Fall 2012   
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In this issue

Helpful Links
How to Do Business With the City of Houston

Current Contracting Opportunities   

Houston Business Solutions Center 

SCORE Biz Success Tips
Upcoming Events

Meet the Buyer Purchasing Forum


Attend this FREE event to learn how to do business with the City of Houston, and meet key individuals in charge of City contracting and procurement.  


Date: December 11, 2012

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Location: George R. Brown Convention Center, Grand Ballroom A



Contact US
611 Walker, 7th Floor

Houston, TX 77002


T. 832.393.0600

F. 832.393.0646

Check out the latest EPISODE of Insights to OPPORTUNITY 
View our videos on YouTube
article1Letter from the Director
Greetings, and welcome to the Fall edition of Insights to Opportunity, OBO's online newsletter designed to help Educate, Connect, and Grow small businesses. We have another great online publication with lots of exciting activities to report.


Anchor2Mayor's Office of Business Opportunity Becomes a Separate City of Houston Department


What began as an FY 2013 budget amendment recommended by City Council Member Larry Green, came to fruition on September 26, 2012. By a 13-1 vote, Houston City Council passed Ordinance 2012-850, officially constituting the Office of Business Opportunity as a new and separate City of Houston department.  Previously operating as a division of the Mayor's Office, Ordinance 2012-850 also changed our name from the Mayor's Office of Business Opportunity to the Office of Business Opportunity Department.


OBO's change from a division to a department meant that the director (appointed by the Mayor) now had to be confirmed by City Council as is the case of all other City departments.  OBO's programs and services were not impacted by the change.


Anchor3OBO Welcomes Its First Advisory Board Members


The Office of Business Opportunity Advisory Board is a 20 member board, established by Mayor Annise Parker for the purpose of facilitating the goals of OBO by seeking input and advice from the private sector in order to foster better understanding and relations as well as improve communications among small, minority and women contractors, non-S/MWBE contractors, and the City of Houston. 


It is with great pleasure that we welcome OBO's first, newly appointed Advisory Board members:


Position 1:           Lana Kay Coble - Women Contractors Association

Position 2:           Vladimir Naranjo - National Association of Minority Contractors

Position 3:           Massey Villarreal - Precision Task Group

Position 4:           Ramesh Gunda - Gunda Corporation

Position 5:           Alicia Jimerson, Chairperson - Jimerson Underground

Position 6:           Dell Trahan - T & K's Mobile Detailing & Pressure Wash, Inc.

Position 7:           Samuel K. Eaton, Sr. - THR Enterprises

Position 8:           Michael A. Rivera - Clark Construction Company

Position 9:           J.R. (Bob) Jones - Jones and Carter

Position 10:         Alan D. Bergeron - Bergeron Management Services

Position 11:         Maria Rios - Nation Waste

Position 12:         Sam Merchant - Reliance Business Solutions

Position 13:         Marlon Mitchell - Houston Business Development, Inc.

Position 14:         Laurie Vignaud - Capital One, N.A.

Position 15:         Cheryl Colson - Insurance Alliance


City of Houston Department Representatives:


Carlecia D. Wright, Director - Office of Business Opportunity

Mario Diaz, Director - Houston Airport System

Daniel Krueger, Director - Public Works & Engineering Department

Scott Minnix, Director - General Services Department

Calvin Wells, Director - ARA/Strategic Purchasing Division


We invite you to visit our website to view bios of OBO Advisory Board members.


Anchor4Mayor Annise Parker Keynotes Bonding Education Program Graduation


On September 25, 2012, 34 businesses celebrated their successful completion of the Bonding Education Program (BEP) in a graduation ceremony in which Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker provided the keynote address.  Mayor Parker congratulated the program's participants and offered encouraging remarks to all in attendance.


Houston's first Bonding Education Program, geared towards educating small contractors about industry challenges; assisting them with obtaining surety bonds; increasing bonding capacity; and interacting with service providers and bond producers, was a huge success. Positive and successful outcomes resulting from the BEP have already been realized by some of the participants who have since been able to receive performance and aggregate bonding.


