2015 Speakers

 2015 Training Day Speakers & Topics


Brandon Conroy
Richter & Company

Dust Collecting: Panning for Competitive Intelligence Nuggets in Company Financial Data

Have you ever felt daunted by the challenge of collecting intelligence on your competitors, and found yourself wishing they would simply broadcast their valuable information – such as their strategies, goals, performance metrics, investments, and even weaknesses and vulnerabilities – in a prominent place where you could simply read it?  Well there is great news… they have! All of this and more can be found in your competitors’ SEC filings and other published financial data, and many seasoned professionals simply don’t know where to look. This session provides some simple tips and techniques for how to sift through the pebbles to find the nuggets of CI gold in your competitors’ financials.


Brandon Conroy is an executive consultant at Richter & Company, a Frederick, Maryland based competitive analysis and pricing strategy firm. Brandon brings more than 15 years of experience as an intelligence analyst (both in national intelligence and competitive intelligence), with a primary focus on competitive intelligence and training in the federal contracting space. Brandon also serves as the current chairman of the Greater DC Chapter of Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP).



Christopher Sant
Christopher Sant Consulting

Pre-Mortem to Post-Mortem:  9 Critical Steps to Creating a Killer Kickoff Meeting

Want a tip that will improve the responsiveness and content of your proposals by 30%? A tip that will let you address your proposal’s deficiencies before you even submit it? Want the nine critical steps that will ensure that every kickoff meeting will be productive — and that each one will be better than the last? The pre-mortem is a new and still relatively unknown managerial strategy for breaking through groupthink at meetings. When combined with the other critical steps to a productive and effective kickoff meeting, you will ensure that your proposals present winning solutions every time.


Christopher Sant is a former litigator, where he won a path-breaking decision on First Amendment protections, was honored by the California Bar Board of Governors and was named “Consumer Lawyer of the Year.” He was involved in over $6 billion of commercial litigation and never lost a trial. In business, he has used those persuasive techniques to consult with some of the world’s most successful and innovative companies, such as ISS, Honeywell and Wells Fargo.  He helps companies develop winning value propositions and refine their sales messages to make them as successful and persuasive as the law allows.



Dick Eassom, CF.APMP, Fellow (aka Wordman)

Making it Count:  The Effective Executive Summary

An effective Executive Summary is one of the most important parts of your proposal. It sets a positive, confident tone for the evaluators, and helps them sell you as the winner. It may not be scored like your technical and management content, but all your customer’s decision makers will read the Executive Summary first. Sometimes that’s all that they read, so it better be good, and create a positive impact for your company and your solution. This presentation provides an introduction into the best practices for creating effective proposal Executive Summaries.


Dick Eassom is a Vice President at SM&A, a certified APMP Fellow, past APMP Chief Executive Officer, recipient of the APMP Founders’ Award, and a presenter at twelve APMP Annual International Conferences and numerous APMP chapter events. Dick authored over forty “Wordman’s Production Corner” articles published in the APMP Perspective, and has over twenty years’ experience developing and leading proposals of all shapes and sizes to a wide variety of market sectors in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany.



Melle Amade Melkumian, CP.APMP
Northrop Grumman

Leading Proposal Teams to Deliver Compelling Graphics

Everyone wants their proposal to be visually persuasive and easily communicate a winning solution, in other words – we want to look good and for people to understand us. However, getting there isn’t always that easy. When working under the pressure of proposal deadlines, the greatest challenges the graphics face are the inherent team talent and getting the separate disciplines (technical/design/business development groups) to communicate well and visualize their solution. In this session we’ll look at the capabilities you’ll need on your proposal team to drive the creation of effective graphics. We’ll also cover how to facilitate communication between the disparate members (and thinkers) of the proposal team to ensure the designers, engineers, and business development teams are all working successfully together to produce a unified vision that powerfully represents your proposal.


Melle Amade Melkumian, MFA, CP.APMP is a Proposal Analyst at Northrop Grumman with more than 15 years of extensive experience in strategy development, project team management, brand development, and process improvement both as a Proposal and Marketing Manager. Passionate about team-building and communication; she leads executive and cross-functional teams from capture strategy analysis through to winning proposals that continually build the corporate brand. She has worked for corporations across the globe and lived and worked in both Australia and the United Kingdom. Her degrees are in visual communications, global communications and media communications.



Nate Stickney
ESRI, Inc.

Can You Hear Me Now:  Why We Don’t Listen, and How We Can

Proposal coordinators frequently need to actively listen to various stakeholders in the proposal process. SMEs, project managers, legal, pricing, and senior management all have facts, opinions, strategies, and any number of other ideas to help a proposal be successful. However, listening isn’t always easy. We all have “blocks” to listening that, conscious or otherwise, keep us from fully listening. This presentation discusses the most common blocks, presents strategies to overcome them, and has participants practice active listening techniques.


Nate Stickney is a Proposal Coordinator at Esri in Redlands, California. He has an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management with a focus on Cross-Cultural Communication, and a BA in Political Science and Arabic from The Ohio State University. Nate has lived in Cairo, Egypt and throughout South Korea, where he spent time in ESL classrooms. In his free time, his interests include playing the piano, Lebron James, Ohio State football, and the San Gorgonio Wilderness.



Steve Koger, CPP.APMP
Aerojet Rocketdyne

Nuggets of Wisdom:  Solutions to Proposal’s Toughest Problems

We have all been educated on the “proper proposal process” and best practices, but few of us operate in that ideal proposal environment where we have all the resources we need and things go exactly as planned. As proposal professionals and leaders, we all experience challenging situations, such as inadequate team resources and weak commitment, graphics and author content being turned in late, critical milestones slipping to the right, and Murphy’s Law being alive and well during production and delivery. Ours is a profession that requires flexibility, problem solving creativity, and yes, occasional heroics (on our part) to keep the proposal on-track and of the highest quality. Attend this presentation to learn how to handle proposal’s toughest problems.


Steve is Senior Manager of Proposal Operations at Aerojet Rocketdyne, leading staff at four U.S. centers in the development of proposals for rockets, space and missile propulsion systems, energy and advanced applications. He has a 30+ year career in aerospace/defense high-tech proposals. Steve is certified at the professional level and has been an active member of APMP since 1997. His association experience includes membership on APMPs Board of Directors; Chapter Liaison and Professional Development committees; serving as California Chapter Chair and supporting the chapter in other positions; planning and supporting the chapter’s annual training day; and attendance at nearly all APMP annual conferences since becoming a member.