Marissa Levin | CEO, Successful Culture
A 20-year entrepreneur, speaker, & globally recognized growth strategist, Marissa’s lifetime legacy mission is to educate, equip, & empower 100 million entrepreneurs & leaders with the skillsets and mindsets they need to reach their greatest potential.
As CEO of Successful Culture, Marissa helps CEOs master the 3 most critical aspects of business growth: leadership development, strategy formulation & execution, and organizational cultureassessment & improvement. She also helps CEOs select and implement highly effective advisory boards using her patented SCALE™ Model, which is an essential strategy for any business looking to grow exponentially.
She is a Chapter Chair for Women’s Presidents Organization (WPO), and is responsible for the facilitation and growth of groups of up to 20 women business owners with revenues ranging from $2 million to more than $150 million.
Marissa is a Leadership Mindset columnist for Inc. Magazine, and is an instructor & strategy coach for Inc’s online entrepreneurship education program, Inc.Edu which leads start-up entrepreneurs through an intensive business growth curriculum.
She is the author of “My Company ROCKS!” Eight Secrets to a Growth-Driven Culture That Keeps Employees Happy & Engaged," which provides specific strategies on how to build a culture that fosters employee loyalty, engagement, and excitement.
She is also the author of the #1 best-selling book on advisory boards, “Built to SCALE: How Top Companies Create Breakthrough Growth Through Exceptional Advisory Boards”. The book leads businesses owners through her SCALE™ Model to strategically se-lect, compensate, associate, & leverage advisory boards for breakthrough growth. Marissa is also SmartCEO Magazine’ssyndicated columnist, penning a column entitled “Get on Board” which advises business owners how to strategically build advisory boards to fuel organizational growth.
Marissa’s 20-year entrepreneurial journey started in 1995 when she founded Information Experts, a strategic communications and education firm, in 1995, that served more than 15 federal agencies. She launched her firm as a solopreneur with a $35,000 con-tract, and led/grew the organization to approximately $15 million in revenue until she resigned in 2012. Under her leadership, In-formation Experts won more than 80 awards for creativity & leadership, was named to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Grow-ing Companies for 2009, 2010, and 2011, won the 2010 SmartCEO GovStar Industry Star Award, and was known as a trailblazer in establishing an extraordinary employee-centric culture that fully supported work-life integration and a core value of "responsible flexibility."
Marissa’s passion of mentoring other leaders motivated her to launch Successful Culture in June 2012. Through Successful Culture she applies her 20 years of experience to help leaders achieve their highest potential, build exceptional organizations to engage & inspire employees, and keep top-level talent.
She was named as a 2009, 2010, and 2011 SmartCEO Smart 100 participant by SmartCEO Magazine, which recognizes the top 100 CEOs in the region, and was named as a 2008 BRAVO Award winner, which honors the region’s 25 most influential women CEOs. In 2011, she was one of the first honorees to be inducted into the SmartCEO Hall of Fame for outstanding and exemplary women’s leadership.
She was named as one of Washington’s Top 100 Technology Titans for 2009 by Washingtonian Magazine and was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Marissa was also named as one of greater Washington’s “Women Who Mean Busi-ness” by the Washington Business Journal, which honors the region’s “most influential and powerful” women executives.
Marissa holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Development & Organizational Development, is a credentialed coach certified by International Coach Federation (ICF), is certified in Instructional Systems Design, and is a Certified Mastermind Facilitator. Marissa and her husband Adam are the parents to two teenage “boys,” ages 16 & 19, and Lexie, a 7-year old Golden Doodle. They live in Ashburn, VA. At 5’9, Marissa is the shortest member of her family, of which she is reminded daily.
Kimberly Ellison-Taylor | Global Accounting Strategy Director, Oracle
Kimberly N. Ellison - Taylor, CPA, CGMA, is the Global Accounting Strategy Director for Oracle and Chairman of the American Institute of CPAs' Board of Directors.
