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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Procurement Conference Planned for May 31 at UCM

Contact Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (May , 2012) – Owners of small businesses can learn how to secure government contracts and network with potential contractors at the annual Procurement Conference Thursday, May 31, at the University of Central Missouri’s Ed Elliott Union. The conference is hosted by Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and the Small Business and Technology Development Center at UCM.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. in Elliott Union 234, followed by a welcome from UCM and Whiteman Air Force Base officials. Following comments by McCaskill at 9 a.m., David Villines, vice president of Mid-America Facility Solutions, will speak on successful government contracting. Rear Adm. Althea H. Coetzee, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy, will speak on government procurement at 9:30 a.m.

Maj. Gen Camille M. Nichols
Maj. Gen. Camille M. Nichols

The featured luncheon speaker for the conference is Maj. Gen. Camille M. Nichols of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

Maj. Gen. Nichols was commissioned as an Engineer Officer upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1981. She earned an Master of Science in Systems Management degree from the University of Southern California in 1986, an Master of Arts degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College in 1995, a Doctor of Science degree from George Washington University in 1996, and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 2002.

Maj. Gen.l Nichols has more than 20 years of experience in Department of Defense acquisition. Her acquisition assignments include Program Executive Officer, Program Executive Office Soldier, Commanding General, CENTCOM Contracting Command; Commanding General, Expeditionary Contracting Command; Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics); J8 Capabilities and Acquisition Division Director; Joint Program Manager, Guardian; Product Manager, 2nd Generation FLIR; Army Legislative Liaison Officer; Contracting Officer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Desert Shield; and Systems Coordinator in Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition.

She has also served as a Company Grade Officer in several command and staff positions in engineer units in the United States and Korea as well as troop leading assignments in TRADOC with basic training units at Ft Dix, N.J.

Among Maj. Gen. Nichols’ awards and decorations include Army Project Manager of the Year in 2005, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Good Conduct Medal. Additionally, she is Airborne and Air Assault qualified, wears the Army Staff and Joint Staff Identification badges, and was a member of the 1984 Olympic Team Handball Team.

Afternoon breakout sessions include topics such as the “Choose Veterans First” program, subcontracting opportunities with prime contractors and state of Missouri and local governments, SBA contracting programs, base and post contracting issues, selling to the government, contract pricing and estimating, ethical compliance programs, “greening” the government supply chain, SBA financing, social media marketing and doing business with the Missouri Department of Transportation.

“Our goal is to help small businesses expand their sales efforts through contracting with the federal and state government or through major employers,” said Mark Manley, director of the Business Innovation Institute at UCM, which includes the SBTDC. “The conference is an excellent opportunity to hear from those who have been successful and to network with those who understand the process.”

The conference is open to business owners and interested individuals. A fee of $50 per person is required and includes lunch. Registration prior to May 24 is encouraged. Individuals who want to attend may register online at, or by contacting the Small Business and Technology Development Center at UCM at 660-543-4402, email