BARC Business Advisors
Bringing Acquisition Results to Contractors

Event Details

A View from the Inside

Master Class Training for Government Contractors

May 6th - 8:30 to 4:30 - Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.

Martin's West, 6817 Dogwood Rd, Baltimore, MD 21244

At this full day of Master Class Training for Government Contractors, you are going to learn about the activities that take place inside the doors of the Federal Agencies, with special emphasis on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The training material presented at this event is totally original prepared by the CMS experts leading the event. You will receive approximately over 50 pages of original printed information in each training session as well as experience creative learning exercises within each major presentation. This valuable information is not available anywhere, even within CMS. The experts have carefully prepared information and content specifically to educate the attendees joining this unique training event.  

The morning sessions include Session 1A and 1B:

Session 1A: Technical Proposal Evaluation Training:

Melvin Broussard will conduct a three hour presentation detailing the processes CMS uses to evaluate proposals. During his career at CMS, he was a Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP) Chairperson for dozens of Information Technology procurements. He was responsible for ensuring the technical evaluation familiarity with procedures for evaluating technical and cost proposals for compliance to policy, regulations, proposal instructions, and evaluation criteria. Mel's presentation will provide the attendees with invaluable instruction and information regarding these processes and procedures. He’ll teach you what goes on inside the walls of a technical evaluation panel. He’ll also instruction you with solid steps you can take to improve your technical and business proposals. He’ll also provide mock instruction material technical panels receive from contracting officers. Mel’s goal of the training is to provide information so that contractors can submit better proposals to win contracts at any Federal Agency. His presentation has been well received from industry at our training event in November of 2018. It is back by popular demand.

During Mel's presentation, Brian Hebbel will interject his thoughts on CMS' process from a contracting officer's perspective. Brian served in the CMS Office of Acquisition and Grants Management for 28 years and was a Group Director overseeing three contracting divisions at the time of his retirement. Brian's presentation material includes pages of do's and don'ts / advice contractors should consider when putting together their technical and business proposals. Brian's unique educational material was carefully compiled using his own experiences and knowledge from a career as a CMS contracting officer as well as the results of interviews with over 20 CMS contracting officers and technical panel chairs. After you receive his material, you will have a better understanding how contracting officers and technical panel members view contractor technical and business proposals. This information is priceless!

Session 1B: CMS Contract Compliance and Conflicts of Interest (COI) Provisions and COI Protests:

Rod Benson will conduct a three hour presentation regarding Contract Compliance and Conflicts of Interest (COI).  Rod is a recognized national expert on compliance and conflicts of interest related to Federal Government contracts.  He works with numerous CMS contractors regarding compliance and COI matters.  In his positions as an attorney in the HHS Office of the General Counsel and as the Director of CMS’s Office of Acquisition and Grants Management, Rod was responsible for developing and administering CMS COI requirements.  CMS has promulgated unique solicitation and contract terms and conditions for compliance and COIs.  In his presentation, Rod will discuss the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulations and other statutory and regulatory provisions which form the foundation for CMS’s COI requirements.  Rod will also provide an overview of the evolution of CMS compliance and COI requirements.  He will provide a detailed discussion of CMS contract and solicitation requirements.  Rod will also discuss CMS protests which involve COI grounds for protest.  Participants in this presentation will be provided practical information about how to address compliance and COIs in CMS proposals and how to monitor and report on COIs in the course of contract performance.

Lunch Presentation: Federal Procurement Data System Training (FPDS)

Desirea Votaw will lead attendees on a hands-on session of how to effectively gather data and create pivot tables from the FPDS system. Desirea is an independent consultant and leading expert on how to effectively and efficiently gather data and create pivot tables from the FPDS system. Very few contractor staff know how to adequately gather data from the system. As a result, they pay thousands of dollars to the services contractors that provide this service, and still don’t necessarily receive the data that they need or in the right format. You’ll also be able to ask questions and be provided training material to help you find data immediately on your own, without the need to use expensive contractors.

