Washington APEX

How Do I...?

Sell to the Government


Where We Are


Events and Workshops

Washington APEX Accelerator




Meet Our Team

Nationally, there are over 90 APEX Accelerators/PTACs with over 400 advisors. This nationwide network of dedicated procurement professionals works to ensure businesses can find, bid and win state, federal and local government contracts. To identify APEX Accelerators/PTACs in other states, please visit: www.napex.us

Washington APEX Accelerator has eight centers available to help businesses wishing to navigate federal, state or local government contracting.

If you have questions please Contact Us!

Maria Alleman

Region 8 - Government Contracting Specialist

Cara Buckingham

Region 4 - APEX ACCELERATOR Advisor

James Davis

Region 1 - APEX Accelerator Center Manager

Terry Homburg

Region 1 - Government Contracting Assistance Specialist

Kate Hoy

Region 2 - SBIR/STTR Program Director

Mary Jo Juarez

Region 1 - Government Contracting Assistance Specialist

Mark Johnson

Region 4 - Assistant Advisor

Julia Krivoruk


Maryam Lynch-Tate


Melinda Martirosian


Leslie Miller

Region 2 - APEX ACCELERATOR Advisor

Trena Payton


Aleesha Roedel


Tiffany Scroggs

Program Director

Grady Smith

Region 2 - APEX Accelerator Advisor

Tori Stoner

Program Coordinator

Darrell Sundell


Marnie Tyson

APEX Accelertor Program Manager

Maria Alleman

Maria is a highly accomplished professional in the hospitality industry, backed by a rich 20-year history of expertise. Fluent in both English and Spanish, she possesses a distinctive talent for breaking down language barriers and facilitating meaningful communication across diverse communities. Maria’s unwavering commitment to empowering small business owners underscores her dedication to fostering their success and dismantling barriers to growth.

Maria’s professional journey has been shaped by years of hands-on experience in the hospitality sector. Throughout her career, she has finely honed her skills in relationship building and forging strategic partnerships with business leaders. This seasoned background uniquely positions Maria as an ideal counselor for small businesses and aligns perfectly with her role in expanding the reach of the Washington APEX Accelerator in previously underserved communities.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Maria finds fulfillment while practicing yoga, hiking, and golfing with her husband. This not only adds depth to her character but also exemplifies Maria’s commitment to a balanced and enriching life beyond her professional pursuits.


Cara Buckingam

Based at Economic Alliance Snohomish County, Cara Buckingham helps businesses with government contracting as an advisor with Washington APEX Accelerator (formerly PTAC). Buckingham helps firms cut through the complexity of government contracting through education, one-to-one advising, market research, bid discovery and solicitation reviews. She also helps clients navigate government registrations and certifications and provides outreach and networking opportunities.

Prior to her current role, Buckingham worked in the construction industry where she helped build relationships with buyers and tracked small business programs to pursue government contracts. Buckingham served as a member of both the AGC of Washington Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Washington State Business Diversity Advisory Group which improved small business access to state procurement. Her other past professional lives include marketing and PR for the shopping center industry and working as a radio and television journalist. As a communications professional, she enjoys connecting people and resources to help them meet their business goals.

When not at work, you can find Buckingham running the trails in Bellingham, plotting her next epic hiking adventure, promoting her author-husband’s work, and as a recent empty-nester, trying out new activities like improv theater. 

James Region 1

James Davis

Passionate about helping small businesses succeed, James has a strong background as a technical assistance program manager and is keenly aware of the issues facing Washington Small businesses. He has worked for the last several years helping small businesses across Washington State navigate the changing business climates and connecting entrepreneurs with resources to sustain and scale their businesses. In additional to managing the Kitsap PTAC center, James also works with technical assistance providers across the state to identify resources and connect small businesses with the most relevant for their situation.

Terry Region 1

Terry Homburg

Terry assists companies in preparing and competing for award of federal and Washington state contracts, and administration of federal contracts after award. Terry is a retired Department of Defense Contracting Officer with 29 years of procurement experience in services, construction, supply, and architect-engineering contracts in both pre-award and post-award. Terry held many positions in the Government-wide Purchase Card program, AKA VISA/Master Card purchases and payments. Half of his career was overseas in Japan, Cuba, and Italy. He can provide guidance with the DoD CMMC and Interim Rule cybersecurity requirements.

Terry likes running, racquetball, and photography. He is a car enthusiast having built a 70½  Pontiac T/A for road racing and a 1964 Pontiac GTO for quarter-mile racing. He helps/advises people on purchasing new or used cars. 

Kate Region 2

Kate HOY

Kate has an extensive background working with small business owners and assisting them with preparing to enter the Government contracting world. She joined Washington PTAC in January 2017 when she relocated from Arizona where she worked for Arizona PTAC.   After working with “non-traditional” suppliers for almost 4 years, Kate became the SBIR/STTR Program Manager and is now focusing on helping innovators work with federal agencies.  

