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Angela O’Byrne: Award Winning Architect and President of Internationally-Known Perez APC

 In Blog, Success Profiles

Learn how to win local and international federal contracts with award-winning architect and CEO of Perez APC, Angela O’byrne!


Angela O’Byrne came from Cali, Columbia where she was born and moved to the United States years later. 

She then earned two master’s degrees in architecture from Tulane University and in real estate development from Columbia University, respectively. 

Meanwhile, she became part of the Perez APC, a U.S. based architecture and planning company with international reach. A few years later, she was asked by the owner to take over the company. 

Currently, O’Byrne is a licensed architect in 15 states, a licensed general contractor in two states, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and a LEED Accredited Professional.

She has also successfully led complex design and construction projects around the world, including a $500 Million USAID contract in Afghanistan— the largest infrastructure construction contract awarded to a women-owned business to date by the USAID-Afghanistan Mission.

With all of these, she was named as the 2016 Small Business Person of the Year in New Orleans and the first runner-up for the National Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Keep going around the world and keep doing more and more.”


1. Bid but ask for a debrief. 

O’Byrne doesn’t think that bidding is a bad strategy, in the sense that it’s a way to get your name in front of people. The only thing that you should do is ask for debriefs.

Although you don’t win every bid, you will be able to learn a lot from it through asking what’s wrong with your proposal and it also helps agency decision-makers learn from your company. 

“Like everything, if they don’t know who you are and they’ve never met you, at some point, you do have to look on FedBizOpps and start submitting proposals… You’re not going to win it the first time because they don’t know who you are.”

2. Market to international missions.

It’s not enough to just go after contracts in Washington D.C. because there are far more opportunities in the international market. 

With this, why not market to missions because these basically have their own budgets. 

Apart from that, you can meet people who are doing these jobs for years and learn from them. Although you will be spending money on marketing, the return on investment is far more advantageous.

3. Find the ones who want to help.

Avail all the resources that you can use in building your business and these include organizations and people who want to help you. 

In fact, it was years on being in the 8(a) program when O’Byrne got their first contract and she would have never done that without the help of their Procurement Technical Assistance Center person. 

So, you really have to find the ones who really care and then latch onto those people and they will help you. They really will. 

“You can tell quite quickly who in those agencies and which OSDBUs actually care about the mission and want to help you. And you can tell which ones don’t care. So, don’t waste your time with the ones that don’t care because they will waste a whole lot of time.”


Building a business is really difficult and it is easy to get discouraged, so O’Byrne recommends to do some soul searching and decide whether you’re committed enough to stick it out.

You have to decide, “Are you committed enough to stay the course?” Because if you’re not, don’t do it. 

Don’t put yourself through this because it’s going to be tough. There are going to be a lot of ups and downs. You never arrive, you’re always striving, and it’s always going to be difficult. 

“It’s not for everybody. You know, you really need to be real with yourself and don’t do it, if you don’t really feel like you’re up for it.”


If you want to learn more on how to win local and international federal contracts with Angela O’byrne, then be sure to click the resources below. You can also visit the GovCon Giant website or the new GovCon Edu where you learn everything about government contracting!

005: Angela O’Byrne – Award Winning and Internationally Known Architect


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