SPAC 2020

APMP Southern Proposal Accents Conference

Currently, SPAC 2021 is targeted for March 2021

Past Events: SPAC 2015 — Performing to New Heights

The 2015, 19th Annual SPAC was a great success. This year we enjoyed a new venue, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, on Tuesday, October 27, 2015.

Event Photos

Presenters & Presentations

Lisa Pafe

Lisa Pafe

Proposal Yoga | slides |

Proposal yoga can help us gain the focus we need to reach new heights and achieve successful proposal outcomes. This presentation will offer ways to reduce stress, regain composure, and increase productivity—all highly beneficial to harried proposal professionals juggling multiple competing demands on our time.

The session will include meditation, mindfulness techniques, and yoga practice geared to each phase of the proposal process. Attendees will also receive a handout with poses and meditations they can perform at their desk in 10 minute increments. No experience needed—only an open mind!

Lisa Pafe, CPP APMP Fellow and PMP, is Principal Consultant, Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. She serves on the APMP-NCA Board of Directors as Vice President and was formerly Publicity Chair and Chair of the Speaker Series Committee.

She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University, Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University, and a Masters in Information Systems from the George Washington University.With more than 24 years of experience in capture and proposals and eight years' experience in yoga, she credits her practice with increasing her flexibility, balance, empathy, patience, and serenity. Namaste!

Mike Walsh

Mike Walsh

Places Everyone! Rehearsal — The Key to Bringing Down the House at Orals | slides |

The fastest way to derail an amazing proposal effort is to deliver your oral presentation unprepared. We know this, but we routinely send teams into presentations unprepared, minimally prepared, with too many (or worse, the wrong) team members and worst of all with a 457 slide deck (read crutch) for a 60 minute presentation.

Mike will demonstrate methods to help ease the stage fright of key team members, properly prepare your teams for orals, reduce their reliance on PowerPoint® and deliver standing ovation worthy performances during oral presentations.

Mike Walsh is a Senior Communication and Pursuits Strategist with EY's Financial Services Office based in Boston. Mike brings a wealth of proposal management, orals coaching, project management, and team management skills. Additionally, Mike is the president of APMP's Nor'easters chapter.

Prior to EY, he served as a proposal manager for Odyssey Systems Consulting Group, leading large and complex Federal proposals, and before that was a training manager and served as an Officer in the United States Coast Guard. Mike holds a MA in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and a BS in Government from the Coast Guard Academy.

Julia Quigley

Julia Quigley

Lessons learned from the circus: What trapeze culture can teach proposal professionals about teamwork | slides |

Proposal work is like being in the circus: there are simultaneous acts, we dance into and out of one another's work streams, and we're juggling too many projects. This presentation shares what proposal professionals can learn about teamwork from circus culture.

In proposals, if our lives don't depend one another's performance, our livelihood may, so how should we handle our colleague's costly mistakes? How can we improve teamwork so we don't drop the ball? How does community affect performance?

Attend this session to learn how circus and current research answer these questions and come away with a new perspective.

Julia Quigley has worked on a variety of Federal Health IT task orders and large federal proposals. With a Master's in Rhetoric and Composition, she has created proposal writing strategies and conducted training to help technical subject matter experts (SMEs) understand how to respond clearly and compellingly to solicitation requirements.

Prior to joining Lohfeld Consulting Group, Julia managed proposals for small and mid-sized federal contractors and taught introductory writing and persuasive writing classes at Texas State University. She applies the lessons she taught as well as lessons learned to all her proposal and training projects.

David Cornwell

David Cornwell

Word Master Class: from expert to guru (Applauding Well Written RFPs) | slides |

You thought you were an expert in Word? Learn best practices and tips to more easily produce professionally formatted documents. Discover Word's full potential, and learn how to exploit its functionality to make the bid creation process more about the content, rather than the formatting.

Diving into lesser-known features of Microsoft® Word we demonstrate how to achieve fool proof, more consistent document formatting, providing tips, and shortcuts that can easily be put into practice.

This master class will develop proposal and bid writers' skills by teaching, through live demonstrations, the finer points of document formatting with Microsoft Word.

David Cornwell founded PleaseTech in 2002. A business visionary and veteran of the technology market, David's entrepreneurial success began in 1994 when he created CDC Solutions, the leader in the provision of document publishing solutions to the Life Sciences industry.

David developed PleaseTech's flagship product, PleaseReview, into the world's foremost collaborative document review and co-authoring solution, ensuring that PleaseReview remains globally unique and continues to meet the complex regulatory and compliance requirements demanded across industry sectors.

