GovConNet Council

The GovConNet Council is formed by invitation only and is comprised of Government Contracting industry experts who develop GovConNet programs, support VIP instruction, and provide industry specific advocacy. The Council advises the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce on its government contracting initiatives. The following individuals are the members of the GovConNet Council:

Kristie Arslan, Executive Director, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)
Phone: (703) 786-3250

Kristie Arslan is the Executive Director of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP).  WIPP is a nonprofit, membership organization working to increase the economic power and public policy clout of women entrepreneurs by providing business skills education, leadership opportunities for business and personal growth, and a seat at the table amongst policymakers in Washington, D.C.  Kristie leads the organization in its efforts to advocate for women and minority business owners on policy initiatives that impact business health and growth.  Additionally, she manages the development of WIPP educational programming and efforts to enhance member & coalition partner engagement.  Before joining WIPP, Kristie served as the President of the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE). Kristie’s many years advocating on behalf of the small business community as well as her personal experience as a business owner, has brought her critical insight on the issues affecting our nation’s entrepreneurs. 


Jackie Asencio, President & CEO, C2 Essentials, Inc.
Phone: (703) 444-0096
Fax: (703) 433-9014

Jackie Asencio is President/CEO of C2 Essentials, Inc., one of the region’s leading human capital management service providers. With more than 30 years experience, Ms. Asencio has been a major influence in helping small government contractors grow and compete in the federal market place. As a seasoned trainer and coach, Ms. Asencio works closely with business owners ensuring their human capital management strategies are aligned to their business goals. She has extensive experience of full life cycle recruiting, talent management, succession planning, career development, reward and recognition strategies, performance management, regulatory compliance, compensation, benefits, risk management, and outplacement services. Prior to founding C2 Essentials Ms. Asencio provided human capital management support to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of State, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Treasury Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the World Bank Group.

Joseph Buyalos, Partner, Employee Benefits, The Insurance Exchange, Inc. (TIE)
Phone: 240-876-3566
Fax: 301-330-1270

Joseph Buyalos is a Partner with The Insurance Exchange. He leads the firms Employee Benefits practice and in his 20 years with the firm has tremendous experience in designing and negotiating ultra competitive fringe benefit programs for his many government contractor clients ranging from employers with around 50 employees up to 5,000 employees worldwide including several war risk countries. In addition to government contractors, Buyalos also has several large technology, association, and non-profit clients. He is also the driving force behind the GovConNet Benefits Survey which will give government contractors throughout the region and the country access to real-time high quality benefits benchmarking data at no cost to Survey participants.

Christopher Craig, President & Chief Operating Officer, Unanet Technologies
Phone: (703) 964-2149

In his role as President and Chief Operating Officer, Christopher Craig is responsible for all aspects of Unanet operations and performance. Under his leadership, Unanet has developed into the leading provider of cloud computing business management software for project based organizations. Since joining Unanet in 2000, Mr. Craig has contributed to Unanet’s growth through a variety of roles related to product management, professional services, customer account management, marketing, and business development. He has helped build the customer base to over 900 organizations, and revenue has increased 20% year over year for the last nine years. Mr. Craig has over 15 years of experience in the technology arena. Prior to Unanet, he worked in project-based services organizations, which helped Unanet become laser-focused on what these organizations need from a software solution. Mr. Craig has a M.S. in Information Systems and B.S in Systems Engineering from The University of Virginia.

Larry Davis, Managing Partner, Aronson Capital Partners
Phone: (301) 231-6200
Fax: (301) 222-8230

Larry Davis is a Partner and Founder of Aronson Capital Partners. Larry has over 25 years of transactional experience in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and financings. He has worked on more than 40 transactions involving middlemarket defense and government services companies. Notable transactions include the sale of Texeltek to TASC, Atlantic Coast Telesys to SAIC, AEPCO to VT Group, PLC, and Capital City Technologies to Ernst & Young. Larry is widely recognized as an industry expert and is a frequent speaker at industry events and a sought after advisor to owners of emerging growth companies.

