Athena Construction Group named Small Business Government Contractor of the Year


June 15, 2012 09:00 AM Eastern Time


Three Small Business Champions Show Persistence Prevails in Government Contracting
American Express OPEN Recognizes Three Small Business Owners for Government
Contracting Success with Victory in Procurement (VIP) Awards at Washington, D.C. Event
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today American Express OPEN®, the small business
division of the financial services company, recognized three small business owners for their
outstanding achievements in government contracting during the third annual Victory in
Procurement (VIP) Awards. The awards ceremony took place at the “Victory in Procurement:
Grow Your Business through Government Contracting” event in Washington, D.C.
“Victory in Procurement: Grow Your Business through Government Contracting”
”For government contractors, the expression ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’
has become their mantra. According to an American Express OPEN survey, small business
contractors said it took an average of 4.4 bids before they won their first contract,” said Alex
Ytuarte, senior manager of customer advocacy at American Express OPEN. “These three
small businesses exemplify that despite a more competitive environment, determination
and tenacity do pay off. Their individual stories inspire other business owners to find growth
and success by selling to the government.”
At today’s event, roughly 700 small businesses learned about current legislation affecting
government contractors, teaming best practices, how to write powerful capabilities statements
and how to master the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule through interactive
workshops and panel discussions. Approximately 250 business owners met one-on-one
with federal, state and local government buyers and large prime contractors. Procurement
officials from Lockheed Martin, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of Energy are just some
of the 40 buyers that met and shared the more than $120 million in contract opportunities
with business owners.
Also at the event, three small business owners were recognized in the categories of Government
Contractor of the Year, Woman Contractor of the Year and Teaming Contractor of the Year.
Candidates provided detailed information about their work and success in government
contracting, and the applications were evaluated by a panel of judges.

Government Contractor of the Year was awarded to Amber Peebles of Dumfries, VA-based
Athena Construction Group, a general contractor and construction management company
specializing in light commercial and federal construction. Athena Construction Group had
a rough start when it was founded in 2003 when faced with significant financial losses
during a difficult economic period. The company took bold and decisive action. Through
persistence, and by getting certified as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business, WomanOwned
Business, and Historically Underutilized Business Zone construction company,
Athena Construction Group was able to obtain work by sub-contracting, prime contracting
and teaming. The company has been able to grow through the recession and hire new
employees. Ninety percent of Athena Construction Group’s revenues are generated through
government contracts, and 2012 revenues are projected to increase by roughly 23% over
Teaming Contractor of the Year was awarded to Ron Perry of Anchorage, AK-based Teya
Technologies, an Alaska Native-owned 8(a) certified Small Disadvantaged Business which
provides professional services to government and commercial clients. The company’s story is
one that all small businesses can relate to. After working long hours, starting with very little
investment, and asking others for advice, Teya Technologies is now on track for continued
success. Since entering the government contracting arena, the company has gained past
performance experience as a subcontractor and is now the prime contractor on roughly
90% of their projects. The company anticipates roughly 300% revenue growth this year and
attributes its success to government contracting, specifically partnering and teaming.
Woman Contractor of the Year was awarded to Necole Parker of Washington, DC-based, The
ELOCEN Group, a woman-owned 8(a) certified Small Disadvantaged Business specializing
in program and construction management services. By carving out the time and finding a
successful niche within government contracting – which makes up 85% of the company’s
revenues – The ELOCEN Group has been able to obtain several multiple-year contracts and
complete in excess of 20 projects, totaling more than 12 million square feet of managed
new construction and renovation space. The level of success the company has achieved has
come from its proactivity and ability to consistently translate clients’ needs into realizable
solutions. They adhere to the motto “Satisfied Customers, become Satisfied Clients for Life!”
Between 2009 and 2011 respectively, the company exceeded projected revenue growth
expectations by more than tenfold, and 2012 revenues are on pace to increase by another
30%. The business recently expanded its operations to Atlanta based upon their need and
ability to significantly impact the region.
The VIP awards are part of American Express OPEN’s Victory in Procurement™ (VIP) for
Small Business initiative. Launched in 2009, VIP is a national program that helps small
businesses of all kinds capitalize on the enormous growth opportunity provided through
government contracts.