About Us

The Cross Timbers APEX Accelerator helps companies find contracts for work with local, state and federal governments.



Hours of counseling accomplished, 2021



Value of the 1,400 awarded contracts, 2021


New Clients

Number of new clients welcomed, 2021

Our mission is to increase the number of contracts awarded to companies in our county service area, resulting in increased revenue and jobs in those areas. Based at the University of Texas at Arlington, we provide one-on-one counseling, events, and up-to-date research in everything that has to do with selling to government agencies.

Cross Timbers APEX Accelerator is expected to seek out and assist Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB),Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), Historically Underutilized Business Zone Small Business Concerns (HUBZone), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MIs).

Similar to our Small Business Development Center (SBDC) partners, Cross Timbers maintains detailed counseling records on all client activities. Cross Timbers also functions within the terms and conditions of its contract with the Department of Defense and that of the University of Texas at Arlington.

Cross Timbers APEX Accelerator operates under the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems.


Cross Timbers serves as a North Texas APEX Accelerator. This APEX Accelerator is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense. The purpose of the APEX Accelerator program is to help the Department of Defense satisfy its needs for goods and services by increasing competition in the private sector.

The cooperative agreement with DOD is matched with funds from the University of Texas at Arlington and Third Party Contributors.

The content of any written materials, or verbal communications of the APEX Accelerator, does not necessarily reflect the official view of, or imply endorsement by, DOD or DLA, UTA, or Third Party Contributors.

Meet Our Staff

Lori Manning


Lori Manning

Email: lori.manning@uta.edu

Phone #: 817-272-6000

Office: 7300 Jack Newell Blvd. S. Fort Worth, TX 76118 #116

Specialist SBIR/STTR: Lori has an extensive background in Education, as a certified 4-8 Texas teacher, principal, superintendent and university coach. Utilizing her background in education, entrepreneurial skills, business knowledge and love for assisting others; Lori transitioned into training businesses through government contracting. Lori comes to Cross Timbers from her position as State Director for the Idaho APEX Accelerator. Under her direction the program made many positive strides over the past five years. Client contract awards increased from 116M to 467M. The Idaho team recruited innovators to achieve the highest number of SBIR/STTR grants in state history, with 14 awarded in 2022 alone. Lori emphasizes that growth and success are made possible by building strong internal working relationships and outside partnerships.

Phonthip Garringer

Business Counselor

Phonthip Garringer

Market Analysis Procurement Counseling: Phonthip Garringer is a Business Counselor at Cross Timbers APEX Accelerator. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a Minor in Finance. Prior to CTAA, she worked in management, financial, and hospitality industries for over 10 years.

Mindi Ramirez

Administrative Assistant

Mindi Rameriz

Budget Management Travel Arrangements: Mindi Ramirez is an administrative assistant for Cross Timbers Procurement Technical Assistance Center (CTPC). Prior to CTPC, she worked in administration for Birdville ISD for four years. She has an administrative background in various fields for over ten years.

Shelia Birdow

Business Development Coordinator

Shelia Birdow

Outreach Events DoD Information Security Requirements : Shelia Birdow earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Merchandising from Texas Christian University and certifications in Project Management, ITIL and Lean Six Sigma. She brings with her more than 15 years of experience in Information Technology network and desktop support. As a former business owner she also brings her experience and skills in business management and client relations.

James Rollins

Business Counselor

James Rollins

Procurement Counseling and Bid Matching: James R. (Jim Bob) Rollins grew up in Longview, Texas. Entered the U.S. Army in 1972 and retired in 1997 after serving as an Armor Officer and Civil Affairs Officer in the U.S, Europe, Southwest Asia, and Australia. Upon retiring from the military, he moved to Lufkin, Texas, where his wife was raised and began a career with the Procurement Technical Assistance Program. He has worked as a Part-Time Procurement Counselor, Senior Procurement Counselor, and Director at the Angelina College Procurement Assistance Center. Then began working as a Procurement Counselor for the University of Texas at Arlington Cross Timbers Procurement Technical Assistance Center. James attended Australian Joint Service Staff College, Angelina College, and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Vineetha Uddaraju

Research Assistant


Market Analysis : Vineetha Uddaraju is a Graduate Research Assistant at Cross Timbers APEX Accelerator. She is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Business Analytics at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has three years of work experience in Supply Chain, Logistics and Airline Management.

Third Party Contributors

The Third Party Contributors for this contract year include Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., L3Harris Technologies and Southwest Airlines.

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