Volume 3, Issue 28
October 26, 2011
Got energy solutions? The government welcome mat is out

Mary Scott NabersFirms offering energy solutions are welcome today in C-level offices of public officials. Demand for renewable, clean and less-expensive energy is at an historic high.


There are thousands of upcoming energy opportunities and they can currently be found in every region of every state. While most public sector funding has been curtailed, that is not the case for energy projects - especially renewable energy projects.


Government is attempting to lead the way as an encourager of renewable energy. Consider this:

  • In 2010, 45 percent of the country's electricity was generated from coal. Hydroelectric power accounted for 6 percent; 



Gemini Global Group formed
LA measure favors local businesses
Upcoming education opportunities
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
Who's winning the contracts?
Where are they now?
Opportunity of the week
Let us advertise your event
Calendar of events
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.
Gemini Global Group formed


Strategic Partnerships, Inc., Ben Barnes Group announce partnering venture

Mary Scott Nabers
Mary Scott Nabers

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) and The Ben Barnes Group, two highly successful, Austin-based consulting firms, have announced a new joint venture. The two firms have been working together with clients for the past year and recently announced a newly formed joint venture company, Gemini Global Group. Both existing firms, Strategic Partnerships, Inc. and the Ben Barnes Group, will continue and the new joint venture, with offices in the same location, will focus on business development, government affairs and communication for clients in all 50 states. Gemini Global Group will also specialize in working with firms interested in public-private partnership (P3) opportunities. 


"We could not have found a better firm to partner with than the Ben Barnes Group," said Mary Scott Nabers, president and CEO of SPI. "The depth and breadth of assistance we can offer by pairing the expertise from both firms makes our service offerings unique throughout the country."


Barnes, founder of The Ben Barnes Group and former Texas lieutenant governor, was equally as enthusiastic about the joint venture. "In a very short period of time, we've contracted with numerous new clients," he said. "Our success rate has been good, increasing our optimism about future potential."


Ben Barnes
Ben Barnes

Both Nabers and Barnes said that combining the talent of both firms allows a unique pool of talent. Both companies have a proven success rate, they said, and are "uniquely qualified" to meet client needs. The firms have long-standing client relationships with numerous Fortune firms.


The two successful business executives also noted that the timing for their joint venture is especially good because of the popularity of public-private partnerships. P3s are becoming an increasingly attractive way for government subdivisions to finance large projects.


SPI is a 16-year-old government procurement consulting and national research firm. Its team of consultants and subject matter experts includes former public sector executives and decision-makers from all levels of government. The SPI team has provided procurement consulting, strategy development, government affairs assistance, communication outreach, research, training and advocacy for clients since 1995.


The Ben Barnes Group has a global practice and for the last 25 years has provided a range of consulting services including strategic planning, advocacy at both the state and federal levels, crisis management, regulatory representation, business development, procurement consulting and policy guidance.


Gemini Global Group will operate from offices in both Austin and Washington, D.C.


Los Angeles approves measure favoring local businesses


Bids for contracts would give local vendors 8 percent advantage over others

Richard Alarcon
Richard Alarcon

California companies will get an 8 percent advantage on their bids for goods and services when dealing with the city of Los Angeles. The City Council recently approved a measure affecting more than $1 billion in goods and service it purchases each year.


The measure adopted applies to all contracts of more than $150,000 for firms throughout the state and would give local vendors an 8 percent advantage in their bids. Thus, a local company bidding $189,000 on a project would beat a bid of $175,000 from an out-of-state vendor, once the local contractor benefitting from the additional 8 percent. Additionally, a preference of up to 5 percent would be extended to companies that are subcontractors to Los Angeles firms. The City Council also asked for reports every six months on how the program is working and the number of contracts being awarded to local firms.


Councilman Richard Alarcon said he would like for the council to consider changes to the city charter to make the preference extend only to firms in the city of Los Angeles. He said he is concerned that there is nothing that addresses how long a firm has to be in the city or how many employees it has in the city to be eligible for the benefit. "We could end up with some major corporation coming in and opening a storefront with no workers here to get the preference," he said, noting that the city's intent is to ensure that local companies are encouraged to bid. However, the assistant city attorney noted that in a previous charter revision, "local" was defined as businesses in the county and state.


