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he Honorable Tracey L. Pinson, a former director for the Office of Small Business Programs in the Office of the Secretary of the Army, died December 14, 2014. Until her retirement in June, she was the highest-ranking female civilian in the Army acquisition field. Ms. Pinson advised the secretary of the Army and staff on procure- ment related to utilization of small and diverse businesses in the per- formance of all Army contracts. She joined Boeing as direc- tor of Small/Diverse Business and Strategic Alliances for Boeing Defense, Space and Security in the summer of 2014. In this role, she was responsible for ensuring that contractual obligations were met by driving strategy for work placement with small and diverse businesses in alignment with business agree- ments that deliver the best value to Boeing and its customers. According to a Capital Words tribute, “In Recognition Of the Honorable Tracey L. Pinson,” Ms. Pinson spent 32 years in the federal government and nearly 20 of those as the director for the Office of Small Business Programs for the Secretary of the Army. She excelled at this position since her first day as director in May 1995, the citation states. Pinson received a Bachelor of


Science in political science from Howard University and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. Her career began on Capitol Hill in 1982, serving as counsel to the Committee on Small Business under then chairman of the House Small Busi- ness Committee, U.S. Rep. Parren J. Mitchell of Maryland’s 7th congressional district. Mitchell was widely known as ``godfather’’ of minority business expansion and development efforts, the tribute said.


From 1986-1995, she was an assistant to the director, Office of Small Business Programs, Office of the Secretary of Defense. In April 1995, she was appointed by then secretary of the Army, the Honorable Togo West, as the director, Office of Small Busi- ness Programs, Office of the Secretary of the Army. Under her leadership, the Army awarded over $300 billion in contracts to small businesses. Ms. Pinson also managed the Army Historical- ly Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serv-


6 USBE&IT I WINTER 2015


by Imani Carter icarter@ccgmag.com


IN MEMORY OF TRACEY PINSON — SEPTEMBER 18, 1957 - DECEMBER 14, 2014


ing Institutions (MIs) Program and ensured these institutions had an opportunity to participate in Army-funded programs. Over $100 billion in Army awards have gone to HBCUs/MIs. She also headed an initiative to hire wounded warriors in her office. With their help, she was able to steer over $50 billion to veteran-owned businesses. She also worked to secure contract awards for women-owned businesses, com- panies located in areas of economic distress, and small businesses in disaster relief efforts. She won the Department of the Army Award for Meritorious Civilian Service in 2014.


“This is a tremendous loss for everyone who knew her and for the entire small business community,” said William A. Brown, president of the African American Federal Ex- ecutive Association (AAFEA). “She was my close friend and co-founder of the AAFEA. Just one month ago, she stepped down as our vice presi- dent having served in that position since our founding in 2002. She will be greatly missed.”


“Really sorry to learn of


Tracey’s passing. She and her late mom Valerie were true trailblazers for diversity and minority business opportunities,” said Kweisi Mfume, former president and CEO of the


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as well as a five-term congressman from Maryland’s 7th congres- sional district.


“I am just saddened by this,” said Career Communications


Group CEO Tyrone Taborn, founder of US Black Engineer magazine. Retired Army Gen. William “Kip” Ward, who served as


commander, U.S. Africa Command, said, “We are all shocked and saddened. She will be missed but as so many have reflected, never forgotten for all she did in support of our community. Importantly, she was loved, admired and appreciated.” “We share the same sentiment,” said Gen. Dennis Via, com- mander of the United States Army Materiel Command. “Tracey was such a wonderful person and a great friend. A tragic and great loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”


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