Irving McConnell, SBA’s 2014 Eastern Pa., mid-Atlantic 8(a) Graduate Of Year, Leads Successful Charge to Change 8(a) Program for Military Reservists
PHILADELPHIA – During the last 15 months of The McConnell Group’s 8(a) program, Chief Executive Officer Irving W. McConnell was deployed to Iraq as an Army Reserve Colonel where his experience provided a warfighter’s perspective in support of the I Marine Expeditionary Forces, 82nd Airborne, 10th Mountain Division and others in hostile and combat environments. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts in mission planning and operational direction in stabilizing the Baghdad Zoo during combat operations for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Upon his return, he fought hard along with his 8(a) counselor to help change a major ruling which now will freeze the 8(a) program’s “clock” while the business owner/Reservist is deployed on military missions. SBA’s nine-year 8(a) Business Development Program helps socially and economically disadvantaged firms develop and grow their businesses and provides access to government contracting opportunities, allowing them to become solid competitors in the federal marketplace.
Driven by the professional interest and experience of a steadily-growing staff of over 150 nationwide, TMG has matured into several business sectors designed to work either together or independently. The company’s services are focused on supporting the nation in the areas of research, environmental science, defense and homeland security.
Founded in Pennsylvania in 1996 as a health sciences company and now headquartered in Rockville, Md., TMG continues to focus on biomedical research and biodefense research support services, while expanding into related practice areas based on client requirements.
“Many of the successes TMG has seen over the years have been a direct reflection of the SBA and taking part in the 8(a) program,” McConnell said. “It started with attending meetings held at the SBA Philadelphia office to receive lessons learned from other successful business owners to assistance in obtaining a Certificate of Competency for our first government contract.”
U.S. Small Business Administration mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho and SBA Philadelphia District Director David Dickson were pleased to announce Irving W. McConnell, CEO of The McConnell Group (TMG) as the eastern Pennsylvania and SBA mid-Atlantic Region’s 2014 8(a) Graduate of the Year.
Olson-Urtecho and Dickson recognized McConnell and presented the 2014 Small Business Week awards with Philadelphia’s NBC10 anchor and consumer reporter Tracy Davidson at the annual “SBA Day at the Ballpark” event June 12. The awards ceremony and luncheon at the “XFINITY Live! Philadelphia” restaurant was followed by a 1:05 p.m. Phillies baseball game at nearby Citizens Bank Park.
“It’s an honor to recognize the accomplishments of our small business communities,” said mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho. “The successes Irving has accomplished have led TMG to provide an excellent example of a small business that starts, grows and goes on to great things. Leveraging the 8(a) program can serve as a springboard into government contracting and SBA is proud to be a part of small business success stories, like Irving’s, that are helping to drive our nation’s economic recovery.”
“As a regional and local recognition of the Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week award winners, this event recognizes the achievements of small business and its advocates in eastern Pennsylvania,” said Dickson. “Every year the award winners, like Irving McConnell’s TMG, who are honored at this event have truly distinguished themselves and represent the very best that the eastern Pennsylvania small business community has to offer.”
SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania 8(a) Graduate of the Year award winner is selected annually from among nominees located across Pennsylvania’s eastern 40 counties. Mid-Atlantic regional winners are selected annually from the winning nominees in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. These events are local observances of the annual Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week. National Small Business Week recognizes the small business community’s contribution to the American economy.