Defining Moments: Celebrating the Sixth Class of AMPs

Posted in AMP Program on August 28, 2013
Kendall Lott (left) and Erin Bankey (right) with 2013 AMPs David Noel, Regan Wedenoja, Brigid Cafferty, Team Lead Jenny Weng, and Thomas Youmans

Kendall Lott (left) and Erin Bankey (right) with 2013 AMPs David Noel, Regan Wedenoja, Brigid Cafferty, Team Lead Jenny Weng, and Thomas Youmans

Five generations of Applied Management Professionals (AMPs) gathered at the National Press Club last week to celebrate the 2013 M Powered Strategies (MPS) graduating class. The AMP Program, one of a suite of Professional Development Programs offered by M Powered Strategies, offers graduate students internship opportunities in federal government consulting within the framework of MPS’ consulting methodology, performance standards, and leadership.

M Powered Strategies staff and clients, including the AMPs’ partners at ActioNet and executives from the Department of Energy, who have been longtime supporters of the AMP Program, toasted the milestone. The AMPs presented an overview of the work they did this summer with ActioNet for the Office of the Chief Information Officer at DOE: the creation of a toolbox of standardized protocols and procedures to streamline the work of the department’s IT Service Desk.

This is the sixth group to graduate with MPS and join the diverse and active AMP alumni network. Team Lead Jenny Weng, who was in the inaugural class of AMPs in 2009, had high praise for this year’s class, “They came in as graduate students and are now bona fide professionals. They have achieved a lot this summer, and that is a testament to the AMP Program, as well as to their determination to make a positive change in the government.”

MPS President Kendall Lott also reflected on the accomplishments of the AMPs, and posed a question, “There are moments in life that define us and set into action outcomes that inherently change each of us. This is a moment tonight, this summer, this group. I ask you tonight to consider, what is your moment?”

At M Powered Strategies we celebrate the moment and look forward to many more. Congratulations to the 2013 AMPS, Brigid Cafferty, David Noel, Regan Wedenoja, and Thomas Youmans!

For more information on M Powered Strategies’ AMPs program, please contact Jenny Weng.

M Powered Strategies CEO Reaches Out in Fairfax County on Behalf of the DC Chapter of PMI

Posted in Community Involvement / Professional Development on August 26, 2013
Kendall Lott teaches basic project management skills to young aspiring professionals

Kendall Lott teaches basic project management skills to young aspiring professionals

On a recent weekday afternoon, Kendall Lott, COO of the DC Chapter of the Project Management Institute, packed up his briefcase at M Powered Strategies and headed out to Fairfax County Department of Family Services to teach basic project management skills to young aspiring professionals, ages 17-20.

As part of its community outreach effort, PMIWDC, has been supporting the Educating Youth Through Employment (E.Y.E.) Program since 2008. Coordinated through the Fairfax County Department of Family Services, E.Y.E. is a Skillsource Group project that connects young people to professional internship and training opportunities. The goal is to prepare them to be leaders in tomorrow’s workforce. Project Management is a key professional skill with a multitude of applications for these students, and the chapter has been proud to send its executives to support the E.Y.E. program.

Lott spoke enthusiastically about his experience. “I found it refreshing that kids just out of high school could ‘get it’ with key project management concepts like scope and risk management so quickly. Our exercise was to plan a school-wide graduation party, and what teenager doesn’t want to do that?”

Striving Beyond the Comfort Zone:
M Powered Strategies Celebrates the 2013 Graduating PACE Apprentices

Posted in PACE Program on August 21, 2013
2013 Graduating PACE Apprentices

2013 Graduating PACE Apprentices – Hoor Jangda, Christina Givey, Sanyog Rai, Kathleen Schermerhorn, and Bryan Marchefsky

On Thursday, August 15th the inaugural class of the Professional Apprenticeship for Consulting Excellence (PACE) Program celebrated the completion of a six-month immersion in the world of Federal Government consulting and contracting. The PACE Program, one of a suite of Professional Readiness and Effectiveness Programs (PREP) offered by M Powered Strategies, provides a layered curriculum aimed at developing well-rounded and knowledgeable consulting professionals through comprehensive training, one-on-one mentoring and coaching, and hands-on work experience.

In attendance at the National Press Club celebration were the apprentices, M Powered Strategies staff, and PREP primary stakeholders–executives and experts in government, consulting management, business development, and education. Each member of the PACE class gave a short speech, along with remarks from Erin Bankey, PACE Program Manager, and Kendall Lott, MPS President.

PACE apprentice Kathleen Schermerhorn reflected upon the personal growth aspect of the program. “Kendall is an infinite source of motivation and inspiration as he challenges us to not be constrained by our limitations but to harness our capabilities and our potential.  In the PACE program, I found myself striving to reach past my comfort zone.”

The capstone of the program is a business case presentation and written white paper, which each apprentice must research and present to an executive panel. Bryan Marchefsky received this year’s Award of Distinction for earning the highest overall score for the assignment.

Accepting his award, Bryan stated, “It is my immeasurable pleasure to have been a part of this program and a part of the M Powered family for these past six months.  I can say, without reserve, that I am proud to call myself a PACE Alumni.  So tonight, I celebrate achievement and most importantly, gratitude – for the finish line is only just the beginning.”

