ACT-IAC Conference is a Success

Posted in Business Development / Community Involvement on August 03, 2011
ACT-IAC SBC Planning Committee

ACT-IAC Small Business Conference Planning Committee – Featuring Government Conference Chair Beth Owen, Department of Interior and Government Vice Chair, Steve Cooper, Federal Aviation Administration

Returning for a second year, M Powered Strategies provided strong volunteer and participation support to the ACT-IAC Small Business Conference (SBC), which was held on April 7 at the JW Marriot Hotel in Washington, DC. Martha Johnson, GSA Administrator, Dan Gordon, OFPP Administrator, and Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, served as keynote speakers at this year’s conference, which focused on the role of small businesses as “Drivers, Leaders, and Key Players” in the government marketplace.

With over 340 industry and government attendees, the conference was designed not only for small businesses looking to grow to the next level but also for large businesses interested in learning more about and pursue partnership opportunities with innovative small businesses. Throughout the day, attendees were able to choose from six interactive workshops that enabled them to develop a better understanding as to how they could be successful at growing their businesses.

Service Excellence SBC Members

Service Excellence – SBC members

Panelists included Tonya Lovelace and Terri Callahan from the Department of Interior, Rafael Roman from Department of Homeland Security, Michael Carroll from General Services Administration, Carole Dunn from Read Team Consulting, and M Powered Strategies’ own Kendall Lott, who provided valuable government and industry insight regarding preparing, responding, differentiating, and assuring compliance during the bidding and proposal process.

Lunch with Leaders Committee Co-Chairs Brenda Maynor of M Powered Strategies and Brendan Walsh of 1901 Group successfully matched over 30 senior government executives with conference attendees as they participated in small group discussions over lunch. In recognition for her time and effort, Brenda was presented with a “Service Excellence” commemorative coin during the May ACT-IAC Membership meeting.

M Powered Strategies on SRA’s Winning Team for T4 IDIQ

SRA logoSRA International has been named one of only 15 contractors, and one of eight large businesses, awarded an IDIQ contract for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology acquisition program, known as T4. As a member of the SRA Team, M Powered Strategies will have the opportunity to work with both current and new partners and clients at VA. T4 is a new $12 billion dollar contract under which the SRA Team will compete to provide a broad range of IT and telecommunication services, including program management and strategy planning, systems and software engineering, cyber security, operation and maintenance, and training.

We’ve Been AMPed!

Posted in AMP Program on August 03, 2011

This summer the Applied Management Professionals (AMP) Program has grown and flourished in more ways than one. Our ten AMPs from four universities are working hard on six projects in three different offices! In addition to their client delivery, they are developing three corporate projects for marketing, business development, and corporate giving. Squeezing in some time for trainings, excursions, and networking happy hours has not been easy, as these AMPs are staying quite busy! With only a few weeks left, it feels like this the summer has flown by. Please join us for their closing reception on August 8 to celebrate a summer of accomplishments!


AMPs at the VA: Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) Team

An AMP in our 2009 program, Jenny Weng has returned to M Powered Strategies this summer to serve as AMP Team Lead for the VLER team at the VA. One group is busy interviewing staff and contractors as part of their efforts to research, analyze, and create a process map of the current contractor onboarding process. The team will ultimately provide recommendations to improve the onboarding process by addressing two main challenges: time and communication. Meanwhile, another group of AMPs is interviewing program managers to research and analyze the VLER budget process. They will provide both short- and long-term recommendations to overcome challenges in standardizing and streamlining the budget process.


Ethan PalmerEthan Palmer is currently a Master of Public Administration candidate at the Trachtenberg School of George Washington University, where he is concentrating in Public-Private Policy and Management and Federal Policy, Politics, and Management. Prior to graduate school, Ethan attended Brandeis University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Politics and French and Francophone Studies. Ethan has interned for Congressman Chris Murphy and with the Institute for Policy Studies and was a graduate assistant for the Trachtenberg School this past year.


Rachel BrodyRachel Brody is currently a Master of Public Administration candidate with a concentration in Program Evaluation at the Trachtenberg School of the George Washington University. She works as the managing editor of the academic journal, Policy Perspectives. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008 with a double major in Spanish and Political Science, she served as an adviser with the National College Advising Corps helping under-served youth plan and apply to college. Most recently, she worked as a graduate fellow at the National Council on Teacher Quality.


