Supporting Small Businesses in Construction, A/E, Environmental and Related Trades / Services

Robert Scott

Region V Administrator


U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)


Robert Scott serves as the regional administrator for Region V of the U.S. Small Business Administration, overseeing the delivery of the agency’s financial assistance, technical assistance and government contracting activities throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.


Brig. Gen. Joseph Schroedel, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.) Executive Director

Brig. Gen. Joseph “Joe” Schroedel became SAME Executive Director in August 2014 after a 34-year career with the U.S. Army. As SAME Executive Director, Gen. Schroedel leads an organization with 105 posts worldwide and more than 29,000 members and 1,500 Sustaining Member companies and organizations.


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Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Kevin J. Lovell

SAME National Board of Direction


Most recently, Lt. Col. Lovell served as a senior project manager and program manager in the private sector where his teams delivered projects and cross-functional programs for Federal, International and Domestic clients in water, energy and transportation infrastructure. He established a Program Management Community of Practice focused on improving project and program delivery and knowledge development and distribution.


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Kurt Thiede

Chief of Staff

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 5 Office, Chicago

Kurt Thiede serves as chief of staff for EPA Region 5. His responsibilities include fostering strong partnerships to promote collaborative environmental protection efforts in the Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as 35 federally recognized tribal governments. This includes EPA’s Great Lakes National Program, which leads restoration and protection of the largest freshwater system in the world.

Prior to joining the EPA, Mr. Thiede served as deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from 2015 to 2017. As deputy, he served as the chief operations officer for the agency, overseeing a $500 million annual operating budget and providing leadership and direction to the agency’s 2,400 full-time employees. He is an 18-year veteran of WDNR, and previously spent four years as the administrator for the Land Division.

Mr. Thiede has a bachelor of science degree in wildlife management and biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and in 2016 he received an outstanding alumnus award from their school of natural resources.

Steve Blinderman, PE

President / Chief Operations Officer


Blinderman Construction


As President and Chief Operating Officer, Steve is responsible for leading the day-to-day management of Blinderman Construction. Steve has been an active member of the Lake Michigan Post of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), a professional organization dedicated to fostering a public/private partnership in the interest of national security.


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Kelly J. Granberg, Ph.D.

Environmental Engineer, Design Branch


Dr. Kelly J. Granberg serves as Environmental Engineer in the Chicago District’s Design Branch providing technical expertise to a wide range of civil works projects.  She provides environmental analysis and compliance support for invasive species management, navigational dredging, and management of dredged sediment in Lake Michigan and the Chicago Area Waterway System

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Frank Grimaldi

Deputy Commissioner

Chicago Department of Aviation

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) administers all aspects of two major airports – Chicago O’Hare and Midway International Airports.

The CDA is self-supporting, using no local or state tax dollars for operations or capital improvements at O’Hare and Midway International Airports. Together Chicago’s airports generate more than $45 billion in annual economic activity and create 540,000 jobs for the region.

Chris Grimm

AEC Specifications Consulting, LLC


Mr. Chris Grimm has 25 years’ experience in construction documents. His specialty includes rallying the disciplines together for how to write specs, and filling in where needed with training or specs when others were not sure the best approach.


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Abigail Madden

Counterintelligence Special Agent with the Defense Security Service in the Chicago area.

Jean Marie Thiel


Belonger Corporation


Mrs. Thiel owns and operates a specialty trades Mechanical Contracting Company including all HVAC/R aptitudes, waste water, plumbing, as well as offers Construction Management, Facility Management, and Energy Based Performance Contracting. She has 30 years of experience in the construction and services industry, specializing in federal and DOD relations, joint venturing, and mentoring.


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Melissa Meade, P.E.

Team Leader/Senior Fire Protection Engineer




Melissa Meade is a Team Leader and a Senior Fire Protection Engineer at Woolpert with 14 years of experience in code consulting and the design, construction, and installation of fire protection systems. As a senior design expert and project team member, Melissa provides services to architects, engineers, contractors, and building owners.


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Andrew Rider

BIM Manager




Andrew Rider develops software frameworks for projects and guides design teams in the use of BIM. Woolpert is a national architecture, engineering, and geospatial firm delivering valuable solutions for more than 100 years to private, federal, and state and local government clients.


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Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Department of Public Works

The Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Public Works Business Line leads to many valuable shore installation solutions for a very diverse set of clients:  including the Commander, Navy Installations Command, to ships and aircraft squadrons, and the Marine Corps

David A Rose, Esq.

Managing Partner

Rose Consulting Law


David A. Rose, Esq., is a managing partner in Moser Rose, also known as Rose Consulting Law, a firm practicing throughout the United States and internationally based in Valdosta Georgia. He currently holds the active rank of Lt Col in the United States Air Force Reserves where he is one of the primary legal advisers to the Commanding Officer of the Air Force Reserves.


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Linda M. Sorn, P.E.

Chief, Technical Services Division


Ms. Linda M. Sorn serves as Chief of the Chicago District’s Technical Services Division.  The Technical Services Division is responsible for the engineering design, construction, operation and maintenance of civil works projects, as well as for emergency management and the regulatory permitting program in the Chicago metropolitan area and Northwest Indiana.

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Kevin Scott

Program Manager


Tetra Tech


Mr. Scott has more than 30 years of experience providing management, scientific, and technical consulting services, including 25 years supporting private and public sector clients under a variety of technical assistance, emergency response, emergency management, planning, and training and exercise programs. He has held various positions throughout his career, including contract manager, project manager, emergency preparedness and response coordinator, technical advisor, and quality assurance/quality control coordinator.


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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spend over $17 billion annually. The mission of the VA is to fulfill President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.”

Beth White

Deputy for Small Business Programs


Rock Island District Corps of Engineers


Ms. White has been involved in Federal procurement for 20 years, beginning her Federal career with TACOM and the Army Contracting Command in Rock Island. In her role, Ms. White is the advisor to the commander on all small business related issues and all progress toward assigned small business contracting goals.


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