For those who serve in the military, there is no greater honor than to be buried alongside fellow soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery. For Brad Winemiller and Greenleaf Services Inc., there is no greater honor than tending to those sacred grounds.
The journey for this Wilmington, Delaware, company to get to this point has been a long one, with assistance from the Delaware Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) helping achieve the goal. Delaware PTAC is a unit of the Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships at the University of Delaware.
When Joseph Bradley Winemiller started Greenleaf Landscaping in 1992, the business was focused on both residential and commercial accounts. Eventually Brad Winemiller bought his partner out in 2004 and began to consider moving more toward commercial accounts and government contracts. Winemiller’s decision to move into government contracting was deliberate; Winemiller is a service-disabled veteran who served four years in the U.S. Navy. It is his camaraderie with his fellow service members that has created a unique motivation to work on government grounds.
Greenleaf’s relationship with the Delaware Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) began in 2005. Over the next few years, PTAC worked closely with him to help formulate a government marketing strategy. Of these first years in government contracting, Winemiller says that PTAC “helped us a lot early on.” In particular, Winemiller notes that PTAC was pivotal in establishing connections, directing Greenleaf to disabled service seminars, and helping Greenleaf get past the initial red tape of government contracting. The first foray into the world of contracting was not without challenges – Greenleaf was initially unsuccessful in obtaining a contract at Dover Air Force Base in 2006. Fortunately this did not discourage Greenleaf, and PTAC was more than willing to encourage and guide Winemiller’s company through other bids.
Fast forward to today, and Greenleaf’s main focus has been on government contracts since 2008. Greenleaf provides services to a great variety of government grounds such as the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Wilmington, Delaware, Togus National Cemetery in Maine, Beverly National Cemetery in New Jersey, and many others. Greenleaf’s success has allowed Winemiller to hire other veterans, a hiring practice that helps boost the culture of respect differentiating Greenleaf from other businesses.
Perhaps most telling of the success of Greenleaf’s model is a recent contract awarded to in September, which gave Greenleaf the authority to take care of 640 acres at Arlington National Cemetery for a base year with two option years. Although caring for Arlington is a massive undertaking, Greenleaf is more than ready for the job with set schedules for mowing and trimming 70 sections over the week. Most important is the ability of Greenleaf to work quietly and respectfully around the various services on the grounds. Winemiller and many of his employees’ status as veterans has allowed this part of the job to come naturally. Although PTAC’s services initially helped Greenleaf become self-sufficient and educated in working with the government, Greenleaf still keeps regular communication with PTAC and welcomes the advice from the team.
About Greenleaf Services Inc.
Greenleaf Services Inc. is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business in the construction and landscaping industry based in Wilmington, Delaware. Founded in 1992 and owned by Joseph B. Winemiller, Greenleaf operates in a region that stretches as far south as Virginia, as far north as Maine, and as far west as Ohio. Focusing primarily on government contracting, Greenleaf was founded on the principles of “integrity, pride and professionalism.”
Congress created the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) in 1985 to help business seeking to compete successfully in federal, state and local government contracting. Funded through cooperative agreements between the Department of Defense and state and local entities, PTACs provide a range of expert services at little or no charge. Established in 1999, Delaware PTAC is one of 99 programs in the United States, operating in more than 300 locations.
PTAC Director Juanita Beauford recently completed her term as president of the nationwide Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC). Her duties included presiding at meetings, carrying out the policies and programs of APTAC, appointing special committees and serving as chairman of the Board of Directors and presiding officer of the Executive Committee.
The Delaware Small Business Development Center (DSBDC) and PTAC are units of the Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (OEIP) at the University of Delaware. Since its formation in 2008 under the direction of former DuPont Vice President for Research and Development David Weir, OEIP has worked with the state, Delaware Technology Park and numerous researchers and companies in creating a culture where innovation and entrepreneurship can thrive in Delaware.
Article by Abagail Scout