MPS Congratulates VA Change Makers

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs / Team Updates on October 06, 2016

I CareWe are proud to share a story of successful change within the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Product Platform Management (PPM) office. The PPM team recently received the VA’s I CARE award for outstanding service to Veterans and impactful change within VA Information Technology. This team, led by Dr. Alan Constantian, developed a series of IT product planning documents that analyzed IT needs across the VA to describe the technical product and resources needed to support the product. These documents were used to strategically plan product sets for VA programs for the next 5 years.

MPS consultants worked closely with PPM leaders and fellow contractors to design, develop, and implement this new planning artifact and process across OI&T. We congratulate the PPM team for this award, and thank our own team for supporting innovative change that benefits our clients, leaders, and Veterans.

Supporting change makers within federal agencies is a cornerstone of MPS’ mission and corporate identity. We believe in empowering our clients with the tools, practices, and support they need to create meaningful change.

Welcome Back, Adam Katt!

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs / Human Resources on August 26, 2015
Adam Katt

Adam Katt

Prior to joining M Powered Strategies (MPS), Adam Katt was involved in a broad range of consulting projects ranging in focus from finance to defense policy. He also worked as a market research analyst as part of the Brookings Institution’s Metro Foreign Investment Initiative, a research program aimed at developing high level strategies for American cities looking for foreign investment.

Adam holds a Master’s in International Business & Management from the University of California, San Diego and a Bachelor’s in Non-Western History from Ohio University. As a student, he focused on business and economic issues facing China and Southeast Asia. Adam lived in Asia for almost two years, where he engaged in activities as an organizational change consultant, language student and teacher.  He speaks functional Mandarin Chinese as well as Bahasa Indonesian.

Adam’s history with MPS dates back to the summer of 2014, when he was an Applied Management Professional (AMP) working on product development projects under the VistA Evolution initiative within the Office of Information & Technology (OI&T) at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Now that he is back as a full time consultant, he will again be working within VA OI&T. Adam is passionate about technology and hopes to continue gaining experience contributing to software improvement projects.

VA Awards Facilitation Services BPA to M Powered Strategies

Posted in Contracting / Department of Veterans Affairs / Facilitation on November 19, 2013

Department of Veterans Affairs signM Powered Strategies (MPS) was recently awarded a BPA for Facilitation services with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). MPS will provide Facilitation and Requirements Facilitation services to five offices within the Office of Informatics and Analytics (OIA): Office of the ADUSH for OIA, Health Informatics, Analytics and Business Intelligence, Health Information Governance, and Connected Health.

M Powered Strategies President & CEO, Kendall Lott, views this opportunity as a natural outgrowth of the work MPS been doing for nearly a decade at the VA.  “MPS is familiar with the landscape, the processes, the people of this agency, and we are committed to driving organizational effectiveness that will last.”

Booz Allen Hamilton, Dovel Technologies, and Platinum Business Services will be supporting M Powered Strategies for this BPA.

Veterans Affairs Honors Carl Crampton

Posted in Client Delivery / Department of Veterans Affairs on October 17, 2012
Leo Phelan and Carl Crampton

Leo Phelan and Carl Crampton

Carl Crampton was recently presented a Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Certificate of Appreciation by Leo Phelan, Executive Director of Veterans Relationship Management (VRM) for Carl’s work with the VRM Project Management Office in planning and executing acquisitions in FY12. Beyond executing their assigned budget for acquisitions, the VRM PMO team was able to take on additional requests from other programs to complete even more acquisitions for other business capabilities. Carl has been a member of the VRM PMO since May 2010 and is tasked with preparing VRM’s out year budgets and OMB Exhibit 300 submissions. “Being able to articulate VA business requirements into budget needs, justify the budget request, and acquire the services necessary to achieve those business requirements is the key to achieving better services for our Veterans.”

Carl has worked for clients at the VA with M Powered Strategies since April 2007. He is a retired U.S. Coast Guard officer with experience in IT services from his work with MITRE, Nextel and Sprint Nextel.

