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See You in Two Weeks at the Spring Training Conference!

As May draws closer, anticipation builds for the annual Spring Training Conference taking place in less than two weeks on May 8 – 9 at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church, VA! We are thrilled to provide a forum for Federal acquisition leaders and our members to continue to explore the theme of “What is Fair and Reasonable” when it comes to government market conditions, contract terms, procurement policies and regulations. 

Each year, the Coalition aims to bring members the latest actionable information during our training conferences on the most essential trends and advancements in Federal procurement through  dynamic presentations, collaborative panel discussions, face-to-face meetings with stakeholders, including government officials and other speakers, and networking opportunities with fellow industry colleagues. We remain committed to this mission at the upcoming Spring Training Conference, ensuring that attendees leave with comprehensive updates on acquisition policies, programs, and initiatives in subjects like artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, the medical supply chain, and much more. Keep reading to learn more about some of the excellent panels, speakers, and opportunities the conference offers. We look forward to seeing you in May!

Register for the Spring Training Conference by clicking here.

Hotel Room Block

Please note that the room block at the Fairview Park Marriott, the location of the conference, has sold out. The Coalition, however, has secured an additional room block at the Residence Inn by Marriott Fairfax Merrifield, located 1.5 miles away from the Fairview Park Marriott.Transportation to the conference will be provided for guests staying at the Residence Inn Marriott via shuttle in the morning and evening on Wednesday and Thursday. Book your group rate for CGP Spring Training Conference at the Residence Inn Marriott by clicking here. We encourage you to act fast, as the cutoff date for this room block is TODAY!

Meet the Keynote Speakers

We are thrilled to announce that this year’s conference will feature four distinguished keynote speakers, each providing unique perspectives and expertise on key acquisition priorities. The conference begins with remarks from Christine Harada, Senior Advisor in OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), on the governmentwide Better Contracting Initiative, a four-pronged initiative to ensure that the Federal Government receives optimal terms and prices when purchasing goods and services. Our luncheon speaker on May 8 is Moshe Schwartz, President of Etherton and Associates, who will deliver a presentation on “The Federal Procurement State of Play,” highlighting current policy trends impacting the procurement landscape.  

On May 9, we begin with Keynote remarks from Al Montoya, Acting Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Support Services at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), on “Optimizing Healthcare Delivery for Veterans.” Mr. Montoya’s remarks will explore how VHA is working to optimize the healthcare system for veterans today, and how the veteran population and VHA’s services are expected to evolve into the future. During lunch, we will hear Keynote remarks from Pat Flanders, DHA Chief Information Officer (CIO) on his current priorities and initiatives as CIO and how industry can best support them. In addition, he will provide updates on the Risk Management Framework (RMF) and Authority to Operate (ATO) processes as part of the integration of technology in delivering best value healthcare. 

Generative AI in Federal Procurement

As AI continues to burst onto federal procurement scene, we are excited to explore its impact on both government agencies and industry partners during the “Generative AI in Federal Procurement Panel.” During the panel, they will discuss how generative AI is revolutionizing Federal procurement by offering new capabilities to streamline processes, enhance decision-making, and drive efficiency across the entire procurement lifecycle. This panel includes-

  • Moderator Jessica Tillipman George Washington University Associate Dean for Government Procurement Law Studies
  • Bonnie Evangelista, DoD’s Acting Deputy Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer for Acquisitions;
  • Polly Hall, DHS’ Senior Advisor to the Chief Procurement Officer;
  • Udaya Patnaik, GSA’s Chief Innovation Strategist for the Office of Information Technology Category;
  • Nathan Manzotti, Director of Data Analytics & AI Centers of Excellence / Co-Manager AI Community of Practice Director for GSA’s Technology Transformation Services; and
  • Bob Lohfeld, CEO of Lohfeld Consulting.

Cybersecurity Panel (CMMC, Cyber Threat Reporting, and More)

As we all know, cybersecurity is of paramount importance in today’s interconnected world. Beyond protecting individual privacy and organizational assets, cybersecurity safeguards critical infrastructure and ultimately national security interests. In an era where cyber threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, it is important to keep up with the most recent policies and practices. We are fortunate to host a panel of leading cyber experts from government and industry, including-

  • Moderator Ryan Roberts, Partner at Sheppard Mullin;
  • Michael Thompson, Advisor for GSA’s Cyber-Supply Chain Risk Management Program Management Office;
  • Susan Cassidy, Partner at Covington; and
  • Michael Gruden, Counsel at Crowell & Moring.

These experts will share the latest developments across the federal cybersecurity landscape, such as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program, cyber threat and incident reporting, and the harmonization of cybersecurity regulations.

FAS Executive Panels: IT, Professional Services, and Assisted Services and General Supplies and Services

On the afternoon of May 8, leadership from GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) will join us to discuss the priorities and initiatives from their respective offices. The “IT, Professional Services, and Assisted Services” Panel will feature-

  • Laura Stanton, Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Information Technology Category;
  • Tiffany Hixson, Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Professional Services & Human Capital Category; and
  • Joe Nickerson, Client Executive of AAS Army.

The “Catalog, General Supplies and Services” Panel will include-

  • Erv Koehler, Assistant Commissioner of the Office of General Supplies and Services;
  • Mike Shepherd, Director of the Catalog Management Office; and
  • Peter Han, Branch Chief of the Catalog Management Office.

