In the past year we have advanced our corporate capabilities, served our clients with panache, and opened the door for many new ventures.
As we commemorated the re-founding of our company, we were blessed with not only the opportunity to promote a better government but also to contribute to growth of a small company. During 2010, we pooled our insight into client needs to clearly identify strategic service line offerings that best serve government executives. In doing so, we were able to define and mature five distinct services that have and will continue to help our clients excel. We also expanded our offices at corporate headquarters, enabled an IT infrastructure to support our growing company, strengthened our human resource and recruiting processes to better serve our clients’ workforce needs, enhanced our image with new branding and marketing efforts to ensure consistently professional communication, and developed a greater understanding of the business development process to contribute to increased growth. These internal developments that we have made as a company have certainly not gone unnoticed.
While developing our company is a priority, our ultimate success is measured by the quality of our client delivery and their successes in return. This past summer, our Applied Management Professionals Program proved to be an invaluable service as clients (new and old) requested new service line delivery and even an extended stay. Meanwhile, our Facilitation approach decisively improved lockdowns, requirements gathering, and project planning events throughout the year. Marketing and Strategic Communications has caught attention from executives throughout multiple government agencies, resulting in greater exposure and a larger footprint in the government marketing arena. Our Strategic Executive Services have improved stakeholders’ ability to connect with their organizations’ value while continuing to increase executive confidence in leading their teams to achieve common goals. And, the Organizational Design and Program Management and Governance service lines continue to be sought-after staples for various government clients. Not only have we had the opportunity to serve, but we have become known for having served well.
We all can be proud that our endless support and advocacy of our clients have enabled us to be well positioned for big opportunities in this new year. At the stroke of midnight at the close of 2010, Kendall Lott assumed majority stock ownership of the company, so M Powered Strategies will no longer be a Women-Owned Small Businesses. But, we still find ourselves being recruited by partners to respond to various solicitations as “just” a small business. And so we look to 2011 with a focus on the next contractual adventures and the concomitant increases in skill, value and wages that these opportunities can bring. Our relationships with partners (both new and old) deepen with our maturing delivery and notable value above competing federal contractors. We look to a new year filled with enormous possibilities.
Our Annual All Hands Meeting (AHM) will take place at M Powered Strategies headquarters on President’s Day, February 21. An all-day meeting with a light breakfast and catered lunch served, this year’s AHM will afford us a valuable opportunity to come together as a company to discuss important topics including our corporate maturity, strategic planning and revenue generation. Sarah Nurse and Alessandra Colia, the 2011 AHM coordinators, look forward to celebrating the productive meeting with a company-wide happy hour immediately following the AHM.
December 2-3, Kendall Lott moderated panel sessions on interactive arts and technology for the Arts for Peace program of the World Association of Former United Nations Interns and Fellows (WAFUNIF). The panel sessions included discussions of open-source software and the role of the software in enhancing real-time potentialities in arts, education and healthcare. Sponsored by the United Arab Emirates, the events focused on actual delivery mechanisms for the technology. The event included a music performance and a Masterclass instruction with three instructors and students simultaneously at the UN, New York University, and the New York University Global University in Abu Dhabi. Day two included panels on education and on engineering and bio-mimicry, as well as a presentation and discussion of the UN’s role in global IT implementations. The talks concluded with a live simultaneous performance of new music with artists at UN headquarters, the China Electronic Music Center in Beijing, and Umyon Theater, National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts.
After three years of service as Assistant Vice-President and Vice-President of Communications, Marketing and Public Relations, our own Kendall Lott was elected in November to one of the nine Directors-At-Large seats on the Governance Board of the Project Management Institute Washington DC (PMIWDC) Chapter. Per the charter, Governance Board members “exercise independent accountability and responsibility on matters of governance and oversight in the best interest of the membership.” With this recent election, Lott has reached the pinnacle of his volunteer career at PMI. Kendall is “excited to move into a position where he will be able to tackle specific issues of concern to the Chapter and its members.” During his three-year term, Lott aims to help the Chapter find ways to sustain Project Management as a profession. He also plans to support the Chapter’s continued growth through outreach to more women and younger professionals. With over 8,500 members and over 250 staff volunteers, PMIWDC is the largest Project Management Institute Chapter in the world.
Having driven into the thicket of volunteer panels for various IT public and private organizations around the beltway for over 9 months, Brenda has successfully established the M Powered Strategies presence in our industry environment. In the fourth quarter of 2010, she turned her attention to the partnering and direct client interaction role of her outbound activities with energy and purpose. Field-testing a new compensation model for M Powered Strategies use with overhead staff, Brenda took on the challenge of the new performance model and created a wave of success that we anticipate propagating right up through delivery.
