In 2001, Dr. Loretta Caldwell Thompson founded Caldwell Management Solutions in Washington, D.C. The company is an organizational development company that helps businesses and non-profits with their infrastructure systems.
“I felt that I was good at talking to the CEOs and presidents of these companies to help them learn the importance of having these types of systems in their organization, so that they can be sustainable beyond just their current service delivery,” Caldwell Thompson said.
She was confident in her skill and company’s mission, but several years ago, Caldwell Thompson decided to change locations, making it harder to branch out without a connection to her new community of St. Petersburg.
Four years ago, Thompson partnered with the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at Pinellas County Economic Development in hopes of networking with other organizations and to learn the landscape of St. Petersburg.
“They have introduced me to other people here in St. Petersburg who can have an impact on my company,” she said. “They have also helped me to become an influencer, so that the skills and the talents that I bring, and my company brings, to St. Pete are well known among other agencies that I want to impact. So to begin, they were the crucial element that connected me to my new home in St. Petersburg.”
Procurement specialist Yolanda Cowart was paired with Caldwell Thompson when she initially requested to work with the Florida PTAC at PCED. She was able to assist Caldwell Management Solutions through SAM registration, federal contracting, creating a Bid Match profile, commodity codes, business certifications, and branding strategies.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Cowart also assisted Caldwell Thompson in her application for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
“Through [all of] this they have afforded me the ability to now hire staff to bring on,” Caldwell Thompson said. “Not only have they contributed to the growth of my company but also the growth of Pinellas County, now that I am paying taxes with other employees that I have brought on.”
Moving forward, she said she plans to utilize Florida’s PTAC at PCED to continue the growth of her company, as they have provided information about upcoming contracts and government leads that will help the company continue to expand.
“They have been instrumental in introducing me and my company to St. Petersburg, and I will be forever grateful,” she said.