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OBEC attends ODOT’s annual “Meet the Primes” event

ODOT’s “Meet the Primes” speed networking event was half as long as past years, but more than twice as intense. Nearly 100 attendees filled the Ashland Conference Room at ODOT’s procurement office in Salem.

ODOT’s DBE/Small Business Programs Manager, Codi Trudell, kicked off the event with brief comments to underscore the importance of why everyone was there. With the 10-year, $5.3 billion “Keep Oregon Moving” transportation package approved and under way, ODOT is looking to outsource roughly 70% of the work.

That’s a lot of work. In essence, ODOT is calling for ‘all hands on deck’ when it comes to delivering transportation projects for Oregon’s communities. Representatives from 33 subconsulting firms were on hand to answer that call.

COBID-certified firms are a key part of capacity available to meet that demands of Keep Oregon Moving, and networking with prime consultants is often the best way for these smaller businesses to get under contract.

Moving table to table for quick 5-minute sessions, the design professionals and small business owners made rapid-fire introductions and pitches to 16 different prime consultants.

The prime consultants in turn had to do their best to stand out as good teaming partners. Nick Tahran and Josh Grenzsund represented OBEC and relayed the benefits of teaming with OBEC.

“Loyalty is probably the most valuable thing we offer as a prime consultant,” said Tahran. “As a prime consultant, OBEC believes in long-term relationships, and we make a deliberate effort to help our subconsulting partners build their businesses.”

In addition to the quick networking done at the event, OBEC makes it easy for subconsulting partners to get introduced to the firm at any time. Firms are invited to complete a teaming form at

All teaming partners who provide their information to OBEC are entered into an internal database that allows project managers across our six offices to quickly assemble project teams. COBID-certified firms with a history of similar project work with the same or similar clients are generally given top priority for teaming.