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What is the APEX Accelerator?

The APEX Accelerators program, formerly known as Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP), under management of the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP), plays a critical role in the nation's efforts to identify and helps a wide range of businesses enter and participate in the government supply-chain. The program provides the education and training to ensure that all businesses become capable of participating in federal, state, and local government contracts.

Our Team

   Cathy Fairbanks
   Regional Director
   Traverse City Office
A PTAC veteran of nine years, Cathy is a Certified Federal Contract Manager, holding a Master Certificate in Contract Management from George Washington University, School of Business. She currently serves as the President of the PTACs of Michigan, and was recently recognized for her work with the defense industry.  Cathy earned a BBA in Business and Technology and an MS in Career and Technical Education. She has over 20 years of experience as a small business owner in agriculture, construction, and retail combined, as well as extensive experience in software development and education.

Office: 231.929.5036
   Suzanne Hartnett
   Procurement Counselor
   Traverse City Office
Suzanne is an experienced government contractor, having worked for over 25 years as a Business Development professional, Environmental Engineer and Project Manager on government contracts throughout the U.S.   Her project work has taken her into the sewers of Detroit, the plains of Nebraska, the mountains of New Mexico, and the challenging environs of Antarctica.  Finally, in 2017 she returned home to Michigan and joined the NW Michigan PTAC.   She holds a Masters Certificate in Contract Management from the George Washington University School of Business and M.S. and B. S. Engineering degrees from the University of Michigan.

Office: 231.929.5068
   LeAnne Kacharsky
   Procurement Counselor
   Marquette Office
LeAnne is a native of the Upper Peninsula, and a graduate of NMU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. She is passionate about assisting small businesses with government contracting, and promoting the local economy.  LeAnne’s experience ranges from managing her own property rentals and real estate business to acting as an operations manager for a small manufacturing firm, to many years of working for large corporate businesses, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. Immediately prior to working with PTAC, LeAnne worked for Upper Peninsula Michigan Works as a Business Services Consultant covering Marquette and Iron Counties.  She holds a current real estate license, is a Certified Veteran Evaluation Counselor, and has an Associate's Certificate in Contract Management from George Washington University.

Mobile: 906.373.7411

The Northwest Michigan APEX Accelerator is funded in part by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The APEX Accelerator is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense.

The professionals at Networks Northwest help our City Council, Planning Commission, and staff make thoughtful decisions to ensure our community is sustainable and resilient for many years to come.
- Mark Heydlauff, Charlevoix City Manager