Station Newport Officers’ Club. This all-day training event was attended by over 140 members of government and industry.  Attendees heard from leaders in contract management practices from both government and industry-relevant perspectives.

The event kicked-off with remarks from the RI Chapter’s new President, Alexander Hayden, an engineer from the McLaughlin Research Corporation, who enjoined attendees to hone their craft and act with a mandate of delivering products to the Fleet. Keynote speakers included: Ms. Arveice Washington, SES who is the Director of the Department of the Navy’s Office of Small Business Programs and Ms. Maria Proestou, the Strategic Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition). Ms. Washington discussed imperatives for the involvement of small businesses in the defense sector to attain national strategic priorities. Ms. Proestou echoed these remarks, stating the Secretary of the Navy’s strategic priorities and emphasizing industry’s role in executing contracts to get there.

Several other guest speakers provided enlightening remarks throughout the day. Ms. Stacy McQuage, Deputy Director of Contracts at NAVSEA 02, provided insight into new and changing aspects of the NAVSEA Seaport contracting system. A panel from the US Small Business Association discussed their Mentor-Protege Program and how large and small contractors could enter a Joint Venture, as well as what benefits that entailed. A panel of industry leaders – Mr. Charlie Grabenstein (Orbis, Inc.), Ms. Kelly Mendell (MIKEL), Mr. Luke Hyder (SRM), and Mr. Don Selvy (DSE) – provided industry perspectives on contracting “hot button” issues through a Q&A period. Lastly, Ms. Sarah Heard of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) spoke to the organization and processes of the NUWC Division Newport Contracts Department.

The day culminated with a networking social, where attendees were encouraged to meet and exchange ideas based on what they learned earlier that day.

The 2024 OSW is one of two premier events hosted by the RI Chapter of NCMA. The OSW will next be held in the late Spring of 2025. Interested parties are encouraged to attend the RI Chapter’s next event: Industry Day, planned for October 2024 at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, where each of the departments at NUWC Division Newport brief industry on upcoming opportunities and challenges.

Link to presenters’ briefs: