Mid-Atlantic Conference & Expo: Speakers and Abstracts


Final Logo 2017

 Morning Keynote Speaker

Conscious Leadership: Connect, Engage, Lead, and Inspire to Engender Personal and Collective Success
Alka Dhillon
Alka Dhillon, Founder and CEO of Technalink, Inc.

Alka Dhillon is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Technalink, Inc., one of the leading technology companies in the Washington Metropolitan area. Ms. Dhillon is the author of the book “The OM Factor®:  A Woman’s Spiritual Guide to Leadership: 7 Essential Tools and 7 Key Traits to Cultivate for Your Success and Well-Being.  This international best seller provides readers with essential tools to deal with stressful situations in the workplace real-time, and also teaches how to cultivate key traits to limit those scenarios from arising so often. 
 Track 1 - Technologies
How to Make Good Win Themes Great!
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Beth Strum, MBA, MSEE, BSEE, CP APMP, IT WORKS Director of Business Development
Do you know what a good win theme is and how to make it great? In this session, experienced and non-experienced proposal professionals will learn how to turn good win themes to great ones by participating in an exercise in how to create win themes. Attendees will learn methods that are key to great win theme creation. Beth Strum has 18 years of experience as a Business Developer, Capture Manager, Proposal Manager, and Systems Engineer. She is currently the Director of Business Development for IT WORKS, where she is responsible for expanding and diversifying the business, including strategy development. An APMP Practitioner, she holds an MBA, an MSEE, and a BSEE.


Proposal Management in an Increasingly Automated World (Panel)
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Kevin Switaj

As computers become smarter and more capable, what roles can we carve for ourselves? Can we ensure we aren’t left behind in new automated economies? This interactive session explores automation as it relates to proposal management from the perspective of multiple generations and disciplines. Kevin Switaj is the Director of Proposal Management for Buchanan & Edwards, a Government contractor in Arlington, VA. He has been a proposal professional for nearly a decade and currently serves on the board of directors for APMP-NCA. A multiple-award winning writer, he regularly blogs on proposal development at kevinswitaj.com
10 Ways to Successfully Manage Virtual Proposal Teams
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Jennifer Adeli,
 CEO and Founder of WinBiz Proposals

The skills and processes needed to run virtual companies and teams are not the same as traditional co-located teams. Jennifer Adeli, CEO and Founder of WinBiz Proposals, will share the company’s strategies, processes, tools, and technologies for managing virtual teams. 

CEO and Founder of WinBiz Proposals, Jennifer Adeli combines 20 years of BD and proposal experience with innovation to help Government contractors win more RFPs. She stays deeply connected by serving on several committees and boards throughout her community and the Entrepreneurs Organization and Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

Advanced Scheduling Techniques
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Brenda Crist, VP, Lohfeld Consulting Group, APMP Fellow

Do you manage complex proposals with many moving parts? Do you manage multiple proposals concurrently? This presentation provides tips learned from master schedulers to help you take control of your time using advanced scheduling techniques. A free schedule management tool will be available to attendees. Brenda Crist has 25 years of experience providing capture, proposal, and program management support for information technology companies serving the Federal market. She is a Vice President (VP) at the Lohfeld Consulting Group, an APMP Fellow, certified at the APMP Professional Level, and VP of the APMP Chesapeake Chapter. 
Track 2 - Transitions
I've Started a New Job--How Do I Make This Transition a Success for Everyone?
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Neil Evans, CP APMP
To experience true career and professional growth in this industry, job changes are necessary. Making these changes successful is critical ― both for you personally and for your new employer. This session explores the challenges, opportunities, and goals you should keep top of mind when transitioning into a new organization.

Neil Evans, CP APMP, has 17 years of experience managing complex proposal and capture teams. He is an expert in all aspects of managing, developing, and writing high-quality, winning proposals. He has built, developed, and improved proposal pursuit and management processes and supporting infrastructure at several organizations. Throughout his proposal career Neil has worked in “lean and mean” proposal centers, where quick and effective starts have been essential.