The Houston BEP is a partnership effort between OBO, the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), the Surety & Fidelity Association of America, OSDBU's Gulf Region Small Business Transportation Resource Center, and a host of local stakeholders. 

Bonding Graduation with Mayor
Congratulations to the Program's first graduates!

Anchor5AMAC 19th Annual Airports Economic Opportunity & Policy Forum


OBO, in collaboration with the Houston Airport System who is host and presenting sponsor, invites you to attend the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) 19th Annual Airports Economic Opportunity & Policy Forum.  The Forum will be held at the Hilton Americas Hotel, 1600 Lamar Street - Houston, TX, December 2 - 4, 2012. 


AMAC will be offering scholarships.  For further details on the AMAC scholarships, please contact Roger Harris at 832.393.0623 or via email at roger.harris@houstontx.gov.    

Visit the AMAC website for further details and registration information on the 19th Annual Airports Economic Opportunity & Policy Forum. 


Finally, I once again would like to invite you to tune in to OBO's TV show, Insights to Opportunity, the namesake of this newsletter. The show's topics and discussions with our special guests focus on contracting information, events, and resources that link S/MWDBEs to potential opportunities.  The show airs on Houston Television (HTV).  Please check your local TV listing for time and channel or visit HTV's channel guide on their website.


Comments or suggestions?  Please feel free to email me at director.obo@houstontx.gov.


Truly yours,


Carlecia D. Wright

Anchor11OBO Open House and Houston Business Solutions Grand Opening   


On Tuesday, October 16, 2012, the Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) hosted an Open House and Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony to introduce the new Houston Business Solutions Center, recently relocated to the lobby level of the Bob Lanier Public Works Building at 611 Walker in downtown Houston. Houston City Council Members Ed Gonzalez and James Rodriguez gave opening remarks and participated with OBO opening its doors to over 200 attendees that included small, minority, and women owned businesses along with local community leaders. Business owners were able to get an in-depth look at the daily operations and programs, as well as gain a better understanding of what the new Houston Business Solutions Center has to offer to the small business community.


Attendees were given guided tours throughout the office and had the opportunity to have one-on-one interactions and to have questions answered by the Certification, Contract Compliance, Houston Business Solutions Center, Executive and External Affairs staff. Small business owners learned about the Hire Houston First initiative and submitted completed applications for processing. The event also featured an opportunity to sit in on the "Doing Business with the City of Houston Workshop", presented by Staff Analyst Martin King with the Administration and Regulatory Affairs- Strategic Purchasing Division.


The day wrapped up with a lunch and the buzz of the new found understanding of the Office of Business Opportunity. OBO Director, Carlecia D. Wright, summed it up by saying, "Our goal is to be accessible to our customers, and this Open House gave companies an opportunity to meet the staff that is working day in and day out to assist their customers."

Open House Ribbon Cutting
HBSC Ribbon Cutting


anchor6NEW Houston Business Solutions Center 

The Houston Business Solutions Center (HBSC), formerly One Stop Business Center, is the new home of the Office of Business Opportunity's small business development efforts. New and improved services include business resource guides, the Getting Started Packet, outreach programs, workshops, permit and license information. With one quick call or visit, you can receive information on city, county, state and federal regulations affecting your business. 


HBSC is at the forefront of helping small businesses grow through its geographic preference Hire Houston First (HHF) program. HBSC is the administrator of the HHF program that gives preference to local companies on City of Houston contracts. The HBSC also refers businesses to the S/MWBE and DBE certification programs administered by the City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity. Also located at the HBSC is our Business Development Manager, Will Norwood, who is tasked with increasing certified business' operational and financial readiness for both goal-oriented and non-goal oriented contract opportunities. These development programs and services tailored to meet specific needs are reserved for our certified firms only.