Session 2A: Federal Budget Training

Jeff Clark will deliver a lively presentation detailing the Federal budget process, the ins and outs of the CMS budget, its internal processes and how the CMS budget is formulated from start to finish. With over 40 years of overall Federal Budget expertise, Jeff served as CMS Director of Budget Execution, managing the Agency's annual $1 trillion budget, for 18 years. He will educate attendees about the documents and tools needed to track CMS spending into the future. Jeff will dive into the details of the types of funding, how certain funding can be used, and how it may impact your ability to perform work at CMS. Jeff is the CMS budget expert. He is an engaging public speaker and is excited to pass on his knowledge to the attendees. This is the only CMS focused event or activity he has planned in his post-retirement. He is very happy in retirement, but is looking forward to participating in this event. This is the only opportunity to receive his copyrighted material, education, and hear an engaging presentation from the CMS Budget expert.

Session 2B: Session 2B: Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Clauses all Business Development and Capture Professional Must Know:

Ed Wilgus has developed a unique training course just for this event for Federal Contractor Business Development and Capture Professionals. Ed had a distinguished 33-year federal career with both the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health and most recently had served as the Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) during which he provided oversight for NITAAC’s three Office of Management and Budget (OMB) authorized Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) and managed all issues related to the CIO-SP3 Contracts. Since his retirement, Ed has delivered FAR training and contracting expertise. This new training course, developed just for this event, will provide a unique and one-of-a-kind targeted FAR training experience. Ed will train and teach you the primary FAR clauses you should know to be as knowledgeable as the Government contracting professionals. Government business development, capture and contracting professional do often not have the opportunity to attend Government training courses. With his contracting knowledge, he has developed this new and unique training course for Government contractors. It is a must attend course.

Session 3A: Review of the CMS FY 2020 Budget Request:

Desirea Votaw and Jeff Clark will do a deep dive into the soon to be released Fiscal Year 2020 CMS Justification Estimate for the Appropriation Committee. Jeff has been directly responsible for the material contained in this document over his career at CMS. Desirea Votaw is the resident contractor expert regarding this document and has published multiple articles in G2Xchange regarding the CMS Justification Estimate for the Appropriation Committee which she refers to as “JOE”. Together, these two experts will provide a detailed summary of the information contained in “JOE” for FY 2020 budget, so you don’t have to. In addition, they’ll instruct you how to intrepret the information contained in “JOE”, so you can perform your own review and assessment in future fiscal years.

Session 3B: Strategies to Engage Agency Staff:

A former Chief Information Officer (CIO) Tony Trenkle and former Senior Acquisition Official, Brian Hebbel have teamed together to provide a unique perspective from both a Program and Contracting perspective, regarding strategies to use to engage acquisition officials at your targeted Agency. Tony Trenkle was the former CIO at CMS and other Federal agencies. Brian Hebbel, addition to being a senior acquisition official is the author of a 2015 book, How to Market and Sell to the U.S. Government, A View from the Inside. Together, they have collaborated and developed new original material for this training event. Rod Benson and Ed Wilgus will also be in attendance at this event to provide their insight and ideas regarding the material presented.

There will be breaks between each session and contractors will be free to move to a session in a different room. In addition, the training material from all six sessions will be provided to each attendee. The volumes of training material and individual instruction is well worth the cost of this conference. There is no other training event similar to this being held to provide targeted Federal training and material developed by former Government senior executives and senior leaders. Together, this group has over 200 years of Federal contracting expertise.

While the buffet lunch is served (which includes an unlimited supply of Maryland Crab cakes and not BLT sandwiches), our learning will continue with FPDS training.

Does this look like a great day of training? Sign-up now to attend this unique and educational Government focused and CMS centered Master Class Training for Government Contractors


Presenters


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Brian Hebbel

Brian Hebbel created the idea and pulled together the experts for this CMS centered workshop event.  Prior to his retirement in 2017, Brian was a senior acquisition official (Group Director) at the CMS Office of Acquisition and Grants Management (OAGM) with over 34 years of federal contracting experience. He was the longest serving contracting official at CMS. During his career at CMS, Brian provided oversight to three contracting divisions awarding $1,500,000,000 in contract awards in FY 2017. As a leader in the Agency, Brian provided oversight and guidance to acquisition strategies and schedules, solicitation requirements, source selection, and resolving complex contracting issues.

