GTSC Welcomes New Members FROM USCG, USCIS, TSA, & INTEL to Board of Advisors

The Government Technology & Services Coalition (GTSC), the premier organization for small and mid-sized companies in homeland and national security, today announced several new appointments to add more expertise to their prestigious Board of Advisors.

“GTSC’s has grown by leaps and bounds in the last several months as companies and federal partners realize the true potential of active, mission-oriented collaboration. Achieving the homeland security mission requires the expertise of both mission experts and those who execute to achieve top performance. Our recent Board of Advisor additions add tremendous vision and capabilities to our engagements,” said Kristina Tanasichuk, Founder & CEO of GTSC. GTSC welcomes:

Rear Admiral John Acton, Former Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard and Special Advisor to the Presidential Transition who will work with the Coalition on initiatives with the U.S. Coast Guard and continued White House transition. “It’s an honor for me to continue my support of GTSC. As we enter a period of budget tightening and evolving policy challenges, the role of medium and small companies in supporting our homeland security missions remains as essential as ever. With a security threat stream that continues to broaden and morph, these smaller companies can fill vital roles and often react quicker than larger, more bureaucratic firms. And GTSC plays an important role helping these smaller firms increase their effectiveness and efficiency, to the benefit of us all,” said Rear Admiral Acton at the announcement.

Joshua Seckel, Chief Engineer at WhiteHawk and former Chief of the Applied Technology Division at U.S. Customs & Immigration Services joins the Coalition to assist our federal partners to understand and implement agile development projects, agile thinking, and strategic development of projects and initiatives that includes an agile framework. At the release, Seckel said, “I’m looking forward to working with the GTSC community to bring modern development practices into both government agencies and contractors supporting them.”

Jill Vaughan, Senior Advisor at GSIS and former Assistant Administrator for the Office of Security Capabilities and the Chief Technology Officer at the Transportation Security Administration joins GTSC to contribute to, and continue the strategic development of, “Smashing the Box” events and the challenge of bringing new security technology to our federal government partners.

Caryn A. Wagner, Former Undersecretary for Intelligence & Analysis at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security joins the Coalition to further the quality of the threat and risk information collected by our federal partners and the data analytics that support it. “I am committed to working the seams between national and domestic security and look forward to my association with GTSC.”

Profiles of these and all GTSC Board of Advisors are available at:

Members of the Board of Advisors provide input to GTSC’s programming, identify areas of collaboration and increase the awareness and understanding of the Federal homeland and national security mission.  GTSC works on behalf of its members with the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State, Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Since its inception, GTSC has worked with these agencies to achieve mission in an increasingly challenging budget environment, advocate for the value of small businesses, increase understanding of mid-tier companies, improve market research and increase collaboration between the public and private sector.

READ THE RELEASE:  Press release Advisors May 17 2017

GTSC Hill Day!

Join GTSC for our day to bring our voice to the Hill!

June 22, 2017 | Cornerstone Government Affairs
8:00 am – 4:00 pm – GTSC Members only.

Your success is dependent on A LOT of things.  Perhaps most overlooked by small and mid-sized companies is the role of Congress in developing, determining, and ultimately appropriating the budgets that support your companies.  One day per year we ask our members to join us — to learn more about where the money to fund your contracts comes from, understand Congress’ priorities, and advocate for continued support of the small business community.

We will start with a briefing and breakfast on current legisltative efforts at Cornerstone Governmet Affairs with an introduction to our agenda for the day.

We will then meet with Senate and House leaders in the relevant committees and personal offices of the legislators who develop and oversee management of homeland and national security issues, in addition to those tasked with small business concerns. Participants will represent the small and mid-sized contracting community and will discuss issues related to your business in addition to challenges affecting the federal homeland and national security market, including but not limited to midtier company challenges, small business growth issues, oversight, budget and management. Stay tuned for a more detailed agenda — we look forward to seeing you!

Special thanks to Cornerstone Government Affairs for supporting this important day!

CEO to CEO Roundtable with Andrea Stone, CEO, DPI, Inc. SBA Small Business Person of the Year

Join us for this special CEO to CEO Roundtable with our honored guest

Andrea Stone, CEO, DPI, Inc.

Andrea Stone
CEO of DynamicPro, Inc.

June 14, 2018 | Falls Church, VA
7:30 am – 9:00 am


Recently named Small Business Person of the Year by the Small Business Administration, and an incredibly active leader at the Government Technology & Services Coalition that won GTSC’s Small Business of the Year for 2016, Andrea Stone founded DPI in 2006 as a management consulting and technology firm to provide collaborative consulting services in both the public and private sector. She is an expert in performance management, team decision support, and collaborative change management. She has consulted extensively and led projects related to large-scale technology implementation, strategic planning, change management, knowledge management, and technology acquisition. Before founding DPI, Andrea supported multiple engagements in the DHS and Transportation spaces at Booz Allen and Hamilton. She is a founding member of the Government Technology and Services Coalition and has served as president of the Washington DC chapter of Women in Transportation. She is a member of Women in Homeland Security (WHS), the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Organization (AFCEA), and the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). She received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Lion’s Den Meeting with Kay Ely, Dep. Asst. Commissioner for OIT, GSA

GTSC invites Lion Den members (companies with revenue between $25million – $1 billion) are invited for their monthly meeting, in-person, May 19 at Micropact in Herndon, VA.  Please RSVP to Vanessa Chander, IntegrityONE Partners.

Our special guest will be:

Kay Ely, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Information Technology Category (ITC) in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS)

Kay Ely
Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Information Technology Category (ITC) in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS)

The Federal Acquisition Service provides buying platforms and acquisition services to Federal, State and Local governments for a broad range of items from office supplies to motor vehicles to information technology and telecommunications products and services. As an organization within FAS, ITC provides access to a wide range of commercial and custom IT products, services and solutions.

In her current role as Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Ms. Ely supports the ITC Assistant Commissioner in managing the largest fee-for-service information technology (IT) procurement and services operation in the U.S. government.  Ms. Ely shares responsibility for leading a highly-skilled and diverse workforce that manages more than 7,000 contracts, providing access to relevant and timely IT and telecommunications products, services and solutions to defense and civilian agencies, as well as to state, local and tribal governments.

Before coming to GSA’s ITC, Ms. Ely served as the Chief Learning Officer at the Office of Personnel Management where she developed and set the strategic direction of OPM’s learning and knowledge management program. During her tenure with OPM she also served as an Associate Director where she was responsible for providing Federal employees, annuitants and their families with a variety of quality benefits options, as well as retirement processing services. She managed OPM’s nationwide leadership programs, the USAJOBS® program, and the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program. Ms. Ely also served as OPM’s Deputy Associate Director for Contracting, Facilities and Administrative Services. In that role, she was a member of the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) Board of Directors and was the Chairperson for the Chief Acquisition Officers Council’s Competitive Sourcing workgroup. She is now serving her fourth term on the National Contract Management Association’s (NCMA) Board of Advisors.  She was selected in 2010 as a recipient for a Meritorious Presidential Rank Award.

Ms. Ely was selected for the Senior Executive Service (SES) in 2000 as the Associate Administrator for Acquisition Implementation in the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Federal Procurement Policy. She left the federal government for a five-year tour in the private sector with a small and growing acquisition consulting firm now known as ASI Government. Earlier in her contracting career, Ms. Ely worked as a senior-level contracting officer for the Internal Revenue Service. She began her contracting career as an intern at the Department of Defense (DoD), Office of the Secretary of the Army, spending most of her tenure at the Pentagon.

Ms. Ely holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Speech Pathology from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma and a M.A. in Management from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.


Joint Ventures in Federal Government Contracting 5/18

Recent changes to the small business contracting rules have made joint ventures even more palatable for government contractors. Join GTSC to discuss joint ventures with a number of leaders engaged in successful joint ventures, the professionals who create them, and practical do’s and don’ts for a successful partnership.  Big Thanks to Protorae Law for hosting!  REGISTER


Lisa Martin

CEO, Leap Frog Solutions, Inc.

Brian Nault

President, Blue Water Federal Solutions, Inc.

Devon Hewitt

CEO, Protorae Law PPLC

Input Needed on the 2017 TSA Strategic Five-Year Technology Investment Plan Biennial Refresh (2017 Plan)

TSA has asked GTSC members and partners to review and provide input to their 2017 Strategic Five-Year Technology Investment Plan Biennial Refresh (2017 Plan).

Specifically, TSA is interested in:

After reviewing the plan, are there focus areas where industry would like more information?

TSA is in the midst of an internal reorganization.  After reading the Plan, what remaining details related to the reorganization would be helpful for industry to best facilitate activities related to aviation security solution development?

TSA provided updates on the avenues for innovative technology development to demonstrate its vision for the future of aviation security.  After reading the plan, what additional information would help industry align around and help TSA achieve this future state?

Please see the email sent to GTSC members for a link to the plan.  Please provide detailed comments to Kristina Tanasichuk at  Deadline is midnight, May 14.

CBP Day 2017 May 11

GTSC is excited to announce our 5th annual CBP Day!

Annually we welcome a deeper dive into the mission of the Customs and Border Protection with a stellar line-up of speakers and attendees to discuss, explore, and problem solve around the CBP mission.

