SBLO Procurement Readiness

About the Episode:

Welcome to another webinar by The Virginia MBDA Business Center regarding Small Business Liaison Office (SBLO) Procurement Readiness. In this webinar, the focus shifts from procurement opportunities to procurement readiness. Get equipped with the essential preparations and qualities companies must embody when the call for opportunity finally arrives. It’s about being fully prepared to seize the moment and make the most of every chance that comes our way.

The moderator of this Webinar is Diane Dempsey, BAE Systems, and four panelists join her. Martha Crawford is the SBLO for the Sikorsky line of business within Lockheed Martin Company. Martha has a long history in procurement. According to her, supplier diversity is an offshoot to supply chains. Clairesse Jackson is a small business program manager for HII Mission Technologies. Like Martha, Clairesse has been in the supplier diversity space for a long time. She will share her insights in the discussion. 

Gwen Johnson is the supplier diversity director for Parsons Corporation. She is at the top of all supplier engagements in the corporation and federal programs. The last panelist in this webinar is Carla Undurraga. Carla manages the supplier diversity program for Northrop Grumman Corporation in the defense system sector. She also collaborates a lot with other sectors within Northrop as well. 

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Here’s What You’ll Get In This Episode

[00:01] Episode intro and what’s in for you with our panelists

[01:42] A quick bio of our today’s panelists

[04:47] Martha’s perspectives on what MBEs should know about responsiveness

[06:54] What is past performance, and why is it a vital requirement

[09:01] Why you must have all clearances ready

[11:53] Capability statements, their importance, and how many do you need

[16:58] Other great things a small business should have in its toolkit for the readiness

[20:42] How to be prepared in terms of pricing and rate structures

[23:49] Why your business needs to have cyber hygiene and the impacts if you don’t

[31:46] Taking care of your financial health in the business

[38:13] How the procurement execution should look like

[41:50] Answering questions from the audience

[01:05:52] Wrap up and final thoughts

[01:06:58] Ending the show and call to action

Notable Quotes

  • Having a library of your past performance citations would be a very good business practice in readiness for any procurement opportunities.- Diane Dempsey [08:15].
  • It’s important to be positioned, but make sure you are positioned for your market.- Gwen Johnson  [11:09].
  • As a small business, you need to be bidding frequently. The more you bid, the better you get at it and the higher your probability of winning.- Diane Dempsey [20:01].

Connect with the Panelists


Diane Dempsey, BAE Systems



Martha Crawford | Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company


Clairesse Jackson | HII Mission Technologies 


Gwen Johnson | Parsons Corporation 


Carla Undurraga | Northrop Grumman Corporation


Download the handouts here:

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