Ellison-Taylor has a lengthy history of volunteering for the profession, including serving as a member of the AICPA Business and Industry Executive Committee as well as the AICPA Board of Directors where she served as a member of the Audit and Finance committees. Ellison-Taylor also worked with the Benevolent Fund, and has served as a Council representative.
She is a past Chair of the Maryland Association of CPAs, and has served on many of its committees, including the New Young Professional Network and Tomorrow's CPA.
Ellison-Taylor is currently the Global Accounting Strategy Director for the Financial and Professional Services Industries for Oracle America, a leader in cloud solutions and enterprise technology. In this capacity, she provides insight to help drive innovation in this important domain, particularly as the computing paradigm shifts to Cloud and SaaS. Previously, she served as the Global Practice team leader for Health and Human Services, working with teams worldwide where she developed and executed strategies on Cloud, Big Data, Security, Fraud Prevention/Detection, Customer Experience, and Modernization. Prior to Oracle,
Kimberly worked in leadership roles at numerous other major companies and organizations, including the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Motorola; KPMG; and Prince George's County Government, where she served as Chief Information Technology Officer.
Ellison-Taylor received her bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; an Accounting Certificate from the Community College of Baltimore County, an MBA from Loyola University and Master's of Science in Information Technology and a Chief Information Officer Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University.
She currently resides in Maryland with her husband and two sons.
Angie Lienert | President & CEO, Intelligenesis
Angie Lienert, a native of Kentucky who now calls Maryland home, enlisted in the Air Force and was selected for the highly competitive and arduous Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterrey, California. She became a successful Arabic Linguist in the Air Force and honorably served for 6 years. As she transitioned to the civilian world, Angie honed her skills and gained professional experience within the Intelligence Community working as a Business Developer and Program Manager. Under her leadership, the contracts and projects she led consistently grew in user base, team size, and revenue.
Angie founded IntelliGenesis in 2007 with a dedication to keeping our soldiers safe through the improved analysis and protection of the USA’s National Security Missions. Angie uses her influence to not only lead IntelliGenesis, but also to improve how the IC conducts business and to promote opportunities for other women in business. Under Angie’s leadership, IntelliGenesis has since grown to more than 80 employees specializing in Multi-Disciplined Analysis, Machine Learning/Data Science, Mission Application Development, and Computer Network Operations. IntelliGenesis products and services are setting the standard in the Intelligence Community (IC) and helping to change the way government contracts are awarded to small businesses. As a business owner, Angie started the kind of company that she wanted to work for and continues to ensure it has that supportive atmosphere for every employee; one where employees work hard and enjoy coming to work and where their personal lives are valued. Since 2011, IntelliGenesis has consistently been named of the Best Places to Work whether by the Baltimore Sun, Washingtonian Magazine, or the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council. Every year, IntelliGenesis awards the Neal A. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship to four graduating high school students planning to pursue a college education in STEM areas of study.
Angie, a certified PMP, earned her BS degree in Liberal Studies from Excelsior College and an MBA from Strayer University. Over the years, she has served as a Founder and Board Liaison for the Women in Technology (WiT) group, been on the Board of Directors for both the DoD Woman Owned Small Business Consortium (WOSBC) and the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council, hosted and promoted various events and mentorships for girls and women in the technology industry, and been a proud supporter of veterans’ charities, especially the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Association.
Laurie Moe Buckhout | President & CEO, Corvus, U.S. Army Colonel (Retired)
Laurie Moe Buckhout, a native of Virginia whose parents both served as military officers, has had a long and distinguished career in the United States Army. Laurie is a decorated combat command veteran who has served in executive level assignments in the areas of Cyberspace Operations, Intelligence and Electronic Warfare (IEW) and Tactical and Strategic Communications at echelons from Army Divisions to the White House. After retiring from a 26-year Army career, Laurie went on to serve as a Vice President for a company in the defense and aerospace industry. She then founded Corvus in 2013.
