New Northwest Florida Conference Focuses on Contracts & Grants

Upcoming summits and the Northwest Florida military report
Northwest Florida Economic Summit

The inaugural Northwest Florida Economic Summit is primed to provide insights on business development, funding, contracts and more on Oct. 17–18, 2022, at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center.

The summit, organized by defense and security facilitator and business leader, William Loiry, presents the opportunity for businesses, government, military and academic leaders from throughout the region and beyond to converge with the goal of learning about and improving economic endeavors within one of the fastest-growing regions in the country.

Attendees of the conference will glean the latest information on topics such as economic development funding and programs; infrastructure funding and priorities; technology initiatives; energy resiliency; military and commercial construction; military base contracting opportunities; public/private financing sources; military-community partnerships; and details on the $1.2 trillion Federal Infrastructure Bill and the $715 billion Federal Transportation Bill.

These topics will be discussed through roundtables, general sessions and the summit’s signature matchmaking sessions.

Matchmaking sessions allow business attendees one-on-one discussions with officials at local, state and federal agencies that possess the monies for grants and contracts. Matchmaking sessions also provide connections between prime contractors and subcontractors. Additional connections can be made at the VIP Networking Reception.

“This summit is different because it’s not focused on 30,000 feet ideas, and it’s not structured like a TED Talk,” Loiry said. “Instead, we are highly focused on how small, mid-sized and even large businesses can connect and gain economic grants and contracts in order to expand.”

Northwest Florida Economic Summit
OCt. 17–18, 2022, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center

For more information on the 2022 Northwest Florida Economic Summit, visit

10th Annual National Defense Conference & Expo in South Walton

National Defense Conference Expo

Celebrating its 10th year, the 2023 Air Force Contracting Summit will be held at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa on Feb. 7–8, 2023. This summit invites Pentagon officials, Air Force Commands, base officials, contracting officers, contracting experts and business leaders from throughout the nation to learn about innovative defense solutions while forging valuable industry connections.

The summit will feature general sessions, contracting presentations from military officials and contractors, panel discussions, exhibit networking and matchmaking sessions.

Topics specific to the Air Force that will be discussed are the 2023 budget; Air Force contracting priorities; Air Force “Base of the Future” and energy resilience opportunities; Air Force cyber protection; and U.S. Space Force developments.

Pertaining to contracts, attendees can delve into sessions focused on subcontracting opportunities, public and private financing, multi-year contract vehicles for prime contractors and small-business tracks and resources.

2023 Air Force Contracting Summit
Feb. 7–8, 2023, Destin-Miramar Beach

For more information on the 2023 Air Force Contracting Summit, visit

Northwest Florida Military Report
By William Loiry

Congressman Neal dunn and William Loiry

Congressman Neal Dunn (FL-2) with Summit Chairman William Loiry at the 2022 Air Force Contracting Summit. More than 100,000 government, military and business leaders have attended Loiry’s conferences on defense, homeland and global security, disaster reconstruction and economic development. For more information, visit

Florida’s Great Northwest

Jennifer Conoley, President & CEO of Florida’s Great Northwest, represented Northwest Florida at the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire, UK, July 18–22, 2022. The airshow is a major global platform for the aerospace and defense industries.

New Eglin AFB Commander

Brig. Gen. Jeff Geraghty became the new Commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base on June 30, 2022. A senior Air Force pilot, Geraghty’s 24 years of military service includes piloting an F-15 during Operations Northern Watch, Enduring and Iraqi Freedom; serving as both an F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon test pilot; and flight commander within the 40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin AFB.

“This is a dream job,” Geraghty said. “It’s a great honor to return to Eglin Air Force Base, 15 years after our first assignment here. I look forward to serving you in the various missions you perform. I will look to empower and learn from you, as well as work and thrive with you.”

Coast Guard Selects Austal

On June 30, 2022, the U.S. Coast Guard awarded a $208.26 million contract to Austal USA of Mobile, Alabama, to take over its Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program, with the potential to build as many as 11 ships for up to $3.33 billion. “The Austal USA team is excited to support the U.S. Coast Guard using our new steel panel line to manufacture and deliver ships highly capable of performing their critical homeland security and defense missions,” Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said in a statement.

Eastern Shipbuilding of Panama City, Florida, had expected to receive the contract.

“The Offshore Patrol Cutter is absolutely vital to Coast Guard mission excellence as we recapitalize our legacy medium-endurance cutters, some of which are more than 50 years old,” said Adm. Linda Fagan, Commandant of the Coast Guard.

NSWC PCD Hosts PCB Chamber

On June 29, 2022, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division hosted the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce for a tour and command overview. The center stated, “Strengthening relationships with our regional partners is important to building a better Bay County and fostering collaboration between industry, academia and our command.”

Interested in attending the 2023 Air Force Contracting Summit? Visit

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