SPAC 2019 — Wednesday, March 20 and Thursday, March 21, 2019 — Cobb Energy Performance Arts Center (CEPAC), Atlanta

2019 SPAC Presenters


Rich Kenah

Rich Kenah

Powerful Magic of Olympic Proportion

Atlanta makes its own magic when it comes to winning bids. In 1996, Atlanta hosted the world during the XXVI Olympiad Games, which transformed this city. Under the banner of Olympic Legacy, Olympic Future, in 2018 the Atlanta Track Club decided to chase a new Olympic chapter and was awarded the bid to host the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. Through the aspiring stories and challenging journeys of a new generation of Olympic stars, this bid leveraged the magic of inspiring all of Atlanta. During this presentation you will learn how to prepare a winning proposal quickly, by using unique processes and a dedicated team.

Rich Kenah is the Executive Director at Atlanta Track Club. With more than 30,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the 2nd largest running organization in the U.S. Rich participated in professional track and field for almost a decade. He represented the United States in the 2000 Olympics in Australia. He is a two-time Bronze Medalist in the World Championships, a 1992 NCAA Champion and a Golden West National High School Champion in 1988. In 2015, Rich was named by Runner's World Magazine as one of the top 50 most influential leaders in running and among the top 8 in "Maestros" — "organizers of events that amaze and unite us."


Keera Godfrey

Keera Godfrey

A Disappearing Act: Using Lean Principles to Develop Winning Proposals

As proposal development professionals we are all guilty of conducting tasks that do not contribute or have minimal impact on creating winning proposals. Perhaps we do them because "that is what we have always done." In this highly interactive session, participants will learn to view proposal development through the lens of a proven lean manufacturing tool known as Value Stream Analysis (VSA). This lean principle is used to identify and eliminate non-value added steps in current processes. Participants can expect to gain ideas to streamline processes, improve quality, and work more efficiently to ultimately create responsive and compelling proposals.

Keera Godfrey, MBA, M.S. is the CEO and principal consultant at Naris Communications LLC, a company that builds training and communication programs and readiness assessments for transformational change initiatives, specifically system implementations. Keera is a PROSCI certified change practitioner, an ATD Master Trainer, a Six Sigma Green Belt, and a former adjunct professor having taught in-class and online proposal writing and technical writing courses to aspiring engineers and technical communicators.


Dick Eassom

Dick Eassom

Simple Word Spells I Wish Proposal Writers Knew

Ye olde Microsoft Word. A seemingly easy book of spells, but dangers lurk within. There are many spells and optimum ways of using those spells to assist our proposal development activities. If only your authors knew the dangers of the dark arts of cut and paste. "What do you mean, Hermione, use the styles?" "That's not how you make a hanging indent, Ron!" "How do I cast a proposal template spell, Harry?" And other divers charms and potions! Wordman presents basics (and some not so basics) on how Word works and what we can do to get a proposal writer to be a help, not a hindrance, to proposal development.

Dick Eassom, aka Wordman, is a Vice President at SMA, Inc., a certified APMP Fellow, past APMP Chief Executive Officer, past APMP California Chapter Chair, recipient of the APMP Founders' Award, and a presenter at 13 APMP Annual International Conferences and numerous APMP chapter events. Dick authored over forty "Wordman's Production Corner" articles published in the APMP Perspective and has twenty-five years' experience developing and leading proposals to a wide variety of market sectors in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany.


Keera Godfrey

Shakita Briggs

Keera Godfrey and Shakita Briggs

How to Play Fair in the Magician's Hat

As proposal professionals we have all worked with external consultants or maybe have had to support a teaming partner to meet business goals. Shakita Briggs, of DLH Corporation manages a business model that is primarily based on consultant support. Keera Godfrey has been a senior proposal management and writing consultant with DLH for six years. By sharing their real-life experience, these facilitators will share how to effectively work with consultants and teaming partners to get the best return on investment and leverage knowledge to develop winning proposals. This session is perfect for consultants and corporate proposal professionals at all levels.

