Stephany Perez Cohen Appointed AMP Program Coordinator

Posted in AMP Program / Human Resources on December 15, 2014
Stephany Perez Cohen

Stephany Perez Cohen

Stephany Perez Cohen has joined the Professional Development team at M Powered Strategies (MPS) as the Program Coordinator for our Applied Management Professionals (AMP) Program. In her new role, she will coordinate all AMP-related activities, including apprentice placement and recruitment. A former PACE apprentice (PACE Cohort 3), Stephany brings experience and valuable insight as she prepares for the Summer 2015 AMP Cohort. Her interest and commitment to professional development is inspiring.

In addition to her responsibilities with the AMP Program, she will continue to support the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Technology Strategies, leading the facilitation efforts around meetings for Design Pattern Vendor Engagements and Public Forums.

AMP Jessica Gilles Joins M Powered Strategies Staff

Posted in AMP Program / Human Resources on September 04, 2014
Jessica Gilles speaking at the closing ceremony for the 2014 AMP summer session

Jessica Gilles speaking at the closing ceremony for the 2014 AMP summer session

Former Applied Management Professional (AMP) Jessica Gilles is now a full-time consultant at M Powered Strategies. As an AMP in the 2014 summer session, Jessica worked on two projects for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Information & Technology (OI&T). She will continue working with the VA under a contract with the Service, Engineering and Integration (SE&I) office.  Jessica holds a Master of Public Affairs and a certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from the School of Public & Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. After the experience and training she received in the AMP program, Jessica feels well prepared for a position as a full-time consultant with the Federal Government. “The AMP program initiated me into the world of government consulting and provided me with a great framework for moving ahead in my career as a consultant.”

AMPs Celebrate a Summer of Challenges and Achievements

Posted in AMP Program on September 02, 2014
AMPs Adam Katt, Maria Wahlstrom, Colin Doberstein and Jessica Gilles with MPS President, Kendall Lott

AMPs Adam Katt, Maria Wahlstrom, Colin Doberstein and Jessica Gilles with MPS President, Kendall Lott

After a productive summer developing meaningful products for the Office of Information and Technology (OI&T) at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the 2014 Applied Management Professionals (AMPs) celebrated the end of their apprenticeship at the National Press Club on August 21.  The celebration included the VA executive client, Dr. Aaron Drew; the prime contractor, SBG Technology Solutions; executive board members of the Project Management Institute (PMI) of Washington, DC;  former clients from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Secret Service; and of course, M Powered Strategies (MPS) staff.

Dr. Drew and the team spoke to the ten-week effort and the AMPs’ successful completion of two key projects. Their Open Source EHR Development and Schedule (OSEDS) Exchange wiki provides international and domestic EHR developers with a forum for sharing information about capabilities under development. The wiki will reduce duplication of effort, thereby reducing development costs for EHR products. To generate interest and increase the number of contributors to the site, Jessica Gilles, a 2014 AMP and now a permanent consultant at MPS, will present the wiki at the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) Conference in September. In attendance will be EHR developers and supporters from around the world.

The AMPs also produced two case studies to guide future capabilities planning for Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA)-5. Built over the interviews they conducted with clinicians across the US, the resulting reports on Clinical Decision Support and Telehealth outlined future needs and challenges from the clinicians’ point of view.

MPS manager and one of the team leads for the AMPs, Kat McDonald, was impressed with the AMPs’ work “Their ability to work effectively as a team, actively engage with the client, and respond to challenging and changing environmental needs led to the delivery of work products which will continue to provide value to the VA long after their project’s completion.”

Welcome, Nicole Baillis!

portrait of Nicole Baillis

Nicole Baillis

Nicole joins M Powered Strategies with a background in communications, marketing and project management. After receiving her BA in Sociology and International Studies from Baldwin-Wallace College, Nicole spent five years in the workforce gaining experience in program management, development and implementation of communications strategies, digital marketing, project management and public relations. Passionate about public service, Nicole is involved with the DC government as the Deschaine Community Involvement Fellow with the Advisory Neighborhood Commission covering the Dupont Circle area. In addition to her professional experiences, Nicole studied at Ewha Womans University in South Korea and has participated in multiple volunteer and outreach trips to Lesotho in Southern Africa. Nicole joins MPS as the Apprenticeship Program Manager and is the POC for the AMP, PACE and Consulting Boot Camp programs.