Kate works closely with the NW Tech Bridge, a Navy SBIR support resource. She also is a partner in the new SBA funded ARC WA program which is dedicated to increasing the SBIR awards in Washington.  

She is an excellent presenter and looks forward to hosting in-person workshops and online training in Washington State.

Kate’s Tip for Success:  In the end, Government Contracting is competition-based. To best succeed, a small business will want to know the game, know the competition, and above all have an established, quality service or product to offer the government.  There are no shortcuts!  It is a long-term commitment that begins with research and creating a business plan that includes Government Contracting.

Mary Jo Region 1

Mary Jo Juarez

Mary Jo has over 30 years’ experience in government contracting, most recently working as a Navy Deputy for Small Business, helping the Navy meet their small business goals and educating small business firms in obtaining certifications, marketing, and opportunities with the federal government. 

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson has joined our team at the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County. As the new Assistant Advisor with Washington APEX Accelerator (formerly PTAC), Mark will assist small businesses to understand how to find, bid, win, and perform on government contracts.

Mark’s previous role was with the Washington State Senate where he supported committees with their high-level administration needs. Prior to serving the Washington state legislature, Mark supported the City of SeaTac’s Department of Community and Economic Development with their 2021 Business Synergy outreach project dedicated to understanding the needs of the local business community.

Prior to his time in the public sector, Mark developed his skillset working for small businesses. He primarily performed administrative duties, but the need to wear many hats helped develop skills ranging from reporting to program management. His experience seeded a passion for helping small businesses.

Outside of work, Mark spends most of his time with his wife Marianne and his Australian Shepherd. His primary hobby is working on cars. Currently he is restoring a red 1991 BMW 325i 5-speed convertible that was their wedding car. 

Julia Region 3

Julia Krivoruk

Julia is an APEX Accelerator Advisor for CREDC and is responsible for assisting small businesses interested in public procurement opportunities as a channel for business growth. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Seattle University. Julia is passionate about assisting small business growth in the greater Clark, Cowlitz, and Skamania counties with a focus on veterans, minority, and women-owned businesses.

Maryam Region 6

Maryam Lynch-Tate

Maryam Lynch-Tate brings over 25 years of marketing communications, public speaking, facilitation and training, strategic planning, and public and community relations experience to Washington PTAC.

As a double major in Communication and Africana Studies from Rutgers University, Maryam received formal training in marketing, writing, public speaking and presentation development which has proved to be invaluable in every position she’s held over her career. Past work as a small business owner and corporate services specialist has allowed opportunities to facilitate work/life seminar trainings on behalf of an international human resource management company for various large US firms as well as provide strategic planning and fundraising workshops and webinars for nonprofit organizations. Coupled with specialized experience as a lead proposal manager for multiple engineering firms, Maryam will leverage her professional knowledge, skills and expertise to provide government contract advising services to underserved, small businesses in Pierce County.

This position is uniquely funded through a partnership with Pierce County as part of their Pierce County Community Navigator Program.

Melinda Martirosian

I am excited to join the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and be able to counsel small businesses and host workshops.

Melinda has a BS degree in Business Administration from California State University Fresno.

Melinda Martirosian has over 12 years’ experience managing a Small Business Program for a large business contractor as a Small Business Liaison Officer (SBLO).  As an SBLO I had the responsibility of monitoring and ensuring that small businesses had maximum practical opportunity on our contracts awarded.  Classes given to small businesses and they learned a subject that would benefit them as a small business owner.  At small business events Melinda has spoken to large groups and participated on panels. While being an SBLO she was awarded the 2011 Champion of Inclusion Award from the Port of Seattle and received a Small Business Achievement Award for her Small Business Program from Los Angeles District USACE.

Melinda is on the Pacific Northwest DoD Regional Council as a Planning Committee Chairman. She helped in the development of the Desk Guide for Small Business Professionals.


Leslie Miller, MCEd

Leslie Miller has over 30 years of small business experience, public speaking, and training. She brings this experience to her position of Washington APEX advisor and counselor.  She specializes in counseling clients in all areas of government contracting. She has also developed training events for those wanting to pursue government contracting.

Miller started her career in a retail/wholesale small business as an accountant and office manager. She moved into the Non-Profit sector as a Financial Analyst, Educational Programs and Grants Coordinator, and Director of Operations. She also spent many years as a college lecturer in the business departments of Gonzaga University, Whitworth University, Webster University and Spokane Community College. She taught classes at both undergraduate and graduate level. Her specialties were in accounting and management of information systems.

Leslie has a Master of Arts degree in Computer Education from Gonzaga University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management. She is a lifelong resident of the Spokane-Coeur d’ Alene area. She has 3 grown sons, and 2 grandsons. She is a small-town girl who grew up on Lake Coeur d’ Alene. She spends her time gardening and hanging out with her family and friends at the lake.