Larry is a founding member of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce's Government Contracting Network and serves on the Board of Directors of Hearts and Homes for Youth, a charitable organization that provides support to atrisk youth. Larry received his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Brian Friel, Senior Government Contracts Analyst, Bloomberg Government
Phone: (202) 654-4389
Fax: (703) 761-4815

Brian Friel is a Senior Contracts Analyst with Bloomberg Government. He has spent more than 18 years analyzing the business implications of government action. He helped launch in 1996 and went on to write for Government Executive, National Journal and Congressional Quarterly. At Bloomberg since July 2011, he covers the ever-shifting opportunities and risks facing the professionals who conduct the business of government. Friel pioneered Bloomberg Government's coverage of multiple-award contracts and conceived the BGOV200 annual contractor rankings.


Rebecca Kehoe, Manager, CohnReznick LLP
Phone: (703) 847-4431
Fax: (703) 761-4815

Rebecca Kehoe is a manager in the Firm’s Government Contracting Industry Practice with more than 30 years of experience in addressing compliance issues for government contractors.  She consults with small and medium-sized businesses on such matters as contract compliance for purchasing business systems, cost estimating business systems, and contractor property management business systems, as well as on conflicts of interest and ethics for government contractors.  Rebecca has also taught courses on various issues of government contract compliance for the Firm.

Prior to joining CohnReznick, Rebecca worked as a manager in the public services division of an international consulting company.  In that role, she was responsible for the development of teaming agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and subcontract cost/price analysis, among other related projects.  

Rebecca also was a senior attorney in a Washington, D.C., law firm, and she worked for the Office of Regional Counsel and General Counsel for the U.S. General Services Administration, for the Office of Design and Construction of The American University, and for the Office of the Architect of U.S. Architect of the Capitol.

Lexy B. Kessler, CPA, CGMA, Partner, Aronson LLC
Phone: (301) 231-6200
Fax: (301) 222-8240

In her role as the partner-in-charge of Aronson LLC’s Government Contract Services Group, Alexandra “Lexy” Kessler connects her clients with the solutions, resources and contacts that they need to succeed in an ever-changing government landscape. With a reputation for candor and the ability to get to the heart of any issue, her clients rely upon her straightforward answers to complex business issues.

Lexy’s extensive expertise in assurance, tax and consulting allows her to help clients balance the challenges and opportunities inherent to the business of being a government contractor. With more than 25 years of experience, she has been instrumental in growing her practice area into one of the most well-known and respected government contracting service providers in the country, and she is always looking for new ways to reinvent and improve upon the way they serve their diverse client base. As a leader in her practice area and a member of Aronson’s Board of Directors, she also helps drive Aronson’s overall strategic direction and growth objectives.

Lexy’s reputation as a top expert in her field is part of the personal brand that makes her so popular on the speaker circuit. She is frequently sought as a lecturer at industry forums, and has made presentations to large commercial organizations and various banking institutions on emerging issues related to government contracting. 

Pamela Mazza, Managing Partner, PilieroMazza PLLC
Phone: (202) 857-1000
Fax: (202) 857-0200

Pamela J. Mazza, managing partner at PilieroMazza PLLC, practices in the areas of corporate counseling, government contracts, government relations, Native American law and association law. Within her government contracts practice, Mazza advises on all aspects of government contracting, with a specialty in issues pertaining to small and disadvantaged businesses. She counsels clients on a variety of corporate issues including corporate formation and restructuring, shareholder agreements, and trade secrets protection. Mazza also represents trade associations, coalitions and corporations before Congress and the Administration. She sits on the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and acts as General Counsel to the Chamber.

Frank Merendino, SVP & Team Leader, Sandy Spring Bank Government Contractor Lending Group
Phone: (703) 255-4632
Fax: (703) 319-7912

Frank Merendino has more than 30 years of commercial banking experience, including the last 12 years specializing in the Government Contracting (GC) Industry. As Team Leader for Sandy Spring Bank’s Government Contractor Lending Group, Frank is directly responsible for achieving the Bank’s objective to significantly grow this specialized business line. He is also responsible for the management of the Bank’s 6-person Government Contractor Lending Group.

Barbara W. Morgan, Director, Government Contract Services Group
Phone: (301) 231-6238
Fax: (301) 231-7630

Barbara Morgan is director of the outsourcing practice of Aronson's Government Contract Services Group. She has over 25 years of experience in both public and private accounting.