November 2011 Tx Bond Election

Upcoming education opportunities


Stanford officials say they are vying for New York City campus

John Hennessy
John Hennessy

Stanford President John Hennessy said the California university is vying for a New York City campus and is working on a competitive bid to develop a science and engineering research center there. The proposal comes after more than $400 million in economic incentives, including land, were put together by the New York City Economic Development Corp. Stanford apparently is a top contender along with Cornell University, after nearly 20 universities initially indicated they were interested in the project. The deadline for proposals is Friday and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said a winner will be chosen by the end of the year. Hennessy said his vision for the campus would be a 10-acre Stanford campus on Roosevelt Island on the East River near Manhattan. The project likely would bring about $1 billion to $2 billion in construction costs that would include housing, classrooms, laboratories, offices, business incubator space, fitness centers, shops and restaurants. When completed, it would have 1.1 million square feet of academic space, 575,000 square feet of housing, 175,000 square feet of amenities and 50,000 square feet of business incubator space.


Nevada school district looking at outsourcing possibilities

The Clark County School Board in Nevada has announced that it will study and develop a policy on how the district might privatize some of its operations as a way of saving money. The board already is considering hiring private sector custodians and bus drivers. An Austin, Texas, based consulting firm performed a study on how the school district could streamline some of its operations and found that although most of the district's operations are efficient, it might want to at least consider privatization to see if it might bring the costs down. The study estimated a savings of $21.4 million per year by outsourcing certain custodial and transportation positions. The issue is still being debated, but district officials realize privatization of some services is becoming popular in some districts facing budget deficits. Some Clark County officials see any saving realized as more funding that can go into the classroom.


Marshall University plans $50 million bond sale for athletic, engineering facilities

Stephen Kopp
Stephen Kopp

Marshall University has been approved by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission for the sale of $50 million in bonds. The bond proceeds will be used to pay for a new athletic facility and applied engineering building. Marshall President Stephen Kopp said the university hopes to complete the bond process by the end of this month and thus cash in on about $52 million from the sale. The two facilities being planned are among $114 million in construction projects that are part of the university's capital improvement projects. The $25 million indoor athletic center, which is a complex including three buildings, will house a 100-yard multipurpose turf football field and 200-yard track a student-athlete academic center and a sports medicine research center. The $50 million engineering complex will house information technology, biology technology and digital forensic departments and labs. Other future plans for construction include a multi-floor parking facility, a new soccer stadium complex, a relocated fine arts and visual arts facility and a modern academic instructional facility. The first phase of the project is construction of the new parking facility.


Kentucky university approves ground lease for extended campus

Officials of the Murray State University in Kentucky have approved a ground lease that will lead to construction of an extended campus in Paducah. In a joint effort with the City of Paducah, the Greater Paducah Economic Development Council and McCracken County, the university agreed to replace the current extended campus at the Crisp Center. McCracken County will issue a $20 million bond to fund construction of the new campus. The university owns the project site, which will be leased to the county. The county will then lease the completed project to the university at a rental rate not to exceed $290,000 per fiscal year.


High school in Tennessee prepares for $3.5 million expansion

Harry Gill
Harry Gill

Following approval by the Rutherford County (Tennessee) Commission, the Eagleville High School in Murfreesboro is preparing for a $3.5 million classroom expansion. According to Rutherford County Schools Director Harry Gill, the project will add eight classrooms, a science lab, restrooms, a teacher work area, elevator access, hall lockers, teacher restrooms and unfinished space for restrooms. The project will be paid for out of the unused portion of a school bond and will do away with the need for 14 portable classrooms. Another larger expansion plan was put on hold because of the costs for the project. That phase would have added another nine classrooms, two science labs, an auditorium with sound booth, dressing room, makeup room, a band rehearsal room and a music practice room. It also would have expanded the cafeteria by removing the stage used for performing arts. Also included were tiling the hallway and adding a bookstore. 


Research Analysts

Other upcoming contracting opportunities


Nevada city moving closer to proposed $1.3 billion sports stadium

Dennis Porter
Dennis Porter

Officials in Henderson, Nevada, are laying the foundation for what they hope will be a $1.3 billion stadium project for the city. The city council recently approved planning items relating to streets, sidewalks, trails, sewers and public transit that would serve the complex. The proposed project would be built on 500 acres of federal land east of I-15 near the M Resort. The initial phase would be a 17,500-seat enclosed arena that could be used for a professional basketball team and a 25,000-seat open-air stadium for a professional soccer team. Privately finance, the city would help by implementing a tax increment district or a tourism improvement district. City officials and the developer are looking at having a final agreement in place by April. If that happens, construction could begin next summer. Dennis Porter, director of utility services, said the city can walk away from the project at any time until the final agreement is signed. One clause in the agreement calls for the project to be completed within three years. Porter said that was because, "We didn't want for the project to get started and then just sit there."


