Florida GovCon Summit with Veteran Connections Track

February 28 and March 1, Orlando



Lt. Gen. Thomas Baptiste, USAF Ret. of the National Center for Simulation, keynote on Orlando/Central Florida the Epicenter of the World's Modeling, Simulation and Training industry!  Lt Gen (Ret) Baptiste will discuss the global leadership role of Orlando/Central Florida through initiatives such as the new Training and Readiness Accelerator (TReX), which is an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) supporting PEO-STRI and Army Contracting Command (ACC) Orlando.    For small businesses and other non-traditional contractors, the OTA Consortium at TReX will streamline the acquisition process and expedite the development, demonstration and delivery of prototypes to increase warfighter readiness. (WED Lunch noon to 1300 Ballroom B and C)

Bill "Roto" Reuter of R-Squared Solutions on The Brutal Truth About Customer Engagement in the Federal Market.  Truly understanding the domain, showing how your organization can solve the customer’s challenges, engaging with the decision makers and proving you are an innovative leader that listens: those are your requirements if you want the customer to consider your team.

(THURS Lunch noon to 1300 Ballroom B and C)

Jeff Piersall, author of Dogs Don't Bark at Parked Cars on Freedom through Ethical Capitalism.   When defining ethical capitalism, Jeff Piersall believes the key to successful entrepreneurialism is based on personal responsibility, a “sky’s the limit” optimism and, above all, value-based ethical decisions. (WED Reception 1700 to 1900 Ballroom B and C)

Paul Huszar of VetCor Services on The Value of a Veteran.  From his perspective as the former Dean of the Army Engineering School, Paul Huszar explains that translating skills from military service into the talent needed by the civilian workforce is the key to connecting veterans to careers.

PODCAST: Veteran Connections with Paul Huszar

(THURS Closing 1600 to 1630  Ballroom B and C)

WEDNESDAY, February 28, 2018 GovCon Sessions (Ballroom B - upstairs middle)

Guy Timberlake of the American Small Business Coalition and Stephanie Zink of Taurus Group sharing their ‘5 Tips for Improving Business Development Outcomes, Now!'

Doing business in the federal sector is a fast-moving target. It’s subject to constant change due to increased competition, fewer opportunities as a result of consolidation, larger dollar values, the diminishing value of incumbent status and a continuing shift in how, if or when deals and decision-makers can be influenced. Companies who understand and implement core tenets of the business development life cycle (Assessment, Strategy, Marketing, Business Development, Capture Management and Proposal Management) based on deliberate Market and Competitive Research, almost always possess and demonstrate a clear and identifiable competitive advantage as a result of intentionally pursuing and sustaining an information advantage. During this comprehensive and interactive discussion, Stephanie Zink (Taurus Group) and Guy Timberlake (The American Small Business Coalition) discuss real-world tactics, tools and resources companies can use to improve their federal sector business development processes and outcomes.

(WED 0915 to 1000 Ballroom B)

Ed Ramos of SBA on the All Small Mentor Protégé Program, with Kenneth Hamilton on the 8(a) Program, and Thomas VanHorn on his role as PCR/CMR and how he interacts with the agencies assigned and how contractors can interact with him. Thomas can also address the role of the SBA Office of Government Contracting in the resolution and adjudication of size, affiliation, CoCs and other type of legal disputes handled by SBA in accordance with FAR 19.8

PODCAST: Jenny Clark of Solvability on NDAA 2018 Update

(Wed 1015 Ballroom B)

Tony Gray of GX and SOF Technology Association with Bernice Glenn of NSXTL with Seismic Shift: Changing Patterns in Innovation Acquisition Strategies.   Speed, collaboration, experimentation, iteration and collaboration are all critical to national security with more rapid response required. Accelerators like SOFWERX,  NSXTL, TReX are changing how small business participates and operates, with more projects managed through Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Consortiums.  How can your business participate? What are the risks and rewards?

(Wed 1115 to Noon Ballroom B)

PODCAST:  Tony Gray of SOF Tech Association on the Changing Approach to Acquisition

PODCAST: Tony Gray of GX on the Customer Experience

Kelly Stratton-Feix of SOCOM and Tambrien Bates of SOFWerx on Innovation Agility, with an overview of OTAs and also Simplified Acquisition.  Tambrien Bates will share initiatives at SOFWERX and how your company can participate as part of the SOFWERX ecosystem.  Should you be a part of the SOFWERX Ecosystem?  Take a look at some of their projects.

(Wed 1315 to 1400 Ballroom B)

Cynthia Davis of Radiant Blue on Grow or Exit – “The Path to True Value Creation!” As a successful business owner, Cynthia brings over 30 years of experience in mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Cynthia has the unique skill of making this complex equation clear and simple. Today she works with entrepreneurs to build the right strategy to grow their business, preserve their wealth and for those looking for a lucrative exit, provide the specific actions required to maximize the value of their company. Walk away from this workshop with your personal business assessment, roadmap and checklist … and be prepared to take action..

(Wed 1415 to 1515 Ballroom B)

Edward Spenceley of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and Marc Marlin of KippsDeSanto on What Makes Your Bankable Makes You Buyable!  You have revenue, but is it sustainable?  You have profit, but is it enough to fuel your growth? How is your company Balance Sheet, Income Statement and your financial projections evaluated by underwriters and how do you improve your financial strength?  Similar rules apply when considering the valuation of your company.  Understand the steps you should be taking now to position your organization for growth and exit.

(Wed 1530 to 1615 Ballroom B)

Small Business Matchmaking (Wednesday Feb 28)

Downstairs in Foyer from 1415 to 1445

Speed Matchmaking with Tara Wagner of PEO-STRI, Leslie Faircloth of NAWCTSD, Joyce McDowell of NASA-KSC, Chris Harrington of SOCOM and Kim Yarboro of PM-TRASYS, Ed Ramos of SBA on the All Small Mentor Protégé Program, with Kenneth Hamilton on the 8(a) Program, and Thomas VanHorn on his role as PCR/CMR, Steve South and Patricia Simpson of Florida SBDC.

PODCAST: Jenny Clark of Solvability on NDAA 2018 Update

More sessions on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 (Ballroom C)

John Fay of Abacode on DFARS Cybersecurity with Matt Baxter of Burns & Wilcox Brokerage Burns & Wilcox Brokerage, and Steve Berlin of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell on Cyber Security issues.  Where we are in terms of cyber security issues today is just the beginning of what is to come as we all work to protect our companies and our national assets from compromise.  Federal contractors are required to show they meet the requirements of DFARS 252.204-7012, and the enforcement of this compliance appears to be starting with the major prime contractors.  John Fay will discuss cyber requirements and assessments. Matt Baxter will explain risks and insurance coverage for cyber,  and Steve Berlin will describe legal risks and issues.  Rick Roman will moderate the panel.   Here is the link to podcasts where John Fay with Abacode talks about Cybersecurity issues.  

PODCAST: John Fay of Abacode on Cybersecurity Compliance

PODCAST: John Fay of Abacode on NIST 800-171 Cyber Requirements

(Wed 0915 Ballroom C)

Wendy Romeu of Alluvionic on CMMI Accreditation and Process Improvement.  For many federal projects with software development, contractors may be required to show that they have successfully implemented the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI).  Wendy will describe the the steps required for CMMI and actions that companies need to consider as they pursue CMMI.  What does it take, how long will it take and what will it cost you?  How will your investment pay off?

(Wed 1015 Ballroom C)

Bill Harris of Legion Systems with Stephanie Zink of Taurus Group on Differentiating your Federal Business.  Think about how many proposal responses the evaluation team reads - it’s about as exciting as grading essay tests.  What can you do to stand out?  How do you show you solve the customer’s problem?  It really begins way before the proposal.  Learn what you can be doing to improve your success rate.

(Wed 1115 to noon Ballroom C)

Barbara Kinosky JD  and Maureen Jamieson of Centre Law & Consulting on GSA and VA Contracting, with two sessions: News and updates on GSA/VA Schedules and GSA/VA Schedule Compliance.  These sessions will explain GSA/VA Schedules plus what to do, what to never do and how to avoid jail while selling to the federal government!  Getting a GSA schedule or a VA contract set up is only the beginning - what steps do you need to take to get the projects funded and executed?  What do you have to do to maintain a GSA schedule?  Could your pricing for other work impact your GSA pricing?

