Leaders Building Leaders

Leaders Building Leaders 2020

The 4th Estate DACM Office sponsors an annual leadership and talent management event - “Leaders Building Leaders”. The event provides the 4th Estate Acquisition Workforce an opportunity to build skills, develop interpersonal leadership, and gain insight from senior leaders in defense acquisition and industry, while networking with employees from other defense agencies.

During the event, participants attend a core leadership course, participate in breakout sessions, and listen to carefully selected keynote speakers who readily share both their leadership experience and best practices. The goal of the select suite of courses offered is to provide attendees with insight into accountability, leveraging diversity of thought, how to best develop others, the art of mentoring and succession planning, as well as a plethora of other soft skills leadership training.


2020 Mentors
Mr. Joe BalskusJoe Balskus – VP/Director, Leadership Foundry (AF Maj Gen (ret.))

Mr. Joe Balskus is the Vice President and Director of Leadership Foundry. For over 36 years, he has been at the forefront of civilian and military organizations as a change architect and strategist for multi-functional teams. After serving as the Vice-Chair and National Chairman of the Air National Guard Strategic Planning System, he was nominated and confirmed by the Senate for his second star and assigned as the Military Assistant to the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Plans and Requirements, at the Pentagon. He became the Air Force architect for the establishment of the Total Force Task Force and testified before Congress during the 2014 National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force.


Mr. Michael BeaupreMichael Beaupre – Executive Director, Total Force Directorate, Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA)

Mr. Michael Beaupre serves as the Executive Director of the Total Force Directorate for Defense Contract Management Agency. Mr. Beaupre is the principal authoritative advisor and assistant to the Agency Director, Deputy Director, and Senior Leadership Team, regarding DCMA’s Human Capital, Military and Reserve Personnel and the Combat Support Agency programs, missions and responsibilities. As the Executive Director, Mr. Beaupre has the principal responsibility and accountability for developing, adapting, implementing, and maintaining Civilian and Military Human Resource Management programs, policies, and operational procedures for the Agency. Prior to coming to DCMA, Mr. Beaupre served as the Administrator of DLA Human Resources Services (DHRS). Mr. Beaupre retired from the Army after 22 years of honorable service.


Mr. Wes BennettD. Wes Bennett Jr. – Director, Contracts Management Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Mr. Wes Bennett serves as the Director of the Contracts Management Office (CMO) for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). As the Senior Procurement Executive and Head of Contracting Activity, he is responsible for providing advice on DARPA’s total acquisition portfolio of more than $3 billion. Mr. Bennett is the principal business and acquisition advisor to the Director of DARPA and represents DARPA in all acquisition issues with the Department of Defense. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Bennett served as CMO’s Director of the Services Division where he led the acquisition of enterprise-level professional services, information technology, facilities support, security, studies, and research and development. Mr. Bennett is a former officer in the United States Air Force and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


Mr. Terry CarpenterTerry Carpenter – Program Executive Officer (PEO), National Background Investigation Service (NBIS)

Mr. Terry Carpenter serves as the PEO for National Background Investigation Service (NBIS). He is responsible for leading the effort to design, build, test, field, operate, maintain, and secure the federal-wide information technology (IT) service used to conduct suitability, security, and credentialing investigations for all federal civilians, military members, and government contractors. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Carpenter served as the Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) Services Development Directorate (SD) where he was responsible for the acquisition of information services for the DoD. Prior to joining the government in 2009, he was the President and CEO of NextGenData, Inc., which designed, developed, and operated internet telecommunications and data systems for customers globally.


Mr. James CraftJames Craft – Director, Plans and Training Department, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)

Mr. James Craft is the Director for the Plans and Training Department at DTRA. He serves as the principal advisor to the Director on all matters related to Coalition partner relationships, strategic planning, and the facilitation of the development and incorporation of Counter Improvised Threat concepts and initiatives into DoD, DTRA, Allied, Joint, and Service strategic and doctrinal publications and plans. He also advises on the support provided to DTRA and the Combatant Commands to enable the defeat of IED and other improvised threats through rapid delivery of mission training, education, lessons learned and doctrine exercises and by facilitating collaboration among the interagency and international partners.


