The Umbrella Initiative mission is “to double the number of small businesses contracting with the government by the year 2020.”
Co Founder and Director of the Procurement Think Tank
Raul Espinosa is the Founder of FPA and its Chief Visionary Officer. He is also the Co-Founder of the Umbrella Initiative. Raul is an influential procurement watchdog and business consultant whose views are often sought by government and elected officials and by leaders in private industry and trade groups. He is also the President and CEO of FitNet, a purchasing and consulting group. Raul holds degrees from the University of Texas, Texas Christian University and NYU Public Management School.
Raul has had the privilege of working in the inner circles of world leaders, including David Rockefeller and three U S Presidents. He was part of the White House working group which drafted Executive Order 11458 which established the small disadvantaged business (SDB) program, precursor to P.L. 95-507. Raul is a Member of the Minority Business Round Table (www.mbrt.net) and a Procurement Advisor to the Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition (www.fmcrc.org), the American Small Business League (www.asbl.com) and MBELDEF (www.mbeldef.org). He has been recognized as “One of the Most Notable Diversity Advocates in the Country” after his success at founding FPA, establishing a think tank at a major university and convincing the government to pay small businesses in ‘accelerated fashion’ to comply with the government regulations.
Dr. Henry Thomas
Co Founder and Director of Strategic Alliances for the Procurement Think Tank
Dr. Henry Thomas is the Co-Founder of the FPA Think Tank at UNF and its Director of Strategic Alliances. Dr. Thomas is a tenured Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at UNF and the Director of the Florida Center for Public & International Policy. He is a published author and accomplished community organizer who has served as a Board Member of the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, the Jacksonville Community Council and the Florida Bar Grievance Committee, Dr. Thomas is also the President of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Before coming to UNF, Dr. Thomas taught at Florida International University (FIU) where he was honored as ‘Outstanding Administrator.’ Dr. Thomas is considered an expert in the application of Total Quality Management (TQM) tools at the community, neighborhood and grassroots level.
Chief Technology Officer for the Procurement Think Tank
Ryan Reid is Chief Technology Officer for the Think Tank. He is also the founder of NetQuarry (www.netquarry.com), the leading Enterprise Application Infrastructure Software company for SaaS (Software-as-a-service) applications. NetQuarry was founded in 2005 to facilitate ISV quality enterprise and SaaS application development. Mr. Reid has over 15 years of in-depth experience with enterprise and SaaS software as a designer, inventor, and developer of mission-critical software systems used by hundreds of thousands of users.
In 2009, NetQuarry launched Bidspeed (www.fedbidspeed.com), the only Government Opportunity Based Marketing and Business Development application directly integrated with federal opportunity data sources. The Bidspeed Platform is the foundation for the Umbrella Initiative’s teaming and procurement portal projects.