UACES Facebook PTAC Staff

Arkansas Government Contracting Specialists

University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service PTAC staff have over 50 years of combined experience in government procurement.  Our knowledgeable staff can help you register as a government vendor, read a solicitation, and help you prepare your bid. How do you perform the award or handle contract close-out?  Our counselors have the know-how.  At Arkansas PTAC, we speak Procurement.

Need help registering in SAM (System for Award Management), reading a solicitation, or working on your bid? We offer one-on-one assistance to our clients.

Picture of Melanie Berman

Melanie Berman - Program Director

  • View Bio
    • Over 15 years of experience in the field of community and economic development.
    • 7 years of experience as a Project Manager of federally funded cooperative agreements.
    • Over 3 years of experience as an Awards Officer of federally funded grants and contracts.
    • Member of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.
    • Lifelong public servant, former Peace Corps and AmeriCorps member.
    • Current member of the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission, promoting cultural and economic development opportunities within the state of Arkansas.
    • Masters of Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
    • Bachelors of Art, Mass Communications from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Picture of Max Franks

Max Franks - Procurement Counselor

  • View Bio
    • Over 15 years of Procurement Technical Assistance Center experience
    • Over 15 years of experience working with small businesses (consulting, counseling and certification)
    • Certified VA Verification Counselor
    • Over 26 years experience in private sector management
    • Past Regional Director, Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
    • Member, National Contract Management Association 
    • Associates Degree, Business and Accounting, Crowder College, Neosho, MO.  
    • B.A., Business Administration, Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO.
Picture of Debra Garcia

Debra Garcia- Procurement Counselor

  • View Bio
    • 24 years Grant/Contract Management experience
    • 12 years Community & Economic Development experience
    • Professional Community & Economic Developer (PCED)
    • Member of Arkansas Economic Developers
    • B.S. Business Administration; Double Concentration in Management & Marketing from Lyon College, Batesville, AR.
    • Certified VA Verification Counselor
Picture of Liz Russell

Liz Russell - Procurement Counselor

  • View Bio
    • 8 years economic development and small-business assistance experience
    • 5 years small business lending experience
    • 3 years experience as an adjunct instructor of Management
    • 24 years small-business ownership experience
    • MBA, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
      B.A., English, Rhodes College

Outreach Coordinators

Our Outreach Coordinators speak to:

• Business Owners
• Chambers of Commerce
• Civic Groups
• Community Leaders
• Elected Officials
• Economic Developers
• Anyone who is interested in learning about Arkansas PTAC, the services we provide and the potential benefits PTAC offers to businesses and local economies.