SESSION 1 News and Updates on GSA/VA Schedules

(Wed 1315 Ballroom C)

Traci Shepps of Cordia Partners, Wayne Leland of Nperspective, Jenny Clark of Solvability on Cost and Pricing, plus Rich Wilkinson of Unanet and Carmen Scanlon of Insperity, with Sanjay Bhaskar of Street Shares on Integrated Business Systems.  How do you price contracts without understanding indirect rates?  How do you track costs to make sure your indirect rates match up to your bid rates?  How do you manage your costs and indirect rates so that you can be competitive enough to win, and efficient enough to be profitable?  Your revenue growth depends on your ability to track actual costs, plus your finesse with projecting future costs when preparing Cost Proposals, while taking into account the growth impact a potential win would have on your company.  Managing your corporate costs is a big component of your pricing, because you need an accurate picture of your current costs and projected budget, and you need to become extremely efficient.  Most government contractors outsource these functions when possible, to keep their corporate staff headcount low and to reduce the problems created with staff turnover and the constant “ups and downs” of their contract workload.  These two panels will discuss how companies work through those issues and some of the indicators that tell you upgrades and training are required.

(Wed 1415 to 1645 Ballroom C)

PODCAST: Traci Shepps of Cordia Partners on GovCon Math for Winners

PODCAST: Wayne Leland of Nperspective on Indirect Rates

PODCAST: Rich Wilkinson of Unanet on Answering the PMs Questions

PODCAST: Sanjay Bhaskar of StreetShares on Veteran Financing Options

PODCAST: Jenny W Clark of Solvability on Benchmarking


Barbara Stankowski of AMTIS Corporation on Joint Ventures: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.  In a presentation developed within a Mentor-Protege relationship, Barbara shares what you need to know about Joint Ventures when making decisions about who to partner with and why.  Find out how to decide what you need from a mentor-protege relationships and what you can bring to the table for its success.  How do you decide the “who does what” part, so that both sides of the agreement use their strongest skills to help all succeed?  How do you create a forum to discuss and resolve conflict and maintain the working relationships?  In some ways, just like a marriage…

PODCAST: Barbara Stankowski of AMTIS Corporation on Creating a Culture of Trust

ARTICLE: Barbara Stankowski Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award Winner

(Thurs 0915 Ballroom B)

Todd Overman and Richard Arnholt of Bass Berry Sims on How to Structure Effective Teaming Relationships.  Creating a team to go after a proposal or opportunity means coming up with the rules of engagement for how you’ll operate during the pursuit and during a successful win and execution.  Todd and Richard will describe key issues to cover in teaming relationships and how to minimize risk, misunderstanding and conflict.  What should be in the agreement to protect your work share?  How do you “enforce” the agreement when the other side has all the money in the world for their legal team: that has to be built into the original agreement that you craft with expert attorneys who know the market and the players, when you still have the leverage. Understand what your advocates like Todd and Richard can do for you, that can save you endless worry and missed opportunities!

PODCAST: Jenny Clark of Solvability on All Small Mentor Protege

(Thurs 1015 Ballroom B)

PANEL of PRIMES with Ed Haywood of Lukos, Brett Ulander of Logistics Services International, and Carol Craig of Craig Technologies.  What does it take to get from HERE to THERE?  From building success as a small business subcontractor, to an organization capable of leading prime contracts with subcontractors working under you?  How do you scale your company, manage risks and grow strategically at the same time?  How do you get efficient in your business so you can compete at a higher level, and do more with less?

(Thurs 1115 Ballroom B)

The Power of Partnering with Karen Gregory of HRSS Consulting, Kizzy Dominguez of K Parks Consulting, with Barbara Stankowski of AMTIS Corporation. Creating your own working groups that evolve based on goals, and developing a process for collaboration and partnering are keys to your business growth and success.   What are the gaps that can be filled as a team, that you don’t want to maintain your own staff to do? What new areas are your partners pursuing, that are of interest to your client base but outside your core competency?  

PODCAST: Stepping into Growth with Kizzy Dominguez

(Thurs 1315 Ballroom B)

Barbara Kinosky JD  and Maureen Jamieson of Centre Law & Consulting on GSA and VA Contracting, with two sessions: News and updates on GSA/VA Schedules and GSA/VA Schedule Compliance.  These sessions will explain GSA/VA Schedules plus what to do, what to never do and how to avoid jail while selling to the federal government!  Getting a GSA schedule or a VA contract set up is only the beginning - what steps do you need to take to get the projects funded and executed?  What do you have to do to maintain a GSA schedule?  Could your pricing for other work impact your GSA pricing?

SESSION 2 GSA/CA Schedule Compliance

(Thurs 0915 Ballroom C)

Operating OCONUS with James Trani of United Healthcare Global, Milt Johns of FH&H Law Firm, Rick Roman of Gulf Coast Underwriters, and Kathleen Wolf of Solvability.  Did you know that the medical insurance for your deployed personnel can actually be less expensive than your US employees?  And that you can get additional services covered like medevac?  How do you find out about the legal risks and compliance required with US, international and local laws when you’re operating overseas?  What are your options for getting DBA insurance?  How do you find out about the constantly changing “country rules” for banking, employment, contracting and services when operating overseas?

