One person, huge impact on small businesses

Published Aug. 16, 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Her office may be small (she’s the only small business specialist) but Leila Hollis packs a big punch when it comes to giving small companies an edge in working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. So much so, her management of a $600 million program earned her a 2017 Women of Color Technology All Star award.

Sponsored by Career Communications Group, Inc., the award recognizes accomplished women of color that have demonstrated excellence in the workplace and in their communities. Hollis, who currently serves as Chief of the Small Business Office for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District was recognized for her numerous accomplishments to the Corps and the community.

As Chief of Small Business, Hollis helps small businesses maximize their opportunities to participate in Savannah District contracts. Her efforts ensure a broad base of capable suppliers to support the Corps’ mission and strengthens the nation’s economic development. This also gives young businesses guidance they need to grow and obtain success.

Since her tenure as chief, Hollis has yielded more than $1 billion in contracts to small businesses and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She has also been instrumental in publicizing the Corps’ Small Business programs at a variety of venues, such as speaking engagements, conferences, and monthly counseling sessions with small and large businesses.

A graduate of Albany State University and Georgia Southern University, Hollis has more than 33 years of federal service, including 23 years with the Corps’ Savannah District. She worked her way up the ranks to ultimately become the first African American female Chief of the Savannah District’s Small Business Office in 2004.

Hollis’ achievements are not limited to the Corps. She also volunteers in the community as a youth advisor, Sunday school teacher, and as a Communication Committee Member for the Southeast Small Business Council.

In recognition of her accomplishments in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math community, Career Communications Group’s Women of Color magazine and Consumers Energy Company will honor Hollis at the Technology Recognition Luncheon during the 22nd Women of Color STEM Conference in Detroit, Michigan, October 6.

Rashida Banks, Public Affairs Specialist

Release no. 17-025