Brian is the author of How to Market & Sell to the U.S. Government, A View from the Inside. In March 2018, Brian also released a fictional literary novel, Painting Deception.

He has been the Master of Ceremony for three years at the National Contract Management Association Woodlawn Chapter Lunch & Learn events and is a frequent speaker at events in the federal contracting field. 

He recently formed BARC Business Advisors LLC, to Bring Acquisition Results to Contractors (BARC).

Brian also has a Masters Degree from National Defense University: Industrial College of the Armed Forces - National Security Strategy:  1999.


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Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark is an expert in the Federal Government budget process having 40 years of budget experience. He started his federal career performing budget work for the Quality Improvement Organization Program that was previously part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Public Health Service, and was one of the original staff members of CMS when it was established as the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) in 1977. 

He served as CMS Director of Budget Execution, managing the Agency's annual $1 trillion budget, for 18 years. He worked closely with senior staff at CMS, HHS, the President's Office of Management and Budget, and Congressional appropriation committees to ensure sufficient funds were justified, appropriated, allocated, and controlled. During his career, he was the recipient of the:

  • DHHS Secretary's Superior Service Award;

  • Chief Financial Officer's Vision Award;

  • Budget Officer's Stewardship Award;

  • CMS Administrator, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Procurement Officer Special Act Performance Awards for Innovative Budget Solutions.

Prior to his Federal service, Jeff was a financial analyst for General Electric Capital. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Ashland University.


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Rod Benson

Rod Benson will conduct a one-half day presentation regarding Contract Compliance and Conflicts of Interest (COI).  Rod is a recognized national expert on compliance and conflicts of interest related to Federal Government contracts.  He works with numerous CMS contractors regarding compliance and COI matters.  In his positions as an attorney in the HHS Office of the General Counsel and as the Director of CMS’s Office of Acquisition and Grants Management, Rod was responsible for developing and administering CMS COI requirements.  CMS has promulgated unique solicitation and contract terms and conditions for compliance and COIs.  In his presentation, Rod will discuss the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulations and other statutory and regulatory provisions which form the foundation for CMS’s COI requirements.  Rod will also provide an overview of the evolution of CMS compliance and COI requirements.  He will provide a detailed discussion of CMS contract and solicitation requirements.  Rod will also discuss CMS protests which involve COI grounds for protest.  Participants in this presentation will be provided practical information about how to address compliance and COIs in CMS proposals and how to monitor and report on COIs in the course of contract performance.


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Mel Broussard

During his career at CMS, Mel ran the technical evaluation panels that reviewed contractor proposals. Mel was directly responsible for the procurement activities of Office of Information Services (now Office of Information Technology – OIT).  Mel provided analysis and direction on IT projects requiring contract acquisition from initial planning through competition and award.

He functioned on procurements as the Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP) lead and was responsible for ensuring TEP familiarity with procedures for evaluating technical and cost proposals for compliance to policy, regulations, proposal instructions, and evaluation criteria. He has trained many of the technical panel members who are currently reviewing contractors proposals at CMS. 

He ensured all TEP participants were aware of, and in agreement with, procurement schedule and participation requirements, as well as pre-proposal delivery preparation, i.e. he made sure participants read the SOW and all modifications, the evaluation criteria, Q&As, and any other materials required to ensure participants could competently read and score proposals. He was responsible for instituting buy-in of individual TEP participant’s supervisor, ensuring supervisors understood that TEP participants must remain on the panel until award decisions were made and justified.

He implemented the first mandatory-attendance “live-caucus”, wherein the TEP and Contract Specialist reviewed the technical proposal they had assessed and determined a rating. This included pre-caucus completion of an evaluation worksheet listing the following:

  • what is the strength or weakness,

  • why was it a strength or weakness,

  • impact to work,

  • proposal section and page, and

  • SOW requirement and/or evaluation criteria and page.

