Procurement specialist Sherry Pittinger helps small companies do big business with the government
Sherry Pittinger is the Government Procurement Specialist for the Clemson Region SBDC, where she works out of the Greenville area center. Her clients are interested in opportunities with government agencies such as city, county and state government, as well as the federal sector. Pittinger works with clients to develop an acquisition strategy to market products or services to various agencies.
Several certification programs provide a small company with a competitive advantage. Pittinger works with clients to prepare certification applications for SCDOT, SC State minority/woman-owned, SBA woman-owned, and SBA 8(a) business development programs. Pittinger knows all the ins and outs of the lengthy processes required in order to do business with the government. She helps guide clients through the acquisition process including reviewing their proposals to make sure they are fully compliant with all parts of a solicitation.
Pittinger is a cum laude graduate of Regis University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. She also holds a Masters in business from Webster University. She came to the SC SBDC with professional experience that uniquely qualifies her to help with government procurement. An Air Force veteran and retired from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, Pittinger has a logistics background and was a warranted contracting officer for several years. As director of small business, Pittinger met with small businesses and worked with various SBA set-aside programs such as 8(a), HUBzone, service-disabled veteran-owned and other programs in coordination with the Undersecretary of the Air Force at the Pentagon.
Pittinger recently celebrated the success of longtime client Ted Westmoreland, CEO of Tactical Development Group in Greenville, who was selected SBA Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year, an award honoring an entrepreneur discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces under honorable conditions.
“Providing goods and services to the U.S. government is a specialized undertaking complete with numerous agency specific nuances that can stymie the best proposals and prevent success,” Westmoreland said. “Doing business at the commercial/governmental interface is a large undertaking for a small business and a high level of expertise is required. Having access to this expertise can often be well beyond the reach of small businesses. Even with governmental programs targeting small businesses with contract set-aside efforts, the rules often allow rather large businesses to compete in the same space. A truly small business has more challenges to its existence than chances to succeed in the federal marketplace, so an advisor with expertise and acumen in this system of systems can become a life raft.
I was able to meet Sherry Pittinger of the Clemson Region SBDC early in our business efforts and gain key insights from her at critical times. Over the years, I came to realize that she was less like a life raft and more like an aircraft carrier as she truly enables multiple launches by providing a strong base of knowledge from a very steady platform. Sherry has an incredible depth of knowledge and a highly refined level of expertise that comes from working as a contracting officer for the U.S. government for more than 30 years. She also has a keen understanding of small businesses from working as a contracting officer where she assisted small businesses in their efforts to work with the U.S. government.
Sherry is a natural connector and has helped us establish and verify our rates for services by connecting us with the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) in Columbia, which helped further refine our offerings to the federal government, as well as to municipalities. She assisted and encouraged us through the difficult process of obtaining our GSA schedule contract. She has been and continues to be a key advisor, a strong mentor and a friend committed to helping small businesses in our state. I am very grateful that I know her and I am thankful that she is always willing to help.”
“I delight in seeing the success of my clients, even more so when I can be a part of helping fellow veterans achieve their dreams,” Pittinger said. “I’ve worked with Ted and Tactical Development Group to help them make their medical products available to medics in the field. I find satisfaction knowing I can be a part of helping not only our veterans, but also active service members.”