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Erin Allen

President, Contemporaries

For over 25 years, Erin has provided the staffing industry with her marketing, management and recruiting expertise. Erin actively supports the business community by participating in networking groups and researching strategic employment issues.

Under her leadership, Contemporaries, Inc., a small woman-owned business, has thrived. It has consistently served as the largest provider of staffing services to the National Institutes of Health under their small business program. Contemporaries has grown to become one of the most successful staffing suppliers to the Department of Health and Human Services, including the FDA. In the D.C. metro area, Contemporaries is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 venders under the GSA Federal Supply Schedule 736 and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 “Small Businesses of the Year” by the state of Maryland. In 2017, Contemporaries was named an Honoree for the SmartCEO Washington Family Business Award.

Erin also provides executive leadership to multiple organizations and serves on various boards. She co-chairs the small business committee for Montgomery Chamber of Commerce and volunteers with the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization.

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Ahmed R. Ali

Founder and Chairman, TISTA, Science and Technology Corporation
U.S. Navy Veteran
2013 VIP GROW Grad

Ahmed is a U.S. Navy Veteran, with over 30 years of military, federal government, and civilian experience in engineering, information technology, cybersecurity, and executive level management. While serving, Ahmed worked on various aspects of engineering, fire control radar, weapons systems, electronic warfare, and communications. Ahmed served onboard an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer and completed multiple deployments throughout the world in support of various military operations. Duty stations included Recruit Training Command (IL), Naval Surface Warfare Center (VA), Pearl Harbor (HI), Bolling Air Force Base (DC), and the Pentagon (DC).

Ahmed is currently the Chairman of TISTA Science and Technology Corporation, a government contracting, technology focused company that he founded back in 2005. TISTA was a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, and successfully graduated the SDVOSB and 8(a) revenue threshold back in 2016. TISTA is now a successful and rapidly growing Large Business, with approximately 2000 employees across America, with well over a Billion-dollar backlog of funded contracts supporting various Federal Agencies.

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Barbara Ashe

National Director, VIP

Ms. Ashe is the President of the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation (MCCCF) and serves as the National Director of the Veteran Institute for Procurement. She is also the Executive Vice President at the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC).

As President of the Foundation, Ms. Ashe launched the Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) in 2009 and oversees the strategic development of the program, manages a dedicated team of professionals in executing the program that now trains 350 Veteran-owned small businesses a year nationwide on how to accelerate their success in the federal marketplace.

Ms. Ashe also manages the MCCCF Board of Directors. She attends and is often asked to speak at national conferences about the VIP program. The U.S. Small Business Administration honored Ms. Ashe in 2023 with the SBA Legacy Business Award, the Director’s Award in 2020, and the Veteran Small Business Advocate of the Year Award in 2011. In addition, the National Veteran-Owned Business Association honored her in 2017 with the Veterans Business Advocate of the Year award.

In her capacity as Executive Vice President, Barbara oversees the GovConNet Council and GovConNet Committee and works closely with the President in the strategic development of the Chamber’s programs, events, Board of Directors, and overall management of the organization.

Ms. Ashe has a 25-year history of successful business management/development as well as strategic/operational planning. Well-respected in the public and private sector, she has an exceptional resolve to maintain professional integrity in all areas of responsibility and is able to form long-term productive relationships. She is adept at the development and review of complex budgets. A mission-oriented problem-solver, Ms. Ashe brings a creative and pragmatic approach to her work for the betterment of the organization and community she serves. Earlier in her career, she was the Baltimore Area Manager at the Burroughs Corporation, which, after its purchase of Sperry, became the Unisys Corporation.

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Lisa Cines

CPA, Owner, Cines Consulting

Lisa is a native Washingtonian who is a retired chairman and chief executive officer of Aronson LLC. She was the first female managing partner of this top 50 accounting firm. She is currently President of Cines Consulting where she brings her 40 years’ of experience across the accounting and financial services industry as a Senior Executive, Consultant, Advisor and Board Member to support government contractors and technology businesses.

Over her career, she has served on many boards to include; Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA),past chair, former member of the AICPA Board of Directors and Board of Examiners and current member of AICPA Council, the Junior Achievement Board of Directors, the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and past chair, the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business Board, Rockville Economic Development Board, the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Foundation Board, and the AICPA Board Task Force on FASAB Rule 203 Review. Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland-Robert H. Smith School of Business and is a licensed CPA.