 This year, GTSC will host CBP Day May 11 in Arlington, VA and we’ve already confirmed many in the leadership of this incredibly important component including:  Valerie Isbell, Acting Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Information and Technology Enterprise Services;  Linda Jacksta, Assistant Commissioner, Human Resources Management; Brenda Brockman-Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade; Ron Vitiello, Acting Deputy Commissioner, U.S. Border Patrol; Colleen Manaher, Executive Director, Planning, Program Analysis, and Evaluation (PPAE), Office of. Field Operations (OFO), Entry/Exit Transformation; Ed Mays, Executive Director, Enterprise Data Management & Engineering Directorate, Office of Information Technology (OIT);John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, Shannon Laurenz, Chief , Enterprise Data Center Operations Branch, Enterprise Data Management and Engineering, Office of Information and Technology, Enterprise Services,Kyle Barnett, Lead ITSPEC (APPSW), Cargo Systems Development Division, Office of Information and Technology,Thomas Mills, Chief Systems Engineer, Office of Information and Technology,Earl J. Lewis III, Director, Information Technology Contracting Division,Michelle Mrdeza, Senior Advisor, Cornerstone Government Affairs & Strategic Advisor, GTSC; former Majority Staff Director of the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Homeland Security,Troy Riley, Executive Director, Trade Remedy and Law Enforcement Directorate (TRLED), Randy Mitchell, Director, Commercial Operations and Entry Division, Trade Policy and Programs (TPP),Debbie Augustin, Executive Director, Trade Transformation Office (TTO) and Kraig Moise, Associate Chief, TacticalAir, Land & Marine Enterprise Communications (TALMEC).  Stay tuned for even more!

Join us today to attend this annually sold out event.

Register Here

A Case Study on the Power of Partnership: How Federal Agencies Can Find Qualified Small Businesses, Faster

When the Government Technology and Services Coalition (GTSC) was formed a little over 5 years ago, one of our primary missions was to improve and assist our federal partners in performing their market research. We immediately formed a “Market Research” workgroup, chaired by Brian Nault, President of BlueWater Federal to identify how the government could find the best providers, and reach the largest number of competitors, possible to meet the demands of their mission at the best price and highest quality.

We met with procurement officials and contracting officers to discuss some of the challenges of “being noticed,” by federal agencies, particularly for small businesses. We conveyed the shortcomings of the “Requests for Information” from a small business’s perspective, described how the lack of response from some agencies to the information provided in an RFI hindered a robust response from industry, and explained how the value of responding often was not high enough given the need for companies to spend time staying afloat chasing real opportunities. All of these shortcomings held true for any size business.

We are still working on improving the RFI process but recently we were able to provide some tangible assistance to a partner in the government – and were successful in showing that with the proper partnership, the government can get better, and faster access to qualified providers.

It began with a call from GTSC member and GTSC Small Business Member of the Year 2016 Kathy Pherson, CEO of Pherson Associates, a Woman-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB), who was concerned that a partner agency found no Woman-Owned Small Businesses in a certain NAICs code. The member connected us with the agency and to their credit, they were very interested in hearing from us! GTSC put out a call for firms qualifying for the requirements. In less than 48 business hours we had amassed over 25 qualified WOSBs and submitted them to the agency.

With that, they altered their initial track structure for the intended procurement to reflect this market research.

Why am I writing about this? This is obviously an “ideal” scenario!

I wanted to provide a real life example of how our government partners can leverage their industry partners to find their most qualified providers and best solutions competitively. We encourage all of our government partners to consider:

  1. Go to where the small businesses live.  There are very few organizations that really represent small businesses in the federal market. Why? Simply because they do not have tremendous marketing dollars. Small companies look for the most resources for the least outlay of the capital they use to grow. Federal agencies should forge close ties with non-profits that work with, and actively represent small businesses.
  2. Develop and Leverage relationships.Every market is a series of relationships – healthy markets are composed of those you trust and those you do not. That is why “industry relations” are so important to a vibrant federal market. Good relationships with industry allow an agency to reach and get assistance to find the small businesses they need. It also saves a tremendous amount of time and leg-work to try and find new communities around every procurement.
  1. Be strategic.  Different organizations are good at different things. The best federal industry liaisons, procurement officers, and leadership understand their market’s industry partners, who represents what, the organization’s mission, and the efficacy of the organization. Developing these relationships with industry allows them to understand how to best leverage existing resources and find active, engaged businesses.
  1. Talk to your industry partners.  We may finally be coming out of a period where many in the federal government were reluctant to talk to industry. The message we’ve been hearing more than ever – from nearly every component within the Department of Homeland Security – is that acquisition and procurement leaders are encouraging their staff to get out more and talk to, and learn from, industry. As a matter of fact, under the leadership of DHS CPO Soraya Correa the Department has undertaken “Reverse Industry Days” – devised by industry – to provide their contracting staff an opportunity to learn about industry and how it operates. GTSC’s Acquisition & Procurement Workgroup lead, Carolyn Muir from SE Solutions and a former contracting officer with the Navy has been instrumental in crafting and adding tremendous value to the topics and lessons provided in these “Master Classes” on government contracting.

We continue to applaud these changes to our procurement and acquisition process and look forward to continue leading both industry and government as we navigate a market environment moving faster than conventional procurement can handle.


Kristina Tanasichuk is CEO & Founder of the Government Technology & Services Coalition, a non-profit, non-partisan organization of small and imd-sized companies working in homeland and national security.  She is also the president of InfraGardNCR, a public private partnership between the private sector and the FBI to share information to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure, and the president and founder of Women in Homeland Security.