UACES Facebook Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Government Contracts
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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Government Contracts

by Kimberly Randle - October 30, 2023

Marine veteran, Arkansas native, and U.S. Naval Academy graduate Matt Cooper served just shy of 25 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including three tours of duty supportingVet photo Operation Iraqi Freedom. Matt was the commanding officer of the 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and, in 2004, was honored as the Marine Corps University Instructor of the Year. He faced life-changing challenges and offered leadership to others through various roles and responsibilities entrusted to him over this time, but little did he realize that his military service would serve as the foundation for a successful endeavor in government contracting.

Matt founded Wonder State Solutions, based in Springdale, Arkansas, in 2020, which provides high-quality medical and hospital equipment and other solutions to government entities. Having performed on numerous contracts, Wonder State was recently awarded a contract to provide Great Dane Trailers for the Department of Veteran Affairs. Matt attributes his desire to form his own company to missing the camaraderie and sense of fulfillment he derived from working with and on behalf of veterans. Wonder State Solutions' stated goals are to support and service the needs of our veterans and other U.S. Government requirements; to make a positive impact locally, statewide, and across the country; and to provide world-class service to the company’s customers. 

Matt began working with Arkansas APEX Accelerator (then Arkansas APEX Accelerator) in 2021 when counselor Max Franks assisted him with establishing a strong government contracting foundation, including certification as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and gaining access to government contracting platforms such as the Defense Logistic Agency’s Internet Bid Board (DIBBS), the System for Award Management (SAM), and providing other guidance regarding his foray into the government marketplace. More recently, Kimberly Randle, NWA Procurement Counselor, has assisted him with his SAM renewal after the system went through sweeping changes last year, solicitation and post-award inquiries, and navigating the transition of his SDVOSB certification from the Veteran’s Administration to SBA. Matt said that he has relied heavily on APEX services because, as a business owner, he is busy with the day-to-day management and operations of the business and has found APEX expertise invaluable in navigating the ever-changing landscape of government contracting. He offers this advice to those currently engaged in government contracting and prospective entrants into the government marketplace to familiarize themselves with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) as they are the “roadmap” for government contracting. 

If you want to learn more about interpreting the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) or any other aspect of government contracting at the local, state, or federal levels, contact the Arkansas APEX Accelerator at