WEST 2019 Sponsorship and Branding Opportunities

AFCEA and the U.S. Naval Institute have developed an enhanced sponsorship program for WEST 2019 that will offer maximum visibility to those who participate! What better way to make sure you stand out and increase your exposure than at this foremost event in which industry leaders can learn about military requirements and connect with decision makers and operators, where senior military and government officials can gain feedback from sea service warfighters, and where industry thought leaders will discuss and demonstrate sea service solutions? Sponsorship opportunities are offered at a several investment levels, ensuring your ability to participate.

Browse available options below, or jump to specific categories: Patron Packages, Individual Sponsorships, Advertising Opportunities, Branding Opportunities.


Vienna,  VA 
United States
  • Booth: 1944

SourceAmerica is designated by the federal government to facilitate the AbilityOne Program. Through our national network of more than 750 nonprofit agencies, we supply products (weapons, hardware, tools, nylon straps, lashing and harnesses) and services (document & records management, administrative support, warehousing and fulfillment, custodial, facilities management, laundry, food and mess attendant and grounds maintenance) that meet the strictest quality standards at a competitive price.

 Press Releases

  • When President Trump commissioned the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford, the first new U.S. aircraft carrier designed in 40 years July 22, another job site was added for member nonprofits.

    VersAbility Resources, a SourceAmerica member nonprofit based in Hampton, Virginia, but serving people with disabilities across the globe, plays a critical role in force readiness for air craft carriers like the U.S.S. Ford.  The agency is the prime contractor for a nationwide contract provisioning the naval fleet.  The ship isn’t just the latest, most-advanced carrier in the fleet, it’s also a job site for 56 people with disabilities in Norfolk, Virginia.

    Previously, sailors loaded supplies onto ships after they returned to home port or just before they got under way, said Sarah Bowman, director of Marketing and Development for VersAbility Resources. It was an arduous task for men and women eager to reunite with their families or spend quality time before leaving, according to feedback to the Navy’s office of Morale, Welfare and Recreation, so the Navy decided to outsource.

    “This program provides quality, ongoing jobs for people with disabilities. We are providing a mission-essential service that is critical for force readiness,” she said.

    VersAbility Resources is the contract prime that handles ship provisioning in Virginia and Hawaii. Other SourceAmerica member nonprofits operating as subcontractors include CW Resources in Groton, Connecticut; Challenge Enterprises in Mayport, Florida; NW Center in Seattle; PRIDE Industries in San Diego; and Pacific Ability Resources Inc. in Guam.

    “We are always looking at new opportunities to create jobs,” Bowman said. “I don’t think you can get more unique than working on a ship and providing these mission-critical services. Our employees on this contract are fully integrated into the military team. It’s a unique job that offers strong wages and benefits.”

    It’s also a difficult job, according to Bowman, one that requires physical strength to endure long days in a wide range of weather conditions and rigorous background checks to meet the Navy’s security requirements.

    “Sometimes they start as early as 5 a.m. and get off as late as midnight,” she said. “These employees do a great job working in inclement weather in these situations. They might pass up to 5,000 cases, each weighing 50 pounds. It can take up to 12 hours in tight spaces, up and down stairs.”

    But those challenges appeal to Corey Stout, a VersAbility Resources employee.

    “I like the fact that the job is hard,” he said. “They understand that the job is difficult and they accommodate you very well. I love working alongside the sailors because of what they do for us. I can’t imagine myself doing anything differently. It’s like you’re a sailor for day.”

    Stout suffered a brain injury, which he said made it difficult to find work.

    “It’s kind of like a big family,” he said. “If you were working at Walmart, you wouldn’t be integrated like you are here. This is probably the most unique job in North America. I can’t even put it into words.”

    For David Cooper, whose father served in the Navy, the job is about more than just a good paycheck.

    “I feel like I’m supporting America,” he said. “I enjoy working with the Navy so much because it makes me feel like a good citizen for this country because the Navy supports us.”

    The employees also benefit from supports that help them succeed on the job, said Zachary Caine.

    “My boss, he helps me out when I need it,” Caine said. “I had challenges that I didn’t quite get. He was there to help me out. This is the first boss I’ve ever had who helps me out like that.”

  • Sebastian Ploszaj is a decorated retired Marine who's been recognized for his bravery in battle. Now he's being honored for his efforts to bring employment opportunities to wounded veterans like himself. SourceAmerica has selected him for the William M. Usdane Award, which is awarded to an AbilityOne Program employee with a significant disability who has exhibited outstanding achievement and exceptional character.

