Tonya Buckner joined forces with her husband Michael Buckner in 2007 to create Global Communications Management & Security, Inc. Global Communications was a general services IT firm combining Tonya’s experience as a subject matter expert on information technology and supply chain management and Michael’s experience as a federal contractor with the U.S. Department of Defense. Together, Tonya and Michael have supported the Department of Defense’s Defense Information Systems Agency by providing engineering, integration and sustainment solutions to protect its critical military infrastructure, platforms and data.
In 2015, the two found that their sales were stagnating and decided that they needed to take immediate action. They rebranded as Buckner Management & Technology, Inc. and redefined their services to include cyber defense, health IT and supply chain risk management. These new offerings better aligned with Tonya’s and Michael’s backgrounds and helped distinguish them from their competitors.
BucknerMT has formed partnerships with numerous companies, and has leveraged its socioeconomic certifications including as a Veterans Affairs-verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB); a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council-certified Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB); and a Maryland Department of Transportation Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).
Their rebranding and redefinition helped Tonya and Michael secure additional contracts and expand to a variety of government agencies. In 2018, Tonya spoke at the Goldman Sachs Summit in Washington, D.C., as a subject matter expert in cybersecurity, and the Baltimore Times profiled her as a woman in technology for Women’s History Month. Tonya also guest blogs regularly for William Jaffe on the TAPE Federal Small Biz Savvyblog.
Tonya worked with SCORE mentor Fred Elam, who helped her and Michael with their rebranding efforts. Elam guided them in creating a roadmap for growth, navigating the maze of government contracts, and building a robust network of resources. He also helped them with proposal writing, which resulted in the company submitting quality proposals and winning more contracts.
“Fred did not treat us like we were just another number,” says Buckner. “He took a vested interest in the success of our firm. We trusted the direction he provided because after retiring from the military, he was a successful business owner and used his practical business experience as a guide.”