Alexandra ReamesAlexandra Reames just completed her first year at the University of California San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) with a focus on development and economics within Latin America. Prior to IR/PS, Alex worked at the International Rescue Committee assisting refugees to find employment in San Diego. This included resume development and interview coaching. She completed her undergraduate degree in Global Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara, where she played club volleyball and won a national championship. She also interned at Segue Career Path Mentors, a nonprofit in Ventura, where she specialized in grant writing.


Courtney GleasonCourtney Gleason is an Arlington native who is currently working on her Master of Business Administration at Virginia Tech (VT) with a concentration in Organizational Management and Strategy. A loyal hokie, she also received her Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from VT. At school she is active in student organizations and loves to travel whenever she has the opportunity.



AMPs at the VA: Information Technology Resource Management (ITRM) Team

Our own Nina Babel is serving as AMP Team Lead for the ITRM team at the VA. The AMPs have been working hard to create a new hire guide consisting of department overviews, organizational charts, and logic models that explain the office’s mission and responsibilities. They are also documenting the service level agreement process for the Office of Information and Technology’s (OI&T) data support provider to capture the current process and provide recommendations for improvements.


Aryn EhlowAryn Ehlow is a Master of Public Policy candidate at The George Washington University focusing on program evaluation and foreign policy. Before pursuing her masters, she spent three years at Cone Inc., an international communications firm located in Boston, where she assisted in the development and management of national marketing campaigns for clients such as Barbour, Ben & Jerry’s, and Nestle Waters North America. Originally from California, Aryn moved to the East Coast to attend Boston University where she received her bachelor’s degree in international and public relations.


Mark BuckleyMark Buckley is a 2011 graduate of the Master of Public Administration program at The George Washington University (GWU). During his studies, Mark completed internships in the policy division of the Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Prior to moving to Washington, DC to attend GWU, Mark spent several years working in the administration at Columbia University in New York. Mark is also a 2003 graduate of Boston College with a degree in History.



AMPs at the DOT: Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) Team

An AMP in our 2010 program, Erin Farr has returned to M Powered Strategies this summer to serve as DOT AMP Team Lead. The AMP team at the DOT supports work in four areas within the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) IT Support Services (ITSS) office: Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Development, Customer Account Management, Asset Management, and Change Management. Highlights of their efforts include work on or completion of nearly 20 SOP’s, asset order filling support, asset database and order form management, communications support, distribution list management, asset verification, and software CI management.


Carl UrnessCarl Urness was born and raised in Spokane, WA. In 2010 he graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts double degree in International Studies and Geography. Some highlights of his experience as an undergraduate include researching the business side of non-profits in Thailand and writing about cultural geography in the book Seattle Geographies. On the rare occasions when he can take a break from studying Public Financial Administration at Indiana University he enjoys a good round of disc-golf. Carl is looking forward to a summer in Washington, DC.


Stacey PollackStacey Pollack is currently a student at Indiana University, working to complete her Master of Public Affairs in International Policy Analysis. Prior to graduate school, she worked in program implementation and budget management for a non-profit organization on an international exchange program, where she had the opportunity to interact with high profile leaders from around the globe. In 2007, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Barnard College, Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Regional Studies. Additionally, she is fluent in Russian and Hebrew, and has also studied Uzbek and Spanish.


Greg FeldmanGreg Feldman has just completed his first year in the Master of Public Administration Program at The George Washington University. Greg enjoys policy analysis, program evaluation, and leadership. Before joining the AMP Program, he was a government affairs intern for the American Bakers Association and unfortunately he did not get free baked goods every day. Prior to attending The George Washington University, Greg received his B.A. in both political science and economics along with a minor in business from the University of Florida. This is Greg’s first venture living outside of Florida, and he already misses the ability to wear sandals all year.


Elena FoukesElena Foukes is a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego studying Pacific and International Affairs, with a focus on Intentional Economics and China. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from Loyola University Chicago. In addition, she has studied in Rome, Italy and Beijing, China. She is very excited to be working for M Powered Strategies this summer in order to get hands on experience in the consulting field. Elena is a native of Detroit, Michigan and enjoys ice-skating and art.