Barbara is responsible for integrating new outsourcing clients and implementing their accounting software systems. Her combined expertise in accounting principles, technical software capabilities, and the government contracting industry gives her a perspective and comprehensive knowledge that is invaluable to clients. As an industry expert, Barbara also provides consulting services to help government contractors better understand the accounting matters affecting this complicated industry.

Prior to joining Aronson LLC, she was controller and principal accounting officer for a publicly traded company in the technology services industry.

 In addition to conducting seminars and training classes, she is an author for the Aronson FedPoint blog and a frequent volunteer business coach for emerging government contractors.


Kwesi Rogers,President, Federal National Commercial Credit
Phone: (301)961-6450
Fax: (301)961-6460

Kwesi Rogers joined Federal National Commercial Credit as Sales Director when it opened its doors in 1992. In January of 2006, Mr. Rogers was promoted to the position of President. Mr. Rogers holds a BA from the University of the District of Columbia and an MBA from George Mason University. He is an owner and a Director of Federal National Commercial Credit.

Gene Schleppenbach, Principal, Miles & Stockbridge P.C.
Phone: (703) 610-8623

Gene Schleppenbach is a partner in the Firm’s Corporate and Securities Practice.  He is managing partner of the Firm’s Tysons Corner Office and is Co-Chair of the Government Contracts Practice at the Firm. He represents clients ranging from early-stage to Fortune 500 companies in diverse industries concerning a variety of corporate, high-tech and intellectual property matters. His corporate experience includes representing clients on formation and structure issues, corporate governance, shareholder agreements, mergers and acquisitions (domestic and international), restructurings, securities regulation issues, partnership and LLC matters, joint ventures, commercial contracts, debt and equity financings, including private equity, venture capital and angel financings, employee stock option plans and executive compensation agreements.  

Gene advises companies of all sizes in the defense, intelligence, IT and professional services sectors on a variety of government contract/procurement issues and on numerous mergers and acquisitions, including conducting due diligence, negotiating and drafting transaction documents, arranging for novation of contracts and obtaining regulatory approvals. His experience includes advising multi-national domestic and foreign companies through the various statutes and regulations that impact foreign investment in the United States, including Exon-Florio and industrial security regulations. He also counsels clients on prime and subcontracts, teaming agreements and joint ventures.

Ann M. Sullivan, Consultant, WIPP Government Relations, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)
Phone: (202) 626-8528
Fax: (202) 872-8543

Ann Sullivan is the President of Madison Services Group, Inc. (MSGI), a woman-owned company that provides government relations and business development services to corporate and non-profit clients. She brings many years of government relations experience in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, serving in key advisory roles. Ms. Sullivan works with the United States Congress, Executive Office, and government agencies to garner national attention for clients' issues. Her expertise includes business development programs, government procurement, healthcare, export development, and tax issues affecting small businesses.

She currently represents the largest national association of women business owners and women in business, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), as well as the national voice for microbusiness, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). MSGI specializes in outreach to the small business community with an emphasis on women-owned and minority businesses.

Ms. Sullivan also serves on the James Madison University College of Integrated Science and Technology Executive Advisory Council. In 2010, she received the Enterprising Women of the Year Award from Enterprising Women Magazine.


Donald Thomas, Head of Government Contracting Business
Bloomberg Government
Phone: (202) 416-3061

Donald Thomas leads the team overseeing Bloomberg Government’s Contracting Solutions business including business development, product, and a team of government contracting analysts. Mr. Thomas is a government contracting expert with 19 years of experience in management consulting with proven success in driving revenue growth with public and private sector clients.

Prior to joining Bloomberg, Mr. Thomas held senior executive positions at Ernst & Young; Dell; SRA International; and Thomson Reuters. His consulting practices have been focused in the areas of Strategic Planning & Implementation, Change Management, Operational Improvement, and Project Management.

Mr. Thomas graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and received his Masters of Business Administration from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.