AMPs Meet with the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Posted in AMP Program / Department of Veterans Affairs on July 31, 2012

Group of AMPsThe Applied Management Professionals (AMP) Program at M Powered Strategies is designed to expose graduate students to the upper echelons of government.  So it was in keeping with this spirit that Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ushered a small group of AMPs into his oak paneled office on a recent July afternoon. AMPs John Bova, Kevin Stahler, Niki Virani, and Ariana Zeno, who are working in the Office of Information Technology at VA, were invited by the Deputy Secretary to discuss their professional interests and to inquire about his career.

With a stunning view of the National Monument in the background, Mr. Gould told the AMPs about his prior experience, leading up to his post as Chief Operating Officer of the federal government’s second largest department. He is known as a responsive leader who actively solicits input, both positive and negative, from staff at all levels. In reference to his current high level position, he noted, “If you forget for one second that you didn’t suddenly get taller, smarter, or better looking, you’ll make a mistake.”

The AMPs were struck by his humility and sincerity. ”I can say without hesitation that the afternoon spent with Deputy Secretary Gould will be the high point of my summer,” remarked AMP John Bova. This was just one of many opportunities the AMPs have had to discuss career growth and leadership with high level executives in the Washington area.

Meet the 2012 AMPs!

In June, the Applied Management Professionals (AMP) Program entered into our 4th summer session. This year was our most competitive application process yet, and our 9 AMPs hail from five different universities from coast to coast! Their placements are at the Department of Transportation and the Department of Veterans Affairs, agencies which have now supported AMPs for multiple years in a row. When they’re not busy with client delivery, they are developing three M Powered Strategies corporate projects and attending trainings. Excursions, executive luncheons, and corporate receptions round out their jam-packed summer. Please join us for their closing reception on August 14th to celebrate a summer of accomplishments!

AMPs at the DOT: Office of the Chief Information Officer Team

Lauren Miles Lauren Miles (Team Lead) A Michigan native, Lauren earned her B.A. in Secondary Education & History with a minor in Social Sciences from Western Michigan University. Upon graduation, she accepted a teaching position in Prince William County. For the past eight years, Lauren has been teaching Government & Sociology to high school seniors. Last year, Lauren completed her M.A. in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding at California State University-Dominguez Hills. After obtaining her masters, Lauren began to look for new ways to use her education and experience in teaching/training, which brought her to M Powered Strategies.  She is very excited to be using her skills and expertise to assist and support her team of AMPs at the DOT. In her free time, Lauren enjoys attending sporting events, spending time with friends, and enjoying everything DC has to offer.
Leland Butisbauch Leland Butisbauch is a recent graduate of the University of California, San Diego’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS), where he focused on Asia-Pacific security, environmental policy, and China. Leland has applied his IR/PS skillset in numerous professional endeavors, including working as a Program Assistant within the Strategic Partnerships Directorate at U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), researching the relationship between climate change and conflict at the Center for Environmental and National Security (CENS) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, serving as a Senior Official Liaison Officer for the U.S. Department of State at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials Meeting (SOM3), and assuming the role of Treasurer and board member of the International Clean Tech Initiative student group at IR/PS. Prior to graduate school Leland worked as a foreign instructor in Japan via the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Leland graduated magna cum laude from William Jessup University in 2008, where he majored in Intercultural Studies and Theology.
Patrick Hennigan Patrick Hennigan is currently a Master in Pacific International Affairs candidate at the school of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and in 2006 he graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Political Science and a BA in History. Prior to starting graduate school he worked as an English teacher for nearly four years in South Korea and Japan. At UCSD he is focusing on Public Policy and China and enjoys his responsibilities as a student leader. Having never lived on the east coast, Patrick is very excited to experience work and life in the nation’s capital this summer. As for hobbies, he enjoys watching and playing sports and traveling to foreign countries.
Nicole Stratton Nicole Stratton is a graduate student at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she is concentrating on program evaluation and social entrepreneurship. Nicole’s past experience includes working as a community organizer in Minneapolis, MN; graduating from the University of Minnesota with a focus in public policy and international relations; serving as Executive Assistant to Congressman Keith Ellison; and working on program and volunteer management at the Taproot Foundation in New York City. Nicole is a proud Wisconsinite and can often be found buying cheese at the local farmer’s market.
Noah Van Gilder Noah Van Gilder is a recent graduate of the Master of Public Administration program at the George Washington University, concentrating in policy analysis and management. Before attending GW, he earned his bachelor’s degree in natural resources at Cornell University and spent three years working as a government relations assistant for the Nature Conservancy. He has also been an intern for the federal Office of Management and Budget, BlueGreen Alliance, and the National Audubon Society. Noah is an avid singer in his free time and has been an active performer and volunteer for the Alexandria Harmonizers chorus, including two years of service on its Board of Directors.
Graeme Wood Graeme Wood is a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego School of Pacific and International Affairs (IR/PS), where he is focusing on International Development and Latin America. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.  As an undergraduate he researched and studied politics in Washington D.C., at the UC Washington Center, and he also studied the history of the Andean region, in Cuzco, Peru.

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

Jenny Weng Jenny Weng (Team Lead) is excited to reprise her role as a Team Lead for the Applied Management Professionals (AMP) Program. This summer, she is working at the Department of Veterans Affairs and managing three projects for Information Technology Resource Management (ITRM) to identify and document the unfunded request process, improve business customer satisfaction, as well as strengthen relationship between vendors and the agency. Jenny looks forward to working with AMPs from across the nation and hopes for another summer of fun and success.
John Bova John Bova is currently a Master of Public Administration candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Hispanic Studies, John spent four years with Peace Corps El Salvador, namely supporting the Municipal Development program as a volunteer, trainer, and coordinator. Most recently, John worked at the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children headquartered in Philadelphia as their Vice President of Central Operations. As a native of Dallas, TX, John looks to embrace the summer heat exploring the many hike and bike trails in DC/NoVa.
Kevin Stahler Kevin Stahler is currently a master’s candidate in the International Relations and Pacific Studies program at UC San Diego specializing in public policy and economics.  Prior to his time in sunny San Diego, Kevin studied at slightly-less-sunny UC Berkeley where he graduated with highest honors in History, and afterwards moved to Tokyo, Japan to live and work for three years.  In what free time he can spare, Kevin loves to read, write, and travel the world.   For all his love of jet-setting, however, this will be Kevin’s first extended stay on the East Coast and he hopes to have the D.C. lingo down in no time.
Niki Virani Niki Virani is a Master of Public Affairs candidate at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. She works as Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal (LBJ Journal), and as a teaching assistant at the McCombs School of Business. After graduating from the University of Southern California in 2007 with a major in finance, she has worked as an analyst at Johnson & Johnson and Lockheed Martin, where she specialized in enterprise resource planning. Originally from California, Niki moved to Texas last year to attend the LBJ School, and is looking forward to a summer in Washington, DC.
Ariana Zeno Ariana Zeno is currently pursuing dual Masters degrees in City Planning with a concentration in Community and Economic Development and Social Work with a macro focus at the University of Pennsylvania. She is presently the editor of the Link, the Department of City Planning’s newsletter, and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly representative for the School of Design’s student council. Prior to graduate school, Ariana lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina and upon return to the U.S. worked as a bilingual paralegal at an immigration law firm and at PolicyLink, a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity for low income communities and communities of color in the Bay Area. Originally from California, Ariana graduated from Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in American and African American studies. In addition to her studies, Ariana is an avid traveler, a murder mystery champion, and proud mother of a bilingual Argentine kitty.

AMPs Get Published on ProPath

Posted in AMP Program / Department of Veterans Affairs on April 05, 2012

Rachel Brody and Alexandra ReamesThe hard work of M Powered Strategies AMPs paid off for the Department of Veterans Affairs. An onboarding process map they developed last summer for Virtual Lifetime Electronic Records (VLER), one of 16 major initiatives at VA, was used in VA’s HR Lockdown last November. It has since become official department-wide policy and was recently published on ProPath, where VA stores all its compliance and procedures documents.

Rachel Brody and Alexandra Reames creating process mapUnder the guidance of team lead Jenny Weng, AMPs Rachel Brody and Alexandra Reames produced the map, which defines the contractor onboarding process. Our clients, the VLER Director and COTR/Compliance Manager, were impressed with the excellent quality of the AMPs’ work, not to mention the timeliness of the delivery. At the end of the summer, the AMPs were invited to attend a meeting of the Onboarding Working Group, where they provided advice on ways to improve the VA’s contractor onboarding process.

One VA EA Business Reference Model

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs / Facilitation on December 13, 2011

M Powered Strategies has played a role in the creation and development of The One VA EA Business Reference Model, or BRM, by providing meeting management and logistical support, as well as providing meeting documentation. With a common set of process definitions to make the complex integration between business processes transparent, the BRM will supports architectural analysis and is a resourceful tool for enabling innovation and transformation. Specifically, the BRM helps the VA to:

  • Improve citizen services by highlighting opportunities to integrate operations and IT investment along common lines of business.
  • Guide VA administrations in the development and submission of business cases, improving the quality of service and lowering costs.
  • Provide IT vendors with a better understanding of the work done by VA administrations to allow them to provide products, and services that are more citizen-focused outcomes along functional lines.

The One VA EA BRM is the first ever-interactive Business Reference Model throughout the entire Federal Government. M Powered Strategies is proud to have played a role in this great accomplishment by the VA!

“Ruthless” Meeting Management

Posted in Department of Veterans Affairs / Facilitation on December 13, 2011

Since the end of May, Brian St.Sauveur has been supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Information and Technology’s Ruthless Reduction Task Force (RRTF). With a goal of identifying upwards of $130,000,000 in IT cost reduction for FY 2012, meetings take place Monday through Thursday, 7:30am-10:30am until the term of the Task Force expires on September 30.

The RRTF is chaired by Dr. Paul Tibbits, the Deputy CIO for Architecture, Strategy, and Design. Task Force members include employees from all VA staff offices and administrations, from technical specialists and engineers to multiple SES-level OIT leaders. Brian provides the full suite of M Powered Strategies meeting management support to Dr. Tibbits and the Task Force, including documenting notes, capturing action items, and eliciting stakeholder communication. In addition, Brian assists in the creation of RRTF briefings for a variety of audiences, which ranges from Mr. Roger Baker, who is the CIO of the VA, OIT SES executives, and other external stakeholders.

M Powered Strategies’ focus on providing all employees with the knowledge base to successfully manage meetings regardless of size or scope allowed Brian to be successful in the high-intensity, high-visibility environment of the RRTF.

Facilitation Reborn

While the Facilitation Service Line has been a core offering at M Powered Strategies for some time, four of the company’s new hires have been re-energizing its efforts and changing how M Powered Strategies defines a service line. Each member of the team brings something different to the table in terms of professional background and personality to round out the team and its entrepreneurial efforts to build a successful arm of the company. The team and Kendall have spent hours deliberating the service line’s core principles, framework, and methodology in regular FSL build meetings and there is still much work to do. All of the time and effort will ultimately pay off with a source document that clearly outlines what it means to be a part of FSL, the service delivered to FSL clients, and the strategic direction for FSL’s growth to address the needs of the market seen in recent solicitations. As FSL continues to mature, our team hopes that other service lines will turn to us if help is needed to jump-start their service lines or facilitate the build. We will continue to develop the service line with new team members, securing contracts, and strengthening our team collaboration.

The FSL staff has also been hard at work with new projects as subcontractors within HHS and VA. Nic Turrentine, Erin Bankey, and Selena Hunn are supporting different meeting management engagements at HHS within the CIO’s office, while Justin is supporting the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal at the VA within VRM initiative.

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