tonya saunders mta

Mid-Tier Advocacy’s (MTA) annual briefing on Capitol Hill is just around the corner on March 23, with a focus on “Determining the Size of Business Within the Federal Industrial Base.” Our Executive Q&A is with the founder and director of MTA, Tonya M. Saunders – a strong advocate of the middle market for more than 20 years.


JB: What can you tell us about Mid-Tier Advocacy’s upcoming Capitol Hill briefing on Wednesday, March 23?

Our speakers at this event will provide insights into some key issues that impact the sustainability of mid-sized firms; address the need for policy to support the continued growth of small and mid-size business; include new changes to the way that the government purchases goods and services.

Mid-Tier Advocacy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was formed from a coalition in 2010, which serves as a vehicle for business growth and development by briefing congress. It reaches out to federal agencies and educates member firms on business opportunities by engaging stakeholders and promoting collaboration among all parties to address the challenges.

JB: Who should attend and why?

Business leaders, C-Suite and senior managers, policy makers and congressional staff should attend in order to hear the latest information from our panelists of experts. Paul Murphy, with Bloomberg, is a federal contracting analyst, who will provide updated data on firms that are doing business with the government. This data will serve as a baseline of where these companies are in the federal procurement system and a bench mark for how policies that are enacted can either adversely impact or support growth and sustainability. Additionally, Emily Murphy, Senior Counsel on the House Small Business committee, will provide information about federal contracting provisions that are currently being discussed and what impact this may have on the middle market contractor.

JB: What outcomes are you expecting from the March 23 briefing?

We expect to engage more members and raise awareness for the advanced small- to mid-size firms that are actively involved in providing services and goods to the federal government. These companies – many of which were once small and successful – reach a size that becomes harder to sustain because of direct competition with multibillion dollar corporations for federal contracts, lack of capital and policies that are not in-line with the growth of their business.

JB: Briefly, please explain the importance of the middle market in the government contracting community.

The middle market sustains the economy through innovation and job creation. Mid-Tier Advocacy membership consists of federal contractors that represent a cross-section of industries, from information technology to manufacturing to construction. These businesses service federal, state and local governments, and employ millions of Americans across the nation. Mid-Tier Advocacy is the collective voice for the middle market federal contractor.

JB: When you’re not advocating for the middle market, what else do you do?

I own and operate a small government affairs firm and represent a variety of clients ranging from large corporations to small entities that require support with navigating the legislative process.