With over 15 years' experience in business development, Ms. Shakita Briggs has supported new business growth by winning Federal and state contact awards. Her ability to lead large and complex proposal development projects has provided the ultimate platform for her leadership and communication skills. Shakita has managed the successful development of compliant, competitive, cogent, and compelling proposals through effective collaboration across teams that include internal staff, corporate partners, consultants, and supporting vendors.

Keera Godfrey, MBA, M.S. is the CEO and principal consultant at Naris Communications LLC, a company that builds training and communication programs and readiness assessments for transformational change initiatives, specifically system implementations. Keera is a PROSCI certified change practitioner, an ATD Master Trainer, a Six Sigma Green Belt, and a former adjunct professor having taught in-class and online proposal writing and technical writing courses to aspiring engineers and technical communicators.


David Stearman

David Stearman

What's YOUR Value Proposition

In our profession, we often use the term Value Proposition. Typically, this is the answer to the question, "Why Us? Why should a potential customer choose our company for a contract? What value do we offer that separates us from competitors?"

That's not what this session is about.

This session is an invitation to explore what matters to YOU. The question for us is, "Why do I do what I do? What values do I bring to my work?" Until you understand your own WHY, you won't be truly effective (or happy) in your work.

David M. Stearman is owner/CEO of Proposal Strategy and Development Consulting LLC, which helps government contractors win more work by providing support across the BD/capture/proposal spectrum. David is the founder/CEO of the GovCon Services Consortium, which brings together service providers in the GovCon space as a force multiplier for the industry. David is a Shipley-certified Business Development professional, an experienced trainer, and a dynamic, engaging speaker who has presented sessions at numerous APMP conferences, including SPAC 2017 and 2018.


Diane Loudenback

Diane Loudenback

Becoming a Styles Wizard with Magical Results

Spending too much time formatting (and reformatting) the same content and not enough time on higher-level activities? Maybe your branding has a fresh new look, but what is the best way to put the new guidelines into practice? Put your magic wand to better use by leveraging MS Word Styles for consistency and control among all of your documents. Join us for a review of the basics of MS Word Styles — what are they and how to apply them. PLUS bonus potions and spells to make them work even harder for you.

Diane Loudenback, VP Services, Expedience Software, has been working with RFQs, proposals and proposal-based technology for more than twenty years and has helped customers across virtually all industries implementing RFP & Proposal-based applications including SaaS-based models and on-premise solutions. Diane is an Accredited Member of APMP and a graduate of Purdue University (BA - 1994) and Rivier University (MS - 2006).


Kevin Switaj

Kevin Switaj

Tips to Make Great Proposal Narrative Appear

It is an age-old problem for proposal managers - getting great, relevant, specialized content. How can we get the most out of contributors who are either too busy, unable, or unwilling to write? How do we ensure content is customized to the needs of our client and the particulars of an opportunity? This presentation focuses on actionable guidance and tips to maximizing the efficiency of the proposal writing process. Kevin Switaj provides proven tools, tricks, and approaches to get the most out of contributors. After this presentation, you too will be able to make great narrative appear like magic!

Kevin Switaj, PhD CF APMP is President and CEO of BZ Opportunity Management, a consulting firm providing high-quality bid management, process optimization, contracts, and training support. He possesses over a decade of experience in proposal management and leadership. He has supported and trained a wide range of Government contractors. A multiple award winning writer in the field, he has presented at numerous APMP regional and international conferences, including SPAC in 2017 and 2018.


Jeff Leitner

Jeff Leitner

Transmogrify your Proposal Reviews from Vampiric to Valuable

We routinely run proposals through color team reviews, but how often do those reviews actually increase our chances of winning? Too many times we force reviews to happen when we're not ready, our reviewers don't understand how to add value, and we end up chasing our tails responding to silly reviewer comments. In this conversation we'll discuss practical tips for conducting reviews that help you win, including when to conduct reviews, what each review's focus should be, and how to prepare reviewers for success. Say goodbye to the days of having a VP change "happy" to "glad" at Pink Team!