    Ploszaj said he's humbled by the recognition and appreciates the support of his colleagues.

    "We work as a team," he said. "We work together. If one person has a problem, we help you out. You don't feel like you're by yourself."

    That camaraderie carries over from Ploszaj's military career dating back to his first tour in 2006 where he suffered his initial injury. He remembers the first attack in Iraq – a gunshot wound – as "not too bad." But the following year, when the vehicle the young Marine was traveling in triggered a staggering explosion, the damage was considerably worse.

    "Our truck actually flipped over," Ploszaj said. "It rattled my head pretty badly."

    But like a good Marine, he toughed it out. It wasn't until he finished his tour that he sought help for his headaches, blackouts and partial hearing loss. He was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder "and the list went on from there," he said.

    After a year of rehab, he was medically retired from the Marine Corps. His cognitive issues following the IED blast made his post-service jobs and college study more difficult. His brain didn't work the way it used to. He had to relearn topics and skills he'd mastered before his injuries.

    "I wasn't able to keep up at that time," he said of his first job following his retirement. "It wasn't a good fit for where I was at the time."

    He resigned from his job to concentrate on school.

    "(I thought) I've been through worse, I'll make it," he said. "School was tough. I had to get a lot of accommodations. A lot of stuff I used to know, I didn't know any more. I had to take a lot of (prerequisite classes), which was horrible."

    Even though he was no longer active duty, Ploszaj was still very much a Marine.

    "Marines, we're bred to be tough," he said. "You don't realize how much pain you can endure until it's too late sometimes."

    He joined and eventually became president of his local chapter of Student Veterans of America. He worked construction and other jobs to support his young family. He earned an IT certification through a Wounded Warrior Project program, which eventually led him to Global Connections to Employment, a Pensacola, Florida, nonprofit member of the SourceAmerica network. For the past two years he's worked there as a quality assurance analyst.

    At GCE, Ploszaj is a welcomed addition and a critical member of the team, said Kristin Denman, proposal and marketing specialist for GCE. On behalf of GCE, she nominated Ploszaj for the award.

    "He started with us and he really started to find his niche and realized we were a company that would work with him," Denman said. "This position and SourceAmerica provided him a career with the accommodations that he needed."

    Ploszaj, a husband and father of two young boys, works from the company's Lorton, Virginia, office to find software issues and support the tech needs of GCE.

    "I get to work on infrastructure that I'm used to – I was in that kind of system in the military," he said. "I don't come from a technical background, so I look at stuff a little bit differently. I find bugs in the software a little bit easier because I came in as a fresh pair of eyes."

    Ploszaj continues to improve as an employee and actively advocates for other veterans with disabilities both in the workplace and on Capitol Hill, Denman said.

    "He continues to grow by leaps and bounds regaining a lot of the skills he lost through those tragic events," she said. "He loves the company so much. He wanted to give other wounded warriors the opportunities he has."

    Ploszaj helped set up Information Technology Training Program, CGE's training and hiring program for veterans with significant disabilities. For eight months, candidates train as software engineers, business analysts or business developers, he said. Once the first class of 21 graduates in April 2016, they'll be eligible for hire at GCE.

    He's a standout employee who embodies the spirit of the Usdane award, Denman said.

    "I think it's just his extreme dedication to what he believes in – to go through all of that, to come out and when you're in the Marines, you're in a brotherhood," she said. "He's never lost that sense of brotherhood. Now he includes GCE in that brotherhood. It's a really cool environment that he creates."

    Ploszaj says some days are still tough, but he's up to the challenge.

    "It's harder for me to learn certain aspects than other people, it takes me a lot longer to do certain things, but I'm pushing through," he said. "I'm doing what I can."

  • Slow progress is better than no progress.

    That's the mantra David Kendrick repeated to himself for two and a half years as the Iraq war veteran recovered from the attack that nearly ended his life when he was 20.

    Now it's a message he shares to encourage people with disabilities like himself and the public at large, including attendees of the National Contract Management Association's World Congress in Chicago. Kendrick is stepping up to the podium Monday, July 23 at 2:45 p.m. to share his journey from wounded warrior to small business owner.

    "Really, it's about making progress every single day on whatever goal you want to accomplish," Kendrick said.

    Kendrick recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his survival. He almost died June 17, 2007, when a sniper shot him in both legs. One bullet shattered his left femur and damaged his femoral artery. A second shot injured his right leg. The attack left him with permanent disabilities and ended his military career.

