Advisory panels and acquisition executives from across Government and industry, for years, have recognized that a critical component of acquisition reform is a commitment to the professional development of the acquisition workforce.  This week, our community witnessed a significant demonstration of that support by GSA.

On Tuesday, I joined hundreds of other acquisition professionals in Huntsville, Alabama for the second year of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Training Symposium. This symposium brought together multiple Federal agencies and approximately 1,300 attendees for more than 50 informative and collaborative training sessions. It was clear that GSA put in a significant amount of thought and effort into this event.

Events, like GSA’s Federal Acquisition Training Symposium, are vital to the acquisition workforce and our community at large. Accordingly, it give me great pleasure to announce that the Coalition will seek to build on the progress made at GSA’s event in just two short weeks when we host our annual Spring Training Conference titled, The First 112 Days: The FAR, E-Commerce, and New Acquisition Priorities. Taking place on Thursday, May 11, from 7:00 am – 6:00 pm at the Fairview Park Marriot, the Conference agenda is full of not-to-miss updates and information for the procurement community from leading experts both inside and outside the government.

Following our morning keynote address, which will focus on the Trump Administration’s Management Priorities, we will be holding a series of panel discussions focused on:

  • FY 2017 Budget Realities and FY 2018 Opportunities
  • Upcoming Acquisition Reform: A View from the Hill
  • Acquisition Streamlining and the Future of E-Commerce
  • Déjà vu All Over Again:  The Rogers in a Year of Transition

Our lunchtime speaker will be Deidre Lee, Chair of the Section 809 Acquisition Advisory Panel, former Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator, and former Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy. The Section 809 Panel was established by Congress to review applicable acquisition regulations for the Department of Defense to identify opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the defense procurement process.

Last fall, the Coalition was privileged to address the panel’s inaugural meeting.  Since then, we have continued to meet with the Panel’s working groups on commercial item contracting and IDIQs.  The Spring Conference continues the dialogue, as there will be a guided solution “post-it note session,” to provide the Section 809 Panel with feedback and recommendations to improve DoD acquisition.

Back by popular demand is the Legal Panel, featuring Jonathan Aronie, Partner at Sheppard Mullin, Jason Workmaster, of Counsel at Covington and Burling, Lorraine Campos, Partner at Crowell & Moring, and David Dowd, Partner at Mayer Brown. This panel will be awarding the coveted “Rogers” legal awards. There will be a budget panel addressing the President’s proposed budget package, along with a Congressional Panel focusing on the Hill’s acquisition reform agenda for 2017.

Dual Listening Sessions

This year, the Coalition is introducing a new feature to its Spring Training Conference, the Duel Listening Sessions! These sessions extend beyond the tradition breakout session to provide attendees with an interactive, collaborative, and informative dialogue with leaders and Federal experts in procurement. We are very excited to announce the following officials will be participating in this exciting forum:

  • Jeff Koses, Senior Procurement Executive, GSA
  • Nina Ferraro, Deputy Chief Procurement Officer, DHS
  • Andrea Barton, Senior Procurement Executive, HHS
  • Debra Sonderman, Director of the Office of Acquisition and Property Management, DOI
  • Claire Grady, Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy
  • Elliott Branch, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Navy
  • Colonel Kevin Stoddard, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Army


Following the Dual Listening Sessions, the Coalition will be hosting its traditional GSA breakout sessions where you can be updated on GSA’s Professional Services Portfolio, GSA’s IT Portfolio, GSA’s General Products Portfolio, or the NAC Working Group and we will conclude the day with a networking reception.  The agenda can be viewed here.

Who Should Attend?

This is a “must-attend” event for government and industry professionals from across the procurement community. In particular, GSA Contractors, General Counsels, Compliance Managers, Business Developers, Marketing Managers, Contract Managers, Sales, and Market Research professionals should be in attendance.