Illinois city lays out plans to reissue bids for wastewater treatment plant

Officials in Marengo, Illinois, plan to rebid their wastewater treatment plant after all seven previously received bids came in over budget in August. Officials are still trying to iron out details regarding the interest rate after being told earlier this year that if the project started this winter, the rate would be 1.25 percent to apply. If not started by that time, the rate would jump to 2.5 percent. Now, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has said it will lower the rate to 2.3 percent. Officials are working to get the project ready to once again bid out. They are hopeful the IEPA will keep the interest rate at 1.25 percent. Every bid that came in exceeded the $12 million planned for the project, and the amount of the state agency's loan to Marengo to modernize the plant. The bids ranged from $15.5 million to $17.9 million. Engineers from several of the contractors said the rate was high because of sensitive water and environmental issues regarding the Kishwaukee River. The council has been advised to put out alternate bids this time around. The plant would expand the city's capacity to pump 900,000 gallons of water a day to 2.25 million per day.


Missouri city still undecided on details for new firehouse construction

Shelley Welsch
Shelley Welsch

Some two years ago, University City, Missouri, was awarded $2.6 million in the form of a federal stimulus grant to build a new fire station. At the last council meeting, city fathers once again postponed approval of additional money needed to construct the firehouse. Mayor Shelley Welsch had urged support for the project, saying the new firehouse had been discussed by two different city councils and two city administrations and needs to be built. The city plans to close down 108-year-old Engine House No. 1 behind City Hall. Officials are now debating whether the city should throw in the nearly $675,000 shortfall. The city's grant request was submitted in 2009. That request was for about $3.15 million and a $200,000 matching fee. The city received only $2.6 million.


New Mexico water reclamation project has permit process expedited

A northern New Mexico $1 billion water reclamation project will move forward after the Obama administration picked it as one of only several projects nationwide to qualify for an expedited permit process. The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, which is expected to bear a price tag of $995 million, could pump more than 37,000 acre-feet of water per year from the San Juan River basin along a 280-mile pipeline with 24 pumps and two treatment plants. The project is expected to be completed in 2024 and to have water flowing at full capacity by 2040. The project will benefit some 250,000 Native Americans.


Pennsylvania borough plans to put public works building out for bids

Melissa Shafer
Melissa Shafer

Officials of the Chalfont Borough in Pennsylvania are putting out their bid for a public works and police building. The project is expected to cost approximately $1.3 million, the public works building will be expanded with the police department added to the site. Officials will use a bond to pay for the project and will take $120,000 from its Water Fund II account to pay the first year's debt service on the bond. Melissa Shafer, Chalfont's manager, said the debt service would be approximately $80,000 for 25 years. Chalfont had previously explored the possibility of consolidating its police service with that of neighboring New Britain Borough, but said it was not a sound financial idea.  


County jail kitchen renovation approved for county in Tennessee

The Rutherford County Commission has approved spending $78,000 from its Restricted Litigation Tax fund to design a kitchen renovation for the county jail. The entire project is expected to cost approximately $1.2 million. The cafeteria was originally designed to feed a capacity of 256, but the jail kitchen serves approximately 900 inmates. Officials note the need for the upgrades in that it takes 22 hours per day to serve 1,000 meals.


Final list of park projects approved for county in Maryland

The final list for park projects has been approved by the Montgomery County (Maryland) County Planning Board. Among the projects is the Germantown Town Center urban park, a $7.2 million park to be located on 8.8 acres of land behind Germantown Library. Other projects include the $8.6 million Seneca Crossing, a local park planned for 2018, upgrades of trails at Black Hill Regional Park in Boyds and some $21 million for improvements at South Germantown Recreational Park. The capital improvement package will now go to the Montgomery County Council and County Executive for possible inclusion in the budget process for capital projects from 2013-2018. The $178 million in the capital improvement plan represents half of the 5.5 percent the Planning Board was asked to cut from its original requests.


Arizona town prepares for bids for annual tourism contract

John Sentz
John Sentz

Councilman John Sentz said the most important aspect of the upcoming RFP will be the statement of work and scope of activity, both of which should be approved by the council before bids are sought. In addition to the RFP process, town officials said they will also consider an in-house tourism department, a visitors and convention bureau or the model presented by the chamber. Officials in Gilbert, Arizona, are preparing to receive bids for the city's annual tourism contract instead of extending the town's existing agreement with the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce. The RFP, which is expected to be released in December, will describe the scope of work and allow organizations other than the chamber and even from outside Gilbert to bid. The town by law must reinvest one-third of its bed tax revenue, $250,000 in FY 2011, into promoting tourism. The council was not willing to increase the funding sought by the chamber and will instead seek bids for its tourism efforts.