PODCAST: Milt John of FH&H on Five Topics for GovCon Small Biz

(Thursday 1015 Ballroom C)

Prime/Sub Management with Adam Goldman of NCMA Mid-Florida, Ed Kinberg of Widerman-Malek and Darrell DeLoatch of FHM.  Have you ever started answering data calls from your prime contracting and realized that you weren’t sure about what they wanted?  Or sent in your proposed billing rates and been told you are way over the rates they’ll allow you to bid?  What process does the prime go through to make those determinations?  What certifications are you expected to have ready for proposal response… DFARs 7012, Validity Statements, Cloud Computing DFARS, DCAA Letter, IP Rights Assertions, OCI Issues, Affirmative Statement to Agree to Terms, Conditions and Insurance?  When you do have an issue with your Prime Contractor, what are some steps that you should take to resolve it, while still protecting and preserving the relationship?

PODCAST: Jenny Clark of Solvability on How Prime Contractors Vet their Small Business Subs

(Thursday 1115 Ballroom C)


VALUE BUILDER VIP with CEO Leadership Forum, on Thursday, March 1 from 9 to 12

Geoffrey Gallo and Jed Grennan of Grennan Fender Hess & Poparad LLP with Russell Slappey of NPerspective, Chris Bordner of Synergy Wealth Alliance and Jeremy Sloane of Watson Sloane Johnson Attorneys  in a VIP Value Builder Workshop (comes with Evaluation and post-event strategy sessions with upgrade.)  What is your company worth?  What steps should you be taking now if you want to sell in the next 2 years?  In this advanced workshop, you’ll discover what your Value Drivers are and how to BUILD them.  This team of professional advisors brings it ALL together for you - how the market discounts small business value, what your company is really worth, and what steps you need to take to build value, all while minimizing taxes and reducing risk.

PODCAST: Jenny Clark of Solvability on how to sell your GovCon Business

Guy Timberlake WORKSHOPS from his Ethical Stalking for Government Contractors ™ including What You Don’t Know About Codes and Contracts Can Hurt You and The Complete FPDS-NG Overview.  In the Codes and Contracts Session, he’ll discuss classification codes, product and services codes, awards, contracts and contract vehicle types - so you can choose more viable opportunities and win with less effort.  In the Complete FPDS-NG overview, he’ll show you how to know how agencies buy, how they describe what you sell, and who are the buyer and payers and which matters most, plus how and where the opportunities are being solicited?  How would that save you time and make you money?

Both sessions THURSDAY afternoon

Thursday 1315 to 1400 What You Don’t Know About Codes and Contracts Can Hurt You

Thursday 1415 to 1600 The Complete FPDS-NG Overview


We’ve created sessions both days for transitioning veterans with a great lineup of speakers, including:

SESSIONS on Wednesday, February 28 Ballroom A

Army Veteran Mark Green of My Silver Boots on STEP OUT, STEP UP.  Mark talks about being a warrior, staying in the fight and not quitting.  “We are in charge of our lives, and we decide where we’re going and what we’re doing.” He’s just released his book, Step Out, Step Up: Lessons from a Lifetime of Transitions and Military Service, His book, co-authored with Echo Montgomery Garrett, is a must-read book for anyone who has endured trauma yet dreams of leading a successful and happy life.  Mark will have his books for sale during the event.

(Wed 0915 Ballroom A)

Boots to Boardroom with Air Force Veteran Karen Gregory, CEO of HRSS Consulting.  She will share how she converted her experience as a military leader into her entrepreneurial role, through adapting and overcoming, managing conflict and building teams.

(Wed 1015 Ballroom A)

Entrepreneurial Victory for Veterans with Kristy Nevils, CEO of Business Academy for Veterans. Kristy is a Federal Business Coach.  She speaks from her own experience as a small business owner and successful government contractor, and uses those skills to teach small business owners how to win federal contracts.    

(Wed 1115 Ballroom A)

3000 Miles for Your Why with Marine Veteran Shane Johnson of Booyah Mortgage.  How far would you be willing to go for your purpose in life?  In this presentation, Shane will show you how he ran 3000 miles while running 3 successful businesses and giving back all at the same time.  Shane is repeating his trip again starting September 11, 2018 in Las Vegas and headed to Virginia.  