Ms. Nicole EvansNicole Evans – Director, Acquisition and Contracting, Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA

Ms. Nicole Evans serves as the Director of Acquisition and Contracting for the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), where she oversees a contract portfolio of over $5B. In this role, Ms. Evans is the Senior Procurement Executive (SPE) for the agency. Prior to joining DCSA, Ms. Evans served as the Head of the Contracting Activity for the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB). At NBIB, Ms. Evans established a new contracting organization to support NBIB, building a team in three locations to serve the geographically dispersed mission of the agency.


Ms. Lois HarperLois Harper – Executive Coach, Leadership Foundry, and Former Dean, Capital and Northeast Region (CNE), Defense Acquisition University (DAU)

Ms. Lois Harper is an independent consultant primarily conducting leadership courses and coaching on behalf of the Leadership Foundry (an XATOR Corporation). She is also an intermittent professor of program management at the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). Ms. Harper retired at the end of 2019 as the Dean of the Capital and Northeast Region at DAU. She was responsible for providing education and training to approximately 40,000 defense department acquisition professionals within the Capital and Northeast Region. Ms. Harper also served as the Director, Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAP) at the DAU West Region. As the MDAP Director, she led efforts to provide consulting and solutions for Major Defense Acquisition Programs as part of an expert advisory team requested by PEOs, program offices, and functional competencies.


Ms. Karla Smith JacksonKarla Smith Jackson – Director of Contracts, Missile Defense Agency (MDA)

Ms. Karla Smith Jackson serves as the Director of Contracts for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). She is responsible for all agency contracting actions supporting the Missile Defense System to provide a layered missile defense capability. Her contracting portfolio is valued at over $8 billion annually. Ms. Jackson was also recently appointed as the interim MDA Senior Services Manager. Prior to her current assignment, Ms. Jackson served as the Director for Acquisition Policy and Legislation in the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer at the Department of Homeland Security. Ms. Jackson has been recognized with the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service and the Medal for Humanitarian Civilian Service.


Ms. Judith R. OxmanJudith R. Oxman – Chief, Finance and Acquisition Career Development Office, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

Ms. Judith R. Oxman serves as the head of the Finance and Acquisition Career Development Office for the DIA. In this role she is part of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer leadership team, advising and assisting the Career Field Manager in furthering the expertise and support of agency priorities through strategic alignment of career field members, identifying their career field specialties and associated training, experience and career broadening opportunities available to them. Prior to entering into her current position at DIA, Ms. Oxman was appointed as the Chief, Acquisition Management & Corporate Investment, Office of Contract Services (OCS) at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in August 2016 under a joint duty rotation, where she led three divisions, two operational contracting divisions, and the contract policy division.


Mr. David D. SandersDavid D. Sanders – Director, Acquisition Directorate, Washington Headquarters Services (WHS)

Mr. David D. Sanders serves as the Director of the Acquisition Directorate (AD) for Washington Headquarters Services (WHS), a Department of Defense (DoD) Field Activity. In this capacity, he leads an organization that provides acquisition services to all Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) components, procuring a wide range of supplies and services totaling $1.4 billion annually. Prior to his federal civil service career, Mr. Sanders spent 26 years in the U.S. Navy, having enlisted in 1983, and retired in 2009. During his time in the Navy, he earned his commission as a Navy Supply Corps Officer through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program. Mr. Sanders is a Certified Professional Contract Manager through the National Contract Management Association and is a member of the Acquisition Professional Community.


Mr. David D. SandersBill Wofford – Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard (ret.)

Mr. Bill Wofford served as the Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard on the Governor’s Cabinet. He was responsible for the command of the Arkansas Army and Air National Guard, approximately 10,000 Soldiers and Airmen. He was responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the readiness, fiscal, personnel, equipment, and real property resources of the agency, and ensured the training readiness of personnel to accomplish both state and federal missions. During over 43 years of military service, Mr. Wofford served in a variety of command and staff positions, including command of an eight-inch self-propelled field artillery battalion during Operation Desert Storm, brigade level command, Headquarters Department of Army Deputy Director for Operations, Readiness, and Mobilization, and Deputy Commanding General (Reserve Components) US Army Forces Command. Mr. Wofford serves on the National Advisory Board for the Arkansas State University Beck PRIDE Center, supporting Wounded Warriors pursuing educational opportunities, and is a member of the Arkansas Governor’s Military Affairs Steering Committee.