M Powered Strategies Cares: Shakespeare Theatre Company

Posted in Community Involvement on August 03, 2011

Shakespeare Theatre Company logoM Powered Strategies continues to support the arts with its recent donation to the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC). Dedicated to becoming the nation’s premier classic theatre with a  mission “to present classic theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights’ language and intentions,” STC is one of the world’s great Shakespearean companies. Starting in August, M Powered Strategies will be the sole sponsor during the 2011-2012 season for the STC Accessibility Program helping the theatre in its commitment to provide full access for people of all abilities. This accessibility effort has focused to date on:

  • Accessible seats for patrons with physical disabilities or mobility impairments
  • An infrared audio enhancement system that is available for all performances
  • One sign-interpreted performance and one audio-described performance for each production
  • Program notes in large print and Braille for each production
  • TTY (for the hearing-impaired)

M Powered Strategies’ donation also helps to fund a new program this year for veterans, the “USO Metro / Wounded Warrior Date Nights.” This outreach program provides access for wounded veterans in rehabilitation to attend theatrical presentations free of charge. USO-Metro will provide transportation, and STC will provide dinner at a local restaurant and theatre performance tickets to servicemen and woman on separate evenings across each mainstage production. The arts are for all to enjoy, and M Powered Strategies is proud to be associated with such an important institution in our nation’s capital.

HR Diligently Planning for the Future

Posted in Corporate Updates / Human Resources on August 03, 2011

With an eye on the future, the Human Resources team has embarked on a strategic planning process aimed at enabling M Powered Strategies to respond to forecasted growth while continuing to develop our existing human capital so that we can best serve our clients. The team has identified human capital acquisition and human capital development as the two primary areas to focus our efforts. We have already identified multiple initiatives and established target performance metrics so that we can measure the success of each.

Within human capital acquisition, we aim to develop a more robust candidate pipeline by enhancing our marketing efforts and establishing a greater presence in the industry. We are also further developing service-line-specific screening and testing methodologies to improve alignment of candidates with various positions. Finally, we plan to refine the internal communications process between business development, service line managers, and human resources to ensure that we call fill positions on newly awarded contracts in minimal time.

On the human capital development front, we are working to better define promotion paths within the human resources framework, identify and communicate opportunities for external recognition of staff, and develop a formalized training program. This not only includes identifying appropriate and required trainings, but also developing training content to support individual training programs.

This strategic planning process will be instrumental in properly aligning our human resources to best support the evolving needs and direction of M Powered Strategies. It is also an exciting new context for us to apply our strategic management models and expertise to another division of our own company.

Facilitation Reboot

Posted in Facilitation on August 03, 2011

Nic Turrentine, Erin Bankey and Justin Heineman, the newest additions to the facilitation team, have been working to improve the established delivery foundation in many ways that clients are sure to notice.

Over the past two months, the new kids on the block have had quite the introduction to M Powered Strategies facilitations. They have been busy at work supporting three separate facilitations at the Department of Veteran Affairs, including Unified Communications, the eBenefits Portal Roadmap, and the Information Sharing Initiative. Each has had its own unique requirements and painstaking deadlines. From flying across the country with minimal notice to introducing our clients to the effectiveness of online collaboration tools, our facilitation team is raising the bar on client delivery.

In addition to successfully tackling client delivery, the facilitation team is busy planning the Interim All Hands Meeting to be held in August.

Marketing is Getting Social

Posted in Corporate Updates / Marketing on August 03, 2011

We have created a comprehensive suite of stationary for a wide variety of correspondence. From formal letters and proposals to proper handwritten cards to causal notes, we have created the paper goods (with matching envelopes, of course) to meet every need. We have also just started developing our presence in the social networking arena with a Linked In profile and a Facebook page. If you have not already, be sure to ‘connect to’ us and ‘like’ us, respectively.

Modifications to MOBIS

Posted in Contracting / Facilitation on August 03, 2011

GSA logoM Powered Strategies has successfully modified our MOBIS contract with two additional labor categories, including Facilitation Quality Manager and Consultant, and 13 adjusted rates via an economic price adjustment. For more information about this GSA schedule and M Powered Strategies rates, please visit:

Update: Department of Health and Human Services

Department of Health and Human Services SealM Powered Strategies began working with the Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Chief Information Officer this past spring to provide meeting management and organizational design to the governance bodies responsible for Capital Planning Investment Control and managing the Enterprise Performance Life Cycle. With thoughtful, outcome-oriented planning and a custom information capture tool, we are driving clarity, increasing accountability, and improving communication between all stakeholders so that our clients are able to make informed decisions important to development of their organizations.

Update: Department of Energy

Posted in Department of Energy / Team Updates on August 03, 2011

Department of Energy sealRod Witschey and and Ed Adelman are knee-deep in exhibit 300s, using the processes they have developed and honed over the past five years. They have been meeting with the federal project managers to assist in streamlining operations.  We are looking forward to building stronger communication channels the newly-placed PMO. As a result of good teaming, relationships and partnerships, the contract has been extended through August.

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