December 2016 Newsletter

We hope you enjoy this month's NCMA Denver Newsletter. Thank you for your interest in NCMA and the Denver Chapter.
In This Issue
 




 
President's Corner with Stephanie Amend

Stephanie Amend
NCMA Denver President
Thank you to everyone who attended the Virtual Conference early in November; the turnout was fantastic and we hope it was beneficial information. We want to thank those that filled out our small survey that day as well. Your responses are very important and we're taking them into consideration for future event topics, times, and locations. We understand that our Chapter covers a large geographic area and it can be tough to schedule attending events. It seems to become tougher each year with the obvious increase in traffic that we all know too well. The board is making a concerted effort to identify times and locations for future events that can work for you all so that we can make it easier to reap the benefits of membership. With that in mind, we're looking forward to our Winter Seminar which will be hosted at Ball, but earlier in the day than in the past.  We hope that this will allow for you to attend and not have to compromise between post-work obligations and NCMA education (and also help avoid the traffic). The topic for the Winter Seminar will be Cybersecurity and we are lining up great speakers to provide us insight on the latest developments and practices in this topic area.  We have covered this topic in the past in various ways, but with new clauses, a quickly approaching deadline for compliance and all the news around cyber, we're looking forward to an interesting discussion that would be applicable to wide array of attendees. To close, I am also looking forward to the Holiday Party! I'm crossing my fingers for a lucky draw in the white elephant and to relax with really great people. Hope to see you there, but if I miss you, happy, safe and healthy holidays to everyone!

Upcoming Event: NCMA Holiday / Volunteer  Recognition  Party
Please join the NCMA Denver Chapter at its annual Holiday/Volunteer Appreciation Party on December 13, 2016, at Fogo de Chão (Brazilian Steakhouse). Spouses/guests are welcome. After dinner, as is a Chapter holiday tradition, Stacey Gustus will don the Santa hat and host the lively white elephant gift exchange.  Happy holidays!
  • Where: Fogo de Chão (Brazilian Steakhouse), 1513 Wynkoop Street, Denver
  • When: December 13, 2016. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m.
Inside the CMLDP Part I: Applying for the Program
NCMA designed the Contract Management Leadership Development Program (CMLDP) to help develop the next generation of contract management leaders. Each spring, NCMA selects a limited number of CMLDP applicants to participate in the yearlong educational experience.  Successful applicants have between 4-8 years of contract management experience, a bachelor's degree, and an employer recommendation. The CMLDP curriculum is intense-participants attend webinars, complete various assignments and projects, travel to conferences, and finish a graduate-level research paper. Although the level of effort is high, CMLDP graduates benefit immensely from the knowledge, mentorship, and professional connections they get from the program. 

The Denver Chapter has a proud tradition of members successfully applying for and completing the CMLDP. For all of us who don't know anything about the CMLDP or may consider applying for it in the future, I asked Reid Hollander, a current CMLDP participant, to answer a few questions about his application process.

For those who don't know Reid, he works as a contracts administrator at Northrop Grumman. Reid has a JD and MBA from the University of Kansas, as well as a master's degree in financial analysis and management from UC-Denver. He also currently serves as the social media chair of the Denver Chapter's board of directors.  Reid lives in Loveland, Colorado with his wife, Brenda, and their two children, Ramsey (7) and Phoebe (4). Thanks, Reid, for answering a few questions for us!

Where did you learn about the CMLDP?

My manager at Northrop Grumman had always been a supporter of NCMA and encouraged his employees to join a chapter and participate. After a couple of years, I felt settled enough in my position and decided to take him up on his offer. While perusing NCMA's website for information on what my local chapters were and how to connect, I ran across the CMLDP information.

Why did you decide to apply?

I have a philosophy that a person should never stop learning.  In my case, I learn new skills best in an organized program of study that has defined inputs and goals. So, for me, something like the CMLDP is a perfect opportunity to hone existing skills and develop entirely new ones.

What kind of support did you receive from your colleagues at Northrop Grumman or the NCMA Denver Chapter to apply?

To be honest, I did not tell very many people that I was applying for this program. Only my managers, who would ultimately have to approve my expense report for traveling to conferences, knew about my application. CMLDP is a competitive program and I was not confident that I would be accepted, so I didn't want to have to answer to colleagues if I was not accepted!

The managers that I did tell were very supportive though. Of course, with a company as large as Northrop Grumman, there was a lot to figure out about the mechanics of paying for it within our own accounting systems, but ultimately enough people pushed the right buttons to make it happen.  This year's class includes two other Northrop Grumman employees (one in Chicago and one in Oklahoma City) and their experience has been similar.  Tremendous support for the program with some minor frictions in implementation!

Based on your experience so far, who should consider applying to the CMLDP?

I think the ideal candidate is someone who is early-mid career (maybe 5-10 years' experience) and is very confident that they know which learning style they do best with.  Too early in your career, and the concepts will likely be to complex; too late, and they may be too broad.  I see this program as a tool for broadening the known world of the contracts professional.  It is not a course to teach contracting basics and it is also not a class that will help you focus on an already-set career path.  It aims to break down stovepipes and help you apply what you know to what other people know.

Secondly, the program is administered much like a graduate-level class in a school of business where there are many assignments, with overlapping deadlines, and a lot to keep track of and to check in on periodically.  Contrast that with something like a law school experience, where you may only have one grade an entire semester and therefore can work at your own pace until the end if you choose.  I would encourage any applicant to be sure of what learning style they do best with and think about whether it matches the layout of this program.

***

We'll catch up with Reid in later newsletters to hear more about his CMLDP experience this year, as well as from other CMLDP alumni in the Denver Chapter.

If you have any interest in the CMLDP and would like more information, please feel free to contact Quincy Stott at quincy.stott@dentons.com. 
Website Addition: Job Posting Page
We have recently added a Job Posting page to our NCMA Denver website for contracting professionals who are looking for these opportunities! 
 
If you would like to post a job to the NCMA Denver website, please send an email to our Employment Chair, Kristin Balaton at Kristin.Batalon@dcma.mil.
Denver Chapter Leadership
 
Officers:
Stephanie Amend - President
Brie Staker - President-Emeritus
Angie Burke - President-Elect
Jami Eckel - Treasurer
Stacey Gustus- Secretary
 
Board of Advisors:
Blake Couture
Brad Duchein
Dolly Fernandez
Paul Fisher
Rodney Fowler
Matt Gomer
Tom Reid
Phil Seckman
Erin Stewart
Chairpersons:
Kristin Batalon - Employment Chair
Melanie Burgess - Scholarship
Blake Couture - Fellows Chair
Matt Gomer - Education/Certification Co-Chair
Nathan Gordon - Membership Co-Chair
Reid Hollander - Social Media Chair
Kristine Kalish - College Outreach Chair
Julie Kehrer - Corporate Sponsorship Chair
Julie Linton - Membership Co-Chair
Jerry McIntyre - Newsletter Co-Chair
Taylor Menlove - Education/Certification Co-Chair
Ashley Poli - Newsletter Co-Chair
Erin Stewart - Awards Chair
Quincy Stott - Leadership Chair
Tyler Thomas - Newsletter Co-Chair