2020 Speakers

Sae Schatz

Keynote Speaker: 3 Aug – 1000 EST

Sae Schatz, Ph.D., – Director of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative

Dr. Sae Schatz serves as the Director of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative, a research and development program under the chain of command of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Before joining the government in 2015, Dr. Schatz worked as an applied human–systems scientist with an emphasis on human cognition and learning, instructional technologies, adaptive systems, human performance assessment, and modeling and simulation. Dr. Schatz has worked with the defense training and education community for around 15 years. She has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed scholarly publications, led development of 3 military textbooks, and received professional recognition for her publications and research, including best paper awards from the I/ITSEC and MODSIM conferences.


Stacy Cummings
10 Aug – 1000 EST

Stacy A. Cummings – Principal Deputy ASD(A) and Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Acquisition Enablers 

Ms. Stacy A. Cummings is a career member of the Senior Executive Service, and currently serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Acquisition Enablers (PDASD(AE)). In this position, she advises the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition (ASD(A)) on matters relating to the Department of Defense Acquisition System while advancing innovative, data-driven approaches across the acquisition enterprise. Previously serving as the Program Executive Officer, Defense Healthcare Management Systems (PEO DHMS), Ms. Cummings managed the delivery of healthcare and advance data sharing through a modernized electronic health record for service members, veterans, and their families.


Sean Kelley
17 Aug – 1000 EST

Sean Kelley – Global Talent Acquisition Executive, Board Trustee, Start-Up Advisor

Mr. Sean Kelley is a Global Talent Acquisition executive, board trustee and start-up advisor. Over his 30-year career, Mr. Kelley held leadership roles in Operations/Supply Chain Management, Diversity & Inclusion and Talent Acquisition, culminating with global recruiting responsibility for Amazon’s Worldwide Operations. Mr. Kelley began his career serving as a U.S. Navy Supply Corps officer specializing in submarine logistics, completing two deployments aboard USS Pogy (SSN-647). Following separation from the Navy, he has built a successful career with three Northwest icons: Starbucks Coffee Company, Microsoft Corporation and Amazon.com. Mr. Kelley is nationally recognized as a leading expert in corporate Military Affairs, recruiting and transition programs.


Mark Pimpo
24 Aug – 1000 EST

Mark Pimpo – Market Lead, Chick-fil-A Inc.

Mr. Mark Pimpo serves as a Market Lead for Chick-fil-A Inc. in Atlanta, GA. He is responsible for the strategic growth of the Charleston & Columbia, SC markets and directly supporting 36 Owner/Operators. Prior to joining the Chic-fil-A team, he worked for Under Armour Inc, in Baltimore, MD, where he was the Global Supply Chain Chief of Staff and Sr. Director for Sourcing, Connected Fitness Products. Mr. Pimpo served almost 27 years in the United States Navy as a Supply Corps Officer, retiring as a Captain. His tours of duty included supporting Surface Ships, Submarines, and Special Operations Forces. His last assigment on active duty was as Commanding Officer, Navy Supply Corps School in Newport, RI.


Lois Harper
26 Aug – 1000 EST

Lois Harper – Executive Coach, Leadership Foundry, and Former Dean, Capital and Northeast Region (CNE), Defense Acquisition University (DAU)

Ms. Lois Harper is an independent consultant primarily conducting leadership courses and coaching on behalf of the Leadership Foundry (an XATOR Corporation). She is also an intermittent professor of program management at the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). Ms. Harper retired at the end of 2019 as the Dean of the Capital and Northeast Region at DAU. She was responsible for providing education and training to approximately 40,000 defense department acquisition professionals within the Capital and Northeast Region. Ms. Harper also served as the Director, Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAP) at the DAU West Region. As the MDAP Director, she led efforts to provide consulting and solutions for Major Defense Acquisition Programs as part of an expert advisory team requested by PEOs, program offices, and functional competencies.


Joe Balskus
28 Aug – 1000 EST

Joe Balskus – VP/Director, Leadership Foundry (AF Maj Gen (ret.))

Mr. Joe Balskus is the Vice President and Director of Leadership Foundry. For over 36 years, he has been at the forefront of civilian and military organizations as a change architect and strategist for multi-functional teams. After serving as the Vice-Chair and National Chairman of the Air National Guard Strategic Planning System, he was nominated and confirmed by the Senate for his second star and assigned as the Military Assistant to the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Plans and Requirements, at the Pentagon. He became the Air Force architect for the establishment of the Total Force Task Force and testified before Congress during the 2014 National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force.