The DOE Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization recently presented three awards to Sandia for exceptional engagement with small businesses.
Paul Sedillo was named Facility Management Contractor Small Business Program Manager of the Year, Sandia’s Mentor Protégé Program won Mentor of the Year and Sandia protégé CeLeen LLC was honored as Protégé of the Year.
“These awards demonstrate our commitment to collaborate with small and disadvantaged businesses for the economic well-being of the nation,” said Labs Director James Peery. “Congratulations to the winners.”
The annual Small Business Awards Program recognizes the outstanding performance of people and organizations that promote and expand DOE’s partnerships with small businesses to help advance the department’s mission. The awards focused on achievements during fiscal year 2021.
Paul was recognized for implementing strategies to increase the value of competitively awarded contracts to small businesses. He was involved in the award of Sandia’s largest subcontract of $700 million to New Mexico IT and telecommunications business Encantado Technical Solutions LLC. The DOE office also recognized Paul and his team for executing quarterly forums focused on small-business development and working with Sandia. In fiscal year 2021, 1,800 prospective suppliers were reached through efforts like the forums.
“I am honored to receive this award,” Paul said. “This job has enabled me to work with some of the best small and diverse businesses across the country. To know that my team and I have been able to grow these businesses, and in turn their communities, has been really great.”
During fiscal year 2021, Sandia placed three mentor-protégé agreements and exceeded all development objectives for the year, which led to the Labs receiving the Mentor of the Year award.
Paul said the Mentor-Protégé Program has been critical in growing Sandia’s supplier base with qualified and capable suppliers, maximizing opportunities for small businesses to work with Sandia and DOE in mission areas.
More than 79 mentors across all Sandia divisions provided mentoring workshop sessions to small-business protégés.
“We have been extremely successful, not only providing exceptional development assistance for our protégés, but also leveraging the knowledge and skills of Sandia mentors to support program initiatives,” said Royina Lopez, the Mentor-Protégé Program lead. “It is great working with such a diverse group of individuals who have a passion and desire to collaboratively work toward increasing small-business participation at Sandia.”
Information technology firm CeLeen, recognized as Protégé of the Year, is an 8(a) Small Disadvantaged Business based in Perryville, Missouri. As a protégé to Sandia, the business worked closely with Labs business development specialists and is now one of Sandia’s top eight small-business information-technology suppliers that support the Informational Engineering group.
“From the first day of our mentor-protégé relationship with Sandia, we knew that an exciting and rewarding journey was ahead of us,” said Charleen Hickey, the general manager of CeLeen. “In this journey, so far, we have had the extraordinary pleasure to work with an outstanding mentor team as well as many distinguished staff and managers from within the mission program areas. We are humbled by this award, which is truly an award to the entire Sandia team.”
The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization annual awards program is part of DOE’s effort to continue growing its engagement with small businesses to further missions. As part of that program, Sandia seeks opportunities to work with small disadvantaged, service-disabled veteran-owned, historically underutilized business zones, or HUBZones, and women-owned small business.