County in Georgia likely to award road projects in February, April

Hall County (Georgia) is expected to award contracts for major road projects - the widening of Ga. 347/Lanier Islands Parkway from Interstate 985 to McEver Road probably in February, and the second phase of Ga. 347 work, widening Friendship Road to Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway, expected in April. Most of the right-of-way for the Lanier Islands Parkway has been secured. That roadway will be expanded to four lanes. But there is more right-of-way to be secured for the Friendship Road segment. Friendship Road is mostly two lanes and will be expanded to four- and six-lane segments. The estimated cost for the Friendship portion of the project is $47.9 million, and the Lanier Islands Parkway work is expected to cost $16.3 million. 


Did you miss TGI?

Who's winning the contracts?

Want to know who your competition is? Who was awarded the contract on a particular project? Below are listed some recent winners of major government contracts:  

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. has signed a $70 million, 27-month contract to continue work with the Arkansas Medicaid IT system to manage and try to improve the compliance and service of the state's Medicaid management information system (MMIS).
  • A&T Systems won a $24 million contract from the Army for voice communications and secret Internet protocol router network support services for the U.S. Army Reserve Command.
  • CNA won a $9.1 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security for professional, administrative and management support services.
  • Allied Technology Group won a $1.4 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security for maintenance, repair and rebuilding of equipment. 
  • Ashlar Contracting Co. of Lewisville, Texas, has been selected by the City of Gainesville for a $1.69 million contract to complete remaining work on the city's Pecan Creek flood damage reduction project.
  • Urban Service Systems won a $3.2 million contract from the Architect of the Capitol for utilities and housekeeping services.
  • Science Applications International Corp. won an $8.7 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security for information technology services, including telecommunications services.
  • Royce Construction Services won a $2.1 million contract from the Department of Veterans Affairs for construction of structures and facilities.  
  • Vanguard Construction has been chosen by the Llano (Texas) Independent School District for the $2.6 million renovation of the old Middle School complex. 
  • HITT Contracting won a $1.2 million contract and a $1.3 million contract from the General Services Administration for construction of structures and facilities.
  • Skanska has signed an $80 million design-bid-build contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct the second phase of the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center project at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Public-Private Partnerships

News about public-private partneships (P3s)


Correll appointed new CEO of Tulsa Zoo in privatization process  

Terrie Correll
Terrie Correll

Terrie Correll, who has more than 30 years of experience in the zoo industry, has been named CEO of Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc., which manages the zoo as part of a public-private partnership with the City of Tulsa. The public-private partnership was formed in January. Correll will be responsible for the overall development and operation of the zoo, including planning, finances, facilities, programming and community outreach. Correll came to the Tulsa Zoo from The Living Desert in California in 2009. She is originally from Oklahoma and is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. Zoo officials next will hire a chief operating officer and a chief development officer.


Florida legislation would streamline public-private partnerships

The Florida Legislature is considering a bill that would make it easier for the private sector to work with government to build projects through a public-private partnership (P3) easier. The state already is involved in some P3s, including the $380 million Amway Center and the Orlando Magic/City of Orlando-planned $100 million entertainment complex. The bill would provide for private entities to develop and operate public-purposed projects; provide for affected local government to comment on proposed projects; provide for procurement consideration and approval of projects; and more. It also establishes a Public-Private Partnership Advisory Commission and requires the commission to submit annual reports. 


Virginia Port Authority to privatize part of its security force

Looking to reduce costs, the Virginia Port Authority is privatizing part of its security force. The authority plans to replace 45 of its more than 70 officers with contract security guards by June of next year. Officials are expecting the privatization to save between $1 million and $2 million per year. Most of the cuts will be made through early retirement offers and layoffs. While sworn officers would patrol areas inside the gates of the marine cargo terminals, unarmed private security guards would work the gates.

Need Federal Contracting?

Where are they now?
 Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Joseph Lhota.
J. Lhota
Joseph Lhota

Joseph J. Lhota graduated cum laude from Georgetown University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration. In 1980, he received his master of business administration from the Harvard Business School. Lhota has spent time in both the public and private sectors. He spent 15 years in investment banking specializing in public finance. He was director of public finance at CS First Boston Corp. and was managing director at PaineWebber. Lhota was tapped by then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani for his management team in New York City. He was the city's chief financial officer as the director of the Office of Management and Budget and served as deputy mayor of operations from 1998 to 2001. He then left the public sector for the private sector again, joining Cablevision Systems Corp, where he was an executive vice president of corporate administration and president of its subsidiary, Cablevision Lightpath Inc. He joined Rainbow Media Enterprises from Cablevision Systems Corp. and served as co-chief financial officer beginning in 2004. He currently serves as executive vice president of administration at Madison Square Garden. He was recently tapped by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to head the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


Opportunity of the week...

