DOE honors Lab-nominated small business partners

Pueblo Alliance, Wildflower win important awards

October 18, 2023

Econ Dev1
From left: Michael Cisneros (LANL), Peter Fant of the Pueblo Alliance and San Ildefonso Services LLC, Yvonne Gonzales (LANL), Eric Drew (LANL), Ron Lovato of the Pueblo Alliance and Tsay Corp., Danny Clements (LANL), Rose Law (LANL), Kathy Oselio, HR director for Tsay Corp., Neely Kelly, business development manager for Pueblo Alliance, and Trish Alley (LANL).

Two small businesses that work closely with the Lab were honored recently by the Department of Energy as part of its Annual Small Business Awards Program.

The awards, which took place on July 11 during the DOE Small Business Forum & Expo, recognize outstanding performance of people and organizations that promote and expand the Department's use of small businesses.

The Lab nominated four Northern New Mexico small business contractors for awards in three categories. Pueblo Alliance LLC brought home the Protégé of the Year award, Wildflower International Ltd won the HUBZone Small Business of the Year award, and TechSource and San Ildefonso Services were nominated for the Small Business of the Year award. The Lab recognizes all four small businesses for their outstanding achievements.

A mentor-protégé success story

Triad and Pueblo Alliance entered a mentor-protégé relationship in October 2020 through the DOE Mentor-Protégé Program. Triad has supported Pueblo Alliance in execution of subcontracts with the Lab and other DOE entities, and Pueblo Alliance has subsequently become a key contributor to mission-critical support functions at the Lab.

Located at Ohkay Owingeh, Pueblo Alliance is a joint venture comprising two tribally owned businesses: Tsay Corporation and San Ildefonso Services. Together, they provide staffing solutions for the Laboratory and other DOE entities. Pueblo Alliance's work now encompasses three distinct areas of service:

  • Construction and maintenance: Pueblo Alliance was selected as a first of its kind to participate in the Lab's Job Order Contracting Construction Pilot Program where Pueblo Alliance helped develop a price catalog specific to the Lab and the region.
  • Contingent labor: Pueblo Alliance is implementing a pilot program to recruit, develop and hire newly Q-cleared personnel from Northern New Mexico. In 2022, Pueblo Alliance provided more than 90 employees to the Lab for varying support functions and an additional 20 Q-cleared personnel.
  • Distribution and logistics: Pueblo Alliance developed a pilot program to move the Lab's distribution center off-site, relieving backlogs and improving delivery times.

The Protégé of the Year award recognizes the outstanding achievements of Pueblo Alliance to the Lab and the community. The mutually beneficial relationship between Pueblo Alliance and the Lab boosts economic development in the region.

"This is just the beginning of a successful relationship with the local Tribes, the Northern New Mexico community and small business," said Pueblo Alliance President Ron Lovato."PA (Pueblo Alliance) intends to continue this steady growth throughout the years to enhance not only Tribal companies, but the regional development of other qualified contractors to support Triad in its ongoing mission success. Triad has been an incubator of success for Pueblo Alliance."

Students explore the Challenge Tomorrow trailers
Left to right: Ron Pierce, director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization; Cheri Chandler, Wildflower's operations manager for Logistics; Justin Thigpen, Wildflower DOE Business Unit director; Marlena Lucero, Wildflower senior manager DOE Operations; and Wendell Pierce, actor, philanthropist, businessman.

HUBZone hero

Wildflower has had a partnership with Triad for about 20 years. When the DOE Small Business Expo came around, Wildflower was not only nominated by Los Alamos, but Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories as well. The result: The three Labs submitted a group nomination, and Wildflower won the HUBZone award.

The HUBZone program provides contracting assistance to small businesses located in economically distressed communities to promote job growth, capital investment and economic development in these areas.

Wildflower, a Santa Fe-based IT hardware and software solutions company, has excelled in providing comprehensive and creative solutions to the Lab's computer-life-cycle-management challenges. Wildflower also partnered with the Lab to create a demand plan forecast, allowing the Lab to preorder products to be expediently delivered in days. Wildflower has created solutions to the Lab's urgent turnaround requirements, high security and tight budgeting, tailoring its services to the Lab's evolving needs.

In July 2022, Wildflower announced the Dell Technologies/Wildflower International Endowed Scholarship Fund, a joint venture with the LANL Foundation. Established with a $100,000 gift from Wildflower and with Dell's support, the fund provides scholarships to Northern New Mexico high school seniors/undergraduates pursuing degrees in computer science and other technology disciplines.

Lab partners TechSource, SIS-CTI

The Lab also nominated TechSource and SIS-CTI for the Small Business of the Year award. TechSource provides pit manufacturing and engineering expertise, and SIS-CTI provides decontamination and demolition services. Both businesses were honored for what they bring to the Lab.