VA Acquisition Leadership Panel 

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) acquisition efforts stand as a crucial pillar in fulfilling the nation’s commitment to its veterans. These efforts play a pivotal role in ensuring that veterans receive the quality care and support they deserve. During the “VA Acquisition Leadership” Panel, representatives from several VA offices will share their latest and ongoing priorities and mission needs to enhance healthcare delivery, as well as how industry partners can best support them. Speakers include-

  • Moderator Parry Carter, McKesson’s Vice President of Federal Government Procurement
  • Christopher Parker, Associate Executive Director of the Strategic Acquisition Center (SAC) and Acting Associate Executive Director of the National Acquisition Center (NAC);
  • Song Stisher, Director of the Medical Supply Chain Program Office;
  • Spencer Roberts, VHA Executive Director of Logistics; and
  • Jerry Jacobs, Executive Director of VHA Regional Procurement Office East.

 Supporting Healthcare Customer Agency Missions

The “Supporting Healthcare Customer Agency Missions” Panel brings together procurement leaders from several agencies, including the VA, HHS, and DLA, to discuss the importance of fostering innovation and collaboration with industry stakeholders that will lead to technological advancements, enhanced operational efficiency, reduced costs, and overall improved health outcomes for patients. These missions encompass a wide range of activities, including the procurement of medical supplies, equipment, pharmaceuticals, and services necessary for patient care, research, and administrative functions. The panel includes-

  • Moderator Lauren Self, Medical Team Director for ADS Inc.,
  • Joffrey Benford, CMA Division Director of BARDA and Deputy Head of Contracting Activity for ASPR, HHS;
  • Phil Christy, Deputy Executive Director of OALC, VA; and
  • Vic Suarez, Senior Advisor for Securing America’s Medicines and Supply (SAMS).

Medical Logistics and Supply Chain

The final main stage panel on May 9 focuses on challenges and opportunities in the medical supply chain, how industry should approach supply chain issues, agency efforts to strengthen supply chain resilience, and key relevant legislative developments. The medical supply chain is essential for healthcare delivery, ensuring the timely availability of medical supplies, equipment, and pharmaceuticals to support agency operations. Guest speakers represent both government and industry, including-

  • Moderator Moshe Schwartz, President of Etherton and Associates,
  • Mike Stebbins, Executive Director of the Medical CBRN Defense Consortium (MCDC),
  • Arlene Joyner, Director of the Office of Industrial Base Management and Supply Chain, ASPR, HHS,
  • Jennifer Plitsch, Partner at Covington, and
  • Adey Pierce, Director of Biodefense & Government Contracts at BDO.

The conference also features several great breakout sessions on agency-specific programs to choose from on both days. Check out the full agendas below for both days for more information on these sessions:

To view the draft agenda for day one, click here.

To view the draft agenda for day two, click here.

“Ask the PMO” Tabletops/One-on-one Opportunities

“Ask the PMO” SessionDateInvited Government Participants
GSA MAS: Program officials from GSA’s MAS Program will be available to answer any Schedule-related questions.May 8Jack Tekus, Management Analyst, MAS PMO, GSA
Kevin Mitchell, Contract Specialist, FAS, GSA  
GSA Pricing Tools: GSA’s Catalog Management team will be present to discuss various agency solutions and tools.May 8Mike Shepherd, Director, Catalog Management Office, GSA
Peter Han, Branch Chief, Catalog Management Office, GSA
Anisa Khandkar, Enterprise Architect, Catalog Management Office, GSA
SAM.Gov: GSA will answer questions related to navigating opportunities on SAM.Gov.May 8-9Salomeh Ghorbani, Director, Outreach and Stakeholder Engagement Division, Integrated Award Environment (IAE) Office, Technology Transformation Services (TTS), FAS, GSA
Med/Surg Supply BPAs: This table will allow healthcare attendees to meet with the VHA to discuss their Supply BPAs.  May 8Craig Hilliard, Division Chief, Medical/Surgical Prime Vendor (MSPV) Supplies, VHA
Sarah Keefer, Branch Chief, MSPV Supplies, VHA
Jeremy Parker
, Branch Chief, MSPV Supplies, VHA
Pete Lyke, MSPV CO, Team 1, VHA
Melanie Stockman, MSPV CO, Team 1, VHA
Brett Cook, MSPV CO, Team 2, VHA Matt McDonell, MSPV CO, Team 2, VHA
Andrew Montgomery, Contracting Officer, SAC, VA (AbilityOne Items)
Crystal Phillips, Medical Supplies Program Office (MSPO), VHA (Product List)
Mike Easley, Director of Commodities, MSPO, VHA  
 VA FSS: VA FSS leadership returns to address any questions related to the VA Schedules.May 8-9Daniel Shearer, FSS Director, VA
Brian O’Connell, Senior Contract Specialist, FSS Contracting Support Division, VA
VA Prosthetics: Attendees will have the chance to ask questions related to VA prosthetics.May 9Ardene Nichols, Clinical Program Manager, Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service, VA
Nate Bradley, Director, Acquisition Services 4 (Prosthetics & Biologics), VA  
Rodney Hickson, Deputy Program Manager, Medical Supply Program Office at PSAS, VA
Brian Love, Division Chief AS4D, Strategic Acquisition Center, VA
Priscilla Burke, Contract Specialist, Strategic Acquisition Center, VA

How does it work?

One-on-one appointments with the GSA and VA representatives at each table will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the beginning of each day of the conference. 15-minute appointments will be available throughout the conference. Please refer to the schedule above as to which day each program will have a tabletop. If you have any questions about the “Ask the PMO” tables, please contact Michael Hanafin at

We encourage you to take advantage of this excellent opportunity for direct engagement with the Federal Government!

The Coalition sincerely thanks our sponsors of the Spring Training Conference for their generous support! Because of your partnership, we can provide invaluable opportunities for learning, networking, and collaboration. Your contributions have not only made this conference possible, but also have empowered us to continue our mission of promoting common sense in government procurement! 


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