For Gina Wightman, being the founder and now president of Wightman & Associates, LLC (W&A) was only the start. Under her leadership, her company was a success with a broad client base. With the assistance of the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) entrepreneurial support ecosystem, including the Florida SBDC at UCF, the UCF Business Incubator and the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at UCF, W&A was established and looking to grow.
Wightman & Associates is in the business of helping government, public service and other organizations optimize their effectiveness. “Workforce Excellence through Innovation and Technology” is its mission. W&A helps those enterprises analyze training needs and provides mission-focused training development and consulting services. They specialize in assisting public and private entities focused on natural hazard mitigation, emergency preparedness, disaster response and recovery, environmental health, epidemiology, safety, & environmental and radiological protection.
Doing business with the government is an especially significant opportunity for small- and medium-sized businesses, but is too often overlooked. For Gina Wightman, because of a long and successful career working in that arena, it was her sweet spot. And she pursued it aggressively using the Government Contracting Services offered by the Florida PTAC at UCF.
“The training seminars, consulting and business tools made available to me through the Florida PTAC at UCF have been invaluable,” Wightman says today. “I can’t emphasize enough how important working with the Florida PTAC has been. At the start, they helped us obtain certification as a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) which makes us more competitive for government contracts. We were turned down initially but our Procurement Specialist coached us through our appeal and we were approved!”
From there, the Florida PTAC at UCF introduced Wightman and W&A to the PTAC Bid Match database. Built to help clients like W&A find government contracting opportunities with just one click, the PTAC Electronic Bid-Match system enables companies to receive targeted federal, state, and local solicitations via e-mail daily. To populate this exclusive database, the Bid Match service monitors hundreds of procurement Web sites around the clock.
“Florida PTAC has been the source of consistent and solid support and help” continued Wightman. “They have reviewed and contributed to our capabilities statement and contract proposals. They have taught us how to access and use the PTAC Bid Match database – and we have won a contract thanks to it! I am so much more knowledgeable about all things government contracting, like GSA schedules, DUNS numbers and so much more. All thanks to the guidance of the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center at UCF and its specialists.”
“Since starting with UCF’s programs, we have developed a broader range of services and a more focused pursuit of business development, especially thanks to being part of the PTAC Bid Match system” concluded Wightman. “It’s enabled us to increase our contracts by 20% year over year. If I had to use one word to describe all that we have gained from the UCF Business Incubator, Florida SBDC and Florida PTAC, it would be ‘Helpful’. Not the most dynamic description, but exactly what every small business needs: help.”