Across the Federal sector there are promises to break down silos; claims of greater transparency; words like collaboration, communication and trust becoming part of what is required for forward movement.
And across the Government contracting sector, within industry and within government, there are leaders who truly understand what it takes, who are setting an example that not only encourages engagement, but also motivates and pushes others on their teams and within their organizations to do the same. These leaders are empowering and changing how government and industry can work together. and doing so selflessly, without expectation for personal gain but instead, for the betterment of the industry.
Continuing our commitment to shine a light on the good stuff, to spotlight those that are #doingitright, we are pleased to announce the 2023 Engage FedGov Honorees. This list of individuals, who were nominated, evaluated, and selected by a panel of their peers, represents exceptional leaders from across government and industry who stand out from the crowd for their willingness to drive BOLD approaches and innovative engagement strategies while supporting a culture shift across the Federal sector which values collaboration, open communication, transparency, and partnership between and across the Federal government and industry partner ecosystems.
This year’s outstanding leaders are:
- Gundeep Ahluwalia, Chief Information Officer, Department of Labor
- Anita Allen, Small Business Specialist, NIH and CMS/Department of Health and Human Services
- Meryl Angelicola, Deputy Director of Proposals, RIVA Solutions | Founder/Trainer, ProposalTeam – Learn more about Meryl in this interview: Helping to Prepare Future GovCon Industry Leaders
- Stephen Bacon, Government Contracts Attorney, Rogers Joseph O’Donnell
- Sanja Basaric, Artificial Intelligence Program Lead, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Bridget Bean, Assistant Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
- Jess Berrellez, Executive Officer, Office of Digital Transformation, Food and Drug Administration
- Molly Cain, Associate Director, Digital Innovation, Internal Revenue Service
- Andrés Colón, Chief Technology Architect, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- Chani Cordero, Chief Information Officer, Brooke Army Medical Center
- Katherine Crompton, Director of Procurement Innovation Lab, Department of Homeland Security
- Frank Domizio, Deputy CISO, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- Joshua Duvall, GovCon Partner, Maynard Nexsen
- Kevin Duvall, ARPA-H CTO/CIO (Acting) / HHS Administration for Children and Families CTO/CIO (Acting)
- Chase Eiserman, Chief, Industry Development (AFWERX), Co-Founder & COO, Rapid Acquisition, Procurement & Industry Development, US Air Force (RAPIDx)
- Michael Finkel, CEO, Sparksoft Corporation – Learn more about Mike in this interview: Tips for Small Business Owners including: ‘Time is Something you Cannot get Back’
- Maria Everhart Gaboury, Senior Account Executive, Business Development, InterSystems
- Eric Gonzales, Vice President, Growth & Client Development, Aptive Resources – Learn more abour Eric in this interview:Be Nice, Get Out There and Be “That Person”
- Jaime Gracia, Director of Strategic Enterprise Programs, Department of State
- Lakshmi Grama, Associate Director, Dissemination and Digital Communication, NIH National Cancer Institute
- David Hart, Executive VP of Business Development & Strategic Relationships, JJR Solutions | Founder, Fast Rope
- Theresa Holder, Founder & CEO, Holder Strategy Group
- Kendall Holbrook, CEO, Dev Technology Group – Learn more about Kendall and Dev Technology in this interview: Supporting the Missions of Federal Clients while Driving Good Corporate Culture
- Mark Junda, Deputy, CTO Health Portfolio, Department of Veterans Affairs
- Farhan Khan, Director, Architecture and Integration, US Army
- Reeba Magulick, Founding Senior Partner, d8 Group
- Manish Malhotra, CEO, Unissant | Board of Directors TiE DC
- Jessica Morris, President and CEO, Pluribus Digital
- J.R. Oliver, Contracting Officer, Defense Health Agency
- Laura Prietula, Deputy CIO, Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office-EHRM IO, Veterans Affairs
- Sherrie Randall, Team Lead/Contracting Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention| NCMA Atlanta President-Elect
- Michael Shoag, Vice President, Government Services, Forum One
- Sumeet Shrivastava, President and CEO, Array Information Technology
- Laura Stanton, Assistant Commissioner for IT Category, General Services Administration
- Alexa Tsui, VP, International Programs, MetaPhase Consulting – Read more about Alexa in this interview: Talk to me Goose: Hot Take from an Engage FedGov Honoree on Pitbull, saying Dude a lot, and Living your Magic
- Alastair Thomson, Chief Information Officer, NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Senior Advisor at ARPA-H
- Anna Urman, Director: Strategic Outreach and Communications – OSDBU, Department of Veterans Affairs
- Traci Walker, Executive Director, Digital Services Coalition – Learn more about Traci in this interview: Raise your Hand, Engage Early and other Tips for Industry on Communicating with Government
- Dr. Knitasha V. Washington, President, ATW Health Solutions
- Ron Williams, Director, Cloud Adoption & Infrastructure Optimization – IT Modernization Centers of Excellence, GSA
- Tan Wilson, President, Entellect
- Joanne Woytek, Program Manager, SEWP Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), NASA
- Krista Yager, Staff VP, Chief Digital Officer, National Government Services
- David Yang, Senior Vice President, ICF – Learn more from David in this interview: Navigating the Current: GovCon Do’s and Don’ts
Congratulations to all of the honorees and Thank you to all who participated in the process, especially those leaders who gave their time to review and evaluate the many nominations.
Identified below are Six Key Characteristics that Make up an Engage FedGov Leader
Exemplify Open Communication
Whether through speaking at events, sharing on open platforms such as LinkedIn, or writing executive insight pieces that offer advice and insight, the engaged leader shares their thought leadership and is open to making public what they know to serve the greater good.
Evidence of Mission Focus
An engaged leader understands their mission focus is not turned inward to their specific organization but instead looks outward, to their stakeholders. This means taking and receiving lessons learned from others serving the same or similar communities. It means finding ways to engage stakeholders, vendors, and potential partners, to drive collaborative solutions with the users’ needs in focus.
Execution as a Good Partner
Engaged leaders prefer not to do a power dance, across tables or in the public eye. Being open, transparent, and authentic in who they are and what they want to achieve, these leaders demonstrate they are good and reliable partners. Being a good partner, these leaders are clear in what they say, understand their role and the roles of those around them, and they execute according to that.
Engage with the Community
Whether through industry days, networking opportunities, written content or collaboration in working groups, the engaged leader is part of the discussion, attending events, and being accessible and available. The expression “a rising tide lifts many boats” reminds everyone of something engaged leaders know – that there are opportunities for everyone and we do better when we work together. Whether it is as a mentor, an advisor, a board member, or a panellist, these leaders are familiar names and faces.
Leaders who see the bigger picture are often surrounded by people who represent that bigger picture. Engaged leaders surround themselves with people who support and challenge them, with people who come from diverse backgrounds and with varied experiences. Engaged leaders encourage discussion, not for its own sake, but because they want the ideas brought forth from their diverse and inclusive team.
Whether it is through technology, culture, mission or approach, leaders that succeed do not stand still. Innovation signifies life, implies thought and forward movement, and is critical as the world becomes increasingly complex and challenging. Engaged leaders understand this, ask for big ideas and seek solutions that are focused on driving their organizations forward.
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