Expert Advice

Meet Our New Procurement Specialist: Paul Tavernia

Join us in welcoming our newest Procurement Specialist to the Norcal APEX Accelerator team!

My name is Paul Tavernia and I am the newest member of the Norcal APEX Accelerator staff, having joined the team in mid-March.  In this article you’ll learn more about my background and experience to gain a better understanding of how my experience can help you succeed in the public sector contracting arena.

I grew up in Northern Nevada and graduated from the University of Nevada in the mid 70s with a degree in civil engineering.  My first jobs were as a construction engineer with a large multinational engineering and construction company.  In fact, my first job out of school was in Saudi Arabia working on a large natural gas collection and refining plant in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.  I chose civil engineering as my field of study because the curriculum provided a  variety of disciplines and I thought it would provide a well-rounded education that could be applicable outside of the engineering/construction industry. This instinct was quickly proven true. After a few years in construction management, I was able to take advantage of an opportunity with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) that resulted in a 16+ year career with assignments in sales, marketing, and engineering software support.

After my time at IBM, I remained in the IT industry for some years until the dot com implosion forced me to rethink my career strategy.  Thus, after owning a small business for a year and then working in financial services with a Small Business Administration (SBA) approved secondary lender, I began my federal career at the SBA in 2005 in the Sacramento loan processing center. It was there that I gained an appreciation & understanding for the challenges faced by small businesses, not only with access to capital, but also within their markets and the effects resulting from economic downturns.

Then, in 2008 I became the lead Business Opportunity Specialist in the SBA Sacramento District office, leading a team of specialists focused on assisting small businesses with federal contracting.  The great thing about working in the district office was the opportunity to work closely with the SBA-funded resource partners such as the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and the Veterans Outreach Business Center (VBOC) as well as other collaborative resources such as the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (now APEX Accelerators).

Upon retiring from the SBA at the end of 2021, I decided I wanted to stay involved with helping small businesses. Utilizing my years of experience, I started working part-time at the Norcal VBOC and have now joined the Norcal APEX Accelerator team.  So, if you are interested in finding out more about public sector contracting (city, state, federal), including getting registered and certified, or if you are already doing public sector contracting and want assistance with expanding your markets or submitting a bid, I encourage you to sign up as a client with the Norcal APEX Accelerator. Procurement can be a daunting process. But that is why I am here alongside our team of Procurement Specialists at Norcal APEX Accelerator.

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If you are looking for help with government contracting or want no-cost help to find contracting opportunities, please contact your Norcal APEX Accelerator counselor for assistance or apply for services today!

If you have more questions, please contact us at or 707.267.7561

Authored by: Paul Tavernia, Norcal APEX Accelerator Procurement Specialist