M Powered Strategies Welcomes the Summer 2014 AMPs

Posted in AMP Program on June 23, 2014
Colin Doberstein

Colin Doberstein

Colin Doberstein is a graduate student at University of California, San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, where he studies international politics and international economics, with a focus on China. He received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University, with a double-major in Political Science and Asian Studies. Colin has worked for two political campaigns, Habitat for Humanity’s Shanghai office, and a business matchmaking group based in his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. Outside of the classroom, he serves as a representative to UCSD’s Graduate Student Association and a co-director of the Political Analysis and Strategy Simulations student group. Colin is excited to be back on the East Coast for the summer and looks forward to being a part of the AMP program.

Jessica Gilles

Jessica Gilles

Jessica Gilles graduated from the School of Public & Environmental Affairs at Indiana University this May with a Master of Public Affairs degree in international nonprofit management. She earned a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship through combined coursework at the IU Kelley School of Business and was a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow in global studies and Russian. Last summer, Jessica worked at Eli Lilly’s Global Health Programs & Access office in Geneva, Switzerland as a social entrepreneurship intern and, prior to beginning her master’s degree, she worked at a refugee and immigrant services nonprofit in Nashville, TN. Jessica was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine from 2009 to 2011, where she taught English in a small Eastern town and coordinated HIV/AIDS community projects and youth summer camps. Jessica has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Tennessee and is originally from Nashville.

Adam Katt

Adam Katt

Adam Katt is a master’s student at the University of California, San Diego School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS), where he specializes in international management and economics. In addition to working as a market research consultant for a student consulting group, Export Access, he is the Director of Operations of Southeast Asia Link, another student group. He earned his B.A. in Non-Western History as well as a global leadership certificate focused in consulting from Ohio University. His previous work includes analyzing foreign direct investment trends for The Brookings Institutions’ “Metro Foreign Investment Initiative,” consulting for Asia Commercial Bank, and teaching English in Shenzhen, China. Adam loves to travel in Asia; he is currently learning Bahasa Indonesia. He is also passionate about technology and enjoys building computers.

Maria Wahlstrom

Maria Wahlstrom

Maria Wahlstrom is currently a master’s student in Public Administration and Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Originally from Berkeley, CA, she received her B.A. in Sociology in 2009 and then joined Teach for America to work as a Kindergarten teacher and lead curriculum developer for a start-up elementary school in Chicago. Prior to her graduate work, Maria worked for an NGO, the Map Foundation, in coordination with UNHCR in Thailand, to research and advocate for better working and living conditions for Burmese refugee communities. She is looking forward to working as an Applied Management Professional this summer. During her free time, she enjoys writing music, hiking, local foods, and exploring everything DC has to offer.

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.

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.

M Powered Strategies Welcomes the Sixth Class of AMPs

Posted in AMP Program on June 21, 2013

On June 17th, the sixth class of Applied Management Professionals (AMPs) arrived at M Powered Strategies headquarters. For the next ten weeks they will be working at ActioNet for the Department of Energy, developing new protocols.

Besides working on client delivery, the AMPs will attend formal training in key aspects of management consulting. Executive lunches with some of the luminaries and leaders of Washington will take place throughout the summer, along with field trips to some of the regions landmarks and historical sites. In addition, the AMPs are required to work on a corporate project, which they will present to M Powered Strategies president, Kendall Lott, at the end of the summer.

We all look forward to another exciting and rewarding summer with a top-notch group of AMPs.

Jenny Weng

Jenny Weng

Jenny Weng (Team Lead) is pleased to reprise her role as Team Lead for the Applied Management Professionals (AMP) Program for the third time, and to return to the Department of Energy, where she worked as an AMP in the inaugural AMP class of 2009. Since joining M Powered Strategies in 2011, Jenny has been involved in several projects related to business process design, technical writing, and template design. As Team Lead, she will be guiding the AMPs in the creation of accurate and user-friendly protocols for DOE. She is looking forward to working with another impressive team of AMPs, and to continuing to foster a strong relationship with ActioNet, which has long supported the AMP Program.

