Nearly 250 defense industry professionals attended Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona’s Industry Day held in Corona. “We really want people to think of small businesses as a strategic advantage” to help modernize our maritime capabilities and “help us accomplish our mission,” senior executive Emily Harman told the crowd. She added that her office’s motto “small business - the first option” creates opportunities for small businesses to provide products and services our warfighters need to win the fight. The face-to-face setting provided a forum for networking with key Corona subject matter experts and decision-makers, while also fostering industry partnerships amongst highly capable businesses As a Pentagon partner, the Riverside Community College District Procurement Assistance Center sponsored the forum, working with Corona’s Deputy for Small Business to develop the program. “Our Industry Day helps show how we do business, what our needs are, and ultimately increases competition and reduces acquisition lead time,” said Dan Deconzo, Corona’s Deputy for Small Business. “It also informs the community about our technical capabilities and improves communication with local businesses that can help us execute our mission to support the warfighter and the Navy.” Harman said many businesses can have a misperception that Navy small business officials complicate the bidding process but that’s really not the case. She emphasized Corona is involved “up front and early” in the procurement process and “that’s where the entire Department of the Navy needs to be. We want to influence change and create a culture of small business inclusiveness across the Department of the Navy.” Harman sees the small business outreach as more than just a way of meeting a goal. It’s a way to improve national security. NSWC Corona (celebrating its 75th year) helps warfighters train, fight and win by using measurement, analysis and independent assessment. As one of the largest employers in Riverside County headquartered in Norco, NSWC Corona employs more than 3,100 worldwide and contributes more than $300 million annually to the regional economy.
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