By NSWCDD Corporate Communications

DAHLGREN, Va. – Kris Parker, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) deputy director for small business, has been lauded as a leader who selflessly serves others throughout the command and in the community.

On May 1, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) International announced Parker as the winner of its 2020 Small Business Person of the Year (Government) Award.

“The criteria for the annual award encompasses a federal, state or local government employee who has championed small business concerns,” NSWCDD Commanding Officer Capt. Casey Plew stated in an email announcement.

Additionally, award recipients have demonstrated excellence in five areas – small business advocacy, leadership, community and professional outreach, innovation and ethics, he stated.

AFCEA International is a non-profit that provides a collaborative forum for the military, government, and industry. While AFCEA gives awards throughout the year, it only honors a champion of small business in the government as well as the industry – annually.

“I am absolutely honored and humbled by the recognition,” Parker said.

Plew commended both Parker and a fellow NSWCDD award recipient, Human Resources Specialist Bridget White who won a Department of the Navy (DON) Human Resources and Equal Employment Opportunity Community Award for Excellence.

“We are excited for both of these excellent teammates and extremely proud of their accomplishments,” Plew stated in the email.

Parker has been championing small business concerns since he became the deputy for small business in 2007.

KING GEORGE, Va. – Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Deputy for Small Business Kris Parker speaks with II Corps Consultants, Inc., executive Earnest King at an NSWCDD event for small businesses. On May 1, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association International announced Parker as the winner of its 2020 Small Business Person of the Year (Government) Award. (Photo by U.S. Navy)

“Kris is a model small business professional,” the nomination states.

Dahlgren is one of ten warfare centers in the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

“In the Dahlgren small business community, Kris is regarded as an asset to his government agency and to all business leaders working in and around NAVSEA,” the nomination states.

Parker received the 2016 Walter T. Lewis Acquisition Award at NSWC Dahlgren command’s annual honorary award ceremony in May 2017 for demonstrating the key tenets of teamwork, integrity and accountability in the achievement of acquisition excellence in support of the warfare center’s mission.

That same month, the DON Office of Small Business Programs recognized NSWCDD with its Statutory Goal Achievement Award for the division’s first-time accomplishment of the statutory small business goal in fiscal year 2016 – three percent of total contracted dollars to service disabled veteran owned small businesses.

Parker, who oversaw the small business program during this time period, accepted the award on behalf of Dahlgren.

“This is a command award, and could not have been realized without the continued leadership of NSWC Dahlgren with support from contracts and the technical departments,” Parker stated in a NSWCDD news release in July 2017.

The following year, in May 2018, Parker received the DON OSBP Statutory Goal Achievement Award for Dahlgren’s achievement in fiscal year 2017 – five percent of total contracted dollars to women owned small business

In addition to these honors, Parker has won multiple group, statutory achievement and performance awards and recognitions.

With every single one, he has responded with humility.

“Kris has always been a leader in the NAVSEA community,” the nomination states. “He has constructed a framework for small business inclusion into all acquisitions at NSWCDD.”

“Increasing industry’s awareness of small business opportunities at NSWCDD, the Navy, and the Department of Defense at large” through face-to-face meetings and counseling sessions, averaging about 80 per year, with small and large business entities,” are ways Parker has made a major impact, the nomination states.

In May 2013, Dahlgren earned the 2012 Office of Small Business Programs Sarkis Tatigian Award for outstanding small business programs by a NAVSEA field activity.

“Other Small Business deputies throughout NAVSEA have adopted Kris’ innovative approach to industry outreach,” the nomination states. “By hosting industry days on future procurements and engaging with industry with transparency, he has enabled small businesses to realize over 48% ($300 million-plus) of contract revenue at NSWCDD.”

In addition to creating initiatives adopted throughout the naval command, Parker has been commended for his selfless service at a sister warfare center. Parker served as the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division acting deputy for small business from February to August 2019 while fulfilling his full-time role as deputy for small business at Dahlgren.

During that time, he helped Carderock obligate a total of $308.8 million, with $135.5 million going to the small business community.

In short, Parker is a champion who meets the AFCEA award criteria.

“Kris’ work has made Small Business a viable and frequently exercised option at these NAVSEA commands, and we are pleased to nominate him for this honor,” the nomination states.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...