Creating Your Own Value Proposition: A Holistic Approach to Resume Writing and Interviews
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Terri Whiteford, MLD, CF APMP
In this workshop, you will learn how to turn your work experience into value statements that flow from your resume to a job interview and even into performance reviews. Use these techniques for your resume or to help SMEs polish their resumes for proposals. You will leave this workshop with at least one impactful value statement. Terri Whiteford, MLD, CF APMP, is a Senior Manager at Comcast Business in Philadelphia, responsible for meeting market share and business development goals with winning proposals for a new division selling managed services to Fortune 100 commercial customers. Terri has experience in business development for Government and commercial customers, winning many large contracts. She is a mentor for colleagues and young professionals in the beginning of their careers and in career transition.
Track 3 - Creativity
Reignite Your Capture Creativity
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Eric Prostejovsky, President, Market Advocates
This TED style talk will take listeners on a journey, revealing why creativity fades, where it lies, and fresh ways to create demand for new capabilities. If you’re looking for hard hitting strategies—AGILE, Medici, and The Awkward Stranger—to shape and capture new business, do not miss this talk. Eric Prostejovsky is President of Market Advocates, a business consultancy that offers orals coaching, video production, and growth strategy services. Prostejovsky has spent decades coaching and guiding teams to develop and apply creative strategies to counter insurgency, assess Intelligence Community budgets, build growth strategies, and shape and win major contracts.
Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Tender Here? Dante, Hellfire, and the Gentle Art of Persuasion
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Chris Sant
The Divine Comedy is the ultimate proposal: reject the pain point of sin and choose the innovative, partnership-focused solution of heaven. And, throughout, Dante teaches the tools of persuasion. Come along for a fresh, fun look at Dante’s persuasion principles and how they’ll deliver you and your client to Paradiso Chris Sant, 2017’s John Elder APMP award winner, has successfully trained clients with a combined market cap of more than $340 billion on winning more business. Chris has taught proposal and sales presentation best practices to more than 4,000 individuals around the world. Contact Chris’s team at Info@ChrisSant.com to get started.
Keep Calm and Carry On: Mindfulness Techniques for Stressed Out Proposal Professionals
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Jennifer Judelsohn, LCSW, Soulworks Studio and Counseling Services
Proposals can be very stressful, with tight deadlines, long hours, last-minute changes, and different personalities trying to work together. Proposal professionals may find themselves in “panic and freak out” mode just when they need to “keep calm and carry on.” In this interactive, experiential session, you’ll learn techniques that can help you calmly and effectively maintain your equilibrium under stress. Jennifer Judelsohn is a psychotherapist, artist, and speaker who has nearly 20 years of experience as a “proposal widow.” She incorporates creativity in all of her work, and she teaches mindfulness and other stress-reduction techniques to a wide variety of people, in individual and group sessions, workshops, and seminars.
Let's Play: Using Improv in the Proposal Process
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Sarah Neuroth, Bechtel National, Inc. Proposal Specialist 
Connecting and building rapport with SMEs can be a challenge. In this session, we will explore an unexpected source as a tool: improvisation. Arm yourself with subtle cues to get information needed for proposals and learn to own any interaction by simply changing posture, tone, or word choice with the elements of improv. Sarah Neuroth is a Proposal Specialist with Bechtel National, Inc., in Reston, Virginia. She previously worked as a Technical Writer/Editor in Anchorage, Alaska. Prior to doing proposal work, Sarah taught college-level Rhetoric and Composition and used improv as a writing tutor. Sarah holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English with an emphasis in creative nonfiction.
Make it Happen: Vision Board Workshop
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Jessica Akin, WinBiz Proposals Marketing Director
 Vision boards combine creative goal-setting tools with traditional mind-mapping techniques, brand development methods, and tactile design strategies to inspire action. This hands-on workshop will help attendees solidify goals, processes, and intentions across their personal and professional lives.    Jessica Akin specializes in helping businesses—from startups to Fortune 500 companies—generate leads and increase sales by strengthening existing relationships and building new ones. As Marketing Director for WinBiz Proposals, she helps WinBiz and its clients share their stories by creating emotionally engaging content across proposals and marketing initiatives. 
Track 4 - Success

Women @ Work: When Humility Hurts and How to Quit Office Housework (Panel)