When starting Corvus, Laurie wished to build a first-class organization with integrity and vision, one with an enduring dedication to our National Security. She brought together those for whom the word "Service" has no expiration date, those who feel proud every day they can still contribute to our Nation. Corvus provides scientific, engineering, technical, operational support, and training services to Federal government and Commercial clients, focusing in the high-fields of Cyberspace Operations, Electronic Warfare, Intelligence, Counter-IED and Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations (EMSO). Corvus a registered SDVOSN (Economically Disadvantaged, Woman-Owned, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business) whose specialties run the gamut from high-level policy development and Congressional liaison to requirements analysis, DOTMLPF development assistance and design services for hardware and software systems fulfilling the mission needs of the Department of Defense and Intelligence Communities. Current and past Government clients include the Army Staff, Georgia Technical Research Institute, IDSA-DSO, OSD-CIO, DISA DSO Information Technology, Joint Staff J-3, US Army CECOM, and JIEDDO/JIDA. Corvus also serves a variety of commercial clients for Business Development and Capture Management.
Laurie holds a Master’s Degree in Information Systems and a Master’s Degree in Military Arts & Sciences. She has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medals and numerous Joint and Army Medals in addition to the Parachuists's Badge, the Presidential Service, Army Staff and Joint Staff Badges and the Combat Action Badge. Laurie served as the President of the International Electronic Warfare Association, the AOC, and has served as a member of several non-profit defense related boards and corporate boards to include the Defense Science Board. She is a frequent lecturer at the National Defense University and the United States Marine Corps University and speaks internationally on Electronic Warfare and Cyberspace Operations.
Anna Fleeman Elhini | Founder & Managing Director, Creatrix Inc.
Anna Fleeman Elhini, together with Sami Elhini, founded Creatrix® in 2006. Creatri is an identity management company specializing in systems integration and software engineering with expertise in biometrics, vetting, credentialing, and case management. Creatrix provides clients big business capability with small business agility and is well-respected for our breadth of experience, skilled talent base and responsive management style. Creatrix comprises a team of IT experts from a wealth of content areas as well as IEEE Certified Biometrics Professionals®. Customers have included the Federal government, Lockheed Martin, Leidos, Accenture, AOL, Sun Microsystems, Advanced Optical Solutions, Yotta Innovation, among others.
Anna is responsible for all of Creatrix's corporate operations and business development, leveraging her nearly 20 years of experience in operations, project and contract management, and statistics. She has served as a Chief Research Methodologist and Vice President at large research firms. Anna holds a Master’s degree in Measurement and Quantitative Methods and is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Emory University. She is a frequent presenter at industry conferences, local networking groups, and technology chapters and is often tapped to help others better their presentation skills and marketing messages. She has served as a member of the 2016 Strategic Planning Steering Committee for the Howard County Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as Membership Chair of the Howard Tech Council’s Women in Technology (WiT) group and as an Emory University Applicant Interviewer for the Baltimore/DC area.
Kathy Hutson | Associate Director, Human Resources, NSA
Kathy Hutson is currently the Associate Director for Human Resources (ADHR) for the National Security Agency (NSA) where she leads HR strategic planning and development, workforce planning and design, recruitment and staffing, employee HR services, occupational health and safety activities, deployment support and planning, and employee relations across the global NSA/CSS enterprise. Prior to being appointed as ADHR, she was the Chief of Occupational Health, Environmental and Safety Services (OHESS) at NSA responsible for ensuring a safe workplace, healthy workforce and protection of the environment for NSA operations located around the world. Before joining NSA, Kathy held a number of leadership positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc.
Kelly A. Mitchell | Principal, impact HR
Kelly Mitchell, founder and principal of impactHR, LLC, is a human resources professional with more than 20 years of experience providing expertise and services to an array of fast-growth organizations. She brings to each client her ability to listen, assess and develop customized solutions for effective employment management and workplace strategies, enabling her clients to focus on the financial growth of their businesses.