Trena Region 6

Trena Payton

Trena is an experienced small business owner and consultant with a strong background evaluating business goals and objectives, she worked closely over the span of her career with procurement professionals on contracts for the public and private sectors entities. She has substantial experience in managing government interests and operations with stakeholders at all levels of an organization. She obtained her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and consider delivering projects and organizational efforts a key skill along with a proven ability to administer exceptional customer service through strong interpersonal skills, team leadership, and problem-solving.

Prior to becoming a Washington PTAC counselor, her career highlights consist of: Service in the US Army, 17 Years as a US Army civilian employee, 3 assignments as a Contracting Officer’s Representative, Congressional testimony for the US Senate Small Business Committee, 8(a) Program Graduate, CVE and WOSB certified business owner, US Army Management Staff College graduate, Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from Project Management Institute, BS Information Systems Management, Member, Women President’s Organization (2010 -2015). Awards: Victory in Procurement (VIP), American Express OPEN, US Army Signal Corps Regimental Association-Bronze Order of Mercury and Women of Color Achievement Award-100 Black Men of America.

Aleesha Roedel

Aleesha Roedel teaches businesses how to navigate government contracting (state, local, and federal) as an advisor with Washington APEX. She does this through one-on-one counseling, teaching classes and workshops, hosting events, market research, solicitation reviews, and contract compliance amongst many other duties. Prior to that at GSI, Aleesha supported the health of our economy with business recruitment, retention and expansion, and business data analytics strategies and initiatives.

Aleesha is honored to sit on the Forward Fairchild Committee and serve as Chair of the Business Technology (BT) Advisory Committee at Spokane Community College. She works with Forward Fairchild Committee members both on and off the base, keep working groups updated, manage outbound communications to committee members and support the base to be mission ready. Aleesha also attends the Washington State Military monthly meetings. As Chair of the BT Advisory Committee, she hosts and manage meetings, discuss industry needs with the committee, plan out the following year’s agendas, and attend Community Colleges of Spokane chair meetings.

Outside of the office you can find Aleesha in her garden, enjoying time with family, or keeping busy with a project or hobby of some sort. Aleesha has lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of her life and enjoys the outdoors at lakes, hiking, and camping.

Tiffany Program Director


Tiffany Scroggs is Program Director for the Washington APEX Accelerator.  Her mission is to increase the number of government contracts that are awarded to Washington State firms.  Tiffany is a certified government contracting assistance counselor by the Association of PTAC’s and has obtained Federal Contractor Certification and Veteran Assistance Program Certification to assist Veteran Owned Businesses. Tiffany has BA in Communication from Western Washington University and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College.  Tiffany has worked with the small business community since moving to Olympia in 2003 and is an active Rotarian.


Grady Smith

Grady Smith serves as the lead APEX Accelerator advisor for Thurston and neighboring counties. Grady’s roles include helping businesses navigate the hurdles associated with government contracting, helping businesses find answers to their questions about government contracting, and hosting outreach events to connect businesses with government agencies. Grady meets with clients at Thurston Economic Development Council in Lacey, in person and virtually. 

Grady Smith served in the US Navy. He deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. There, he gained direct experience with federal procurement as his team’s “Supply Petty Officer.” Grady coordinated with vendors to ensure his team was always equipped and prepared for the mission. Now, Grady uses his experience to advise local businesses on government contracting.

Outside of work, Grady enjoys hunting, camping, fishing and hiking with his wife and kids.

Tori Stoner

Tori is a program coordinator for Thurston (PTAC/APEX). Tori studied at the Evergreen State College. Tori’s prior work experience includes small business management, non-profit legal intake, Washington State Legislature experience for two legislative sessions and document management experience as a mortgage closing specialist.

Darrell Region 5

Darrell Sundell

Darrell Sundell has over 35 years of business and contracting experience.  He has served as a planning and control manager for a medium sized wood products manufacturer.  As an entrepreneur he has started, grown and sold multiple successful small businesses.  Before joining Green River College in 2015, Darrell served the clients of the William Factory Small Business Incubator (WFSBI) as a business adviser, procurement counselor and project management specialist. He has provided business consulting, coaching, and advisory services to local businesses and to other consultants throughout the US.

Darrell has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Washington State University; he is certified as an Associate Contracting Assistance Specialist (ACAS) by the national Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC); he is a certified Verification Counselor, by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs; and he has earned the designations of Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) and Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) from the National Contract Management Association.

Marnie Region 2

Marnie Tyson

A strong small business advocate, Marnie has been working with small businesses since 2003, with previous experience with Native PTAC, Washington PTAC, the Northwest Women’s Business Center, the WSU Small Business Development Center, and as a part time faculty with Edmonds Community College teaching a business planning course.

