Sep 8, 2007
POJOAQUE - Kevin Holsapple, executive director of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation welcomed a couple of dozen business people to a regional breakfast at the Cities of Gold Convention Center Thursday morning.
He said the regional arrangement was one the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce hoped to repeat a couple of times a year to address the question, "How do you plan for the future in the environment that we have?"
The featured speaker was Doris Heim, associate director for business services at Los Alamos National Laboratory, who said she was in charge of the infrastructure, services for the lab's mission, procurement, property, human resources, finances and training.
She gave a quick survey of activities in her area, since June 1, 2006, when Los Alamos National Security (LANS), LLC, assumed the laboratory contract.
She said the changes included new management, new procedures, and new expectations from employees and customers who may have been hoping for a "a white knight."
There were also new issues, like the $176 million increase in costs, including a big jump in gross receipts taxes. Another set of issues, she said was not only how the new partnership had to learn to work together, but also how the parent companies added a new level of oversight to activities.
From that earliest set of challenges, she said, the lab has continued to focus on safety, security, business excellence and making sure goals are met.
There are also new efforts to perfect the laboratory's electronic data management system, improve cycle time for hiring and procurement, and improve process management projects.
Among new building projects, she cited the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement building, acknowledging that the funding was up and done on that. She also highlighted planning for a recently announced "signature" science building, known as MaRIE (for Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes), and work on new $11 million facility for the Los Alamos Site Office to house the staff of the Department of Energy.
After her talk, Heim was asked about the budget situation in Washington and how the lab was dealing with as much as a $350 million reduction.
"We're looking at all the possibilities," she said, including how to create more efficiencies.