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Melissa Simkins


Knowing and overcoming unconscious biases is crucial for maximizing the potential of women—especially in male-dominated industries. WinBiz Proposals’ Director of Operations, Amber Willburn, will share current facts and data, bust the confidence myth, provide actionable strategies for deflecting office housework, and even offer responses to common biases. 
Dubbed “The First Lady of Personal Marketing,” Melissa Simkins is the CEO of Velvet Suite, a leadership solutions firm that consults Fortune 500 companies. In 2010, she launched The Women In The Spotlight Community as a global network empowering women to achieve a life that is equally successful and significant.
How Small Businesses Can Develop Effective Proposal Organizations: A Panel Discussion
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Neil Senatro, Tactical & Survival Specialties, Inc. Director of Business Services
Most small businesses do not have the resources to staff a full-time proposal organization. However, preparing winning proposals is no less important for a small business than for a large one. The goal of this session is to help proposal managers from small businesses by sharing ideas with peers. Neil Senatro serves as Director of Business Services for Tactical & Survival Specialties, Inc. (TSSi). He has provided proposal development and management experience for TSSi for 8 years and won more than $100M in business in the past 5 years. He received his APMP Foundation Level certification in 2015 and has also attained Shipley Basic Professional Certification.
Into the Void: How the New Proposal Manager Can Win with the Peculiar Challenges of the IDIQ Contract
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Mark Salesky, Able Swordplay LLC General Manager and Principal Consultant

IDIQ Contract vehicles offer distinct advantages and disadvantages to the winner.  Often, the most experienced technical manager is (t)asked to managed this most ambiguous type of contract, while seasoned proposal managers work the next big defined-value contract.  How can the new PM gain back some leverage to win and perform on the IDIQ Task Orders? 
Mark E. Salesky is General Manager and Principal Consultant at Able Swordplay LLC, a specialized management consulting firm. After retring from the Army Acquisition Corps, he worked at ITT and other companies in the Federal sector as a Technology Director, with 80+ proposals to his credit, including large IDIQ Task Order contracts. 
Thinking is Hard! Proposal Hacks to Entice Authors to THINK Before Writing
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Kristin Dufrene, CPP APMP Fellow, Vencore VP, Proposal Development

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Michelle Cunningham, CF APMP, Vencore Proposal Development Manager
Using case studies, we will provide strategies to get authors THINKING before writing. We will discuss different personalities of a writing team and how they need to be prompted differently. This session will address traditional tools like storyboarding and interactively explore ways to use brainstorming techniques to produce compelling proposals.

Kristin Dufrene, CPP APMP Fellow, has 26 years’ experience in Federal proposal development, with increasing BD and capture responsibility. She is skilled in development techniques to ensure that win strategies are developed, articulated, implemented, and scored. She is currently VP, Proposal Development at Vencore, and is Chair of APMP International.

Michelle Cunningham,
CF APMP, is currently a Proposal Development Manager at Vencore. Prior to a career change into proposals, Michelle worked as an Executive Assistant supporting C-Level executives in the DC area for more than 15 years. In addition to her APMP certification, she earned Shipley Business Development Certification.

Developing Your Professional Blueprint and Gaining Respect as You Grow
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Rebecca Link
Meeting your professional goals can be challenging when you are working full time and balancing friends, family, and fun. This engaging, interactive workshop will help you identify the specific details of your professional path to help you grow, learn, and thrive in the proposal and business development industry. Prior to joining the industry 7 years ago, Rebecca Link completed her Master’s degree in public administration and has since fast-tracked her growth to become a Senior Proposal Manager with American Systems. She has served on the Board of Directors for the NCA Chapter for 2 years, playing an integral role in leading the chapter’s events and functions. In 2017, she received the award for “Up and Coming Board Member” and was named one of APMP International’s top 40 Under 40. A member of APMP for 6 years, Rebecca has her Foundation Level Certification and is completing the Practitioner Level certification.
 ​Capstone Speaker
The Secret to Unlocking Your Potential
Mike Parkinson
Mike Parkinson, CPP APMP Fellow, 24 Hour Company
Do you want to reach your true potential? Attend this capstone session and get THE secret to unlocking your biggest professional (and personal) goals. Discover the latest science behind achievement and walk away with 10 life hacks that make it easier to achieve the stuff you desire most. Don’t miss this eye-opening, interactive event. All participants get Mike’s new infographic, Top 10 Life Hacks to Unlock Your Potential Mike Parkinson, CPP APMP Fellow and one of 16 Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs in the United States, is a thought leader. He is an internationally recognized visual communication and proposal expert, author, and professional trainer. Mike is sought after by Fortune 500 companies for his ability to quickly develop and communicate winning solutions. He is a partner at 24 Hour Company (www.24hrco.com), the premier proposal creative services firm. Mike has spearheaded multibillion dollar projects and helped his clients win billions of dollars. Mike’s training, Billion Dollar Graphics book, and Graphic Cheat Sheet (www.BillionDollarGraphics.com) help companies win more proposals and make powerful presentations while saving money and time.