Dr. DeVance Walker Jr., Chief, Division of Small and Minority Business Empowerment Montgomery County Department of Economic Development
Phone: (240) 777-2010
Fax: (240) 777-2001

DeVance Walker is the Chief of the Division of Small and Minority Business Empowerment. The Division ensures that an effective and consistent approach to service delivery is implemented to assist small and minority businesses located in Montgomery County. Among the Division’s services and programs are the following: 

  • Small Business Navigator services
  • Small Business Mentorship Program
  • Buy Local Project
  • Exhibit at business conferences to attract businesses to Montgomery County
  • Assist with marketing and outreach efforts for the Local Small Business Reserve Program and the Minority, Female, and Disabled Business Program.
  • Coordinating the small business seminars and resource sessions
  • Contract monitors for contracts to local nonprofit organizations


Christine Williamson, CPA, PMP, Partner, CohnReznick

Phone: (703) 761-4848
Fax: (703) 761-4815

Christine is a Partner and practice leader for the firm’s Government Contracting Industry Practice.  She brings over 20 years of experience and is responsible for managing day-to-day business operations including scheduling, hiring, as well as mentoring staff and provides project oversight and is responsible for the strategic direction and growth plans of the Practice.

In her role of overseeing project completion, she performs such activities as providing staff with technical guidance as it relates to FAR, DCAAM, CAS, GAGAS, and GAAP and she oversees audit, tax, and many government contracting consulting projects such as indirect cost submission audits, accounting system and other business system reviews and audits, and incurred cost proposal development, reviews and audits.

In her continuous dedication to providing additional value to government contractors, Christine has been instrumental in developing the following tools and resources for this community:

  • GovCon Academy – on-site learning that offers educational modules that can be customized to specific client needs on various government contracting related topics
  • GovCon Lunch & Learn Series – Lunch events throughout the year that provide government contractors with valuable information on topics applicable to their business.  CohnReznick has both internal subject matter experts as presenters as well as invites outside experts from organizations such as DCAA, DCMA, SBA, law firms and other agency and professional organization
  • WJ Technologies - She was key in forming WJ Technologies to offer accounting software implementation and consultation to clients

Over her 20+ years of professional experience, Christine has worked in both public accounting as well as serving as a Controller for a government contractor.  She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her leadership role at CohnReznick and is a sought after speaker for industry organizations and has contributed writings to industry publications.


Alfred M. Wurglitz, Principal, Miles & Stockbridge P.C.
Phone: (301) 517-4822

Alfred M. Wurglitz practices in two principal areas: (1) government business relationships such as contracts, grants, and financial assistance, and (2) technology and services transactions such as technology and business process outsourcing, technology development agreements, technology licensing and business transactions, and related export controls.   Government Contracts: Al counsels, litigates, and lectures in many areas including government contract formation and negotiation; issues in commercialization and privatization; rights in technical data; GSA schedule contracts; procurements; claims preparation; debarment and suspension proceedings; procurement fraud investigations and qui tam cases; contractor self-governance and compliance programs; defective pricing; cost recovery under contracts and grants; and equitable adjustments. For more than twenty-five years, Mr. Wurglitz has engaged in government-related matters, including bid protest, contract dispute, false claim, qui tam and other matters, before the boards of contract appeals (BCA), federal district courts, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Government Accountability Office (and before losing bid protest jurisdiction, the General Services Administration and federal district courts), as well as agency-level protests and disputes before federal, state and local agencies.

John A. Zuccaro, Manager, Business Controls, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS)
Phone: (301) 240-6202
Fax: (301) 240-7341

John A. Zuccaro was recently selected as Manager, Business Controls for Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS) in Gaithersburg, MD. He is responsible for business operations/administration of all IS&GS facilities in the Maryland/Washington DC metro area.

Mr. Zucaro has over thirty years progressively responsible procurement management experience in the federal prime contractor sector/market. He has managed Purchasing and Procurement Operations, Subcontracts, Contract Compliance and Small Business Subcontracting programs. He 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.

Mr. Zuccaro provided the inspiration for the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP), the country’s first-ever program to train veteran small business owners to succeed in the federal contracting market. Among his community activities, he sits on the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation board of directors.  

  • Board Chair Jerry Shapiro, President, Shapiro & Duncan
  • Patty A. Brown, Director, Program Management, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
    Phone: (301) 738-0015
    Fax: (301) 738-8792