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NEWS | Dec. 14, 2023

NUWC Division Newport small business team wins Navy Acquisition Excellence Award

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport’s Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) team recently won a 2023 Department of the Navy (DON) Acquisition Excellence Award in the Sarkis Tatigian category, which exemplifies the highest examples of small business acquisition excellence. 

Contracts Department team members include Stephen Lamb, department head; Andrew Nagelhout, deputy department head; Juli Chytka, head, Procurement Branch 1; Christopher Kenney, head, Procurement Division 1; Alison Wicks, head, Acquisition Policy and Oversight Division; Mary Ann Gardner, head, Procurement Branch 4; Dawn Griffin, head, Procurement Branch 2; Alexander Olarte, head, Procurement Branch 3; Kathleen Hourihan, head, Procurement Branch 5; and Justin Rianna, head, Procurement Division 2.

The OSBP team was selected for the award for their continued push to ensure small businesses of many types are included in the important work being accomplished at Division Newport.

“Implementing a thorough, top-to-bottom process, from the Division’s senior leadership down, the OSBP team has consistently contributed more funds to small businesses annually while strengthening its relationships through networking and informational events, a vibrant social media and online presence, and a dedicated workforce,” the award states.

In 2022, the Biden administration released a report on the status of the Federal Defense Industrial Base (DIB), which noted that over the past decade the number of small businesses within the DIB has slipped by more than 40%, and, without action, the DIB could lose an additional 15,000 suppliers over the next 10 years. In light of this report, the Division Newport team worked to promote small businesses from both a prime contracting and subcontracting perspective. “The fruit of these efforts is evident in performance metrics, which continually tilt in a positive direction,” the award states. “For example, from February 2022 to January 2023, $303 million of $736 million (41.2%) was contributed to small business from the total eligible small business obligations. 

The DON Assistant Secretary (Research, Development and Acquisition) announced 24 award winners from across the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, which followed a highly competitive selection process.

The team will be honored along with the other DON Acquisition Excellence Award winners at a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

Join our team! NUWC Division Newport, one of the 20 largest employers in Rhode Island, employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, and other STEM professionals, as well as talented business, finance, logistics and other support experts who wish to be at the forefront of undersea research and development. Please connect with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting at this site-  and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.