Kevin Jans is the President and Founder of Skyway Acquisition Solutions (“Skyway”). After 16 years as a Department of Defense contracting officer, he founded Skyway to help companies navigate the increasingly complex process of competing for Federal contracts. Kevin built the company on the premise that no one knows the Federal acquisition system better than contracting officers who managed it from the inside. Following this idea, he built a team of experts with actual contracting officer experience. What separates this podcast is the insight that Kevin and Paul bring from having been Contracting Officers (COs).
Kevin has held contracting officer warrants with unlimited signing authority in multiple Department of Defense agencies. He has written and reviewed over 1,000 contracts valued from $7,700 to $882 Million. In addition, Kevin has personally led or managed 143 competitive government source selections. This experience has made him a veritable expert in a series of acquisition regulations including the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS), the Air Force FAR Supplement (AFFARS), and the Special Operations Command FAR Supplement (SOFARS). He has competed, awarded and administered contracts in a wide variety of industries, from aircraft and space systems to facilities and tactical vehicles. His collaborative style allowed him to communicate across a disparate customer base (Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, Air Force and Marine Corps SOF) to create rapid, effective acquisition strategies.
In addition to his hands on experience, Kevin has extensive credentials in the contracting and source selection field. He is an active member of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), Suncoast Chapter. Kevin also has elite training and development experience in the Federal contract market. He was competitively selected for both the US Air Force’s Copper Cap Training Program and the Career Broadener Programs. Both of these targeted Department of Defense training programs are designed to accelerate the experience and knowledge of high-performing professionals in the DOD contracting and acquisition field. He is a Certified Federal Contracts Manager (through NCMA), DOD-Certified in both Contracting and Program Management (through Defense Acquisition University) and he holds a Yellow Belt Certification in Six Sigma.
He is also well respected in the contracting community for his presentation and training skills and his ability to break the complex competitive source selection process into a clear, actionable processes. He has presented and trained clients and acquisition professionals on source selections and negotiations for audiences of up to 2,000 people, including the Suncoast Chapter of NCMA, the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, and the Tampa Bay Service-Disabled Veteran-owned Small Business Conferences. Kevin authored Save Your Time, How to Know Whether (or not) the Federal Market is for You, and has also co-authored a book with John Stenbeck titled Agile Government Contracting.
Kevin lives in St. Petersburg, FL and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter (@kevinjans_).
Paul SchauerPaul Schauer is the Vice President, Contracts, for CACI’s National and Cyber Solutions business group. Prior to its acquisition by CACI, he was the Director of Contracts for BIT Systems, Inc. He earned the Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM) designation from the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) in 2001 and is DAWIA Level III certified in Contracting.
Beginning as a Copper Cap intern at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, Paul spent 15 years as an Air Force civilian in the contracting field (1102) working many exciting national security programs. In the grand old days of acquisition reform and Lightning Bolts he won the Hammer Award for Reinventing Government as the contracts specialist for the C-32A acquisition team, possibly the first FAR Part 12 commercial major system acquisition. Paul continued as the contracts lead for multiple source selections and sole source negotiations for major Air Force systems (with varying degrees of success). Following stints in the C-17 and C-130J program offices, he transferred to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) where he led the acquisition of lots of stuff that he can’t talk about but swears was “really important” and “really fun”. Paul ended up as a GG-15 responsible for a team of contracts professionals acquiring spy satellites.
One day he got a call from an old friend and mentor asking if he’d consider leaving Civil Service to work for private industry. He decided to join BIT Systems managing contracts and procurement as the company transitioned from a small to a large business, eventually being acquired by a very large business. During this time Paul submitted many, many proposals to different agencies in the Intelligence Community and DoD (again, with varying degrees of success).
From his first day at BIT Systems he began to learn just how shortsighted he had been as a contracting officer. As a result, he became fascinated with how little knowledge many Government and Industry contracts professionals have about each other’s jobs. His mission is to help both sides understand what the other is thinking and how improving communications can lead to more successful proposals and source selections.
Paul lives in Broadlands, Virginia with his wife Deb and can be reached directly at email@example.com. A guitarist since age 11, he is still wondering how he has spent 20 years working contracts when all he really wanted to do was rock.