HBSC has referral relationships with local agencies such as the University of Houston Small Business Development Center, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Houston Business Development Inc, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, SCORE, the Houston Public Library, the Green Building Resource Center, the Houston Minority Enterprise Development Center, and local banking institutions. These agencies provide one or more of the following services: educational resources, contractor development, financing referrals, and business planning assistance 


HBSC is located at 611 Walker St. Lobby Level, Houston, TX 77002. The HBSC's Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. CALL 832.393.0954 TODAY!

HBSC Grand Open
HBSC Grand Opening

Anchor7Certified Firms Can Expand Certification Capabilities with Approval 


Has your firm expanded into performing work in areas that are not included in your current M/W/D/PDBE/SBE certification profile? If so, you may consider requesting to expand your certification approval into those additional work areas. The process of pursuing certification approval in additional work areas is referred to by the Office of Business Opportunity as a request for "expansion of certification capabilities".


The process does not involve re-certification or the submission of a new application for certification. It does involve the submission of a formal request to be considered for the additional work areas. The request must be in writing (via letter or email) and it must be signed or submitted by the applicant owner of record for the firm's certification approval.

In addition, the request must include a description of the work areas along with the corresponding North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) Codes. We also require that you provide proof of payment and invoices in the name of the company for the additional work areas that you are requesting to be considered for the expansion of capabilities.


Expansion of certification capabilities requests should be submitted to:


City of Houston

Office of Business Opportunity

Certification Division 

611 Walker Street, 7th Floor

Houston, TX 77002

Fax Line: 832.393.0642

Email: houstonmwdspdbeexpansion@houstontx.gov

anchor12Meet Our New Genesys Works Intern: Jessica Jackson 
Jessica Jackson is  a senior at Phillis Wheatley High School and works as a Genesys Works Intern in the Office of Business Opportunity. Genesys Works is a program for high school seniors that affords them the opportunity to experience a year long internship in the professional world. The program also gives students a chance to acquire technical skills and shows them the importance of attending college. 
Jessica is also a member of Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), the NACCP, Student Council, and the Mademoiselle Organization. She is a very active volunteer at several places including  the Houston Food Bank. After high school she plans to attend college and major in Criminal Justice.  Her ultimate goal is to become a successful criminal defense attorney with her own law firm. For more information about the Genesys Works Program please visit their website.
Jessica Jackson
Jessica Jackson, Student Intern

Anchor8Success Story: Reytec Construction Resources


Since Gregg Reyes was nineteen years old, he dreamt of owning his own construction company. After working for other construction companies as well as his brother, Gregg's dream was finally realized in 1996 after he turned down a management position with a large construction firm in Mexico and established Reytec Construction Resources. Reytec Construction self performs concrete and underground utilities work. Gregg Reyes learned about certification through the Houston Minority Business Enterprise Center and his company was subsequently certified as a Small, Minority and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.  Reytec Construction Resources graduated from the City of Houston's MBE Program in November, 2011. 


Because Gregg developed numerous relationships before establishing the company, he was able to get contract work right away. Reytec Construction's successful completion of work at M.D. Anderson Hospital as a subcontractor put the company onto the road of success. Six years after starting the business, Gregg Reyes got the company's first prime contract award with the City of Houston on an underground utility project. From 2002 until 2006, Reytec would receive both prime and subcontracting work on various public and private projects. For the past ten years, the company has competed against other large prime contractors.  Reytec's clients include the City of Houston, METRO, several Improvement Districts, the Port of Houston, and the City of Beaumont.


Currently, Reytec Construction Resources employs a staff of 170 people. Gregg Reyes attributes the success of the organization with having financial controls in place and managing growth. Reytec's headquarters are located in Houston, Texas. 

Gregg T. Reyes
Anchor9Success Story: Nathelyne A. Kennedy and Associates

Since 1981, Nathelyne A. Kennedy and Associates has been providing Civil and Structural Consulting Engineering services to the public sector. Nathelyne A. Kennedy founded the company after fifteen years of working for two other engineering firms in Chicago and Houston.  She is the first female to earn an Engineering degree from Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University and the first African American female to become registered as a Professional Engineer. Ms. Kennedy learned early in business about the benefits of certification and got certified as a Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise from inception of opening her firm.


