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!!