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Arkansas Government Contracting Specialists

University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service PTAC staff have over 50 years of combined experience in government procurement.  Our knowledgeable staff can help you register as a government vendor, read a solicitation, and help you prepare your bid. How do you perform the award or handle contract close-out?  Our counselors have the know-how.  At Arkansas PTAC, we speak Procurement.

Need help registering in SAM (System for Award Management), reading a solicitation, or working on your bid?

We can help! We offer one-on-one assistance to our clients. Contact us today to get started.

Picture of Melanie Berman

Melanie Berman - Program Director
(501) 671-2361 

  • Over 15 years of experience in the field of community and economic development.
  • 7 years of experience as a Project Manager of federally funded cooperative agreements.
  • Over 3 years of experience as an Awards Officer of federally funded grants and contracts.
  • Regional Director for Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
  • Member of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.
  • Lifelong public servant, former Peace Corps and AmeriCorps member.
  • Current member of the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission, promoting cultural and economic development opportunities within the state of Arkansas.
  • Masters of Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
  • Bachelors of Art, Mass Communications from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Picture of Max Franks

Max Franks - Procurement Counselor
(501) 650-6180

  • Over 19 years of Procurement Technical Assistance Center experience
  • Over 19 years of experience working with small businesses (consulting, counseling and certification)
  • Certified VA Verification Counselor
  • Over 26 years experience in private sector management
  • Past Regional Director, Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
  • Past Member, National Contract Management Association 
  • Associates Degree, Business and Accounting, Crowder College, Neosho, MO.  
  • B.A., Business Administration, Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO.
Picture of Debra Garcia

Debra Garcia- Procurement Counselor 
(501) 541-3051

  • 24-years Grant/Contract Management experience
  • 12-years Community & Economic Development experience
  • Professional Community & Economic Developer (PCED)
  • Member of Arkansas Economic Developers
  • B.S. Business Administration; Double Concentration in Management & Marketing, Lyon College, Batesville, AR
  • Certified VA Verification Counselor
Picture of Tim Hicks

Tim Hicks - Procurement Counselor
(501) 671-2227

  • 21-year veteran, United States Air Force (USAF)
  • Certified VA-Verification Assistance Counselor (VAC)
  • Former Arkansas Department of Finance (DFA) Office of State Procurement Specialist
  • Vendor of the Year, Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP)
  • State of Arkansas licensed teacher, with over 12 years in education, presented training on local, state, national and international levels
  • M.S., Operational Management, College of Engineering, University of Arkansas
  • B.S., Criminal Justice Administration from Park University
Picture of Liz Russell

Liz Russell - Procurement Counselor

  • 10 years economic development and small-business assistance experience
  • 5 years small-business lending experience
  • 3 years experience as an adjunct instructor of Management
  • 24 years small-business ownership experience
  • MBA, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • B.A., English, Rhodes College
  • Certified VA Verification Counselor
  • Certified Associate Procurement Professional

Outreach Coordinators

Our Outreach Coordinators speak to:

• Business Owners
• Chambers of Commerce
• Civic Groups
• Community Leaders
• Elected Officials
• Economic Developers
• Anyone who is interested in learning about Arkansas PTAC, the services we provide and the potential benefits PTAC offers to businesses and local economies.