Kelly’s certified skills and experience include assessment of the HR infrastructure and the establishment or enhancement of the HR function. She also is an expert in the implementation of best practices in the areas of recruitment/staffing, employee retention, compensation, benefits and employee relations; development and implementation of HR information management systems; creation of effective performance management strategies; and development and facilitation of various organizational development programs.
Kelly is qualified to administer the DiSC Assessment Tool, Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI), Strong Interest InventoryTM, Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-BehaviorTM (FIRO-B®) and the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI). She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Towson State University and a M.S. in Human Resources Management from Widener University.
Janet Vogel | Deputy CIO & Deputy Director for Operations, Office of Technology Solutions for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Janet L.D. Vogel is currently serving as the Deputy CIO & Deputy Director for Operations for the Office of Information Technology for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Janet was formerly the Director for the Financial Management Systems Group (FMSG) in the Office of Financial Management (OFM) at CMS. The FMSG operates, manages, and maintains the major financial systems for CMS and related program integrity, provider enrollment and enumeration, and electronic submission of Medical Documentation systems. In this role, she led the development, implementation and management of the Healthcare Integrated General Ledger Accounting System (HIGLAS), a secure, integrated, Internet-based accounting system, through which CMS manages financial transactions for hundreds of billions of dollars each year in Medicare expenditures and Medicaid and CHIP program grants. Additionally, her experience at CMS includes directing data projects, such as the One PI, providing system maintenance of Provider Enrollment and Integrity systems, and implementing Health Insurance Marketplace capabilities.
Janet joined CMS in 2002, with more than 20 years of experience which includes implementing the Federal Shared System for HR management (“HR Connect”) at the US Treasury, directing IT policy and implementing the fee-for-service management of systems at the FAA, and managing computer hardware, software, and support service acquisitions world-wide for the Agency for International Development. Janet holds a B.S. in Business Administration, and an M.A. in Political Science/Public Administration, with additional Information Technology course work at Cornell University and the American University.
Brannan Villee | Branch Chief, Business & Readiness Support Office, Science & Technology Directorate - DHS
Brannan Villee currently serves as a Branch Chief at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In this role, Brannan is responsible for planning and development of a variety of programs that are executed throughout the DHS Science & Technology Directorate (S&T). Programs range across process automation, workflow improvement, staffing, budget, event planning, and other areas. She is regarded as highly skilled in long-term planning and program effectiveness evaluation and administers complex, long-running contracts with suppliers. Brannan has been an employee of DHS since 2010 when she joined FEMA as Manager of their nationwide Copier Program. Prior to joining DHS, Brannan worked for six years with Xerox as an Account Manager supporting federal civilian agencies in Washington, DC. In addition to her experience at Xerox, she has worked as a Marketing Product Manager in the Consumer Packaged Goods and Financial Services industries and as an Advertising Account Executive. Outside of the office, Brannan founded the Kickball League of Baltimore in 2001, which has grown to over 6,000 members and 350 teams in cities around the US.
Brannan earned her B.A.in Sociology and Business from the University of Virginia and is accredited as a Program Management Professional (PMP) and a DHS Acquisition Program Manager. She graduated from the DHS Next Generation Leadership Development Program in 2016 and served as a DHS Mentor and founding member of the S&T Employee Council. Brannan was recognized for her outstanding work at the DHS Science & Technology Directorate with the Under Secretary’s Award for Program Support in 2015 and the Under Secretary’s Award for Collaboration in 2016. Brannan lives in Gambrills, Maryland with her husband and their two young daughters.
Timothy P. Schmitt | Aronson Capital Partners
Tim Schmitt is a partner with Aronson Capital Partners effective January 1, 2017 and joined the firm in 2008. Tim has broad experience advising on buy and sell side M&A transactions and providing other corporate finance and strategic guidance to clients in the defense and government services industry. Tim’s deep understanding of the federal contracting environment enables him to articulate the unique strategic attributes of his clients and help shareholders achieve their short and long term strategic alternative objectives.