Marnie has experience in online communications, streamlining sales and business processes, development of training and procedure manuals, not to forget her great marketing and research skills. She is adept at helping business owners find their focus and fit in private and public marketplaces.

Marnie holds a BA in Business Administration, is a Certified Procurement Professional (CPP) by the national Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC)  and is a certified  Verification Counselor by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Marnie’s Tip for Success: Stay organized! Government contracting has an extremely high administrative burden. It is important to track all of your registrations, certifications, online profiles, opportunities, awards… the list goes on. Companies that don’t stay organized can present themselves as less sophisticated to chaotic. I have seen clients miss out on awards due to expired registration. Keep a list! Keep it current! 

Get Latest News & Updates

News and announcements will be delivered straight to your inbox

Region 6 is hosted by the Thurston County Economic Development Council and serves Pierce County.


The Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) is a private non-profit organization.  As the lead economic development organization in Thurston County our mission is to create a vital and sustainable economy throughout the county and region that supports the livelihood and values of our residents. We do this by:

·        Connecting local businesses with experts and resources that help them remain competitive

·        Creating and delivering strategic messages that attract new investment to our community

·        Working with our community partners to enhance our collective prosperity and encourage our economic future 

·        Participating regionally to ensure that Thurston County plays an appropriate role on the regional economic stage.

Pierce County services are primarily provided virtually. 

This location is funded, in part, through a partnership with Pierce County through the Navigator Program

General Contact: pierce@washingtonapex.org

Clallam and Jefferson counties

Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce

Tri City Regional Chamber of Commerce

Region 8 is hosted by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and serves Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Grant, Klickitat, Walla Walla, and Yakima counties.

About the Tri-City Regional Chamber

The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce is the leading business advocate for nearly 1,000 private, public, and non-profit member firms in the Tri-Cities region. The fifth largest chamber in Washington, the Tri-City Regional Chamber advocates for a strong business community and supports the interests of its members. The Regional Chamber is a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion for a strong community.


7130 W Grandridge Blvd, Suite C
Kennewick, WA. 99336

Email: tricity@washingtonapex.org


Region 7 is hosted by Greater Spokane Inc and serves Spokane, Adams, Asotin, Douglas, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Stevens and Whitman counties.


Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) is the Spokane region’s business development organization, focused on leading transformative business and community initiatives to build a robust regional economy. Founded in 1881 as the Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce, GSI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a vibrant Spokane region by advocating for the region, driving strategic economic growth, and championing a talented workforce. Learn more at GreaterSpokane.org


801 West Riverside Avenue, Suite 100
Spokane, WA 99201

Contact: spokane@washingtonapex.org

Green River College

Region 5 is hosted by the Green River College serves King County.


The mission of Green River College is to ensure student success through comprehensive programs and support services responsive to our diverse communities.


1221 D St NE
Suite 210 C
Auburn, WA 98002

Email: king@washingtonapex.org

Economic Alliance Snohomish County

Region 4 is hosted by the Economic Alliance Snohomish County and serves Snohomish, Skagit, Island, San Juan and Whatcom counties.


The Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC) is a nonprofit serving as a combined economic development organization and a countywide chamber of commerce. We bring together private-public partners to create a unified voice for Snohomish County.


808 134th St. SW, Suite 101
Everett, WA 98204

Email: snohomish@washingtonapex.org

Columbia River Economic Development Council

Region 3 is supported by the Columbia River Economic Development Council and serves the counties of Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania. 

Columbia River Economic Development Council 


805 Broadway St, Suite 412
Vancouver WA 98660

Email: swwa@washingtonapex.org

Thurston County Economic Development Council

Region 2 is hosted by the Thurston County Economic Development Council and serves Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Wahkiakim, Chelan and Kittatas counties.

This center is also the main center for Washington APEX Accelerator Statewide


The Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) is a private non-profit organization.  As the lead economic development organization in Thurston County our mission is to create a vital and sustainable economy throughout the county and region that supports the livelihood and values of our residents. We do this by:

  • Connecting local businesses with experts and resources that help them remain competitive
  • Creating and delivering strategic messages that attract new investment to our community
  • Working with our community partners to enhance our collective prosperity and encourage our economic future
  • Participating regionally to ensure that Thurston County plays an appropriate role on the regional economic stage.

4220 6th Ave
Lacey, WA 98503

General Contact: thurston@washingtonapex.org

Kitsap Economic Development Alliance

Region 1 is hosted by the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance and serves the counties of Kitsap and North Mason.  


The Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) is a 30+ year old public/private nonprofit 501 (c) (6) corporation founded in June 1983. Our goal is to attract and retain jobs and investments in this community that generate wealth, enhance the qualify of life and embrace future generations.

2021 NW Myhre Rd, Suite 100
Silverdale WA 98383

Email:  kitsap@washingtonapex.org