FALL 2013    
Insights to Opportunity
Promoting equal access and economic opportunity for procurement.
   In this issue
Success Story: Nation Waste, Inc.
Success Story: P2MG Inc.
How to Do Business With the City of Houston


Current Contracting Opportunities  


Houston Business Solutions Center  


TweetMyJobs Houston! 


I'm Certified, What's Next? Workshop


Date: Thurs. October 24, 2013


Garden Level Aud.

611 Walker Street

Houston, TX 77002

Time: 10:00Am - 11:30AM




Meet the Buyer 2013


Date: Thur. November 21, 2013


George R Brown Convention Center

Room 360

(Enter through Hall E)

Time: 9:00AM - 12:00PM


   Contact US
611 Walker, 7th Floor

Houston, TX 77002


T. 832.393.0600

F. 832.393.0646


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 anchor10   Message from the Director:

Carlecia D. Wright



As we enter the final quarter of the year, I would like to highlight two very important events specifically designed to help small businesses build capacity.
The "I'm Certified, What's Next?" Workshop will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2013 from 9:00 - 11:30 a.m., 611 Walker Street, Garden Level Auditorium. The workshop is designed to assist newly certified firms with understanding their S/MWDBE certification and the City of Houston's procurement process. The workshop also covers a range of other topics which includes an overview of OBO's services, city-wide goals, introduction of the Strategic Purchasing Division, types of solicitations, and certification by the numbers. I'm Certified, What's Next? is free and open to all certified firms. For questions or additional information on the I'm Certified, What's Next Workshop, please contact Will Norwood at will.norwood@houstontx.gov or via phone at 832-393-0935.
On Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the City of Houston will host its 5th Annual Meet the Buyer Purchasing Forum. The Meet the Buyer Purchasing Forum connects small businesses with actual buyers from City departments who routinely solicit bids in order to meet their procurement needs. This platform also affords City Buyers the opportunity to learn about the goods and services small businesses have to offer.
Participants of Meet the Buyer will also have an opportunity to connect with City of Houston community partners who will be available to share information on potential procurement opportunities, loan products, and technical assistance provided by their organizations. A brief overview of the City of Houston's procurement process will be given in a general assembly before the connections begin. You don't want to miss this FREE signature event. Register HERE today. For more information, please contact Roger Harris at roger.harris@houstontx.gov.
We look forward to seeing you at both of these events. For upcoming initiatives, workshops and other exciting news, stay tuned in to Insights to Opportunity's e-Newsletter,  HTV Show, and other e-communications from the Office of Business Opportunity, as we continue to help Educate, Connect, and Grow your small, minority, woman or disadvantaged owned business.
If you have any comments or suggestions, email me at director.obo@houstontx.gov.



   Anchor2Featured City Department:

 Human Resources



A wise person once said that a company's greatest asset is its employees. With over 22,000 employees, the City of Houston Human Resources Department (HR) is tasked with taking care of these assets. HR consists of over 250 employees working in the areas of benefits, salary administration, communications, HR operations, and training to name a few. With all the supplies and services needed to keep this department functioning, HR relies on the business community to assist them in providing support, services and resources to management, city officials and employees. Velma Laws, MWBE Liaison for HR, knows the importance of making sure certified firms are given opportunities to participate on HR contracts. Recently, she partnered with OBO to help coordinate a networking event at the pre-proposal conference for the Medical Benefits Plan. "The Medical Benefits Plan is one of the largest contracts in the City of Houston's budget", Velma stated. "We want to make sure MWBE's are aware of these opportunities." Other opportunities with HR include consulting, drug testing, staffing, administrative services, and training through the E.B. Cape Center.


For more information on the Human Resources Department,

please contact Velma Laws at velma.laws@houstontx.gov.


    anchor8Inside the Office of Business Opportunity:

Houston Business Solutions Center


The Office of Business Opportunity's Houston Business Solutions Center (HBSC) provides resource services for individuals starting, expanding, or relocating their business in the Houston Metropolitan area. Services include Federal, State, County, and City of Houston license and permit information, business resource guides, educational business workshops and various other initiatives that provide entrepreneurial assistance. HBSC is also responsible for determining the eligibility of companies to receive City and Local business designations as a part of the City's Hire Houston First program.
Founded in 1964, SCORE (Affiliated with the US Small Business Administration) is a network of 13,000+ volunteers who offer entrepreneurs business counseling advise and assistance. Through a partnership with SCORE, HBSC offers onsite SCORE counseling on Thursdays, by appointment only. To schedule an appointment please contact the HBSC. All SCORE and HBSC services are confidential & free.
Houston Business Solutions Center
611 Walker Street, Lobby Level
Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 832-393-0954

    Anchor4Success Story: Nation Waste, Inc.

          Maria Rios, President & CEO               


Picking up trash may not be a glamorous job, but it is paying dividends for Maria Rios, President and CEO of Nation Waste, Inc. In 1997, after finishing college and working for a large national waste disposal company, Maria started Nation Waste, Inc. with funding from two banks. Nation Waste (NWI) is a fully certified commercial waste disposal company specializing in construction, demolition, commercial, and industrial non-hazardous waste removal and recycling services. After learning about certification from the Office of Business Opportunity staff, NWI is now certified as a Minority Business Enterprise.


While working for the large company, Maria saw the opportunity to open her own business and provide the personal customer service she felt was lacking with the larger firm. NWI's private sector client base earned by referrals and word of mouth, include: Auto Zone, Citizens Bank, Hobby Lobby, McDonalds, Shell, and Walgreens. NWI's public sector clients include: Federal Aviation Administration, Harris County, Houston Independent School District, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Just recently, NWI ventured into another arena by providing portable toilets and won an award with the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department; beating out larger firms.


NWI is headquartered in Houston and has twenty-seven employees and twenty-three trucks. Additionally, Maria just added another piece of equipment that will allow her to bundle waste, sell to the mills, and add to her bottom line in order to save clients money. In a male dominated industry, Maria credits the growth of the business to perseverance, maintaining good credit, and exceptional customer service.

    Anchor5Success Story: P2MG, Inc.

Michael Nelson, President & CEO  


P2MG, founded in 2003 by Michael Nelson, offers Construction and Project Management, Job Order Contracting, Project Management Training, and turnkey services for the construction of Closed Areas, Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF), Special Access Program Facilities (SAPF) and their related Radio Frequency (RF) Shielded Enclosures. Prior to starting the business, Michael worked fifteen years with the US Army Corps of Engineers and two years with Skansa USA Building. The firm is currently certified as a Minority and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and has an 8a certification as well.


P2MG has clients in the government sector such as the City of Houston, Houston Independent School District, the Port of Houston, Lone Star College, US Army Corps of Engineers, Houston Community College, and a host of others. They also service the private sector with clients such as Marathon Oil, Shell, and Buckeye Partners L.P. Headquartered in Northwest Houston, P2MG has worked in other regions of the country including Alabama, Louisiana, and the District of Columbia.


P2MG currently has ten employees and has experienced tremendous growth over the last two years; especially after winning a prime contract with the City of Houston for Job Order Contracting. Michael credits the growth of the company to the Cooperative Purchasing Contracts with Choice Facility Partners and the Texas Multiple Award Schedule. The advice that he offers to small business owners is to understand the client's needs and to get a better understanding of Cooperative Purchasing Contracts as they can be very helpful to certain small businesses.


Entrepreneurship runs in his family. His twin brother, Mark, also owns a business and sometimes they collaborate on projects.

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

Educate. Connect. Grow.