    As he recovered and sought employment in the civilian sector, the Purple Heart recipient encountered obstacles. He considered suicide and was homeless as he struggled with the transition.

    "I compared leaving the Army to quitting drugs cold-turkey," he said. "It felt like such a quick transition. I went from serving my country and having people respect me to being unemployed and homeless."

    After months of living in his car, Kendrick worked up the courage to contact retired Army Gen. Robert Mixon, who was then working at Unistel Industries, a member of the SourceAmerica nonprofit network. Through his organization, Mixon helped Kendrick find a job and other supports for transitioning veterans.

    Kendrick continued his slow progress, but he saw first-hand the difficulties veterans and people with disabilities face as they seek employment.

    "When you're filling out a job application, they always ask, ‘Do you have a disability?' Sometimes I'm hesitant to answer that," he said. "I wonder if I'm eliminating myself. When do I disclose (my disability)? You can't see it. I think, OK, are people going to believe me? Do I have to present medical records? Are people going to think I'm faking it?"

    As he worked, Kendrick studied. He read up on public speaking, resume writing, interview skills and other job-related topics. He joined the SourceAmerica Speakers Bureau in 2011 to share his story with a range of audiences. That planted the seed of a dream to start his own business as a speaker and job coach.

    He attended a program from Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans, which trains post-9/11 veterans on launching their own businesses. It was there Kendrick came up with the name for his dream: Lion Speaking Agency.

    "The world is basically a big jungle," he said. "When you're an individual and you're trying to get the word out, your voice really doesn't have too much power. You really aren't heard. When you have power behind your voice and you get other people to believe in your call, your voice has more power like the roar of a lion."

    Kendrick turned to the Atlanta-area Small Business Administration for more the next steps in launching his company. Through that SBA and his local chapter of Service Corps of Retired Executives, Kendrick found the mentoring and resources that helped him launch Lion Speaking Agency.

    "They have free courses, free business plan templates, free counseling with experts," he said. "I had a mentor when I first moved to Atlanta. They helped me along the way getting access to funds, being able to register my business as veteran-owned, minority-owned, getting my business license, being able to incorporate as an LLC and get free legal advice."

    Over the past five years, Kendrick has continued to rely on SBA and SCORE as he built his company and worked as a call center supervisor. Two months ago, he quit his job to go fulltime with Lion Speaking Agency. The move was frightening and exciting, he said, but one he felt prepared to make after years of study, mentoring and dogged hard work.

    "If you want to launch a business, you really have to believe in it," he said. "You can't just look at it as a way to make money. You really have to have a passion for what you're doing. If you're going to leave your 9-5 to pursue your dream, you have to be your own biggest fan."

  • For almost 24 years, Doyle Henderson served his country in the Navy. By the time he suffered an accident on the job that left him with traumatic brain injury and other permanent disabilities, he'd been running communications operations manned by 120 people across two oceans. Now a general maintenance worker for Professional Contract Services Inc. in Portsmouth, Virginia, Henderson continues his commitment to excellence in what was a major professional shift.

    "I can honestly sit here and tell you that I love what I do," he said. "I became good at what I do. I took a bad situation that I was in at the time and my whole outlook on life has changed since walking in here and having this opportunity."

    Because of his dedication to his job, the example he sets for others and his dedication to fellow veterans, Henderson was selected as the AbilityOne Honor Roll for Veterans Award.

    "I'm very humbled and honored to have been chosen for this award, especially knowing the competition out there," he said. "I've had a long, hard road to get to here, and it feels really good to know your managers, your supervisors and your coworkers feel that way about you."

    Henderson's is a familiar and friendly face known throughout the hospital where he works, said Chad Cloutier, assistant project manager at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, PCSI, who nominated Henderson for the award. He says Henderson makes it a point to encourage patients and coworkers, particularly other veterans with disabilities.

    "What he does is he leaves it all on the field – that's his motto," Cloutier said. "He does it on the daily basis. I see that. I see the results. Sometimes he's filthy—he's covered in paint, drywall dust, sweat—he goes above and beyond."

    Cloutier said that during a recent active shooter lockdown at the hospital, Henderson took the lead among dozens of employees to barricade the room, reduce panic and secure the area during the eight-to-10-hour episode.

    "That was a scary day for all," Cloutier said. "Doyle corralled as many people as he could into a classroom, barred the door with tables, shut the lights off and remained calm, instructed people to keep quiet. There was not just civilians but also military active duty, a commander in the room as well. Doyle took charge."

