Circuit


A senator's inauspicious rise

Former Sen. George Mitchell told an audience at the FOSE trade show that his ascent to the Senate was not necessarily auspicious.

Mitchell, who delivered the morning keynote address April 4, was serving as a federal judge in Maine when Sen. Edmund Muskie resigned to become President Jimmy Carter's secretary of state in 1980. Maine Gov. Joseph Brennan appointed Mitchell to the vacant seat, offering him some time to think it over.

Mitchell told the crowd that he consulted with his two brothers, with whom he had always been competitive. Both tried to discourage him, he said. One told him, "We don't know how you got to be a judge, let alone a senator," at least according to Mitchell's possibly embellished humorous retelling.

Mitchell accepted the offer and met then-Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd on the floor of the Senate for a quick swearing-in during the normal course of Senate business. It happened so quickly that "Nobody knew what had gone on, not even senators who were standing a few feet away," he said.

Right after the swearing-in, the bill that was under debate came up for vote. Mitchell told the audience that he now holds the Senate record for the shortest time between swearing-in and first vote: two minutes.

The day ended, he said, with an invitation to deliver a keynote speech to 3,000 certified public accountants. After his new assistant disillusioned him of the notion that the convention had held the spot open for him -- they'd actually had several speakers cancel -- he fretted that he knew nothing about their requested topic, the tax code.

His assistant set him straight on that score too, he said, saying: "You are now a U.S. Senator. You will regularly be called on to speak on subjects you know nothing about."
 

Posted by Michael Hardy on Apr 05, 2012 at 7:21 PM2 comments


Line of sight: A buzzword defined

Scott Cameron, senior vice president at R3 Government Solutions, advised an audience at FOSE to create "lines of sight" in organizations so that all employees understand how their work contributes to the organization's mission.

To illustrate the point, he told a story about President John F. Kennedy visiting a NASA facility after the race to reach the moon had begun.  Encountering a janitor, Kennedy asked what his job was.

"I'm here to put a man on the moon," the janitor said.

"Now that's a line of sight," Cameron said. "He's there to put a man on the moon, not to sweep the floor."

It's an old story, one that's been incorporated into business speeches time and again to illustrate principles of self-worth and inspired employees. It may be apocryphal. But it is a good one.

Posted on Apr 04, 2012 at 7:21 PM1 comments


Jim Ghiloni takes over new GSA program

Jim Ghiloni is the new head of the General Services Administration’s Integrations, a new professional services contract.

Steve Kempf, FAS commissioner, said Ghiloni has the experience to oversee the contract. He has been both program manager for the Alliant governmentwide IT acquisition contract and director of business operations for the Assisted Acquisition Service.

“Having both built the premier GWAC and been its number-one customer, makes Jim uniquely well qualified to lead tomorrow’s premier professional services vehicle for GSA,” Kempf said..

Ghiloni will take over for Lisa Maguire, who has been the program manager since the launch of Integrations. She has been developing the ideas behind the contract, often blogging about her ideas.

Maguire will still be at GSA, but working in another capacity, an agency spokeswoman said.

Officials are still in the early stages of the acquisition process for Integrations, but it will be a multiple-agency indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for commercial and non-commercial services. It will include program management and consulting services, among others.

More importantly, GSA is designing the contract vehicle to address needs for professional services that span several types of services that are often difficult to specify or quantify before making an award.

 

Posted by FCW Staff on Mar 16, 2012 at 7:21 PM0 comments


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