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2013! For more information on M Powered Strategies’ Professional Development programs, please contact Erin Bankey.

Spring 2013 PACE Class Presents to Executive Panel

Posted in PACE Program on August 14, 2013
PACE apprentices prepare to present to executive panel

PACE apprentices prepare to present to executive panel

In early August, leaders in education, government, business development and consulting, from The World Bank, George Washington University, and other venerable institutions, gathered in the new fifth floor conference room at M Powered Strategies. They were there to evaluate the white paper presentations of MPS’ first class of PACE apprentices — the culmination of six months of hard work and training. As part of MPS’ Professional Apprenticeship for Consulting Excellence (PACE) Program, each apprentice had to research and write up a business case of their choice, providing analysis and solutions to real government agency problems.

“This was a great opportunity to identify a problem faced by an office in a government agency, analyze data from different sources, and generate and justify a specific solution to an executive audience who asked tough questions,” PACE apprentice Christina Givey said.

“I found the business case assignment to be very rewarding,” added apprentice Bryan Marchefsky. “It required me to fully utilize all of the skills, knowledge, and vocabulary I have acquired over the six-month training period. The executive panel provided incredible feedback, which will greatly assist me as I continue to strive for excellence in the field of management consulting.”

The executives, who evaluated the apprentices’ written work as well as their presentation skills, were impressed with the clear professionalism of the entire class.

The PACE apprentices will complete the 25-week program period this Friday, August 16th. For more information on M Powered Strategies’ Professional Development programs, please contact Erin Bankey.

AMPs at the Department of Energy Join in the Spirit of Giving

Posted in AMP Program / Community Involvement / Department of Energy on August 14, 2013
Department of Energy AMPs

Department of Energy AMPs

As the 2013 summer season draws to a close, the AMPs are feeling more and more like seasoned Government Consultants. Most weekdays are spent writing up SOP’s at M Powered Strategies’ partner firm, ActioNet, with occasional forays, via the Department of Energy shuttle, to the client site in Germantown. This past week they took part in the DOE Feeds Families event, which featured an appearance by the Secretary, Dr. Ernest Moniz, and the music of Yellow Cake, a cover band fronted by DOE Deputy Secretary Daniel B. Poneman. The festive occasion also featured a Dunk Tank with DOE Senior Leaders.

AMP Brigid Cafferty was impressed with the massive team effort. “I was moved that the Deputy Secretary and other senior DOE officials took time out of their busy day to support the community.” The AMPs, together with their colleagues at Energy, were able to contribute over 212,000 pounds of non-perishable food items to the Capital Area Food Bank.

Giving back to the community is part of the M Powered Strategies mission: The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Feeding America, the Capital Area Food Bank and The Children’s Inn at NIH are just some of the organizations we contribute to. In fact, MPS recently implemented a Pro Bono Service Line to help non-profits enhance their organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

In the spirit of giving, we salute the efforts of The U.S. Department of Energy.

Welcome, Hannah Hammer!

Posted in Human Resources / PACE Program on August 09, 2013
Hannah Hammer

Hannah Hammer

Hannah Hammer joins the PACE Program after five years in the workforce, most recently as a project manager for US Wellness, where she managed a portfolio of pharmaceutical, healthcare, and corporate accounts, and supported business development, sales, and strategic program development and implementation. She also spent time working for D.C.-based nonprofit, Sister to Sister, in development, communications and program design for women’s health and childhood obesity programs. Originally from New Haven, CT, Hannah came to Washington, D.C. to earn her B.A. in Creative Writing at George Washington University. Her writing background gives her a unique and innovative perspective, which she looks forward to applying with the M Powered Strategies team.

Welcome, Kristen Rice-Jones!

Posted in Human Resources on August 07, 2013
Kristen Rice-Jones

Kristen Rice-Jones

With five years of international and legislative experience in both the public and private sectors, Kristen Rice-Jones brings a lot to the M Powered Strategies team. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish from Wellesley College and went on to pursue a career in politics on Capitol Hill, where she managed a portfolio covering Latin America, Armed Services and Veterans Affairs.  After graduating from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Kristen took a position at the International Trade Administration, working on trade statistics in Brazil and China, as well as market access issues. Kristen is excited about being in involved with the PACE program and is looking forward to delving into management consulting.

Welcome, John Bova!

Posted in Human Resources on August 07, 2013
John Bova

John Bova

As part of the M Powered Strategies AMP Program (summer 2012), John Bova spearheaded various information technology efforts at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Now with a Master of Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government under his belt, John has returned to M Powered Strategies. His new role on the Veterans Benefits Management System integrated project team will provide additional support to America’s servicemen and women.

John’s other bona fides include a  B.A. in Hispanic Studies  from the University of Texas at Austin; four years with Peace Corps El Salvador strengthening the Municipal Development program as a volunteer, trainer, and coordinator; and most recently, Vice President of Central Operations at the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children headquartered in Philadelphia. John loves a serious workout, be it on a bicycle, an Olympic weightlifting platform, or a soccer field.