She led our corporate engagement with no less than 10 new partners/potential partners, connected with potential clients in 3 agencies, and established our company in 3 large contract vehicles (two teams on DHS’ EAGLE II, DOE’s ITSS, and NIH’s CIO-SP3). But, she acted not alone—setting up the first meeting is easy, but Brenda was successful in getting the second (and subsequent) meetings with these potential partners and clients, taking key M Powered Strategies delivery staff with her. Supporting the presentation of value to partners, representatives of our delivery approaches included Ed, Katie, Kendall, Rod and Whitney.
Congratulations, Brenda, on pushing M Powered Strategies into new interactions. Here’s a nod of thanks for the possibilities and hope to another successful quarter of outbound and pursuit activities of merit and meaning!
There’s a lot happening on the Business Development front. M Powered Strategies is moving at full speed to define, implement and optimize a mature Business Development function for the company. Jeremy Nurse joined the M Powered Strategies team as Senior Market Strategist to help define our business development processes.
Proper growth starts with growing existing accounts, developing a reputation and brand, fostering relationships with supporters and partners, and conducting targeted outbound sales activities. Because it is imperative that everyone in the company actively participates in business development, we recently held a training session for all of our delivery managers to clearly define each of their roles throughout the sales and proposal process.
To enable our new sustained BD approach, we have implemented SugarCRM, a flexible customer relationship management system designed to help us communicate with prospects, share sales information and close deals. Jeremy Nurse and Brenda Maynor have already put the system to work tracking both new opportunities as well as those within our existing client organizations.
Mark Antoniewicz, Ed Adelman, and Rod Witschey line up before the tournament start.
The ASRC Still Serving Veterans (SSV) Charity Golf Tournament held on October 15, 2010, proved to be a rewarding and fun event for M Powered Strategies teammates Ed Adelman, Rod Witschey, Mark Antoniewicz and Brenda Maynor. As a $1,000 sponsor of this annual event, M Powered Strategies helped ASRC raise funds for an organization devoted to assisting wounded veterans and their spouses reintegrate into new careers and communities.
SSV has helped more than 2,500 wounded veterans and their families connect with the services they need to deal with life-changing injuries and has become a nationally recognized center of excellence as a grass roots-level reintegration orchestrator for wounded veterans and their families. SSV helps veterans assess their medical, vocational and counseling needs, and then connects those veterans with existing federal, state and local support services.
and now we know how much that ante is…
On January 1, M Powered Strategies cut over to a new accounting firm, Cordia Partners, for a full-scale managed accounting service. With this change, we began using Deltek’s GCS Premier web-based Time and (eventually) Expense system. The easy-to-use Deltek system is important for us, as it is designed for small/mid-sized federal contractors; in fact, it’s the gold standard. Its workflow is built around business practices that will ensure our compliance with government regulations (DCAA, FAR, CAS) and allows paperless collection of data. It has workflow-based approvals with automatic routing and notification. It will allow access to flexible and extensive reporting options that provide online, real-time access to key project and financial data, as appropriate—with an audit trail. Essentially, we now will have automatic policy enforcement, an improvement in auditability.
Cordia offers us a complete IT and accounting best practices infrastructure for a small-size government contractor and is scalable for our anticipated growth. It does more than bookkeeping and making sure that monthly accounting happens. We will now get comptroller and CFO-level support for financial analysis and budget development and control (so we can increase marketing, BD, and training dollars!), DCAA Audit Support, and documented and standardized policies and procedures. These are often requirements or competitive advantages when trying to become sub-contractors to our larger, compliant primes. This elite accounting firm, with the gold standard in software, is better for us, better for bidding, better for our partners, and better for planning and investment in the company and all the employees.
To drive towards further clarity and accountability of company assets, M Powered Strategies IT Services recently upgraded our inventory tracking system. Andrew Slawter, Elizabeth Nurse and Mary Flannery identified all of our physical assets, re-classified equipment, labeled hardware and re-organized our equipment storage at headquarters.
Once the initial reorganization was complete, Andrew and Elizabeth merged existing inventory records with the new data compiled during the project and designed a custom SharePoint list that offers streamlined inventory control. Accessible from any web browser, the new inventory list offers quick and accurate status of equipment, streamlining the on-boarding and off-boarding process and reducing the number of duplicate entries in the system. We are currently preparing the new inventory records for integration with our new accounting software to ensure that financial records of our assets remain accurate.
Though the project (which began in June) was quite an undertaking, it was an excellent demonstration of how we can use existing tools, resources and expertise to accomplish a goal.
M Powered Strategies is preparing for our 2011 Applied Management Professionals Program (AMPP), which is scheduled to run mid-June through mid-August. Application deadlines are approaching, and we will begin interviewing candidates next month. We look forward to working with another valuable group of graduate students in this third season of our summer program. With June just around the corner, now is the time to begin thinking about how you can support our AMP Program. For information about opportunities to get involved or to offer suggestions as how to make this our best summer yet, please contact Alessandra Colia, Program Coordinator.