Brigid Cafferty

Brigid Cafferty

Brigid Cafferty is currently a graduate student at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, focusing on education policy. She grew up in Paducah, KY, and attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH, as a Xavier Service Fellow. She earned a B.A. in political science and Spanish in 2010 and then spent a year working as a Resource Coordinator in a low-income primary school for AmeriCorps Schools in Phoenix, AZ.  Brigid now lives in Washington, DC, and enjoys the city’s local restaurants, farmers’ markets, soccer games, and cultural events.

David Noel

David Noel

David Noel is currently a master’s student at the University of California, San Diego School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS), where he specializes in international management, global energy issues, and China. He is the co-director of the IRPS Environmental Policy & Business Forum and director of operations at Export Access Global Consulting, a student-led consulting group. He received his B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to attending graduate school, David created and owned two businesses, served as an associate for a prominent lecture agency in the DC area, and taught English at a Chinese university in the People’s Republic of China. Originally from Pennsylvania, David has lived and worked in six states and two countries. He is excited to work with his fellow AMPs at the DOE this summer. In his free time, he loves traveling the world, camping and going on adventures.

Regan Wedenoja

Regan Wedenoja

Michigan native Regan Wedenoja is currently a Master of Public Administration candidate at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. After graduating from Miami University in Ohio with a B.A. in Public Administration, Regan joined AmeriCorps. As a “Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA)” in Burlington, Vermont, she worked in communications and outreach to merge statewide affordable housing and homeless service providers through the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness. She is looking forward to her first summer in a “southern” state and continuing her adventures here in the DC area.

Tom Youmans

Tom Youmans

Originally from Boston, MA, Thomas Youmans received a B.A. in Physics and Economics from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR.  After graduating in 2009, he started a consulting firm for planning and implementing online marketing campaigns. Thomas later joined the Peace Corps and served as a Community & Organizational Development volunteer for two years in North-Central Bulgaria, working with local partners in Bulgaria and Romania on EU Cross-Border projects. He also coached high school basketball and organized basketball tournaments. Thomas is interested in data analysis and modeling dynamic systems, and is currently enrolled in a Master’s program in Mathematics and Statistics at Georgetown University.

Fall 2012 AMPs Celebrate at the
National Press Club

Posted in AMP Program / Corporate Events on December 18, 2012

M Powered Strategies employees at the AMP reception“It feels like the movie Ground Hogs Day,” Alessandra Colia, AMP Program Director, wryly noted in her opening remarks. The first fall group of Applied Management Professionals (AMPs) concluded their session with what has become an M Powered Strategies tradition, a closing reception at the National Press Club. “Tonight marks a momentous shift in our summer program model,” Alessandra continued. “Tonight we celebrate the accomplishments of our first fall class and their work in partnership with ActioNet at the Department of Transportation.”

Fall 2012 AMP Presentation

The AMPs presented their projects, which ranged from Plan Of Action & Milestone process mapping to Team Performance root cause analysis. In attendance were DOT leads, ActioNet staff, former AMPs, various agency executives who had met with the AMPs for Executive Lunches during the course of their session, and of course all the M Powered Strategies staff. Team Lead Nic Turrentine was effusive in his praise of the group. Their success in the workplace, as well as their participation in the training, excursions, and networking opportunities offered by M Powered Strategies made for a truly enriching experience.  Congratulations to Marc-Anthony Isaacs, Kiya Kassa, Maria Mejia, Emily Sherrod and Luke Ventura.

M Powered Strategies Welcomes the AMPs of Fall 2012

Posted in AMP Program / Department of Transportation on October 15, 2012

In response to client demand, the M Powered Strategies Applied Management Professionals (AMP) Program kicked off its first fall season on October 1st. As a result of three summers of excellent work and superior deliverables from our AMPs at the Office of Information Technology and Shared Services at the Department of Transportation, a new group of AMPs has come in this fall. They will be working with our partner ActioNet to support Quality Assurance, Audit Support, Customer Advocacy Management, Network Services, Desktop Engineering, and Incident Management teams.