Colleen Jolly

Colleen Jolly

Creativity on Demand: Infuse Creativity in Bid Teams to Create Better Solutions, Clearer Strategies and Happier Clients | slides |

Are you stuck in a rut doing the same things over and over again? Watching your team disengage or worse — nod off meetings? Have trouble coming up with new and innovative solutions to motivate yourself, your team or even your clients?

You're not alone. Learn strategies to harness your creative spark and build your creative confidence. Then learn how to infuse your team with the same inspired energy to produce innovative, quality proposal material and successful, productive meetings. Develop practical (and fun!) tactics that work despite pressing deadlines and stressful situations.

Colleen Jolly, PPF.APMP, a 15+ year proposal veteran, manages 24 Hour Company, a global visual communications company. Colleen is very active in the APMP and serves as the past CEO of the international board, former Layout Editor for the APMP Journal and former Secretary of the NCA Chapter.

She is a frequent worldwide speaker and writer on creative and general business topics, and has spoken at most APMP conferences around the world.

BJ Lownie

B.J. Lownie

Beyond Win Rates: Fair and Appropriate Measurement of the Proposal Support Performance | slides |

A question often asked of a proposal professional is "What's your win rate?" Given the majority of factors involved in winning business are outside of the control of proposal support, measuring a proposal professionals' performance on the win rate associated with the proposal they develop and submit is inappropriate, unfair, and demotivating.

This insightful, informative, and engaging presentation will explore and discuss how the performance of a proposal professional and the proposal support function should be measured. Attendees will leave with a set of criteria that they can easily apply to appropriately and fairly measure their performance.

BJ Lownie is truly "Passionate about Proposals." He has 30+ years' experience, has worked on hundreds of proposals and has had thousands of people attend one of his presentations or workshops. He is a founding member, an accredited Professional and elected Fellow of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP).

BJ is the co-author (with Jon Williams) of the recently published Proposal Essentials: Win More Win More Easily (available on Amazon). B.J. Lownie and the Strategic Proposals team are credited by numerous individuals and organizations for significantly improving their proposal quality and capabilities.

Betsy Blakney

Betsy Blakney

Better Than Average: On Becoming a Thought Leader | slides | resources |

Have you ever wondered how some of our peers became thought leaders? You can become one, too, by managing your brand and becoming a visible expertSM. We'll define what 'thought leadership' is; describe the steps these colleagues took to increase visibility, credibility, and influence, while examining tips and tools to help you build a following and become widely known and admired. If you dare to think different, have the passion to try, you can be sought after for your knowledge and wisdom, just like the proposal professionals profiled, some well-known experts in business development, others quietly becoming industry starts.

Betsy Blakney, CPP APMP Fellow, is a past APMP International CEO, COO, Board Secretary, Eastern Regional Representative, and a former APMP-National Capital Area (NCA) President. As Director of Proposal Management at CACI, Betsy leads a team of six proposal managers, facilitates proposal writing, capture and recompete courses. A member since 1996, she actively serves as an APMP certification mentor, facilitates the Quick Start Practitioner Workshop at Bid & Proposal Con, and co-authored the APMP Industry Glossary of Terms. She also served as an Assistant Editor (2009-2010) and Books Review Editor (2008-2009) for the APMP Journal and was noted for her conference travelogue series.

Claire McGarry

Claire McGarry

Leading a Successful Multi-Generational Proposal Team | slides |

Is there really a "generation gap" in the workplace? We hear a lot about the differences between Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials and are warned about the challenges of working in multi-generational teams. But recent research shows that we aren't really as different as we might seem...

With participation from the audience, we will investigate the negative implications of common stereotypes of each generation. We will consider shifting our focus from the differences between the generations to our similarities, with an emphasis on shared values and motivations. Finally, we will provide best practices for working together on proposals.

Claire McGarry is a Proposal Manager at SciMetrika, a fast-growing, health-focused small business serving Federal clients. She has worked in multi-generational teams to win contracts since 2010, when she shifted her focus from population health research to business development. She holds a BA in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is pursuing a Masters of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the same institution.

Randy Richter
Camila Anderson

Randy Richter and Camila Anderson

Great Theater: From Understudy to Star | slides |

Actor Willem Dafoe says that "great theater is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to." This applies equally in our world, especially if what we aspire to is taking the "starring role" away from an entrenched incumbent.

In this tag-team presentation, Camila Anderson and Randy Richter will demonstrate how to effectively gather and analyze information from the open-source Federal Procurement Data System to challenge assumptions about incumbent performance — and in the process, convert our team's capture fantasies into reality.