    The lockdown eventually ended peacefully, and Henderson continued on with an upbeat attitude and tireless work ethic, Cloutier said.

    That decision to work hard is a conscious choice, Henderson said. In the wake of his injuries, Henderson was advised by a Veterans Affairs representative to take his retirement, disability and other benefits and "live the good life."

    But Henderson disagreed. The husband and father of three said he still wanted to contribute, he had something to give. But finding meaningful work was a challenge.

    "It was hard," he said. "When you suffer traumatic brain injury, you're not as sharp as you once were. I went through a lot of different jobs going nowhere."

    Convincing potential employers to take on someone with a significant disability proved difficult.

    "Some employers assume you're a liability," Henderson said. "I never wanted anything given to me, I just wanted a chance. I don't feel like I got that in other jobs."

    Then he met a PCSI employee at a party who suggested he put in an application. Days later, he had a part-time job that became full-time a few months later.

    "When I came here, everybody else had something going on," he said, referring to the fact that PCSI employs people with disabilities from his location as well as their Austin, Texas headquarters. "I wasn't any different than anyone else."

    There was a substantial learning curve, but Henderson embraced the change.

    "They handed me a wrench and they told me, ‘We're gonna teach you to do this, we're gonna teach you to do that,'" he said. "You listen, you have a couple of good guys you get with and they teach you."

    When in doubt, Henderson ventures online to pick up a new skill.

    "There's an answer on YouTube for anything," he said, laughing.

    Due to the TBI, Henderson's thinking patterns and mental processes have changed, as has his perspective on life.

    "I just am slower than I used to be," he said. "I'm not the sharp senior chief that ran communications for the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean at the same time. I can't make split-second, multiple decisions at the same time. I have to think. Maybe that's not such a bad thing. I think a lot of it's about attitude. You take what you got and you try to work with it. That's what I do."

  • At a time when fewer goods are truly "made in America," several companies in the U.S. are committed to making one of the most defining symbols of freedom―the American flag―out of materials and labor sourced solely in the United States. SourceAmerica member nonprofit agencies Goodwill Industries of South Florida (Miami, Florida); North Bay Industries (Rohnert Park, California); Huntsville Rehabilitation Foundation d.b.a. Phoenix (Hunstville, Alabama) not only produce 100 percent American-made flags, they also employ people with disabilities to make them.

    SourceAmerica, which connects companies with federal procurement needs through the AbilityOne Program, the largest source of federal employment for people with disabilities, has played a central role in helping these nonprofit agencies create flag production jobs and others for this underrepresented segment of the workforce.

    Goodwill Industries of South Florida has been producing AbilityOne flags for nearly 30 years. Sherri Scyphers Hungate, vice president at Goodwill Industries of South Florida, thinks SourceAmerica and the AbilityOne Program are essential to ensuring people with disabilities have a chance at equal employment opportunities.

    "A job helps increase a person's self-worth and dignity while providing socialization and economic stability," Hungate said. "Without SourceAmerica's assistance, these jobs might not exist."

    North Bay Industries produces American flags in its sewing academy, which enables employees to master flag production tasks while creating an environment where they can grow. North Bay's CEO Robert Hutt will join 46 other SourceAmerica nonprofit agencies to advocate on behalf of his company and people with disabilities at SourceAmerica's annual Grassroots Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. June 13-16. Additionally, Hutt will be presenting interment flags made by North Bay Industries' employees with disabilities to keynote speakers at the conference.

    Staff representatives from Phoenix also will attend SourceAmerica's Grassroots Conference this week. With Phoenix having manufactured nearly 2 million flags to date, its CEO Bryan Dodson thinks his company's track record of providing high quality products highlight how his employees' abilities overcome disability with the proper training.

    "Not only are our flags special because they are 100 percent made in America, but many of our employees with disabilities have gained confidence and skills making these flags," said Dodson.

    According to Dodson, Phoenix has been a catalyst for success for many of its employees with disabilities.

    "We had a nonverbal gentleman with a disability who started with Phoenix 20 years ago. He was not used to the environment or being surrounded by people he didn't know. Slowly, he started to come out of his shell. He's since blossomed and is very verbal now. If you met him when he first started, you would've never known what he was capable of," said Dodson.

    Dodson hopes more companies consider hiring people with disabilities. "When you see someone learn and grow, that's what it's all about."