Industry day builds relationships

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Military installations across the world thrive on the support from their local communities. The 23rd Contracting Squadron hosted an Industry Day to foster their relationships with the local community by gathering wing leadership, small business contractors and city and county officials Feb. 9, 2023, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.


While Industry Days are not unique to 23rd CONS or Moody AFB, this is the first ever military-to-local-business immersion here. Since “industry” is not a broad initiative, each installation can tailor the event and message to best suit their base and local community. 


“I remember speaking to one of our contractors on the phone when he was trying to register for the event, and something that was said really stuck with me," said Kalyn Runey, 23rd CONS contracting officer. "He mentioned how he regularly drives past base and wondered how he could get in to conduct business with Moody AFB and the federal government. The good news is, that's exactly why we brought everyone together today, to demystify how to work with the government and to build relationships that will be mutually beneficial for both the installation and our local small businesses.”


With a focus on local small business contractors, Industry Day included training sessions, presentations and opportunities to ask technical speakers any questions that came to mind. This offered a glimpse into building successful partner relationships with the government and gave small businesses an opportunity to dive deeper into making this partnership work.


“We are always looking for new ideas and new ways to be innovative because you might have solutions or ideas that we haven't thought of,” said Col. Russ Cook, 23rd Wing commander. “Last year, Moody spent $6 million in South Georgia and $4 million in the local area, so we would like to continue to increase those ties and make it easier to work together.”


Throughout the event, many business owners made the most of their opportunities to network and hear about successes, failures and lessons learned to help identify paths for successfully implementing solutions.


“Moody AFB has about half a billion dollars in economic impact to our community,” said Paige Dukes, Lowndes County county manager. “While those dollars are important, I can’t stress enough that the most valuable part of all is the relationships.”