Jeff Leitner is Senior Consultant and Western Region lead for Red Team Consulting. He provides capture strategy, proposal management, technical writing, and other business development support to Red Team's clients. He has been working in proposals, capture, and business development for more than 30 years, supporting efforts for a variety of public sector customers. His first proposal experience was as an author on a $1B bid to the FAA, way back in 1988. After the proposal was done, he hit his head on a rock, which clouded his judgment, and he decided to go into proposals fulltime.


Robin Davis

Robin Davis

Abracadabra! Tricks for Creating Enchanting Content

Writing great content isn't magic—it's a process. With the right ingredients, your content can impress and enchant your audience. With slight of word and a sixth sense for what's important to your audience, you can cast a spell that helps you win. You'll leave this session with repeatable formulas that help you build compelling content every time.

Robin Davis, CF APMP Fellow, CEO, Metre — Robin and team help sales and account management teams win business through proposals. Metre specializes in proposal development and management, strategic messaging, process definition and deployment, and training. Robin is a dynamic speaker and Chairs the APMP Rhythm & Harmony Chapter, which serves members in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. She is an Association Fellow and a former member of APMP's International Board of Directors.


Steve Skeldon

Steve Skeldon and panel

Question Wizards: The Magic of Asking the Client the RIGHT Questions

Asking the client questions is easy. Asking the RIGHT questions, the RIGHT way, to get the RIGHT answers, now that's where the magic comes in. This panel discussion provides the reasoning and rationale behind asking questions that will be answered positively for the customer and your company. Bringing together collective expertise from industry professionals in proposal development, contracts, pricing, and operations, including former Government individuals, this session includes actionable tips how to best ask the questions that get the answers that help your company win.

Steve Skeldon, CF APMP, is a senior proposal manager with Vectrus, with 8+ years of proposal experience across the Federal services industry.

Allison Powell has 10+ years experience in government contracting as a contracts manager and proposal manager, editor, and writer.

Kevin Switaj, PhD, CF APMP, is president and CEO of BZ Opportunity Management, a consulting firm providing bid management, process optimization, contracts, and training support.

Alexandra Cuccaro is an experienced pricing professional with Richter & Company with 11+ years of experience within the Federal Acquisition industry.


BJ Lownie

BJ Lownie

IMPROVing Communications: "Whose Proposal is it Anyway?"

The ability to communicate effectively is essential to rapidly developing a high performing team; Essential for successful proposal development. And keeping things light hearted and playful goes a long ways to reducing the stress typically associated with proposals. In this informative, engaging, highly interactive, and sure to be entertaining session, participants will have an opportunity to develop and improve their communication skills. They will be introduced to and have a chance to participate in exercises drawn from improve theater. Participants of this session are sure to leave with improved communication skills, greater teamworking skills and a smile on their faces.

BJ Lownie is truly "Passionate about Proposals". In his 30+ years' working on proposals, BJ has worked on 100's of proposals, has trained 1000's of proposal professionals and has presented at countless conferences. He is a recognized thought-leader on proposal development and is a founding member, an accredited Professional and elected Fellow of APMP. BJ is the co-author, with Jon Williams, of the recently published Passionate about Proposals: The Very Best of the Proposal Guys Blog and Proposal Essentials: Win More Win More Easily (available on Amazon). B.J. Lownie and the Strategic Proposal team are credited by numerous individuals and organizations for significantly improving their proposal quality and capabilities.


Christine Campbell

Christine Campbell

Position to Win: The Art of Minimizing Money Left on the Table

A quality price to win solution addresses the fact that price is only part of the winning equation. With many federal customers moving away from Lowest Price Technically Acceptable awards, it is important for capture teams to have a comprehensive understanding of your company's position relative to competition. Understanding the balancing act between price and technical capability is a crucial element to improving win probability while minimizing money left on the table. In this session, we will discuss ways to gather objective intelligence in support of the subjective cost and non-cost assumptions that typically drive management's decisions on bid price.

