The annual Small Business Construction Expo will make its first appearance in Oakland on March 22. Held at the Oakland Marriott, the event celebrates small businesses with a full day of educational panels with industry experts, up to 50 exhibitors, content and strategizing opportunities, a keynote address, breakfast and lunch, and plenty of opportunities to network with fellow industry professionals.  

The expo will begin with a morning welcome keynote addressed delivered by Nataline Lomedico, CEO and president of Los Angeles-based Giroux Glass, Inc. Giroux Glass is a women-led glass, glazing and architectural metals contracting company, best-known for its installation of the SkyWalk over the Grand Canyon. Lomedico has worked in the construction industry for over 28 years.

“Attending this conference is an important and meaningful way to bring small and large construction companies together,” says Lomedico. “Sharing best practices, learning from each other, and face-to-face contact is key. By forming relationships at events like this we are able to stay in contact and help each other navigate through the challenges of construction.”

The first panel session of the day will be “Landing Government Contracts: How to Get a Foot in the Door at Local, State and Federal Agencies.” This will be moderated by Abbigail Brown, owner and president of Oakland, Calif-based CPM Logistics. The session will feature representatives from the City of San Francisco, Department of General Services, Port of Oakland, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Caltrans, and more, all sharing their insights on how to work with government entities.

Brown, whose company is a small, woman-owned business that focuses on providing support to small contractors in the transportation industry, says she is attending the event to help promote small business utilization and best practices for engaging them on public works projects. “We work closely with small contractors daily which will assist with true dialogue between the host agencies and small businesses wanting to work on their projects. 

“This expo is important because it connects small businesses with contractual opportunities on construction projects.  It also helps to break down barriers to entry for them on these projects,” says Brown. She says the “Landing Government Contracts: How to Get a Foot in the Door at Local, State and Federal Agencies” session is important because attending agencies will be providing relevant industry knowledge on how to do businesses with their organizations.

“They plan on discussing fatal flaws that they see time and time again with small contractors contributing to those barriers keeping them from successfully winning projects,” says Brown. “Each agency on the panel has made themselves available to have open and frank dialogue with attendees interested in learning more about working with them.”

In the afternoon, a second panel session entitled “Small Business Toolbox: Tips and Resources to Help Grow Your Business,” will be moderated by Angel Cardoz, director of the San Francisco Small Business Development Center. This panel will feature professionals from small business resource centers, engineering, law and other entities to share their knowledge.

A few of the 50 or so confirmed exhibitors at the expo will include Clark Construction, Kiewit, Skanska, PlanGrid, Turner, Granite, Cuperinto Electric, Dragados, Ferrovial Agroman US Corp, a host of local and state agencies, and more.

The event is hosted by AGC of California, BART, Caltrans, City and County of San Francisco, CPM Logistics, the Department of General Services, and the Port of Oakland. For more information or to register for the Small Business Construction Expo, go to:, or call AGC of California at (916) 371-2422.