Alessandra Colia, the director of the M Powered Strategies AMP Program is excited about the new trend. “This is the direction we have been planning to move in for some time, due to high demand from students and clients alike. Our fall AMPs have impressive and diverse backgrounds. Above all they share a passion for making government better.” The AMPs hail from all over the country, including the nation’s top graduate programs at George Mason University, The George Washington University, School for International Training, and the University of California at San Diego.

Nic Turrentine

Nic Turrentine

Nic Turrentine (Team Lead) is excited to take on the new challenge as Team Lead for the Applied Management Professionals (AMP) Program at the Department of Transportation. Nic has worked for M Powered Strategies since May 2011 and has supported projects within the agencies of Health and Human Services, U.S. Forest Service, and Veterans Affairs.  For the past two summers, Nic has been actively involved in the AMP Program as a mentor and trainer.  He is looking forward to working with the AMPs and further strengthening our relationship with our DOT and ActioNet partners.
Marc-Anthony Isaacs

Marc-Anthony Isaacs

An interest in both civil service and private sector finance/consulting led Marc-Anthony Isaacs to M Powered Strategies.  A native of the Southside of Chicago, Marc attended Carleton College in Minnesota where he received his B.A. in Chinese language and literature. After a couple of extended tours in Asia, and after completing his first M.A. in Chinese studies, Marc earned a second Masters degree from  the University of California, San Diego’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS). His focus was on international management with particular attention placed on China and Japan.
Kiya Kassa

Kiya Kassa

Born and raised in the Washington DC area, Kiya Kassa received his BA in International Affairs from Georgetown University in 2010. After concluding his undergraduate studies, Kiya traveled to his parent’s native country of Ethiopia. He spent 6 months in the capital city of Addis Ababa working on a project to introduce a new marketing strategy for the International Leadership Institute. Kiya is currently enrolled in George Mason’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution program and expects to receive his MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution in the fall of 2013. When he is not in the library or at work, Kiya enjoys spending quality time with friends and family and discussing changing global trends.
Maria Mejia

Maria Mejia

Growing up globally (she has lived in over 7 countries), Maria Mejia developed a keen interest in sustainability and civic engagement. She recently completed a Masters degree in Sustainable Development, International Policy and Management from SIT Graduate Institute in Washington, DC. During her time there she worked with international organizations such as Pact, Just Associates, and the Sao Paulo-based CSR consultancy organization, Ethos Institute. Prior to grad school, Maria served in Peace Corps Guatemala, working as a Sustainable Community Tourism Facilitator. She received her B.S in Interdisciplinary Studies, Environmental Studies Track from the University of Central Florida.
Emily Sherrod

Emily Sherrod

An Alabama native, Emily Sherrod is currently a Master of Public Administration candidate at The George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School, with a focus on Urban Policy and Management. After graduating from the College of Charleston with a B.A. in Communication, Emily served with AmeriCorps*VISTA at a disadvantaged elementary school in Charleston, SC, where she primarily worked in programs management and fundraising. Most recently, Emily interned in the membership and development departments of Slow Food USA and helped with their $5 Challenge. In her free time, Emily can often be found cooking at home, exploring DC parks with her dog, or trying to tackle dishes on Washington’s 40 Essential Eats list.
Luke Ventura

Luke Ventura

Luke Ventura is a recent graduate of the Master of Public Administration program at The George Washington University, with a focus in Social Justice and Humanitarian Aid.  While attending GW, he worked as a Research and Program Assistant at Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia, and interned for U.S. Rep. Tim Holden (PA).  Before attending GW, he earned a BA in Elementary and Special Education at La Salle University in Philadelphia, was chosen as a Founding Teacher at Washington DC’s first all-boys public charter school, and helped manage a small business.   He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served for two years in Thailand’s Teacher Collaboration and Community Outreach Project.  In his spare time, he enjoys yoga, jogging, loud music, and travel.
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