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Traverse City Business Receives EPA’s Outstanding Small Business Contractor Award

June 5, 2024

Great Lakes Environmental Center, Inc. (GLEC) of Traverse City, a longtime client of the Northwest Michigan APEX Accelerator, received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator’s Award for Outstanding Accomplishments by a Small Business Contractor. The award recognizes GLEC’s outstanding contractor support for implementation of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) and development of drinking water standards. The award was presented at the EPA Administrator’s 34th Annual Small Business Awards Ceremony May 2, 2024 in Washington D.C.

GLEC is an established national contracting firm offering applied environmental sciences, research, and compliance assistance focused on water quality and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. GLEC became a client of the APEX Accelerator (previously known as PTAC) back in 2009. Since that time, via one-on-one counseling or group training, they have received assistance with government registrations, marketing to the government, finding opportunities (BidMatch), understanding government regulations, GSA contracting and more; and have been awarded more than $114.5M in federal prime contracts.

"The APEX Accelerator BidMatch service continues to be the cornerstone of GLEC's market surveillance and business capture activities, providing equal or better results when compared to the various commercially available paid services,” said Bill Arnold, GLEC Manager of Business Development. “Through training seminars and individual consulting, the staff at our Northwest Michigan APEX regional office have assisted GLEC with understanding current federal small business contracting requirements and strategies.”

"We love to celebrate with our clients!" said Cathy Fairbanks, Northwest Michigan APEX Accelerator Regional Director. “When our clients succeed, we succeed. Congratulations to the entire team at GLEC. We are happy to have played a small part in your success."

For more information about Great Lakes Environmental Center, go to

The Northwest Michigan APEX Accelerator offers no-cost marketing, technical consulting, and training to businesses in northwest Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula who wish to pursue government contracts. More information is available at

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.

In photo above (l-r): Denise Benjamin Sirmons, Director, U.S. EPA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU); Natalie Smith, GLEC Senior Researcher; Chris Young, GLEC Senior Researcher; John Bachman, GLEC UCMR Program Manager; Michelle Moore, GLEC Principal Research Scientist; Robin Silva-Wilkinson, GLEC Senior Research Scientist; Jerome A. Greene, Deputy Director, U.S. EPA OSDBU

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