Farm Service Agency (FSA) acting Administrator Bruce Nelson praised Director of Contracting Activity Designee Joyce Bowie recently for her career work that earned her the distinguished USDA Champion Award at the Small Business and AbilityOne Award ceremony held at USDA. A member of the FSA Acquisition Management Division, Bowie was honored for effectively educating her internal customers about small business contractors and promoting the use of their services.
Each year, USDA agencies nominate and award small, small disadvantaged, women-owned, HUBZone, service disabled veteran-owned and AbilityOne businesses for their exemplary contract performance. This year marked USDA 18th year in recognizing USDA employees and businesses. In addition to honoring small businesses, USDA employees were also acknowledged and awarded for their accomplishments in fostering the use of such businesses as federal contractors, which provide maximum opportunities for small businesses to participate in USDA contracting activities.
Of the eight different categories recognized at this year’s ceremony, Bowie was the only USDA employee to receive the USDA Champion Award.
Bowie is famous for her continued support and mentoring small business contractors on how to conduct business with the federal government. When asked why she was awarded this special achievement award, Bowie responded, “Under federal guidelines, we have an obligation to meet socio-economic goals set by the Department of Commerce and each individual agency. I take it one step further and not view it as meeting socio economic goals, but bolstering the economy. By promoting small business usage where practical, we are demonstrating not only the benefits of small business utilization in terms of the level of quality and commitment they offer, but also the impact we make by aiding them to contribute needed dollars back into the small business arena and communities, thereby helping to reduce unemployment.”
Bowie, who is committed to the Small Business Program and process, works closely with USDA’s Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization, Small Business Administration and the small business community to increase FSA’s small business accomplishments. Bowie was nominated and awarded the Champion Award for her influence that initiated significant changes in the acquisition management division’s overall approach to using qualified, small businesses.
What inspired Bowie to promote small business usage wherever and whenever practical was what she called the miscommunication and false perception about small businesses and the Small Business Program. Bowie said one of her biggest challenges is to educate customers on the benefits of using small businesses. “The term ‘small business’ does not mean small in terms of experience or delivery,” says Bowie. “This is the challenge we have to overcome – combat negative perceptions and/or overcome unpleasant experiences – to help small businesses succeed.”
Bowie is always looking for opportunities to broaden training for vendors and customers; she is committed. She hopes to develop a more comprehensive training program to educate her customers, contracting officers, technical representatives and specialist who work within AMD on various small business programs.
Other FSA employees recognized and awarded a Special Achievement Award for their outstanding work achieved working with the small business community were Phil Short, FSA Deputy Administrator for Management; Bill Rowland, AMD Senior Warranted Contracting Officer; and Linda Bolton, Contracting Officer in the Kansas City Commodity Office in Kansas City, MO.
Congratulations to all award recipients for ensuring a dynamic, diverse and reliable small vendor pool for USDA.