Winter Showcase Speakers
Vice Admiral Lou Crenshaw, CDFM United States Navy (Retired)
VADM Crenshaw was also the driving force behind two significant industry surveys, the annual survey of Defense Department financial officials and the annual National Government Contractors survey. Both surveys are recognized within their respective industries as one of the most insightful and comprehensive studies available during the year. He also continues to serve the American Society of Military Comptrollers at the program chair of the highly successful Washington Regional Professional Development Institute, the premier training event for the Washington area defense financial management workforce.
Prior to Grant Thornton, VADM Crenshaw served 32 years in the U.S. Navy in a variety of leadership roles, commanding at the squadron, carrier air wing and carrier battle group level, as well as shore command of all Navy bases in Europe. His last assignment in the U.S. Navy was as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Requirements, Resources and Assessments, where he was responsible for planning, developing and executing the Navy’s annual budget of over $130 Billion. He was also the senior requirements official for the Navy and oversaw its Operations Analysis activities. VADM Crenshaw is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and served as a test flight engineer before returning to the school as an instructor.
In recognition for his outstanding public service, he was elected a fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration in 2011, one of only a few members of the Armed Services to be inducted. VADM Crenshaw attended the U.S. Naval Academy and has a B.S. in Ocean Engineering. He is also a Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM). VADM Crenshaw continues his public service as the Chairman of the Board of the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation, an organization dedicated to serving wounded and injured Sailors and Coastguardsmen. He also serves on the Board of the Association of the U.S. Navy and is the Chairman of TECHAMERICA’s Defense Committee.
Christopher "Chris" Jones is currently the Deputy Director, Small Business Programs at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division in West Bethesda, MD.
Mr. Jones began his acquisition career in 2003 as a Contract Specialist. He was assigned to the operational buying division of the 11th Contracting Squadron on what was formerly known as Bolling Air Force Base, D.C. He helped to award, awarded, and administered contracts valued well over $2B for various Secretary of the Air Force offices. This is where he started to develop a fondness for small business matters.
His growing interest in small business ultimately led him to accept a position with the Small Business Administration as a Business Development Specialist (Procurement) in D.C. This was a gratifying experience as he assisted 8(a) program participants with better posturing themselves to compete for prime and subcontracting awards. Mr. Jones also played a vital role in developing and presenting program training to contracting personnel throughout the National Capital Region as well as basic contracts training to internal office staff.
Mr. Jones returned to the Air Force as the Small Business Specialist for the Air Force District of Washington (AFDW). Here, he leveraged his contracting, business development, and training experience and spearheaded the creation of countless acquisition strategies that maximized contract opportunities for all small businesses. Lastly, Mr. Jones spoke regularly to small businesses on behalf of AFDW as well as represented the Secretary of the Air Force's Office of Small Business Programs when needed.
Chanel Bankston-Carter Bio
Mrs. Bankston-Carter is the Director, of Strategic Outreach and Communications for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, where she is responsible for an outreach program which ensures that Veteran-owned and other small businesses have requisite knowledge and access to programs and services to increase their participation in the federal marketplace and with commercial partners. Mrs. Bankston-Carter is responsible for the development of small businesses informational tools, education and training, resource management, and execution of networking opportunities necessary to do business with VA. In addition, she facilitates events that offer small businesses direct access to procurement decision makers (PDM), contracting professionals, and commercial business partners to discuss capabilities; facilitate industry networking and partnerships; and gather market research for future procurements.
Mrs. Bankston-Carter is an Army Veteran. Her VA career began at the VA Veterans Benefits Administration in Waco, TX, where she was out-based at Fort Hood, Texas as a Counseling Psychologist, providing Chapter 31 vocational rehabilitation counseling and employment services to Veterans. From there she moved to the Washington, D.C. Veterans Affairs Central Office and served as the Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling Liaison for the Eastern United States. She has worked in various positions and programs at VA, to include: Office of the Secretary, Center for Women Veterans, Director of the Customer Service Center at VA Central Office and Program Manager for the Veterans Employment Service Office.
A native of Arkansas, Mrs. Bankston-Carter’s educational background began at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Human Development Family Studies degree with an emphasis on Juvenile Delinquency. She received her Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from the University of Texas and is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Counseling Studies from the University of Washington.
