Recording Available: “Assessing Capture Readiness”

Our recent webinar about assessing capture readiness is now available.

Business capture takes time and money, sometimes with few tangible results. How do you assess capture readiness for each opportunity in your pipeline? This webinar will explore Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that help you measure and track capture progress, improve capture quality and increase PWin.

Presenter: Lisa Pafe, CPP APMP Fellow and PMP, Vice President of Lohfeld Consulting Group, brings nearly 30 years of capture and proposal experience. She is the past APMP-NCA President and also served as Vice President and Speaker Series Chair. She holds a B.A. from Yale University, MPP from Harvard University, and MIS from The George Washington University.

Thank you to the presenter Lisa Pafe.

View the recording here >

APMP-NCA Elections – Call for Nominations for 2019 Board!

The APMP-NCA Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Board self-nominations from APMP-NCA members. You must meet the following requirements at the time you submit your nomination to be eligible for election to the Board:

  • Annual APMP dues must be current.
  • You must be affiliated with the NCA Chapter.
  • You must be willing to assume the role and responsibilities of the Director-at-Large Position as delineated in the NCA By-Laws ( and make the professional commitment to for the full 12-months tenure.
  • Continue Reading

Your weekly news update: January 15, 2018

Get published in our eZine: Call for articles

The theme for the APMP-NCA Winter Executive Summary eZine is “Winning Orals”. This issue will cover all aspects of orals, from graphics to presentation to coaching, to name a few.

Your submission to the eZine helps you and your company gain exposure to more than 1,200 readers, and demonstrates your thought leadership. Circulate your ideas for topics with our LinkedIn Group before you start writing!

Submission Guidelines:

Font: 12 point, Times New Roman, single-space
Word Count: strictly 975 words or less
Graphics are encouraged; please ensure any graphics are free of copyright violations
Adhere to the theme as much as possible
Thoroughly proofread your article
Include a short bio (strictly 75 words or less) and picture

Submitting an article doesn’t guarantee publication, but will typically be published within the next few issues if not included in our Winter issue.

The deadline for submission is February 28, 2018. Send your article to our Editor Candy Jenkins at

Join the Kickoff for our Annual Conference

Planning for the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) & Expo will kickoff on Sunday, January 28 from 1-4pm at EMD Strategies, 1621 N. Kent Street, Suite 1100, Arlington, VA 22209 or 888-985-9153, #19765. Join us to discuss goals, team structure, and contribute to our Chapter’s flagship event.

Email questions or your RSVP to

Get Involved with APMP-NCA: Become a Mentor

We need experienced professionals to mentor other NCA members! Mentors and protégés meet as schedules’ permit, whether it’s virtually, over coffee, or at Chapter events. Work with a protégé 5-10 hours/month, meet other members, and become a local industry influencer.

Apply here to become a mentor!

2018 Strategic Planning: Debrief

Our thanks to everyone who contributed feedback! Our 2018 goal is to engage more with our members and hear directly from you what’s valuable. We’re increasing the use of our Discussion Group on LinkedIn, launching a new website (more info coming soon!), distributing short polls, and developing new networking opportunities.

Members Only: Our Body of Knowledge

Members can tap into our Chapter Body of Knowledge for more than a decade’s worth of educational presentation notes, our Executive Summary eZine, and APMP publications.

Become a member 
Review our Body of Knowledge

We want to hear from you – send us your feedback.

Passing of the Torch

At the final Board of Directors meeting for the APMP-NCA Chapter, we welcomed the new Board and said farewell to the outgoing Board Members, including President Lisa Pafe. Lisa served on the Board for six years and was active for several years even before serving on the Board.  The NCA Chapter appreciates all she has done and wishes her well as she moves forward.  Of course, we do plan to keep her around in some capacity!!

Beginning in January, look for introductions and profiles of new Board members.

Now Enlisting Volunteers for 2018 Mid-Atlantic Conference & Expo

Gearing up for next year!

Putting together a great conference like our annual MAC takes a lot of time and a lot of people, so now is the time to get involved!  We are looking for volunteers for our 2018 MAC in multiple areas, such as logistics, marketing, programs, speaker buddies, day-of volunteers, and more!  If you are interested in participating in any way, reach out to

7 Key Pre-solicitation Activities for Proposal Management Input

Capture, marketing and proposal staff must perform key pre-RFP release activities to enhance proposal management and content as follows:

1. Perform Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for previous contracts, deliverables, SOPs and customer five-year plan to gauge previous contract activity, issues and initiatives
2. Obtain customer phone listing, e-mail addresses, and location addresses, organization chart, mission statements, operational platforms, toolsets and interface requirements
3. Find out Customer desires, needs, hot buttons, budget, problem areas, politics, decision makers, and partnering ideas
4. Determine makeup of customer evaluation team as to personalities, prejudices, and preferences.
5. Obtain success and failure information on contractors doing business there and form teaming agreements with those the customer likes.
6. Determine/obtain key personnel to be proposed prior to RFP release
7. Have your key personnel make a presentation of your team experience and capabilities to the customer

These steps will better position your team for the win by enabling you to help shape your proposal content based on the customer knowledge and information you obtained.

