Kristina Kunkel has been managing federal, state, and local grants & contracts at nonprofit organizations since 2010, and joined the Norcal PTAC team in July 2014. Her primary role at the PTAC is managing the program, but she is also well versed in government contracting, with specialties in assisting clients with state of California contracts, market research, and marketing to government agencies. She received her BA in Psychology from Smith College and her MS in Energy, Technology, and Policy from Humboldt State University.
Taylor Bowes started with Norcal PTAC in 2017 as our Program Coordinator. She came to us with experience in managing a diverse array of government funded programs at nonprofit organizations. She has expertise in bringing together various stakeholders from different sectors to solve community-wide
issues. As the Assistant Director at Norcal PTAC, Taylor assists in the procurement and administration of grants, partnership development, and expansion of services as our team continues to grow. She is passionate about connecting underserved small businesses with the resources and technical assistance
they need to be successful in the government marketplace.
James Forrest has been working with non-profit educational institutions since 2012, in roles ranging from Academic Tutor to Executive Administrative Assistant. He holds a BA from UC Santa Cruz and a MA from the University of Copenhagen, both in Philosophy. His love of helping people and problem solving has brought him to his role at Norcal PTAC, where he serves as the main point of contact and administrative coordinator for the program.
Thomas Burns has over 20 years of experience providing start-ups, micro & small businesses with expert advice and assistance in the areas of government contracting, business planning, marketing and sales support. His background includes providing direct representation to small businesses, writing business plans for 50+ clients, bidding and winning multiple contracts with City, County, State agencies as well as doing business with prime contractors in a variety of industries here in Northern California.
Mr. Burns has personally trained, coached and assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners. He has taught webinars, seminars and conducted workshops focusing on building relationships with Prime Contractors, creating winning business plans and marketing to government agencies. Through his personal experience as a business owner, Thomas brings a unique perspective to the small business community.
Joseph Moore, CPCM is seasoned contracting professional who has provided professional services to many firms in the area of federal and state (Virginia) government contracts. His background includes being a contracting officer for the U.S. Navy, a large private industry firm, and in civil service. He is a resource specialist providing assistance to all business firms under the PTAC organization for the past 10 years.
Joseph is a retired Naval Supply Officer and has an MBA from Webster University and a MS in Acquisition and Contract Management from Florida Institute of Technology. He holds a Certified Professional Contracts Management (CPCM) designation granted by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), and he is the owner of a SDVOSB firm that provided specialized services in all phases of contracts.
Nanci Pigeon has over 22 years’ experience in the Department of Defense and federal contracting. She began her contracting career as an active duty Air Force enlisted member and upon retirement from active duty, she transitioned to the federal contracting workforce. In her federal contracting career, Nanci has worked as a Contract Specialist, Contracting Officer, Procurement Analyst and Small Business Specialist with the Department of the Air Force, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation. Upon her retirement from the federal contracting workforce, Nanci decided to provide her expertise in government contracting to small businesses by becoming a PTAC counselor.
Nanci specializes in federal contracting, registrations, and certifications. She is also well versed in California State registration and certification, as well as California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS). Nanci enjoys working with each Norcal PTAC client individually and developing a specific course of action to help the client achieve their government contracting goals.
Nanci has a BS in Management from Park University and an MS from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Strategic Purchasing. She is also a Certified Federal Contract Manager (CFCM) through the National Contract Management Association and maintains a Level III Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C).
Lenny Bean is an accomplished business manager with multi-disciplined expertise in both engineering and manufacturing environments. He has held leadership positions in project management, business development, and finance. As a Procurement Specialist, Lenny counsels small businesses to succeed in pursuing contracts with federal, state, and local government agencies.
Lenny has a degree in accounting and an MBA from Suffolk University. He is the Small Business Board Member of the Professional Aerospace Contractors Association, a member of the New Mexico Lions Club, and a member of the Aero Federal Credit Union Board.
Mary Jo Juarez
Mary Jo Juarez has extensive contracting experience as a former Contracting Officer for the Department of the Navy. In her position as the Deputy for Small Business, Mary Jo discovered her lasting passion of educating and helping small businesses to become successful in obtaining and performing in the government contracting arena. She specializes in working with small businesses to help them understand and work through the maze of regulations and requirements in government contracting. Mary Jo is a "connector "of small businesses, agencies, and prime contractors; helping to establish relationships which benefit all parties. She holds a BA from the Evergreen State College, MBA from City University, and has been working on the Doctorate in Business Education at Argosy University.
Edward Duarte is the founder and retired CEO of Aztec Consultants; a San Ramon-based professional construction management company and general contracting firm. Founded in 1986, Aztec specializes in public works, commercial and institutional construction projects. Under his leadership, the company provided construction management services on over $250 million of public works contracts and built over $200 million as the General Contractor of Record, subcontracting with numerous DBEs and other minority-owned businesses. Duarte is also the co-founder, Program Director, and a principal instructor for the Construction Management Certificate Program at Cal State East Bay.
Liz has extensive experience with small and disadvantaged business enterprise programs working over 35 years for various Bay Area transportation agencies such as Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC), and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). She is familiar with local, State, and Federal procurement processes. Her passion is helping small businesses be successful and win government contracts. She holds a BS in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from San Francisco State University.
Megan Bender is a multimedia journalist and former TV News producer. She comes to Norcal PTAC with extensive design, photography, videography and communications experience. Megan graduated from Humboldt State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and an emphasis in public relations. She also volunteers for a community-started newspaper as a social media manager in her free time. Her dedication to serving her community is what brought her to Norcal PTAC.