(Wednesday Lunch Ballroom A)

Charting Your Career with Eric Wright of Vets2PM, Army Veteran Steve Natschke of PM Pundit, and Bernie Currie of HR Tampa.  Many transitioning veterans choose careers in Project Management because of the leadership opportunities.  However, there are differences between Project Management in the military and corporate worlds.  This panel will address opportunities and challenges, recommended certifications and requirements and options on how to move up with a career in project management.

(Wednesday 1315 Ballroom A)

Finding Your Path with Adam Sheffield of SecureSet, Navy Veteran Enrique Acosta Gonzalez of Vets2Data and veteran advocate Thomas Gil.  This panel will talk about potential career paths in cybersecurity, data sciences, modeling/simulation/training, including educational options and employment prospects.  Enrique will also discuss how to use LinkedIn and networking to get to your goals.

(Wednesday 1415 Ballroom A)

Creating Opportunities and Navigating Change with Dorothy Patrick of SPARX International, and veteran advocate Barron Mills.  Barron has created a powerful list of resources and contacts for veterans across Central Florida.  Dorothy will talk about preparing for and going through the transition process whether you are a transitioning veteran or going through other life and career changes.

(Wednesday 1315 Ballroom A)

SESSIONS on THURSDAY, March 1 (downstairs Foyer)

Getting Connected with Rich Carey of Interior Fusion.  Through his leadership roles with multiple state and local veteran advocacy programs, Rich has developed resources across the state that can help veterans connect.  

(Thursday 0915 FOYER)

Everybody Sells with Benjamin Brown of 360 Sales Consulting.  Marine Veteran Ben Brown shows you how to get results, starting with his 10 step sales guide, his best-selling book Mastering the Art of Closing the Sale, and his sales coaching.  He gets direct to the issue and turns it around - 360 degrees!

(Thursday 1015 FOYER)

Cheap Tricks with Brook Borup of My Clone Solution. How do you clone yourself?  You automate - or rather get the amazing Brook Borup to take over and run with it, your contact management, your website, your sales funnels and your online systems.

(Thursday 1115 FOYER)

Kicking in Doors: Mental Preparation for Taking Control of Your Success with Pernell Bush of No Limits Empowerment.   Marine veteran Pernell Bush wants you to shift your mindset, with knowledge, skills and resources to produce fundamental change.


Veteran Entrepreneurship with Russ Barnes of Systro Consulting, Bryan Jacobs of Vets2Success and Sanjay Bhaskar of StreetShares.  Air Force Veteran Russ Barnes focuses on organizational design for small businesses, with a podcast and book Small Business for Service Members.  Bryan Jacobs has created  Vets2Success which is a Vets2Success is a Non-profit program for veterans to rehabilitate to their communities through food and brew programs.  Sanjay Bhaskar works with veteran business owners on financing their businesses, as the business development manager for StreetShares, a veteran-owned financial institution StreetShares.  They’ll discuss entrepreneurship, small business strategies and business financing.

PODCAST: Russ Barnes of Systro Consulting on Purposefully Profitable 

PODCAST: Bryan Jacobs of Vets2Success on the Veteran Connections Podcast with Pete Blum

PODCAST: Sanjay Bhaskar of StreetShares on Veteran Financing Options 

(Thursday 1315 FOYER)

Getting Started in Federal Contracting with  Chip Ellis of Federal Contracting Institute.  Chip works with companies to find opportunities to start or expand their federal sales.  This session is for companies new to federal contracting or just getting started. 


SPEED NETWORKING from 1500 to 1550 in FOYER

CLOSING KEYNOTE on Thursday, March 1

Paul Huszar of VetCor Services on The Value of a Veteran.  From his perspective as the former Dean of the Army Engineering School, Paul Huszar explains that translating skills from military service into the talent needed by the civilian workforce is the key to connecting veterans to careers.

PODCAST: Veteran Connections with Paul Huszar

THURSDAY 1600 to 1630

For more information or to register, visit:


To learn more about small businesses in federal contracting - here’s a link to our weekly podcast


Solvability works with second-stage small businesses in federal contracting through annual online training and coaching programs that address 20 Benchmarks we’ve identified as crucial barriers to small business success.  We look forward to meeting you at Florida GovCon Summit, where we’ll be collecting participant responses to the 20 Benchmarks, giving you an idea of how you stack up compared to competitors in this market and so you can create a roadmap that addresses your priorities.

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16 Florida GovCon Summit with Veteran Connections Track Speakers & Panels                                                 Page