Proposal Writers and Contracting Officers: We’re Not So Different After All! (And A Little Meditation Doesn’t Hurt)

Having had the opportunity to spend the day with some of the most motivated business professionals in the National Capital Region at the APMP-NCA Conference, I am more convinced than ever that proposal writers and federal contracting officers are birds of a feather. After attending some amazing sessions on technologies, success and creativity, the overlap between these two communities had me chanting “We’re not so different after all.” That was, of course, after several rounds of my newly learned “Sa Ta
Na Ma” meditation. How is it that I learned all of this at the same, single conference?!

My expectations for the APMP-NCA conference on Friday October 13, 2017, were completely blown away by the end of the opening keynote speaker address. The APMP-NCA staff was incredibly friendly and organized, and they got me off to a running start that morning. The key note speaker, Alka Dhillon, provided me with a new tool for combatting stress: Sa Ta Na Ma meditation. Before the first session at 10:15am, I found myself entrenched in an awesome and new community of likeminded professionals.

Throughout each of the sessions I attended that day, I was reminded of how proposal writers and federal contracting officers are working as two sides of the same coin. What a brilliant idea we spend more time together and learn from one another! The challenges shared by the small business professionals partaking in the “How Small Business Can Develop Effective Proposal Orgs” session reflects a similar scenario on the federal side where contracting officers and specialist often must wear many hats, as well. Apparently, “cat herding” isn’t just a job that contracting officers face! Ms. Jennifer
Adeli’s session on managing virtual proposal teams literally could have been provided to any federal agency that is incorporating or expanding their telework policy. Finally, the discussions and advice provided in Rebecca Link’s “Developing Your Professional BluePrint and Gaining Respect as You Grow” were both eye opening and refreshing after a full day of learning.

In short, once I get a chance to come up for some air (most likely during my break between Fall and Spring semesters at George Washington University), I can’t wait to join APMP and more fully explore all that this organization has to offer. Everyone (and especially federal contracting officers like myself!) should take the time to find out what this community has to offer. I look forward to connecting on LinkedIn with all the people I met and attended sessions with! Thank you for the opportunity to attend this awesome event!!

Why Get Practitioner (or beyond) APMP Certification?

First off, I understand that “everyone’s doing it” – that is, getting their Foundation certification. I mean, who doesn’t want CF.APMP after their name, right? According to Rick Harris at the 2017 APMP Bid & Proposal Con (June, New Orleans), there are 8,299 Foundation-level certified members (or as Rick said, “Let’s round that up to 8,300.”) Of those, 810 are Practitioner certified. Now I don’t do math, but I believe that’s less than 10 percent. So why are so few going for that next level?

Are there no additional benefits to upping your certification? Will you get a promotion or raise? Is it too much trouble or too hard or too intimidating?

We have all read the benefits of certification on the APMP website. But how do these translate into REAL LIFE scenarios? I think it all depends on what YOU want to get out of it. If you are looking for instant recognition for your experience and capabilities, think again. Employers are not always able to accommodate “on-demand” promotions or raises, nor are they prone to heaping on the accolades. In some instances, they may not even recognize the benefits of “yet another certification.”

If you have these expectations, you may be sorely disappointed. You need to want this for yourself. Complete the Practitioner level to show yourself that you have “what it takes” to excel, to lead. Let it confirm that you really dohave valuable proposal knowledge. This feeling will instill a renewed sense of confidence and competence in your daily work. These qualities are what will ultimately lead to career advancement and recognition…not the certification itself.

So if you’re thinking about going for Practitioner, think first about what you want to get out of it…and what you’re willing to put into it. Research the requirements. Start gathering your documentation. Draft your PPAQ. Identify additional experience and knowledge you need to fill the gaps. Take more training. Do some self-study. Find a mentor. Take a Practitioner preparation workshop. Talk to your employer. Talk to colleagues who are pursuing Practitioner. Most of all – do not be afraid of reaching for this worthwhile goal. Do it for yourself…the rest will follow.