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Erica Dobbs

President & CEO, Dobbs Defense Solutions, LLC
U.S. Navy Veteran
2020 VIP GROW Grad

Ms. Erica Dobbs is a former Naval Officer with 36 years of leadership, policy, and management experience. Erica served on multiple tours of duty with the U.S. Navy, Joint, and NATO forces. Her military assignments span domestic and tactical theater missions. In this capacity, she served as a Communication Officer on USS Harry S. Truman (CVN75), a Combat Systems Information Officer (CSIO), and Principal Assistant on USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN71). Onboard of these Nuclear Aircraft Carriers, she oversaw all IT and satellite communication systems. She has supported the U.S. Cyber Command, Defense Information Systems Agency, and Naval Communications Security Material Systems. Her ashore and at sea tours of duty include serving in the areas of communication, cybersecurity, combat systems, space, spectrum & network management and operations, human assets, training, and education.

As founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dobbs Defense Solutions, LLC., Ms. Dobbs is responsible for providing leadership, strategic vision, and guidance for her company. Erica’s executive role in the company comprises leadership, policy, and portfolio management. Erica oversees all aspects of Dobbs’ day-to-day domestic and global business operations. Her long-term vision focuses on bridging the gap between the company’s traditional and state-of-the-art technologies for the private, public, and government sectors. Dobbs’ service offerings include—cybersecurity services, IT consulting, and technology training for dynamic operational environments.

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Donna Dominguez

Partner, Aprio LLP

Donna Dominguez is a partner in Aprio’s Government Contract Services Group, where she provides a wide range of financial compliance advisory services for government contractors. She is experienced in matters related to Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), cost accounting standards (CAS), incurred cost submissions (ICS), Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) cognizant audit support, provisional billing rates, establishing or revising indirect rate structures, and cost proposal support.

Donna works with government contractors to help them grow their business while keeping their accounting systems adequate in the eyes of the government and their billing systems current and relevant. She is also involved in supporting the government contracting community as a frequent guest speaker on a variety of compliance topics.

Donna is a contributor to Aprio’s government contracting blog and has co-authored articles for NCMA Contract Management magazine.

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Antonio R. Franco

General Counsel, PilieroMazza PLLC

Tony has over 30 years of experience representing government contractors and commercial businesses. His practice encompasses all aspects of federal government contracting. He also works closely with the firm’s Business & Transactions Group on corporate transactions and the Labor & Employment Group in the highly regulated market of government contracting.

Tony counsels clients on a wide range of complex legal and regulatory matters, including (i) protests and claims against the federal government; (ii) commercial and contractual disputes; (iii) investigations and compliance audits; (iv) suspension and debarment proceedings; and (v) entity formation, including joint ventures, operating agreements, and shareholder agreements. Tony primarily represents government contractors interested in pursuing set-aside opportunities under SBA’s small business programs – the 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, WOSB, and All Small Mentor-Protégé programs.

Tony advises firms on teaming, joint ventures, and positioning themselves to defend awards from size, status, and bid protests. His practice extends to assisting firms with compliance with the FAR and rules applicable to all small business contracting programs. Tony’s practice also encompasses the representation of Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, and their government contracting subsidiaries.

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Alexander Fakeri

CEO & Owner, MOJO Web Solutions, LLC
U.S. Navy Veteran
2020 VIP START Grad

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Alexander Fakeri served in the U.S. Navy from March 1993 until March 1996, stationed with VP Twenty-Six. He was honorably and medically discharged following an accident that occurred while on duty. After relocating to Maryland for medical treatment,

Alexander attended college at UMBC, and worked with various companies such as, Northrup Grummon, Talisma, and MultiCity. In 2004, he founded MOJO Creative Digital, a SDVOSB (Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business), with the goal of raising businesses’ expectations of quality by providing the most innovative and creative marketing assets and solutions possible. Today, MOJO serves 400 customers in both the public and private sectors throughout the world; in industries such as security, aviation, medicine, construction, hospitality, transportation, and logistics.

Alexander currently resides in Pasadena, Maryland with his wife and three children. He is an active member of the community and is dedicated to supporting various organizations such as the DAV, Blind Veterans Association, Hope for Heroes, and Hire Heroes. Alexander has previously served on the board of directors for several boards including the Republican Central Committee of Anne Arundel County, Chesapeake Art Center and the North County Republican Club. He additionally supports many veterans with career advancement and he supports local schools by educating our youth on veterans and their sacrifices.

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Wayne M. Gatewood, Jr.

Founder/President, The Gatewood Group, LLC
U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

With more than 32-years of experience in the federal government contracting and small business arenas, Wayne Gatewood is currently the Founder and President of The Gatewood Group, LLC and Member of the Board of Directors for the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation. The Gatewood Group provides an array of consultant and subject matter expert services in areas of; program and project management, business development, marketing, proposal preparation, and federal government small business programs. Wayne has provided expert testimony to Congress and is known as a dedicated and tireless small business advocate.

