In order to address issues facing the Charleston, South Carolina military industrial complex, the Charleston Defense Contractors Association, or CDCA, was formed and incorporated as a South Carolina Corporation on 4 December 2002. CDCA’s beginning was based on a grassroots formation called the “Technology Leadership Forum”, an offshoot committee of the Lowcountry Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications Electronic Associations (AFCEA) that first met on 6 September 2001. The Technology Leadership Forum consisted of 40 business and government officials who were interested in raising local awareness of the industry cluster and also in establishing the defense contracting companies as a viable entity within the Charleston business community. On November 7, 2002, CDCA held its first General Meeting and an interim Board of Directors and Officers were elected. On December 4, 2002, CDCA received a Certificate of Incorporation as a Nonprofit Corporation in the State of South Carolina. CDCA received its 501(C)(6), business league organization, tax exempt status on 11 April 2003.



Click on each director's picture to email them directly. 


Political Relations
Steve Amell

CO-CHAIR: Kris Busch
CO-CHAIR: Red Hoover
CO-CHAIR: Becky Roberts


The Political Relations Committee will perform as an advocacy group for the defense industry in the Charleston metro area and other surrounding regions. It develops connections to local interest groups and individuals including local, state, and federally elected officials, chamber of commerce, technical development groups, professional military organizations and committees, as well as defense agency leadership. It takes action to provide information, solicit desired outcomes, and to promote issues in the best interest of the local defense community. It actively works in the best interest of SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic and the Charleston Joint Base on Military Value, Transformation and in support of the Joint Warfighter. It researches and coordinates efforts to initiate special legislation that will help the various commands of the Charleston region to perform expanded or new missions. It also reports all of its activities and funding actions to its members in the Board’s Annual Report along with any results or outcomes of said actions.


Public Relations
Heather Walker

CO-CHAIR: Robin Burke
CO-CHAIR: Brain Lindgren
CO-CHAIR: April Nadeau

The Public Relations Committee will present the mission, vision and values of the Association to the public. It will provide all official media contacts, speaking engagements, press releases, public affairs issues and other related contacts with the media on behalf of, or in representation of, the Association. It will develop all forward facing materials for the Association. The Vice President will hold the office of Public Relations Committee Chair.


Small Business (SBIOI)
April Nadeau

CO-CHAIR: Jimi Elderman

The Small Business Committee will foster increasing potential business base of small businesses for prime and subcontracting opportunities. The committee will develop a synergetic network of professional competent small businesses that have proven infrastructure, processes, program management and technical skills to successfully integrate their products and services as potential SB primes or subcontractors for peacetime and mission critical operations in support of the warfighter.


Katie Arrington

CO-CHAIR: Andrea Julius
CO-CHAIR: Jim Harmon


The Summit Committee will plan, organize and execute all facets of the annual C5ISR Summit. It will host the annual Summit in support of the goals of the Association, primary customers, and the vision for the greater Charleston region.


Robin Burke

CO-CHAIR: Andrea Julius

The Membership Committee will maintain the dues and membership structure. It also provides guidance to the Board with strategies to improve the membership of the Association. The committee will be responsible for reviewing eligibility criteria for membership and for making recommendations with regard to changes to membership categories and dues. The committee recommends to the Board strategies for growing membership and retaining current members.


Heather Walker

The Contracts Industry Council (CIC) Committee will function as an advocate for the Association’s membership at the periodic CIC meetings. The committee will collect input from the Association’s membership for incorporation onto the monthly agenda and will disseminate information of meeting results to the association’s membership by posting approved CIC meeting minutes to CDCA website.


The Education Committee will enhance the technical capabilities of the Association in support of local DoD organizations. It is responsible for generating student interest, funding various educational initiatives and creating outreach to regional academia. The committee will promote and administer the Association’s Summer Internship Program and also maintain awareness and complement/support other educational initiatives that are being undertaken by other organizations. The committee will be responsible for the execution of educational initiatives on behalf of the Association.

Education & Summer Internship Program
Dena Elrod

CO-CHAIR: Robin Burke
CO-CHAIR: Kris Busch



Events and Luncheons
Becky Roberts





The Events Committee will sponsor and encourage community events, projects, activities, services, programs, and public improvements which are of mutual interest and benefit to the Association, the defense industry, and the war-fighter. It will seek ways to host events and activities which promote/complement Association’s objectives and promote the local defense industry.


Heather Walker

CO-CHAIR: Robin Burke
CO-CHAIR: Brain Lindgren
CO-CHAIR: April Nadeau



The Philanthropy Committee will provide opportunities for philanthropic activities and services to the community by reviewing current and future charitable organizations that the Association can support with donations aimed at helping the community and the war-fighter. It will continually provide philanthropic support to charitable organizations that benefit the community, our region and our war-fighters.


David Hamburger

CO-CHAIR: Becky Roberts


The Technology Committee will support the strategic initiatives of the Association through effective and seamless integration of information technology into all appropriate functions of the Association. It will respond to the strategic technology needs of the Board, its committees, and our membership.


