Madison Services Group Public Affairs Campaign

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Company: Madison Services Group, Inc., Washington, DC USA
Entry Submitted By: WDS Marketing & Public Relations
Company Description: Madison Services Group, Inc. (MSGI), is a woman-owned business that provides government relations and business development services to corporate and non-profit clients. MSGI specializes in outreach to the small business with an emphasis on women-owned and minority businesses.
Nomination Category: Communications & Marketing Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Public Affairs

Nomination Title: Women-Owned Small Businesses Receive 5% of Federal Contracts

In up to 525 words, tell the judges about the nominated campaign: its genesis, development, planning, commission, and performance to date:

In March, 2016, for the first time ever, the U.S. Government announced they had awarded 5% of their total procurement contracts to women-owned small businesses (WOSB). The driving force behind this outstanding achievement is Ann Sullivan, president of Madison Services Group and the Chief Advocate of Government Relations for Women Impacting Public Policy, a nonprofit organization recognized as a national, nonpartisan voice for women entrepreneurs.

Although this goal was reached in 2016 with much acclaim, the journey to achievement of this historic goal began in 1994. Effecting change in the laws, influencing public policy, modifying regulations and achieving the passing of national legislation takes time, requires diligence, and also the forging of vital relationships in Washington, DC. These are all areas in which Ann excels.

It took 22 years to reach the WOSB goal of five percent. While this goal may not sound like significant, actually totals of revenue generated will be $18 billion. Thousands of women-owned companies have benefited from this effort.

The government set the goal in 1994 as a part of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act. That act led to the creation of the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program in the Equity in Contracting for Women Act of 2000. With this goal established, the mandate would provide WOSBs with opportunities never available before, to generate greater revenues for their enterprises through procurement contracts with the U.S. Government.

The WOSB procurement program, officially launched in 2011, was a critical entry point into the world of government contracting for women entrepreneurs nationwide. Since its inception, the WOSB procurement program has been hampered by restrictions on the size and type of contracts awarded. All other major small business contracting programs have sole-source authority except for the WOSB program. Ann Sullivan championed this legislation, which corrected that inequity. She created the Give Me Five program to provide education, training and resources to WOSB.

Ann also put together an important partnership to promote the WOSB program, ChallengeHER. In 2013, WIPP, SBA and Amex OPEN launched this national initiative to boost government contracting opportunities for WOSB through free workshops, mentoring and direct access to government buyers. Ann has been essential in helping to provide her insights, leadership and content. More than 600,000 women entrepreneurs have participated in ChallengeHER workshops.

Ann led an effort in early 2013 to get caps on awards to women-owned small businesses removed. WOSB awards were capped at $4 million and $6.5 million. Before the new law was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, WOSB awards were capped at $4 million and $6.5 million.

Ann’s leadership drove passage of a law in 2014 that provided federal agencies with the authority to award sole-source contracts to WOSB. Up until that point, the WOSB program was the only major small business contracting program without that authority and it put female entrepreneurs at a distinct disadvantage. Up until that point, the WOSB program was the only major small business contracting program without that authority and it put female entrepreneurs at a distinct disadvantage.

Now that we know the 5% is possible, the challenge for the government is to maintain, then increase the goal.

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the team that created and carried out the nominated communications campaign (up to 125 words):

Ann Sullivan is the President of Madison Services Group, Inc. (MSGI), woman-owned business that provides government relations and business development services to corporate and non-profit clients. In her leadership role at MSGI, Ann works regularly with the U.S. Congress, the Executive Office, and government agencies. Her expertise includes business development programs, government procurement, healthcare, export development, and tax issues affecting small businesses. Ann currently leads the public policy teams for the largest national association of women business owners and women in business, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) in addition to the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC), the HUBZone Contractors National Council, the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO), in addition to the national voice for microbusiness, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO).