Photobucket Newsletter: The Sensor

  February 2013


Company Spotlight

Washington Perspective

Business Tip of the Month

EIGS in the News

MBA News

Global Perspectives

Geospatial Image of the Month

Items of Interest

Did You Know?

Seen & Heard

Upcoming Events

Mississippi Development Authority Programs

Mississippi Development
Authority Programs

MDA Certification Program

The Minority and Small Business Development Division administers the state's certification program which identifies minority and woman owned businesses and seeks to increase opportunities for them by providing advocacy, assistance, and access to resources and training.

Model Contractor Development Program

The Model Contractor Development Program is a 9 week program designed to teach new and emerging contractors good business practices that will build capacity, improve competitiveness and increase bonding ability.

Mississippi Minority Business Registry

The Mississippi Minority Business registry (MMBR) is a website where minority– and woman-owned businesses can register themselves in a searchable, statewide database. For more information or to register, visit

MDA Loan Programs
The Minority Business Loan Program provides business loans to qualified minority and women owned companies. These loans are administered by the Planning and Development Districts.
The Capital Access Contract Loan Program provides project financing for qualified borrowers that hold contacts or subcontracts on public projects. These loans are administered by MinCap.

Minority Surety Bond Guaranty Program
The Minority Surety Bond Guaranty Programs assists eligible minority and women owned businesses with establishing a bond line and acquiring bonds from a Surety Company in order to carry out public projects or private projects with public incentives.
For program assistance, contact the Magnolia Business Alliance or visit the Mississippi Development Authority website:

Company Spotlight

Company Spotlioght Skylla Engineering Gives Back to American Heroes

EIGS member company, Skylla Engineering, is an active supporter of giving back to those that give so much for our country. Last year, Skylla donated $100,000 to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund ( and plans to do so again this year. EIGS sat down with Johnny Hays, Program Manager of Skylla Engineering, to learn more.


Washington Perspective

Commentary From: Michael Liu, Sr. Vice President, Dutko Worldwide

"Another State of the Union Address and things remain sour"
Despite a State of the Union Address by a triumphant second term presidential victor, within a week he was treated by a clear act of defiance by the opposing party. It looks like former Senator Chuck Hagel will have to wait for some time before he will be able to take charge of the Defense Department, if at all. The Republican filibuster will keep things at the DOD in limbo which will further muddle the picture regarding contracts and procurements, a picture already scrambled with the impending sequester.

Dealing with the nitty gritty of Congress, partisanship and deal making are all part of making things happen in Washington. And unlike what many pundits might proclaim, this has always been the case. Yes, there is arguably more partisanship, but that is also a result of less of a "go along to get along" atmosphere that voters in many sections of the country have become tired of. Can a president who rather travel around the country trying to create popular "momentum" for his agenda, than stay in dreary Washington and deal face to face with his opponents on a daily basis, succeed?

I think the aforementioned filibuster is a sampling of the answer.

While Republicans scramble to redefine themselves in the wake of November's defeat, the White House and Senate Democrats provide the GOP with some measure of common cause by doubling down in the Senate's version of a budget on the theme of more taxes to handle our budget deficit and dealing in the short term with the coming sequester. This is not the way to a solution.

Prediction: It's better than 50-50 that sequestration will take place.


The race has begun. Hilary Clinton's supporters have begun to raise money for a 2016 run and Vice-President Biden is making no secret of his plans to mount a campaign for president. Democratic governors in Maryland, New York and even tiny Delaware are previewing themselves as possible standard bearers. On the Republican side there is no lack of potential candidates—Jindal, Rubio, Paul, Ryan, Christie, Daniels, Bush, McDonell, Walker, Kasich, etc.

As many have already observed, the juxtaposition of Rubio and Paul as dueling GOP respondents to the President's State of the Union speech had perhaps as much drama as the President's speech itself. Will Paul be able to convince the GOP that its future lies in a more libertarian themed Republican agenda, with less focus on "social" issues and greater embrace of economic freedom planks, or will Rubio's attempt at bridging the traditional with immigration reform win the day? Or will Jeb Bush clear the field and try to gain victory by combining family legacy (which brings the ability to raise a lot of money) with a sense of elder statesman seriousness on the issues of education and fiscal reform, and yes, like Rubio, immigration policy changes?

Given the lack of progress on solutions by the Congress and White House, expect the media to spend more time (if that is possible) than usual, over the next two years in covering the 2016 campaign. It is at least as much fun as covering Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell.

As more things change, the more things stay the same.

Michael Liu is Senior Vice President of Dutko Grayling, a Washington, DC based government affairs and marketing management firm with offices in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Boston, Tallahassee, Chicago, Denver and Biloxi.

Business Tip of the Month
Tips for Maximizing Results at a Trade Show

Trade shows are everywhere- from the local, state, national and international stage. But, with the deluge of information, what do you do to ensure that your time and investment are maximizing your results? With budget cutbacks and competing priorities, it is natural to feel the pinch. Not only is it difficult to select the right trade shows to attend, but then you have to focus on maximizing your results. Here are 3 tips that can't be overlooked:

  1. Determine your overall goal for attending a particular trade show. For example, if your goal is to attract new customers, is that particular audience your target market? If your goal is to attract investors, make sure your audience primarily consists of financial gurus. It sounds simple and almost condescending to state the obvious, but you would be surprised how many businesses attend trade shows without ensuring that the audience is properly aligned with the end goal in mind.
  2. Determine what role is best for your business to play at a particular trade show. For example, would I get more recognition at this particular event by being a sponsor, exhibitor, or trying to get on the agenda to give a presentation? By positioning yourself as a speaker, you have positioned yourself as a leader. If you opt for a sponsorship, make sure your creative team has done its work to maximize your investment.
  3. Do your homework in advance of attending. In order to maximize your results, you must be prepared and plan ahead to determine your hit list. For example, if I don't have the opportunity to speak with anyone else, if I'm able to get a few minutes with the following individuals then my goal is accomplished.

Trade shows can be time consuming and expensive, but if you don't lose site of the most basic business principles and you properly plan, they can pay real dividends. Remember to be selective and plan ahead!


DigitalGlobe completes GeoEye buy
Denver Business Journal

DigitalGlobe Inc. said Thursday it has completed its $900 million acquisition of rival satellite-imagery company GeoEye Inc. Longmont-based DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI) and Herndon, Va.-based GeoEye (Nasdaq: GEOY) announced the deal in July 2012… Read more,

DigitalGlobe's WorldView-3 Satellite Continues on Track for Mid-2014 Launch

DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI) ("DigitalGlobe") today announced that its previously planned satellite construction program related to its third WorldView-class satellite remains on track. DigitalGlobe can now confirm that it plans to complete WorldView… Read more,


Model Contractor Development Program Teaches Emerging
Contractors Skills to Build Their Businesses

The Magnolia Business Alliance's Minority Enterprise (MBA ME) recently co-hosted the Model Contractor Development Program (MCDP) After Care Graduate Kickoff with the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA). The program is designed to teach new and emerging contractors good business practices that will help them build their business, improve competitiveness and increase bonding ability.

Businesses with participating graduates include: Course Construction,Custom Electric Services, LLC, Pounds Plumbing, Inc, Shaw Signs, Bay Motor Winding, Inc., Dynasty On-Site Collection, LLC, Ellis Maintenance Services, LLC, Home Inspector, Kingdom ICDC/ COAAC, Felix Lee Electric, LLC, Mission Green Environmental, Natural Capital Development, Walters Diving and Marine, Inc, Harmon Construction, LLC, Herman Cronier and Sons, Inc, ECD Consulting, and Resolve Contracting, Inc… Read more,

Mississippi Minority Surety Bond Guarantee Program Will Increase Minority Participation in Construction and Building Contracts with Federal, State, and Local Governments

The Magnolia Business Alliance Minority Enterprise (MBA ME) is pleased to announce the continuation of the Mississippi Minority Surety Bond Guaranty Program for minority owned businesses. The program, administered by the Mississippi Development Authority, provides financial assistance to help minority and women's business enterprises secure surety bonds and state contracts. One of the biggest challenges facing minority businesses is securing credit. In turn, that makes it more difficult for them to secure state contracts… Read more,

Global Perspectives

Managing Malaysia's Water Utilities with GIS
FutureGov Magazine

Sr. Mohd Hazley Halim, Head of Facility Management at the National Water Asset Management Company in Malaysia shares with FutureGov how they are leveraging mapping technology to improve management of crucial water utilities… Read more,

3-day India Geospatial Forum
Hindu Business Line

The three-day India Geospatial Forum 2013 was recently held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre at Madhapur. The Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences inaugurated the conference… Read more,

Geospatial Image of the Month

February Blizzard Strikes U.S. Northeast

February Blizzard Strikes U.S. Northeast

(Credit: NASA)

This time-lapse animation shows the merging of two storm fronts into a potent blizzard in February 2013.

Read more:

Items of Interest

$900K National Science Foundation Grant Continues Geospatial Training
Inside Business

After another grant of about $900,000, Virginia is gearing up for a second round in training geospatial technicians - the men and women behind the products and services that tell people where they are. These devices and applications display locations…Read more,

Remote Sensing Technology Offers a Break for Pipeline Impasse…

Spawned by research that started in space, remote-sensing technology designed to detect dangerous leaks in pipelines has the potential to provide the neutral …Read more,

Geospatial Technologies Help Track Real-Time Movements of Sex Offenders
Science Daily

Jan. 29, 2013 - Convicted sex offenders continue to move freely within communities, including in restricted areas, despite laws designed to limit their movements. A new study, by Alan Murray from Arizona State University and colleagues, uses new… Read more,

Did You Know?

Did you know that 95% of the world's consumers live OUTSIDE the United States?

Did you know there are upcoming trade missions that offer incentive programs to help defer costs of travel, meetings, etc.?

Is exporting a good strategy for your company?

Scheduled Trade Missions with Incentive Programs include:





For further information on upcoming trade missions, or to contact a trade counselor to help you get started, contact Lori Moran, or visit

Seen & Heard

"Geo technologies are changing the way people, corporations and governments interact with the world, making them more efficient and enabling cost savings."

Charlie Hale, Google Maps Public Policy Analyst.
Read more,

Upcoming Events

ESRI Federal GIS Conference
February 25-27, 2013
Washington, DC

MBA Member Meeting
March 18, 2013
Biloxi, MS

ESRI International User Conference 2013
July 8-12, 2013
San Diego, CA

  Company Spotlight (Full text)

EIGS recently learned that one of its member companies, Skylla Engineering, is an active supporter of giving back to those that give so much for our country. Last year, Skylla donated $100,000 to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund ( and plans to do so again this year. EIGS sat down with Johnny Hays, Program Manager of Skylla Engineering, to learn more.

The Sensor: To get started, remind our readers about Skylla Engineering and your role with the company.

Hays: Skylla Engineering is a forward-moving company that has a proven record of success. With initial backgrounds in systems engineering, the company grew to include a range of engineering services, locations in seven states and several overseas sites, and a strong experienced-based set of teammates. Even during the time of our nation's economic downturn, Skylla continued to grow. With success came a broadening base of technical services to include the work here at Stennis. Skylla proudly provides a range of services at Stennis to include GIS, IT, meteorology, data mining, electrical and mechanical technician support, warehousing, inventory control, as well as testing and analysis. To understand Skylla you need to understand the vision of our president, Gabe Beltran: to provide our customers with dedicated support through responsive management, committed personnel, leading edge technologies, and high quality, best-value products and service. This drive is built on the bedrock of commitments to our customers, our employees, and the communities where we serve.

In October 2010, I became the Program Manager for operations at Stennis Space Center. The foundation for continued success was already in place so my role was easy. In Skylla's method of operation, I provide on-site, centralized control to meet our customers' needs, but our teammates' responsibility and accountability are more than adequate to meet the challenge. I am proud to be a part of the Skylla team.

The Sensor: Skylla Engineering has a history of raising support for severely wounded soldiers as they re-acclimate to family and society including donating $100,000 to the Semper Fi Fund ( last year. It is our understanding that Skylla Engineering is doing that again this year. Can you tell our readers more about the Semper Fi Fund and your efforts with them?

Hays: The Semper Fi Fund (SFF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that assists with injured military coming back from overseas efforts with short- and long- term injuries. The SFF is a remarkable organization and was ranked by MSN Money as one of the highest ranked charities in America, issuing over 38,000 grants to severely wounded service members. The basic idea that drives the efforts of the Semper Fi Fund is simple: as much as these American heroes have sacrificed, they deserve the best care and support available in their hour of need. Injuries are often severe, and the road to recovery or rehabilitation can be long and costly.

Throughout 2013, Skylla Engineering will host fundraising events at all of our locations to help the Semper Fi Fund raise awareness and support the injured men and women that sacrificed so much while defending our freedom. Skylla will absorb all costs associated with hosting these events and 100% of registration fees, sponsorship contributions, and ALL donations collected will go directly to the Semper Fi Fund, be tax deductible to the donor, and impact the lives of young wounded Marines, Sailors, Soldiers and their families during their time of need at the hospitals and as they transition back home to their recovery. With the fighting in Afghanistan, the needs of our wounded heroes continue to be great and our support will ensure that we are able to keep our mission moving forward.

The Sensor: What kind of response have you received from the community?

Hays: We worked closely with Chili's of Gulfport and Ruby Tuesdays of Slidell who both featured "Give Back Nights" during the month of February that donated 20% of the check directly to the Semper Fi Fund. It was a wonderful way to support a great cause and take advantage of a delicious dinner out. Additionally, we have planned activities like a softball tournament and possibly a raffle to raise money locally.

The Sensor: Why is it important for Skylla Engineering to give back in this way?

Hays: The senior leadership of Skylla is all former or retired Marines. Likewise, I am a retired Air Force officer and we all carry the values of integrity, service and excellence through our work to customers. Needless to say there is a strong sense of support to the military with several contracts with the Navy, Marine Corps, and the Space and Naval Warfare Center (SPAWAR), (Atlantic). There is a true sense of value for teammates, personally and collectively, and specifically for customer and product. The essence of service has carried over into contracts with Department of Energy (DOE), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

In a country where we are so blessed, we must not forget that the traumatic injuries sustained by the men and women serving in our Armed Forces are, in most cases, life-changing disabilities requiring long-term medical treatment, so each donation directly impacts the welfare of each wounded service member and their families. These injuries will not simply go away. Most require constant therapy and medical care. It is our duty as a country to provide these service members with the lifetime care and support they need for sacrificing themselves for the freedom of all. SSF helps these families reacclimate to society. When you see and know brothers in arms and see families struggling to cope with what lies before them, 'Duty, Honor, Country' are more than just words for them and for us.

About Skylla Engineering: Since 2004, Skylla Engineering Ltd. has earned the reputation of an elite group of professionals providing evolutionary engineering solutions, using emergent technologies, within compressed timelines to uncompromising customers. Skylla Engineering Ltd. is a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and an SBA certified 8(a) company with several Eastern and Southeastern regional offices. Skylla's experiences incorporate engineering, IT, logistics, and program management support services. As both a Prime and Sub-contractor, they have established an efficient business structure that is dedicated to offering best-value support to customers and providing the most qualified personnel in the industry. Skylla uses a broad employee experience base to deliver timely and tangible solutions to customers. For more information, visit


Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions –