SPAC 2020

APMP Southern Proposal Accents Conference

Currently, SPAC 2021 is targeted for March 2021

Past Events: SPAC 2014 — Performing to New Heights

The 2014, 18th Annual SPAC was a great success. This year we returned to the Cobb Galleria Centre on Friday, October 24, 2014.

Event Photos

Photos by Serge Lecomte, Georgia Chattahoochee APMP Chapter.

Presenters & Presentations

Jennifer Hamaker

Jennifer Hamaker

When Time is Not on Your Side: How to Get a Jackpot Win in the Commercial Proposal World
| slides |

Hitting the jackpot in the Commercial Proposal world is easier said than done. With tight deadlines and team members scrambling, you need every card trick up your sleeve to come out a winner. Jennifer Hamaker, CF APMP, will walk you through three sleight of hand techniques to hit a big win every time in the commercial proposal world. Jennifer's card tricks include:

  • Standardized Process — Keep Your Sanity as the Dice Roll!
  • Global Communication Strategy — Reach Everyone in the Casino at Once!
  • Proposal Library for Base Answers — Leverage Content so the Cards Stack in Your Favor!

Jennifer Hamaker, CF APMP, works as a Director, Proposal & Technical Writing for hCentive, Inc. Jennifer is responsible for three departments: Proposal Writing, Technical Writing, and Training & Instructional Design. Her experience spans over 10 years, creating efficient documentation response processes and teams from the ground up.

Jennifer is certified at the Foundation Level with APMP. Jennifer holds a Bachelor's degree and has also completed additional work towards a Masters from Austin Peay State University.

Ed Alexander

Ed Alexander

Don't Bet the Farm | slides |

Why do incumbents lose? Because they bet the farm on being in a favored position with the customer.

Applying proven bid qualification and review strategies is critical to winning the right kind of business. This interactive session will address:

  • Understanding the common pitfalls of bidding as an incumbent
  • Understanding the purpose of bid qualification and review gates during proposal development
  • Defining roles and responsibilities during the bid qualification process
  • Applying tools to help ensure that the Probability of Winning (Pwin) is high

Don't bet on losing deals — learn to qualify and win!

Mr. Alexander is recognized as one of Shipley's finest senior leaders. A dynamic, seasoned platform professional, Ed is certified to provide consulting in all of Shipley's focus areas: training, capture/proposal consulting, and process consulting. He has been a full-time consultant with Shipley for almost 20 years. As a facilitator, he has taught more than 1,000 Shipley workshops and trained more than 20,000 participants in more than 20 countries for more than 300 companies. Known for his expertise in Business Development processes, Ed is considered one of the industry's most knowledgeable consultants in the areas of long-term positioning, opportunity assessment, win strategy development, and capture/proposal management.

Keith Lee

Keith Lee

Ways to Make Your Proposal Department a WINNER! Automate Your Proposal Department... MACRO-MAZING! | slides |

We will demonstrate live applications of proposal automation tips. We encourage audience participation and will randomly ask for proposal automation suggestions and then demonstrate those suggestions live. We will also:

  • Get a list of the 1,850+ pre-recorded macros and commands
  • Create macros that can be used on your next Proposal
  • Show how to customize the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) with newly created proposal macros
  • Show attendees how to Share their new automation tools with co-workers
  • Interactively demonstrate some more advanced Automation Tools that can save any proposal
    Department 3-5 days on a standard 30-day proposal.

Keith Lee, President of 123Proposal Automation Software, Inc., graduated Howard University with an Electrical Engineering degree, where he also learned Software Development, which came in handy when he developed's Proposal Automation Tools. These tools can strip RFP documents, create compliance matrices, storyboards, and individual author documents with a click of a button. Color review and desktop publishing automation are also part of this toolset that can save 3-5 days in a 30-day Proposal.

Brenda Crist

Brenda Crist

Stack the Odds in Your Favor: Craft Your Proposal to Obtain the Winning Score | slides |

Winners submit proposals with the highest number of strengths and the fewest number of weaknesses or risks at the most favorable price to the customer. This presentation will describe seven proven quality measures for maximizing your proposal's evaluated score and better the odds of winning. Attendees will participate in a "hands on" win lab to develop and score proposal strengths (features, benefits and proofs) and together determine which team's proposal is the winner.

Brenda Crist, Managing Director, Lohfeld Consulting Group, has 25 years of experience providing capture, proposal, and program management support for information technology companies serving the federal market. She is an APMP Fellow, is certified at the APMP Professional level, is a Foundation Level Instructor, former President of the APMP National Capital Area Chapter, and speaker at many APMP conferences. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from American University.

Ginny Carson

Ginny Carson

Double Down: How to Create Market and Competitive Analyses that are Greater than the Sum of Their Parts | slides |

Positioning for a win requires analyses of markets, customers and competitors. Best practices suggest gathering intelligence through both research and relationships. The challenge exists in extracting and analyzing data and engaging the capture and proposal teams to review the information to agree upon the best proposal themes/win strategies. This presentation covers techniques for gathering, analyzing and maximizing available information and word of mouth intelligence.

  • Primary vs. secondary data?
  • Timing: Market analyses; Customer profiles; competitor intelligence?
  • Fit within the BD process: Account planning; various gate reviews?
  • What does the data show: Scorecards for opportunities? (133 words)

Ginny advocates for increased return on investment and is passionate about maximizing effectiveness in business growth activities. Currently, Ginny serves as the Manager of the Business Development Resource Center (BDRC) at Life Cycle Engineering. The BDRC functions include process development, competitive intelligence, account management support, capture and proposal support. Ginny Carson is a SC native, an avid runner, an occasional triathlete, a dedicated wife, and mother to two children (who challenge her passion for effectiveness and ROI each day).

Jody Alves

Jody Alves

Hitting the Future Writer Jackpot: Developing the Next Generation of Proposal Writers | slides |

Most current proposal professionals "fell" into the profession. It is up to all of us to help develop the next generation... but how? After having difficulty finding good writers, GTECH hit the jackpot by successfully piloting and expanding a collaborative, experiential-education-based proposal writing project with a local university. We created a local talent pipeline by teaching our craft through reality-based experience. Students learned how to write proposals in response to RFPs, received evaluations, and heard from professionals on all sides of a proposal effort. This presentation describes program elements and explains how other companies can replicate it and achieve similar results.

Jody Alves is Senior Specialist and 18-year veteran with GTECH Corporation's Business Proposals Department in Providence, RI. Jody writes on strategic proposals and manages special staff training projects. She has extended her passion for writing into teaching proposal writing to college students and introducing them to our profession and APMP. She led APMP's Commercial Pilot and serves on its Commercial Advisory Leadership Team. She has presented at APMP's Nor'Easters Symposium and Bid & Proposal Con.

David Sotolongo

David Sotolongo

The Pursuit of Happiness — Reflections from Buddha, Science, and the Proposal Hombre | slides |

Recent movies (Limitless and Lucy) have made us imagine what would happen if we used 100% of our brain. The sad truth is, we already do. So now what? How can we achieve happiness, especially in a job industry that creates more stress than a dream about running naked and late to your college exam? Can you hit the jackpot and find true happiness? In this presentation, you will learn about the human brain, studies that actually track what makes people happy, and some tips on how you can decrease stress, eliminate anger, and pursue your vision of happiness.

David is Vice President of Business and Proposal Development at RTI International. He is a Fellow of APMP and has presented on a variety of topics at APMP conferences, including the Generation Gap at Work, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Proposal Manager, and other vaguely interesting proposal topics. You can follow David on Twitter (@ProposalHombre) and seek true happiness in 128 characters or less.

Mike Parkinson

Mike Parkinson

From the Outside In: Listen, Learn, Share, Win | slides |

Win more proposals. Be more successful. Increase your income. Achieve your goals faster. Untapped solutions to your biggest proposal (and other) problems surround you every day, you need only ask. In this session, we learn a practical way to reach your biggest professional and personal goals and eliminate your worst challenges—through simple interactions. This closely held approach changes professional (and personal) lives. It may change yours.

Takeaways include:

  • Win more proposals by solving your biggest challenges
  • Educate your team faster
  • Help others solve their greatest challenges

Mike Parkinson (PPF.APMP) is an industry thought leader, visual communication expert and award-winning author. He is a partner at 24 Hour Company, a premier proposal creative services firm. Mike has spearheaded multi-billion dollar projects and created thousands of graphics and proposal solutions resulting in billions of dollars in increased revenue for his clients. His Billion Dollar Graphics book, Graphic Cheat Sheet and Get My Graphic website help companies win more proposals and save money. Contact Mike at or call 703-533-7209.

Heather Routh

Heather Routh

Don't Gamble with Your Strategy: Up the Ante with High Quality, High Impact Executive Summaries | slides |

Are you sitting at the table or playing to win? Do you have a clear strategy from the beginning of the project? Are your executive summaries demonstrating value to your customer? Stack the deck in your favor with tools and processes for winning executive summaries.

This session answers the question "What makes a strong executive summary?" by guiding attendees through a proven process to get the right strategic information from the right people to create high quality, high impact executive summaries. In the high stakes game of proposals, your executive summary is your opening hand, play like a high roller.

Heather Routh, CF APMP is a Best Practice Associate with Strategic Proposals in North America. She presented a standing-room-only session at the 2014 International Bid & Proposal Con in Chicago. Heather helped develop the strategy and executive summary tools and guides for Strategic Proposals and has developed hundreds of high quality, high impact executive summaries for sales teams across the globe. Currently, she also serves Carenet Healthcare Services as their Proposal Manager.

Kirste Webb

Kirste Webb

Improve the Line — Finding the Right Partner | slides |

You might be the longshot or you might be the favorite, but either way, you can gamble away your winnings if you don't have the right team. Finding the right partner isn't easy. It's not always your best friend, or the company you worked with the last time. Instead, you need to focus on what will win and identify the partner (or partners) that put you in the best position to improve your winning potential. Join me for a fun discussion on how to improve your odds and beat the spread through teaming.

Kirste Webb, CF APMP Fellow, is an independent consultant working with small businesses. She has over 27 years' experience in business development, facilitating development of corporate initiatives, including analyzing markets, assessing potential competition, and developing overall strategies for pursuits. Kirste holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and is a long-time member of APMP. She has presented at numerous APMP conferences and currently sits on the Board of Advisors for CBDE.

Chris Richter

Chris Richter

It's Not All in the Flop, Buddy: Identifying the Price-to-Compete | slides |

There's a name for Hold 'Em poker players who never fold before the flop: losers. Winners calculate their odds early—and they use those results to develop effective strategies that improve their odds of winning. On our table, the price-to-compete is where competitors tend to bid and customers tend to award contracts based on an historical analysis of award prices against budget. Learn how price-to-compete results can be used to design effective solutions that improve both your odds of winning and performing.

Chris Richter is Vice President of Operations for Richter & Company, a Frederick, Maryland based competitive analysis and pricing strategy firm. He is an outstanding analyst, with a keen eye for converting competitor tells into actionable tactics clients use to increase their odds of winning. An interesting, engaging speaker, Chris will present valuable techniques you can use to improve your bankroll management in any competition.

Chuck Keller

Chuck Keller

Success in the Proposal Profession: It Takes More than Luck | slides |

A retired (and grizzled) proposal veteran will describe how to promote your success as a proposal professional and the success of your employer. Drawing on his proposal experience as a full-time and consultant/contract employee, Chuck will suggest strategic and tactical ways to help new and not-so-new proposal professionals prosper in what can be a demanding, yet rewarding, job and career. With his insight shaped by his 20/20 hindsight and lessons learned through success and failure, Chuck hopes to help make winners of your proposal professional life and the proposals you develop. Luck could help, but don't bet on it.

Chuck is a recently retired proposal professional with about 30 years in the profession. An APMP Fellow and APMP charter member, he co-founded the Georgia and Florida APMP Chapters and served as the chapter chair for both. Chuck also co-founded SPAC and was the SPAC's conference chair several times. He has a BS (journalism), MBA, and MS (technical communication) and is the co-author of the book Proposal Writing: The Art of Friendly and Winning Persuasion.


The following workshops were offered on Thursday, October 23 at a location near the SPAC 2014 Venue.

Lohfeld Consulting Group offered the APMP Foundation Level Accreditation Training and Examination. This workshop prepares students to take the Foundation Level Examination, which was administered and scored at the end of the day. Lohfeld Consulting has delivered Foundation Level training since 2011, including the two most recent pre-SPAC accreditation workshops.

24 Hour Company offered a proposal graphics workshop, "Solutioning and Visualization (Winning With Better Solutions and Graphics)". Led by Mike Parkinson, this training is designed to teach attendees how to develop winning solutions and communicate those solutions with the team and the customer using winning proposal graphics. This class has been conducted for more than 5,000 attendees at more than 100 events over the last 10 years.

Our Platinum Sponsors

Lohfeld Consulting Group — the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets—with a practical, cost-effective, and efficient approach to winning new business.

Sign up for our free monthly capture and proposal tips ebrief.

Shipley Associates is a global professional services firm providing qualified personnel, consulting, and training across the business development lifecycle

Visit or call 888.772.9467 for more information.

Qorus Software is a global provider of document and proposal automation solutions for Microsoft Office and SharePoint. Qorus offers a Sales Proposal Automation and RFP Collaboration solution called Qorus Breeze Proposals.

Gold Sponsors

Strategic Proposals



The 18th annual Southern Proposal Accents Conference (SPAC) returned to the Cobb Galleria Centre, 2 Galleria Pkwy SE, Atlanta, GA 30339 (Google Maps) on Friday, October 24, 2014. This venue has hosted SPAC for a number of years and is an excellent fit for an event the size of SPAC. For our out-of-town attendees staying in the Galleria area, there has been ongoing development in this area, giving you many more choices for nearby dining.

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