Mrs. Bankston-Carter is very active in her local community, military community and with Women Veterans. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
George P. Sigalos holds significant experience in both the private and public sector. He is a trained attorney and communications professional who now serves as a government affairs, strategic communications and international business consultant and advisor in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Sigalos has served in all three branches of the US federal Government and subsequently has held top positions in American private industry.
Mr. Sigalos served in government affairs for the former Halliburton - KBR in Washington, DC, and functioned as the firm's political & external affairs liaison and sometimes spokesman, acting in a strategic role to help guide the company's national and international posture in the legislative and political arenas. Mr. Sigalos maintained an active rapport with the U.S. Congress and executive agencies, with ambassadors, diplomatic corps, and other leaders of governments. He also served as the primary liaison to think-tanks, associations, universities and other non-governmental institutions for purposes of government and external affairs related matters.
Mr. Sigalos is the former Counselor to the President and Director of Public Affairs for the former federal contractor organization, Contract Services Association of America of Washington, DC, which represented over 500 companies doing business in the US federal and international marketplaces.
Prior to that, Mr. Sigalos served as Counselor and Director of Communications for the Vice-Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. His previous federal experience includes serving as an extern law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and in press affairs in the offices of three members of the presidential cabinet.
Kevin P. Young
Kevin P. Young is a long-time, Washington, DC-based resource as a Professional (IBM Federal, Unisys, SAIC); Consultant (Capgemini, CSC, Deloitte, Deltek, ITT, Leidos); Adjunct Professor (GMU's School of Business); and Thought Leader (Government Market Master™ Executive Education Program). Honors include IBM Outstanding Achievement in Marketing Award, IBM Award of Excellence, and (as IBM site team) Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
Kevin Swatt is a Senior Audit Manager who has over twelve years of experience working with corporate clients in the middle market, primarily serving the government contracting, manufacturing, and technology industries.
Kevin specializes in providing assurance services to his clients, conducting detailed reviews of audit and review engagements to assure appropriate accounting and auditing standards are addressed. He manages multiple engagements for the firm, and performs audit fieldwork in complex accounting areas. Kevin has also assisted clients with internal audit functions, including the testing of internal controls over key audit areas and the preparation of reports for management and the audit committee.
Kevin also specializes in performing audits of employee benefit plans under requirements set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), including both full scope and limited scope audits of defined contribution, defined benefit, and employee stock ownership plans with assets ranging from $1 million to more than $900 million.
Kevin is a Certified Public Accountant in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia, and he holds both a Master of Science in Accounting and Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Boston College. He is a member of the American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA).
William L. Blumberg, Federal Contract Solutions, DFAS Ombudsman (Ret.) – Contract Management and Payment
Mr. Blumberg is principal of the consulting firm Federal Contract Solutions, which specializes in helping Federal government contractors resolve payment problems and related contract administration issues. After an extensive Federal career he was a vice president of LESCO, a logistics contractor, leading their Washington D.C. office. Prior to joining LESCO he had almost 31 years of Federal service. His last government position was at the Defense Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS) Headquarters Contract Pay Directorate staff. Areas of activity included Prompt Pay compliance, re-engineering of the Defense Commissary Agency payment procedures, mandatory Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) implementation and related items such as Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and 1099 MISC reporting compliance. He served as the DOD ombudsman for contractors with payment problems. Mr. Blumberg was also a member of the interagency Federal Contractor Tax Compliance Taskforce and the Contract Finance Committee, which writes the contract payment sections of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). He came to DFAS in April 1991 after serving on the Corporate Information Management (CIM) study. His CIM participation involved developing a complete inventory and assessment of DOD accounting systems and their related functionality and interfaces. Prior to the CIM he was on the Office of Secretary of Defense Comptroller staff for 13 years. There he also worked on Prompt Pay issues, as well as cash management and program oversight of the overseas contract banking program. He started government service with the Navy Accounting & Finance Center. He is a graduate of the George Washington University.
"The GovConectx seminar and networking programs provide exceptional services to our entrepreneurial business community. Through relevant topics, engaging speakers, and accessible networking events, they allow small businesses an excellent opportunity to improve their government contracting prospects" VA PTAP/2017.