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Gigi Godwin

MCCCF Treasurer
President & CEO, MCCC

Georgette “Gigi” Godwin has served as the President and CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce since 2007. The Chamber is an association of regional, national, and international businesses with ties to Montgomery County. The Chamber’s mission is to help members grow and to advocate for a vibrant regional economy.

Since 2008, Ms. Godwin has also served as the treasurer for the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation, which sponsors the National Center of the Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP), the Public Safety Scholarship, Economic Development Studies, and the Montgomery County Green Business Certification Partnership.

Ms. Godwin’s background includes federal government, business, nonprofit, and local community experience. She began her advocacy career as a Junior Sloan Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences’ Climate Research Board in Washington, DC. Ms. Godwin served as professional staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee focused on Environmental and Transportation legislation. On Capitol Hill, she co-founded and served as the first president of the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment. She then served as the CFO of an alternative energy development company.

A longtime supporter of education in Montgomery County, Ms. Godwin served on Montgomery College’s Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2011. She has also served as a board member on the Montgomery County Business Roundtable on Education, the Committee for Montgomery, County Executive’s Business Advisory Board, and Imagination Stage.

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Linda Houk, CEO

CEO, Information Systems Solutions, Inc.
U.S. Air Force Veteran
2010 VIP GROW Grad

Ms. Houk is CEO of Information Systems Solutions, Inc. (ISS). ISS is an innovative information technology services and solutions provider to the Federal Government, with core competencies in systems integration, systems administration, secure network engineering, software development, information assurance, cyber security, training, and project management.

Ms. Houk was honored by the Montgomery County (MD) Chamber of Commerce as their 2011 Small Business Leader of the Year. Since 2013 Ms. Houk has served on the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and from 2012-present serves on the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation (MCCCF) Board. She is a graduate of the Foundation’s National Center for the Veteran Institute for Procurement VIP GROW (2010) and VIP INTERNATIONAL (2017) programs. She has served on the VIP’s curriculum committee and currently is one of the panelists of the CEO Lessons Learned Panel for the VIP START program.

Prior to joining ISS, Ms. Houk served 21 years as an Air Force officer where, as part of her accomplishments she oversaw multiple contractors and organizations and coordinated with managers of other projects/programs and high-level Air Force decision makers, including the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Air Force. Ms. Houk also served on the Air Force Program Review Committee, which reviews the Air Force budget submissions and establishes the annual Air Force Program Objective Memorandum (POM). Ms. Houk is a graduate of the Air Force Institute of Technology, with a Masters of Science in Systems Management, and she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Miami University at Oxford, Ohio.

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Rick Ingavo

Vice President, Business Development, Unanet
U.S. Army Veteran

Rick Ingavo is a Veteran of the U.S. Army. He graduated Infantry school from Ft. Benning and joined an Air Assault Reconnaissance Platoon. Rick served two combat tours in Afghanistan (OEF) in '04-'05 and Iraq (OIF) in '07-'08. He attained the rank of SGT prior to leaving service in '10. Rick shortly joined the software sales world as a Business Development Rep working with Government Contractors.

He worked his way to Manager, Director, and is now the Vice President of Business Development at Unanet where he built their BD department from the ground up. Most of his career has been spent working closely with Government Contractors. Outside of work, Rick is married to his amazing wife and has 3 kiddos. He is passionate about helping Veterans to become successful in software sales and in government contracting.

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Eric Lochausen

Supplier Diversity Advocate, Sandia National Laboratories

Eric is a supplier diversity advocate for Sandia National Laboratories. His current position at Sandia has him reaching out to small businesses, focusing on Veteran Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses. His goal is to ensure they have the maximum practicable opportunity to do business with the Sandia. The small business program is integral in the acquisition and subcontract management of over a billion dollars’ worth of goods and services annually.

Eric has been active in Procurement, Supply Chain Management and Production for the last 28 years while working at Motorola/CTS, Emcore and for the last 11 years, at Sandia National Laboratories. His roles have ranged from buyer to production and material planner to supplier diversity advocate. Eric received a BBA degree with a concentration in Production and Operations Management and an MBA with a concentration in Management of Technology from the University of New Mexico.

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John A. Moore, III

CEO, American Commercial Group, Inc.
2012 GROW Grad


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Frances M. Murphy, M.D., M.P.H.

President and CEO, Sigma Health Consulting, LLC
U.S. Air Force Veteran
2016 GROW Grad
2023 ADVANCE Grad

Frances Murphy, M.D., M.P.H., is President and CEO of Sigma Health Consulting, LLC, a woman-owned, veteran-owned small business providing health and technology consulting to the federal government. Dr. Murphy is a proud 2016 graduate of the Veterans Institute for Procurement (VIP) and continues to serve Veterans as a VIP instructor and mentor.