Tim has advised on over 20 transactions involving some of the most reputable strategic buyers and private equity firms focused on the defense and government contracting market. Representative notable transactions include the sale of:
Proteus Technologies to Polaris Alpha (portfolio company of Arlington Capital)
Force 3 to Sirius Computer Solutions (portfolio company of Kelso & Co)
Wavefront Technologies to Ball Aerospace
GSM Consulting to Preferred System Solutions (portfolio company of CM Equity)
Optimos to Acentia (portfolio company of Snow Phipps)
Kimmich Software Systems to Vistronix
Hawthorne Services to the Berger Group
Novonics Corporation to Camber Corporation (portfolio company of New Mountain Capital)
TexelTek to TASC (portfolio company of KKR / General Atlantic)
PMSI to KS International (portfolio company of DC Capital Partners)
Prior to joining ACP, Tim worked in the Audit and Enterprise Risk Services practice of Deloitte & Touche, LLP, focusing on clients in the aerospace and defense industry. Tim graduated magna cum laude from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Business Administration. He is registered with FINRA as a General Securities Registered Representative (Series 7) and Uniform Securities Registered Representative (Series 63).
Tonya Hill | Senior Vice President - Regional Corporate Banker, BB&T
Tonya Hill is a member of the Corporate Banking team for BB&T's Maryland Region. In this role, she is the senior person responsible for corporate banking activities throughout the Eastern Shore of MD, Anne Arundel County, Southern Maryland and Howard County. Typically, this involves dealing with large regional and national businesses, municipalities, universities and hospitals. While Hill currently works with large government contractors, she has worked with contractors in all phases of the business life cycle. Since Hill began her career in 1987, she has developed significant expertise in all aspects of commercial banking, including small business and middle market lending, corporate finance, tax exempt finance, cash management and commercial real estate finance.
Hill is an alumnus of Atlantic College in South Wales, United Kingdom, The George Washington University, Maryland Banking School and Leadership Anne Arundel. In addition to her role as a corporate banker, she has served on numerous boards including The Severna Park Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, United Way of Central Maryland, The Mayor's Economic Council for the City of Annapolis and the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Hill is currently a member of the Anne Arundel County Partnership Board for Anne Arundel County and the YWCA for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
Nicole M. Mitchell / Partner, Government Contract Services Group, Aronson
Nicole Mitchell, CPA is a partner in Aronson’s Government Contract Services Group, where she specializes in accounting and financial issues impacting government contractors.
Nicole has a broad-based background in generally accepted accounting principles and cost principles related to government contractors, including Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and Cost Accounting Standards (CAS). With in-depth knowledge of the key financial business systems and compliance risk unique to government contractors, Nicole provides consulting and accounting services in the areas of financial regulatory compliance, contract pricing, and complex cost accounting structures.
Nicole has been a guest speaker on various financial and government contracting topics for such organizations as the AICPA, MACPA, GWSCPA, VSCPA, and the Veteran Institute for Procurement. She co-authored a Thompson RIA reference manual for controllers, titled, “Doing Business with the Federal Government” and is a regular contributor to Aronson’s Fed Point blog.
Nicole actively participates in the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation. She is also a member of several professional organizations, including the AICPA, Professional Services Council and the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, Nicole was named an Emerging Leader at the GWSCPA’s Women to Watch Awards.
Nicole received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Frostburg State University and a masters in business administration from Mount Saint Mary’s College. Nicole is a licensed CPA in the State of Maryland and received an award from the State of Maryland for one of the highest scores on the CPA exam.
