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Small Business Administration Recognizes ORAU with Award of Distinction

Feb. 28, 2005

ORAU managers receiving small business award

Pictured above from far left: Small Business Administration (SBA) District Director Clint Smith, SBA Area Director Mitch Morand, ORAU Small Business Liaison Ernest Whitaker, Congressman Zach Wamp, ORAU Procurement Manager John Bennett, and ORAU President Ron Townsend.
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OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—The Small Business Administration (SBA) honored Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) procurement group with the coveted Award of Distinction today. SBA Director Mitch Morand and District Director Clint Smith presented the honor to ORAU for exemplary efforts in small business partnering.

The SBA presents the Award of Distinction to large federal contractors that have exceptional small business subcontracting programs; and of more than 2,500 SBA portfolio companies, only two percent—less than fifty companies—have earned this award. Even fewer companies have earned it twice.

This is ORAU’s second occasion to be presented the SBA’s prestigious Award of Distinction, which was awarded based on the efforts of its buyers; contract specialists; and Ernest Whitaker, ORAU’s small business liaison.

The honor is awarded when SBA's commercial market representatives (CMRs) conduct reviews and ensure compliance with subcontracting laws and regulations. The CMRs then rate each company, from unsatisfactory to outstanding, and may nominate any company rated outstanding for the Award of Distinction.

The Award of Distinction is based on a company’s small business subcontracting program, its commitment and outreach efforts, and the percentage of the company’s subcontracts awarded to small businesses.

“An honor of this magnitude can only occur when the procurement staff and department managers work together with determination in support of the local small business community and really care about their success,” said John Bennett, ORAU procurement manager.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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