Cassandra Johnson and Keisha Gash, both of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, take part in the Fort Hood Region Government Vendor Conference and Expo on Wednesday at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center. 

The Central Texas Business Resource Center brought more than 100 vendors, contractors and government agencies together Wednesday to learn about obtaining government work.

“It is all about the red tape,” said Marcus Carr, the resource center’s director. People who attend this conference want to know “where do I start and how long before I get a contract?”

The annual Fort Hood Region Government Vendor Conference and Expo, held in Killeen, allows businesses looking for government work to find answers to those questions and a chance to network with federal agencies and primary government contractors, Carr said. “It affords us an opportunity to interact with the vendor community, because they are an integral part of vendor process,” said Maureen Huston, Fort Hood’s Mission and Installation Contracting Command contracting procurement analyst and training coordinator.

Huston led a discussion about the different ways contractors can gain work through the government and focused on military related contracts.

“We do a lot of business in the state of Texas and a portion from that is from Killeen,” Huston said.

According to information in her presentation $4.8 million in contracts go to Killeen businesses. About $3.4 million in contracts go to Harker Heights businesses, and $3.3 million go to Gatesville businesses.

For vendors such as Management and Training Consultants Inc., the conference is a place to nurture relationships between contractors and government agencies, said Dalena Kanouse, the company’s CEO.

“It is truly an opportunity to get together and build teams,” Kanouse said.

Garry Riddle, with Irving-based Chem-Aqua Inc., attended the conference to gain insight into the government contract process, he said.

“It has been very helpful,” said Riddle, who was attending his second government contracting conference in two months.

Riddle’s previous conference was larger but didn’t allow for as many breakout sessions with various organizations that can share knowledge, he said.

Chem-Aqua is hoping to gain more water and wastewater treatment contracts with government entities but already has a few, he said. They brought three people to the conference.

Carr said this year’s conference had less contractors, but still offered valuable information.

“It is a little smaller than we had been in the past,” he said. “These events are all about quality, not quantity.” | 254-501-7554

Contact Catrina Rawson at or (254) 501-7460

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