Sharon Moore Jackson | Independent Consultant
Sharon Moore Jackson retired from her former position as the Acting Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director with Prince George's County Office of Central Services' Supplier Development and Diversity Division (SDDD) in July 2016. Prior to retiring, Sharon served as the Outreach and Compliance and Special Assistant for the State of Maryland Governor's Office of Minority Affairs (GOMA); Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Administrator for both the State of Maryland Department of Human Resources Office of Employment and Program Equity and Prince George's County Board of Education. Sharon has over 30 year of years of real and substantial experience and has been recognized by numerous public/private organizations for her advocacy, dedication and leadership in the areas of supplier diversity, economic development, outreach, training, and empowerment. Sharon has taken her vast knowledge is now working as an Independent Consultant/Business Strategist specializing in WBE/SBE/MBE Certification, Supplier Diversity and Inclusion, Economic Development and Utilization, Public Policy, Disparity Studies (Utilization Studies), Public Relations, Communications, Training, Community Engagement as well as a Contributor to MEA Magazine. Sharon enjoys helping others and lives her life recognizing that to much is given, much is required. Happily married for 36 years and the proud mother of 3 adult daughters, Sharon understands the importance of family and has made that her top priority.
Towanda R. Livingston | Director, Office of Small, Local & Minority Business Enterprise, WSSC
Towanda R. Livingston is the Director of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s (WSSC) Small, Local and Minority Business Enterprise (Supplier Diversity) Office. WSSC is among the largest water and wastewater utilities in the nation, serving nearly 1.8 million residents and approximately 460,000 customer accounts in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, over an area of nearly 1,000 square miles. WSSC operates and maintains eight water and wastewater plants, more than 5,500 miles of fresh water pipeline and nearly 5,400 miles of sewer pipeline. WSSC currently employs approximately 1,600 people. In the more than 90 year history, WSSC’s drinking water has always met or exceeded federal standards. Towanda has more than 20 years of experience in the Utility Industry. She has played an integral role in shaping and leading efforts addressing issues of diversity, strategy, organization, operations and the community. She has worked extensively on issues related to fair and equal access to competitive contracting, as well as, advising and supporting small, minority, and women-owned businesses with competitive positioning, developing business plans and start-up opportunities.
Kim Watters | Leader, GovRealm
Kim Watters keenly understands the work involved and relationship between capture planning, business development, and proposal management. With proficiencies in staff training, process re-engineering/optimization, technology upgrades, and on-going professional development, Kim has built a company that respects the challenges of Government procurement while tackling them fearlessly. Kim teaches her staff and clients to approach the sometimes world of procurement with organization, objectives, and realism. As a workshop facilitator and presenter on very technical topics such as the 8a application, marketing to the Federal government, and proposal management, Kim knows the importance of engaging her clients and delivering relevant information. Her team has spent decades managing strategic projects for clients focused on proposal development, maximizing 8(a) certification and correctly obtaining and using Government, and socio-economic certifications. Kim and GovRealm are committed to winning.
Gloria Larkin | President, TargetGov
TargetGov focuses on government procurement and related business development and marketing services including the exclusive Federal Acceleration Strategies and Tactics (FAST™) Process, Capability Statements, certification services, business development, and expert federal contracting services. In the business-to-business market, provides corporate business development and marketing-related services including current customer analysis to determine profitability, client profiling, targeted prospect identification and list development, database, marketing plan and strategy development, graphic design, marketing communications and calendar development and execution.
• In just the last five years, clients have won over $3.9 billion in federal contracts as a direct result of TargetGov consulting and related services.
• Author of the “The Basic Guide to Government Contracting: How to Sell Your Services and Products to the U.S. Federal Government” (book & Kindle)
• Author of “The Veterans Business Guide: How to Build a Successful Government Contracting Business” now in the fourth printing! (book & Kindle)
• Interviewed on MSNBC, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, the Daily Record and TheStreet.com. Expert author with hundreds of articles regarding business development published in local, regional, national and international publications.
• Created the Government Contracting Institute providing year-round in-person and virtual advanced-level class instruction for businesses in the federal marketplace.
• Created the Government Business Development Webinar Series focusing on business development processes for the US Federal Government and military targets.