Dr. Murphy is a health care executive with extensive experience in managing, operating, and transforming large health care organizations. Dr. Murphy had a 20-year career working in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at both medical centers and in VA Central Office. She served as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health from 1999-2002, then as the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Health Policy Coordination from 2002–2006. Dr. Murphy was a member of two National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Boards and four NASEM consensus committees, including the current Committee on the Reassessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. She is also a member of the NASEM’s human studies research Institutional Review Board. Dr. Murphy serves as a Director on the Board of DLH Corp, a publicly traded corporation providing technology solutions, health research, and advanced analytics to improve federal health and human services. Dr. Murphy chairs the DLH Management assets and Compensation Committee.

Dr. Murphy is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, completing her service as a Major in the Medical Corps. Dr. Murphy is board certified in neurology and earned her M.D. at Georgetown University School of Medicine and her M.P.H. from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She is the author of numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed scientific articles.

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Carlos G. Rivera,

Founder, Chairman & President Culmen International
U.S. Navy Veteran

Mr. Rivera has over thirty years of experience working in the public health, international development and information management sectors. As the founder, Chairman and CEO of Vysnova Partners, Inc. Mr. Rivera provides leadership and day-to-day management of corporate and project operations that support activities for Federal Agency clients on a global basis.

As a former Healthcare Administrator, Program Manager and Government Healthcare Chief Information Officer, Mr. Rivera has a strong background in Program Management for Global Health and Life Science programs, contracting, and evaluation of health sector projects. His work has focused on enhancing modern management techniques by designing and implementing tools to make programs more effective. Mr. Rivera has participated in major assessments, evaluations, project implementation and strategic planning activities for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USAID, U.S. Department of Defense, World Bank, foreign government, foreign military, and private sector clients. Mr. Rivera completed a successful U.S. Navy career as a Medical Service Corps Officer with a sub specialty in Healthcare Information Systems.

Mr. Rivera volunteers and serves as the Chairman of the Small Business Association of International Companies (SBAIC) and on the Board at the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation and on the advisory board at the Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP). In addition, Mr. Rivera serves on several corporate Advisory Boards and as a formal and informal business mentor to a number of small businesses.

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Michael V. Sanders

Chief Executive Officer, Interactive Government Holdings, Inc.
U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
2013 GROW Grad
2023 ADVANCE Grad

Michael V. Sanders is the Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Interactive Government Holdings, Inc. Michael has over 14 years of experience in providing full service professional solutions to Federal agencies. Michael established IGH in 2006 as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB) and has led the company in management, marketing, and business development. Michael is an expert in Business Analysis. His project management expertise includes gap analysis, deliverable management, project tracking, project schedules, project action item tracking, coordination with senior management for assets, client relationship management, team management, project control management, planning tasks and responsibilities, budgets, scheduling, and performing milestone reviews.

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Christine Williamson

Financial and Accounting Consultant, CohnReznick

Christine Williamson is based in the Tysons, VA office and a member of CohnReznick’s Government Contracting Industry practice. She provides financial and accounting consulting and business services to a variety of clients, providing solutions to complex issues such as the development of indirect rate structures and tax ramifications of acquisitions. She is knowledgeable in Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and tax compliance issues and advises clients on financial and operational issues including monthly and year-end closings, financial statement reporting and maintenance, and federal and state tax preparation and planning.

Christine is highly experienced with Deltek accounting software products for both small and large companies and often serves in an advisory capacity for companies that are interested in customizing and incorporating the Deltek system. She was instrumental in forming WJTechnologies to offer software implementation and consultation to clients using the GCS Premier Deltek product as well as becoming the first alliance network partner with Deltek. Christine provides training on Deltek’s accounting products and government contracting regulations both internally and for clients.

She was named 2020 Business Partner of the Year by Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC).

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John A. Zuccaro

Manager, Global Supply Chain Operations
Lockheed Martin Space Company (RETIRED)

John A. Zuccaro was the Manager of Global Supply Chain Operations for Lockheed Martin Corporation – Space. He was responsible for Procurement Operations and Subcontracts supporting DOD and Intelligence Community customers.

Mr. Zuccaro has over thirty five years of progressively responsible procurement management experience in the federal/prime contractor sector. He has managed division-wide Purchasing and Procurement Operations, Subcontracts, Contract Compliance, and Small Business Subcontracting programs, and has earned lifetime accreditation as a “Certified Purchasing Manager” from the Institute of Supply Chain Management.

Prior to Lockheed Martin, he was employed by GTE Government Systems, Computer Sciences Corporation, Microwave Associates and Fairchild Industries.

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