A transit authority in Ohio will use a $3 million grant to building a maintenance facility, which will be designed with energy and environmental features, including solar panels, a water reclamation system and porous asphalt to decrease water runoff. It will provide two bus maintenance bays and storage.

Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or


Mark WeatherfordDoug CriscitelloDavid ChardMark Weatherford (top left), California's former chief information security officer, has been named to head cybersecurity efforts for the federal government as the deputy under secretary for cybersecurity, a newly created position. Doug Criscitello (top middle), who established the Small Business Administration's CFO office in 1995 and most recently served as CFO of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has joined Grant Thornton LLC as director of the Global Public Sector Practice. President Barack Obama has nominated David Chard (top right), dean of Southern Methodist University's Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, to the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences. Eileen Yarborough, Crowley (Texas) Area Chamber of Commerce president, will leave her position Nov. 10 to become director of the Cibola County Community Economic Development Foundation in her hometown of Grants, N.M. Nuria Fernandez, a transit executive who has worked at agencies in Chicago and Washington, D.C., has been tapped as the chief operating officer of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the second-highest position at the authority. Jane Bowden, superintendent of Northwest Technology Center Karen HansonThomas HoganSarah Perezcampuses in Alva and Fairview, has been chosen as the new superintendent of the Moore Norman Technology Center in Oklahoma, replacing John Hunter, who will retire in January. Karen Hanson (middle right), current executive vice president and provost of Indiana University's Bloomington campus, has been selected as the new provost for the University of Minnesota. Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan (middle center), a former chief U.S. District Court judge in Washington, has been named to a one-year term as director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Kenan-FlaglerBusiness School has named Sarah Perez (middle left), executive director of Florida International University's executive and professional MBA program, as the executive director of its MBA for executives programs. Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who was issued a formal rebuke from the House following an affair, is joining Fox News as a political commentator through the 2012 presidential elections. Sierra Nevada College President Richard Rubsamen has resigned his position because he said part of the college's budget were a result of his compensation, with the provost to take the position at a lower pay scale. The Hazlet (New Jersey) Kathleen Enz FinkenJim PattersonJoe GarciaTownship Board of Education has selected Dr. Bernard F. Bragen, Jr., assistant superintendent of schools, as superintendent, replacing Dr. William O. George, who has taken a post with the Middletown Township Public Schools. Kathleen Enz Finken (bottom left), provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, has been named Cal Poly's new provost. Jim Patterson (bottom center), city manager in Sherwood, Oregon, for the last three years, and former assistant city manager and urban renewal district manager for Sherwood, has been selected as the new Corvallis city manager. The Tulare County Board of Supervisors has appointed Joe M. Garcia (bottom right), division chief with the Tulare County Fire Department and who has 37 years in the California fire service, as the Tulare County Fire Department Chief. Kent Cagle, city manager in Duncanville (Texas), has been hired as the next city manager for the City of Leander, replacing Finance Director Robert Powers, who has been serving as interim manager. Scott Hartman, former Village Manager/City Administrator for the Village of Pingree Grove and the City of Marengo, has been chosen as the Highwood, Illinois, City Manager. Robert Paoletti, a patrol captain in Stockton's police department, has been chosen to serve as chief of police in Redding, California, taking over for Chief Peter Hansen, who is retiring.


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Two more speakers added to upcoming P3 workshop on real estate, energy

Two more speakers - David Berteau of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Dr. Dorothy Robyn, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense - have been announced for "PPPs for the Federal Government: Real Estate and Energy Projects," a workshop sponsored by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships, to be held Nov. 9-10 in Arlington, VA. Cynthia Anderson of the U.S. Department of Energy will be participating in the event and discussing energy parks. The federal budget, aging administrative infra­structures and new energy policies are all creating a dynamic climate for the use of public-private partnerships in several major federal agencies. Senior administration and industry representatives will outline what can and should be done. Sponsorships are available. For more information, click here. 


KC Business Central hosting Minority Business Forum 

Kansas City Business Central will host a Minority Business Forum on Wednesday, Nov. 9, that includes a panel of minority- and women-owned business experts who will discuss their successes and the resources available to others. Panelists include: Michael L. Barrera, attorney and former president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Consuela McCain-Nunnaly, director of Diversity Business Connection of the Greater KC Chamber; CiCi Rojas, president of Community Engagement with Truman Medical Center; and Daryl Williams, director of Research at the Kauffman Foundation. For more information contact Heather Nicolosi at


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