The company employs twelve full time staff and designs streets, storm water drainage, airport runways and taxiways, sanitary sewers and lift stations, traffic control and site grading. Additionally, they offer full-service design capabilities for new construction, rehabilitation and repair of existing structures. Working as a subcontractor initially, the company was awarded a prime contract with the Texas Department of Transportation and METRO within two years of the firm's inception. Along with those agencies, the firm has been awarded numerous contracts over the years with the City of Houston, Harris County, Harris County Toll Road Authority, North Texas Tollway Authority, the Port of Houston, and subcontracting opportunities with large engineering firms.


The firm, located in Southwest Houston, attributes success by providing quality, cost effective, and timely service. The reputation of the firm is known in engineering circles and all public agencies.
N. Kennedy
Nathelyne A. Kennedy and Staff

Congratulations to Our Newly 
Certified Firms!

1 Stop Resource Group LLC │ 21st Century Home Inspection Services 

 AAA Treasure International Company, Inc. │ AB&C Electrical, Inc. 

ADG Construction, LLC │All Star Mechanical, Inc. │ Amazing Awards, Inc. 

 AND TAKE NAMES, INC. │ Barreras Contract Service, LLC │ Blazek & Vetterling 

 Brown Sterling Builders, Inc. │ Charles Jones Architect │ Cogit Systems Inc. 

 Cornish Trucking │CQ World │D. Ford & Company │ Delta Structural Technology, LLC Design 3 Graphics │ Destination Services, LLC │ DLG Interests, Inc. │ DWG CPA PLLC 

El Dorado Services, LLC │ Element Solutions International LLC 

Enovox Technical Group, LLC │ Ewing Strategic Communications 

 First Capital Contractors │ Five Woods, LLC │ G.W. Peoples Contracting Company, Inc. 

Gilbreath Communications, Inc. │ Global Polychem LLC │ Guerra Concrete Co. 

Gustavo's Welding  & Mfg. │ H. J. Laredo Co., Inc. │ Havana Florida Cigar Company 

 Henderson Welding & Fabrication │ Hojeij Branded Foods, Inc. │ Hotel Makeover 

 HT&J, LLC │ HVAC ALL - TEC, LLC │ Hybas International, LLC │ Imagitek, LTD 

 Imperial Vital Construction, Inc. │ IMS Engineers, Inc. │ Industex, Inc. 

 ISC Acquisition Corp. │ Jan Koehn, M.S., CIH, Inc. │ Joamar Cleaning Services, Inc. 

 Joyce Deyon-Sallier CPA │ JPM Services │ Kitchen and Bars of Houston Mfg. Co., Inc. 

 Kuo & Associates, Inc. │ Mahalakshmi Solutions LLC │ Maria Nelson, Inc. 

 MIR Advisory Group, LLC │ MIR PARTNERS, LLC │ NEC Construction, Ltd 

 Nellons-Paige Group, Inc. │ Nerie Construction │ Pacific Star Corporation 

 PDC Consulting │ Quentin Hightower Electric, LLC │ R.S.C. Riverside Construction, Inc.

  Ramos Consulting, LLC │ Ray's Threading and Fab Shop │ Republic Traffic Safety, Inc. 

 RISMA, Inc. │ Riverway Services, LLC │ Rooftop Service Company, Inc. 

Ryland Enterprise, Inc. │ SimpleTech Solutions 

Sylvia Cavazos Public Relations/Public Affairs, LLC. │ T and L Affordable Contractors, LLC The Elaine Company │ Toner Factor │ Tri Point Construction Services 

U/N Electric Service, Inc. │ UGP Enterprises, Inc. │ Unicare Pharmacy, Inc. 

 V&A Consulting Engineers, Inc │ Vault Construction Group, LLC 

 W.A. Robbins Construction Co., Inc. │ Zaytec, Inc.

We welcome your comments or suggestions. Please e-mail External Affairs Manager, Roger Harris, at Roger.Harris@houstontx.gov.

Educate. Connect. Grow.