Awards honor Hanford mentor and small business protégé

i-3 Global employee Sharon Gest provides information technology support to workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation.
i-3 Global employee Sharon Gest provides information technology support to workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation. Courtesy DOE

Two companies doing work at the Hanford nuclear reservation have received awards from the Department of Energy’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

Washington River Protection Solutions, the Hanford tank farm contractor, was named the 2016 Mentor of the Year, and i3 Global, a small business in Kennewick, was named the 2016 Protégé of the Year.

In the DOE mentor-protégé program, large contractors partner with small businesses qualifying as disadvantaged under Small Business Administration requirements to help the small businesses receive DOE contracts and subcontracts.

Mission Support Alliance, the Hanford sitewide support services contractor, is the mentor for i3 Global, which qualified for the program because it is based in an area considered a Historically Underused Business (HUB) Zone.

Since becoming a protégé in October 2015, i3 Global has provided Mission Support Alliance with staff augmentation and also cloud information-technology support to all DOE and contractor staff at Hanford.

i3 Global has grown from five employees to more than 40 in less than a year and has moved from staff augmentation to fixed-price, service-based information technology contracts, according to DOE.

“This award … shows just how well small business can perform in this environment,” said Todd Eckman, Mission Support Alliance vice president of information management.

Washington River Protection Solutions served as mentor to TerraGraphics Engineering and Environmental Inc., of Pasco, considered a disadvantaged business because it is based in a HUB Zone.

The DOE contractor showcased TerraGraphics in several company-sponsored outreach events, providing marketing literature to promote the small business across the DOE complex. It also provided technical advisers to the small business.

“Due to the WRPS support, TerraGraphics continues to evolve into a strong competitor in the federal marketplace, delivering quality products to DOE prime contractors,” according to DOE.

WRPS also was named the 2011 Mentor of the Year.

“This accomplishment demonstrates WRPS’ core commitment to partnering with small businesses to help them become more successful in competing for government contracts,” said Marc McCusker, director of contracts and property management for the DOE Hanford Office of River Protection.