Upon completion of all proposal assessments, he also inaugurated Level-Set-and-Rank caucus, with Contracting Officer (CO) mandatory-attendance, for the purpose of ordering the technical solutions of the contractors. He then prepared and submitted TEP technical reports, including first-ever TEP signatures acknowledging veracity of content.

After subsequent delivery of cost proposals, TEP assessed the reasonableness of hours and labor proposed, ODCs, etc., which was followed by a CO-attended caucus. This yielded a cost report, also signed by the TEP. As necessary, proposal revisions requested and evaluated using the same procedures described above. TEP chair also participated in discussions, negotiations and contractor debriefs.  

Mel is a Vietnam veteran and received his Bachelor's Degree from Loyola College. 


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Ed Wilgus

Ed Wilgus is the President and founder of Barlow Acquisition Solutions, LLC.  For the past four years, Barlow Acquisition Solutions has provided Acquisition Consulting regarding the federal government procurement process in support of both the federal government and industry.  He is also an instructor/trainer of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and of the federal procurement process.

 Prior to starting BAS, Mr. Wilgus had a distinguished 33-year federal career with both the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.   During his federal career, Mr. Wilgus most recently served as the former Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) during which he provided oversight for NITAAC’s three Office of Management and Budget (OMB) authorized Government Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) and managed all issues related to the CIO-SP3 Contracts.  He was a Contracting Officer with an Unlimited warrant for 25 years.

While in the government, Mr. Wilgus held a Level III FAC-C certification with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and a Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level III certification in Contracting, both of which are the highest available.

 In addition, Mr. Wilgus is a certified workplace mediator.  He has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from Marymount University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University.


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Tony Trenkle

Tony Trenkle is a nationally recognized health IT executive leader and former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) CIO with a successful record of more than 20 years of leading high-priority initiatives in the public and private sectors. He currently leads TTrenkle Consulting LLC, which provides strategic consulting services to support clients in the IT and Healthcare sectors, both government and commercial.

 Before starting his consulting firm, Tony was IBM s Global Health Team’s Chief Health Information Officer 2015-2017. In that role, he led the Global Team’s go to market efforts to work with commercial health plan clients.  He was also selected to IBM’s Industry Academy, which is a select group of IBM employees who are recognized as the company’s most eminent and innovative industry visionaries.

 Tony joined IBM after 28 years in the US Federal Government. His last position was the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Director of the Office of Information Services for CMS from 2010-2013 where he oversaw an annual $2 billion IT budget and CMS systems that supported Medicare, Medicaid and other major national health programs.Prior to his CIO role, Tony led CMS’ Office of E-Health Standards and Services, where he directed industry-wide standards and health IT work.In addition to CMS, Tony also had senior leadership positions at the Social Security Administration and the General Services Administration. He was a member of the Senior Executive Service and won a number of awards including the Presidential Rank Award.



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Desirea Votaw

Desirea Votaw is bringing her industry perspective to this illustrious panel of experts as she has been where you are, many times. She is an experienced independent business development professional with extensive knowledge of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) programs, goals, and acquisition strategies. She uses her knowledge and network to develop pipelines, identify opportunities, create teams, and define strategies to help companies pursue contracts with CMS.  She is the Creator of Meraki Creators, LLC.

Meraki Creators evolved from a vision of doing business in a way that is aligned to the conscious evolution of this period in human history. Collectively, we are increasingly realizing that we are stronger together, and thanks to break-throughs in quantum physics, beginning to understand that we are all inextricably linked, referred to in some circles as entanglement (remember that "spooky action at a distance" Einstein commented on?). I believe each individual creates his or her reality through intention and emotion. It is time to take this practical knowledge, and apply it to the business world. Why blend the etherical with the economical? I believe John E. Mackey, CEO and Founder of Whole Foods, summed it up perfectly in Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business,

“This is what we know to be true: business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence, and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity.”