With the assistance of Procurement Technical Assistance Center Consultants Paul Middlebrooks, Debbie Barber and Russell Toone from the UT Center for Industrial Services (CIS), a Nashville company acquired a Government Services Association 899 Schedule to provide environmental services.

The contract award for AquAeTer, Inc. has an estimated budget of $2.5 million over five years with several renewal options. AquAeTer, Inc. is a multi-disciplinary engineering firm that provides scientific and technical services in projects related to energy, engineering, environmental, sustainability and risk analyses.

In 2007, the company hired a consultant to complete the GSA submittal, but the submitted material was rejected. A year later, the company decided to complete the process on its own, and that submittal also was rejected. “AquAeTer then became aware of UT PTAC and met with Russell Toone and Debbie Barber to consult about what we needed to do to write a winning proposal,” said Christy Lewis, director of marketing for the company. “Paul Middlebrooks’ past experience with the GSA was extremely beneficial, as we weaved through the requirements. He was particularly good at understanding the language and terminology that was unique to the GSA.”

The first proposal submitted with the assistance of the PTAC consultants also was rejected. “Based on the rather persnickety items they listed, we knew we were getting closer to a winning proposal,” Lewis said. “We also came to realize that the GSA environmental review team was highly overwhelmed and understaffed and that the rejection rate was averaging 60 percent as a result. We found that in most of the rejections, our submittal was passed off to other GSA departments for review. Just when I was about to throw in the towel, Middlebrooks lifted me up out of the mud and advised us to resubmit right away and not give up. A new refresh was in effect, but the PTAC team gathered once again to help us update the package for the new refresh and made sure that we addressed all the concerns mentioned in the previous rejections.”

The company was notified in March that it would receive the contract.