UACES Facebook Arkansas APEX Accelerator Success Story: Ricky and Kathy Knight
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Arkansas APEX Accelerator Success Story: Ricky and Kathy Knight

by Kimberly Randle and Kim Magee - August 17, 2023

Ice cream, camping, and government contracting. Wait, WHAT?Ricky and Kathy Knight at work

People always say that if you work at what you love, then it is not work at all. But government contracting, really? Just ask Ricky and Kathy Knight. They have enjoyed camping every summer for 10 years at Greers Ferry Lake, meeting new friends and immersing themselves in the Natural State's beauty and temperate climate. In 2021, one of their camping couple friends employed as park attendants with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) suggested that the Knights might consider getting involved, as well. They explained that as retirees, they would serve as ambassadors of our charming state by welcoming and helping visitors have fun and make memories, all the while continuing to enjoy the place they would be camping anyway and generating income simultaneously. Talk about a Win-Win!

Ricky got busy and established his sole proprietorship business entity, and working with the Arkansas APEX Accelerator team, got registered in the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM), which is required to seek and compete for federal government solicitations. In 2022, he was awarded a two-year contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and had a great summer working in this capacity. Each year, however, federal contractors must renew their SAM registrations. Ricky had changed his cell phone number, so he found himself unable to access or renew his registration. Stymied by the process and in dire jeopardy of losing his government contract, Ricky again reached out to the Arkansas APEX Accelerator and worked with Procurement Counselor Kimberly Randle. Since Ricky’s initial registration the prior year, the System for Award Management had undergone a substantial overhaul. By working together with the Knights, in person and remotely, Kimberly was able to ensure that Ricky could again access his registration, renew his registration and report to work on time for another summer season at the lake! Earlier this summer, Kimberly visited Ricky and Kathy at the Greers Ferry Damsite Day Use Park, where young and not-so-young alike flock to jump off the cliffs adjacent to the Damsite Campground. She can attest to the warm welcome and helpful tips the Knights extend to the park’s visitors. After all, the Knights know from their own first-hand experience, and the beneficiaries are the park’s guests who can focus on enjoying their families, friends, captivating sunset views, and lots of summer fun.

Like the Knights, perhaps you have government contracting in your future! If so and you want to learn more about the free services offered by Arkansas APEX Accelerator, please get in touch with us at