Eastport Customs Brokers Win Small Business Award

Cynthia Keppel

Jefferson Lab Chief Operating Officer Mike Dallas presents Eastport Customs Brokers, Inc., with the Jefferson Science Associates Outstanding Small Business Subcontractor award for 2011. Accepting the award is Eastport Customs' co-owner Linda Jennings (from left), associate Patricia L. Smith, and co-owner Margaret Adams.  Jefferson Lab photo

NEWPORT NEWS, VA, June 26, 2012 – Jefferson Science Associates, the management and operations contractor for the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, recently recognized a Newport News based customs brokers business as the JSA Outstanding Small Business Subcontractor for 2011.

Eastport Customs Brokers, Inc., co-owned by Linda Jennings and Margaret Adams, received the competitive award from a field of nearly 60 small businesses that did work for Jefferson Lab during fiscal year 2011. Jefferson Lab's small business advocacy team rated the nominees on product or service quality, delivery performance and customer service.

The purpose of the JSA annual small business award program is to recognize and reward the top performing small firms doing business with Jefferson Lab, according to Danny Lloyd, Small Business Program manager. Any small business, including women owned, veteran owned, service-disabled veteran, HUBZone, or disadvantaged business doing work for Jefferson Lab may be considered for the award.

In presenting the award to Eastport Customs Brokers during a reception, Jefferson Lab's Chief Operating Officer, Mike Dallas, said, "It takes diverse resources and skills to successfully run a national lab. We appreciate what you do for the lab and for the many years you've worked for us; we are glad that you do it."

He continued, "We take seriously our responsibility to promote and use small businesses, and we congratulate you for receiving this award and thank you for your key role in making Jefferson Lab a success."

Adding to the accolades, Lloyd said, "This is a tough competition. Many outstanding small businesses do work for Jefferson Lab. The lab's small business advocacy team initially considered 57 firms, from the hundreds that do business with us, before paring the list to the top four and then selecting Eastport Customs. Ms. Jennings and Ms. Adams' expertise has saved the lab money, ensured that we follow the rules, and helped us meet some very tight deadlines."

In accepting the award, Jennings said, "Twenty-six years ago we started giving your shipping and receiving office advice. You've listened and it has saved you time and money. Sometimes it's a brain squeeze to understand physics terminology working with the lab, but it has always been enjoyable and interesting. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for this recognition. We are humbled and grateful."

The business has provided import and export customs advice and processing for Jefferson Lab since 1986, and has completed more than 540 task orders for the lab since 1994. It has overseen or assisted with the paperwork, customs clearance, and shipping logistics for many highly specialized pieces of equipment bound for use in experiments to be run at Jefferson Lab.

As customs brokers, Jennings and Adams verify the arrival of their clients' freight on the port-of-call's manifest, arrange for ship and terminal clearance, calculate tariffs, and price out and coordinate routing for ground transportation.

The business partners, with their associate Patricia L. Smith, have 106 years of combined import and export customs experience. They stay current on U.S. and international import/export rules, and are licensed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security to assist importers in clearing freight through customs, and by the Federal Maritime Commission as foreign freight forwarders. Prior to starting their business in 1985, Jennings worked as a customs broker for 17 years at a company owned by her family. Adams worked in importing for a Norfolk shipping agent for 25 years.

Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. and Computer Sciences Corporation/Applied Technology Group, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.