Camila Anderson serves as the BD Research Analyst for Life Cycle Engineering in Charleston, SC. She supports LCE's BD activities, helping leadership with strategic and tactical decisions using powerful critical thinking to advance LCE's addressable market, long-term positioning, opportunity assessment, and capture.

Randy Richter, president of Richter & Company, a Maryland-based competitive analysis and pricing strategy firm. His knowledge and experience, combined with outstanding analytical and presentation skills and an overwhelming "can do" attitude, have helped clients win more than $60 billion in business in the highly competitive federal marketplace. He has been a highly-rated speaker at many APMP events.

Ginny Carson

Ginny Carson

How to become an overnight sensation with Account Management
| slides | scorecard tool |

Continuing to grow business within mature accounts doesn't happen by accident. In order to maximize our engagement with critical customers, we need to take a step up from individual opportunity pursuits and consider the bigger picture.

This presentation will explain and demonstrate how to shift focus to the higher level and become more efficient and profitable in the process.

  • Defining the chaos: Contracts, Primes, Services, Customers
  • What information to capture: Documentation of key contacts, account goals, etc.
  • Launching the teams: How do I make time for another meeting
  • Briefing leadership: What warrants sharing
  • Pursuing goals: On-going work toward increased revenue

Ginny Carson advocates for increased return on investment (ROI). Her career work in Sales, Marketing and Business Development represents her passion for 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 BD Process Development and Support, Competitive/Market Intelligence Gathering or Research, Strategic Opportunity Identification and Development, Account Management Support, Opportunity Capture Planning, 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).

Brenda Crist

Brenda Crist

The Role of the Narrator Will Be Played by Information to Win (ITW) | slides |

At the Lohfeld Consulting Group, our motto is "Best Informed Win." Collecting the right information within the time, budget, and constraints of a bid is essential for producing a winning proposal. This presentation describes how you can effectively plan, collect, and distribute information within the bid schedule.

Presentation topics include how to efficiently collect information from customers, ethically collect information about competitors, use social media to extract information, and play a vital role in identifying the price to win.

As a capture and proposal consultant for the Lohfeld Consulting Group, Brenda Crist observed that a major difference between winning and losing bids is the quality of the information collected to write the proposal. She began to hone techniques to collect and manage information to win (ITW) from primary and secondary sources.

Brenda is a past President of the APMP National Capital Area Chapter, an authorized APMP Accreditation Trainer, and APMP Fellow.

Brad Douglas

Brad Douglas

From Great to Consistently Great! | slides |

We all produce great proposals — how do we move our proposals from great to consistently great?

Understanding what sets good proposals apart from great proposals is critical to winning. This interactive session will address:

  • Characteristics of great proposals
  • Evaluation standards and variables
  • The discipline and rigor to produce great proposals
  • Making it a habit!
  • Being consistently great requires discipline, accountability, and competence.

Mr. Douglas is a business development leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, business development, sales, and executive leadership. He has helped many companies compete for and win strategic contracts.

Brad is a strategic thinker with an ability to implement change initiatives to improve sales performance and a strong supporter of APMP and its mission and vision.

2015 Pre-SPAC Workshops

APMP Foundation Level Training & Examination, Lohfeld Consulting

Lohfeld Consulting conducted a 1-day workshop designed to prepare students to take the APMP Foundation Level examination. The workshop reviewed key concepts typically included on the Foundation Level exam.

Sponsors & Exhibitors

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. Our services include:

  • Go-to-Market strategy and execution
  • Pipeline development
  • Capture management
  • Proposal management, writing, and review
  • Capture and proposal process consulting
  • WinCenterTM integrated capture and proposal tool
  • Professional training

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. Over 320 Consultants worldwide support clients to help them execute capture strategies and develop winning proposals. Clients include organizations competing in the B2B, B2G, and global markets. Shipley is an Approved Training Organization (ATO) for APMP and a Platinum Sponsor supporting the arts and science of business development best practices.

Visit or call 888.772.9467 for more information.


Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

The 19th Annual SPAC was held on Tuesday, October 27, 2017 at the spectacular Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (CEPAC), located at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway Atlanta, GA 30339, 770-916-2800. This venue is near the intersection of I-285 and I-75 in northwest Atlanta and is only a few blocks from the site of SPAC 2014, the Cobb Galleria.

Please visit the CEPAC website for additional information.

The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre consists of a 2300-seat theatre and an adjacent ballroom that we will use for SPAC. From the road approaching the centre, you can't really see the conference building. The main building that you see is the multi-story theatre itself.

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