Ways, Means and Rules
Brian Lindgren

CO-CHAIR: Charlie Templeton

The Ways, Means, and Rules Committee will enhance operational effectiveness and maintain order within the Association. It is commissioned to ensure that all By-Laws and traditions of the Association are respected and maintained. The committee will also to make certain that parliamentary procedures are followed. The committee will examine and maintain all policies, processes, guides, rules, and regulations – whether documented or undocumented. It will oversee all matters relating to the process of raising revenue for the Association. The Secretary will hold the office of Ways, Means, and Rules Committee Chair.


for All other information, send inquiries to: info@charlestondca.org

Or write us at: 

PO Box 61089
Charleston, SC 29419



To increase the degree of integration and quality of the business partnership between SPAWARSYSCEN Atlantic and industry. 

The Contracts Industry Council will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas to enhance processes, increase efficiency, and improve acquisition productivity in support of the SPAWARSYSCEN Atlantic mission and the warfighter. The Council will focus on issues in the acquisition process that impact the Government or a high percentage of industry partners. The CIC will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas to enhance processes to do things smarter, better, and more efficiently and to help the SPAWAR/Industry team co-evolve our technologies to maintain our competitive advantage.

Initiatives to be pursued by the CIC include but are not limited to the following:

  • Integration of CMMI into contract vehicles.
  • Standardization of Interfaces and Business Processes.
  • RFPs/Proposal formats, progress reports, EVM, CPARS, QASPs, etc.
  • Improving implementation of performance-based and Multiple Award contracting.
  • Updating of standard labor categories.
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Government Membership: The members of the SSC-LANT Contract Strategy Council, including the Deputy for Small Business, will comprise the Government membership of the CIC.
Government Members: The members of the SSC-LANT Contract Strategy Council, including the Deputy for Small Business, will comprise the Government membership of the CIC.


A total of six (6) Industry members will comprise the industry membership of the CIC. These industry members will be nominated by the respective Presidents of the Low Country Chapter of AFCEA (3 members) and the Charleston Defense Contractors Association (CDCA) (3 members). Within each organization, members will be nominated to represent small, mid-sized and large business. Nominees will be approved and appointed by the Chairman of the CIC and will serve a three (3) year term.


  • SMALL | A company with less than the size standard for NAICS 541330, the most frequently applied code for contracts from SPAWAR. The Military and Aerospace Equipment and Military Weapons exemption applies.
  • MEDIUM | A company who is larger than the standard for small, but not on the top 20 federal contractor list as discussed below.
  • LARGE | A company who is in the top 20 of the most recent Top 100 Federal Contractor list, as published in Washington Technology.



Industry nominees’ companies must have a Prime Contract with SSC-LANT. In addition, nominees must be a full time employee of the company and be recognized by their Industry partners as having extensive experience and familiarity with the SSC-LANT business model.


Beginning June 2011, Industry members will rotate as shown in the table below. Establishing the terms and rotation plan will allow these benefits:

  • Rotation dates align with AFCEA and CDCA elections of Board Members. Thus new Industry candidates can be nominated to the CIC Chair by the new board.
  • Allows AFCEA/CDCA Boards time to plan and nominate candidate replacements.
  • Provides Industry companies the view of CIC member openings and opportunities to apply.
  • Phases change of business size representation.
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CIC Turnover Dates
Date Sponsor Size Representative
June 2019 CDCA Mid Derrick Nixon
January 2017 AFCEA Mid Manny Lovgren
June 2020 CDCA Large Heather Walker
January 2018 AFCEA Small Jennifer Osment
June 2018 CDCA Small Gary Jaffe
January 2019 AFCEA Large Amy Bare


The Charleston Defense Contractor’s Association (CDCA) supports the defense community in the Charleston area. Membership in the CDCA enables each Defense contractor in the area to support the Defense community. CDCA advocates Defense issues with the community and represents its members with SPAWAR and other Government agencies in the area.

CDCA also provides input on issues and initiatives to the broader community in such areas as education, small business mentoring, and Congressional liaison. The CDCA is a trusted associate of the Charleston Metro Area Chamber of Commerce. CDCA fills an important need to speak with one, trusted voice for the Defense-related C5ISR segment of the regional business community. CDCA can only be an effective organization if it has the funds necessary to operate. We achieve our operating capital each year through annually-renewed memberships. CDCA is a means for members of the defense business community in Charleston and the surrounding area to show their support and be provided a greater voice in the issues and initiatives that are important for their continuing success.


  • Membership is prorated and ends on the calendar year.
  • Voting eligibility is based on yearly membership fees paid, where each Company membership is eligible for one voting ballot during elections.
  • Only companies with memberships at the Corporate or Platinum levels are eligible to serve on the Board of Directors.
  • Small Business membership must be either 1) Listed at Small Business under NAICS code 541330 exception 1 in SAM or 2) Verify that the 3 yr average revenue is under $14.5 million

The CDCA accepts PayPal, checks, and cash. Checks can be mailed to: 

Charleston Defense Contractors Association P.O. Box 61089 North Charleston, SC 29419 

Email membership@charlestondca.org for any questions. 





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