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By Nick Wakeman

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Bob Welch, ASI exec and 'visionary,' has died

Bob Welch, a partner at ASI Government and a former government executive, died Thursday, his company announced.

Welch already had a distinguished federal career when he retired from the government and joined what was then known as Acquisition Solutions.

At the time, ASI had five employees, and over the next decade and a half, he helped grow the company to 200 people. Along the way, it won accolades from Washington Technology as a Fast 50 company and from FCW as a part of a ranking of “10 hot companies to watch.”

“Bob’s boldness and creativity brought him to join ASI’s fearless founders all those years ago,” said Timothy Cooke, ASI’s president and CEO. “Together, they helped shape a generation of acquisition visionaries, and their legacy is our future. Bob will be missed terribly.”

Before leaving government, he served as senior procurement executive for the departments of Commerce and Treasury. He also was chief of the procurement policy division at Agriculture and a contracting officer at the Navy.

He earned a reputation for finding innovative ways to conduct acquisitions and was known as a change agent. He developed and launched the Commerce Information Technology Solutions program known as COMMITS, one of the first governmentwide solutions contracts for small businesses.

He also led the first application of the Balanced Scorecard for federal procurement and introduced the concept of using a credit card for federal buying.

“Bob was a wonderful friend, and one of the most beloved members of the federal acquisition community. He truly was a joy to be around and learn from. He was a consummate professional and a cheerleader for procurement talent who helped many careers,” Ann Costello, ASI co-founder and former chairman said. “When you see procurement professionals challenging tradition to craft better ways to bring capability to their agencies, it's a good bet they are channeling a bit of Bob.”

Another ASI co-founder, Chip Mather, called Welch a visionary leader and innovator who was a “remarkable businessman and business matchmaker of the best kind. He loved to introduce people whom he felt should, as he said, know each other over a baloney sandwich.”

“It seemed that almost all civilian agency acquisition managers and executives had him to thank for their last job, or their next job,” Mather said. “That is one indicator of the scores of friends he made and kept over the years, and the esteem and trust he quietly commanded.”

Welch served on the National Contract Management Association’s board of advisors and on the Procurement Roundtable, a volunteer organization of former senior federal acquisition officials. He was a Certified Professional Contracts Manager and founded the Procurement Executives Association, a group for senior procurement executives.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce and finance from Wilkes University, and a master’s degree in administration (procurement and contracting) from George Washington University.

Among his honors was a Hammer Award from Vice President Al Gore for reinventing procurement at the Department of the Treasury, the Presidential Rank Award, the Secretary of the Treasury Award, the Department of Commerce Gold and Silver Medal Awards, and the Federal 100 Award from FCW.

“Bob was an innovator who loved to push acquisition and procurement professionals to find new and better ways to buy and to achieve greater mission value from contracts,” said Anne Reed, ASI’s former president and CEO and current chairman. “Bob was a tremendous person, and our hearts ache today.”

Details on funeral arrangements were not available as we posted this story Friday afternoon.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Apr 01, 2016 at 12:39 PM


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