A quality price to win solution addresses the fact that price is only part of the winning equation. With many federal customers moving away from Lowest Price Technically Acceptable awards, it is important for capture teams to have a comprehensive understanding of your company's position relative to competition. Understanding the balancing act between price and technical capability is a crucial element to improving win probability while minimizing money left on the table. In this session, we will discuss ways to gather objective intelligence in support of the subjective cost and non-cost assumptions that typically drive management's decisions on bid price.

Christine Campbell is an executive consultant at Richter & Company, a consulting firm providing actionable intelligence and pricing solutions that help clients better understand its customer and competitive landscape, define counter-strategies, strengthen its bid, and improve win probability. Christine leverages over a decade of federal contracting experience in business capture and pricing and program finance to develop credible and relatable price to win strategies that consider real-world operating outcomes for clients facing complex captures.


Ted Koval

Ted Koval

How the Writers of the U.S. Constitution Made Magic Using Proposal Skills and Techniques

Often called the "Miracle at Philadelphia," framers of the US Constitution used what are considered modern-day Proposal Management (PM) processes to craft the most significant document in the history of human liberty. This presentation will explore and compare PM tactics our Founding Fathers employed to research, plan, write and "sell" what would have been considered the "must win" opportunity of its time — the US Constitution. While not a detailed history lesson, this presentation will show how Constitutional framers may have set the ultimate precedent for the processes and efficiencies we know in PM today.

Ted Koval holds a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelors in Political Science and Journalism. He's PMP certified and is an experienced Proposal, Communications and Change Manager in Atlanta, GA. He is pursuing his Certification of Proposal Management with APMP. Ted worked in state government for 15 years in proposal management, policy development, and outreach. He has experience in internal communications, project, and proposal management in both the private and public sectors.


David Stearman

David Stearman

Forget the Magic Hat—Put on your Thinking Cap

Proposal writing is a challenging and complicated subject. Despite shelves of books, hours of workshops, and years of practice, many of us remain as confused and frustrated as ever. Sometimes it all seems like magic—more art than science, more luck than skill. In this session, we'll discuss a simplified, yet effective method of structuring and writing proposals for maximum impact. This approach consists of just three main elements: Context, Approach, and Proof. We will explore what each of these terms means and how to use this method to develop proposals that give you the best chance to win.

David M. Stearman is owner/CEO of Proposal Strategy and Development Consulting LLC—which helps Government contractors win more work by providing support across the BD/capture/proposal spectrum—and founder/CEO of the GovCon Services Consortium, which brings together service providers in the GovCon space as a force multiplier for the industry. Mr. Stearman is a Shipley-certified Business Development professional, an experienced trainer, and a dynamic, engaging speaker who has presented sessions at numerous APMP conferences, including SPAC 2017 and 2018.


Keera Godfrey

Keera Godfrey

Do You See What I See? Change Management Principles to Develop Winning Proposals

There's a great correlation between change management and proposal management. At its core, business development is all about managing change. In fact, the best proposal managers and writers are indeed change agents. The role of a proposal professional is to make sure evaluators see the transformative power of their company's product or service. The messaging should not just be informational. In this workshop, you will learn principles of change management that can elevate your proposal management and writing skills, and how to intentionally apply them to the rhetorical design and win!

Keera Godfrey, MBA, M.S. is the CEO and principal consultant at Naris Communications LLC, a company that builds training and communication programs and readiness assessments for transformational change initiatives, specifically system implementations. Keera is a PROSCI certified change practitioner, an ATD Master Trainer, a Six Sigma Green Belt, and a former adjunct professor having taught in-class and online proposal writing and technical writing courses to aspiring engineers and technical communicators.

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