The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 13, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place virtually Dec. 8.
Next is Contracts Industry Executive of the Year finalist Jeff Coe, who’s director of contracts for Attain Partners. Here, he talks turning points in his career, proud career moments and shaping the next generation of industry leaders.
What key achievements did you have in 2020/2021?
2020 and 2021 presented significant challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, constantly evolving contract regulations, and Attain Partners preparing for the sale of our federal division in 2021. With the sale of our federal division, Attain Partners is focusing on our asset-based consultancy expertise.
One of my key objectives is to ensure that the contracts department provides exemplary contracts and procurement support to the company. We are the final review for Attain Partners and must provide proper guidance and counsel. Teamwork is critical for success.
I am proud that at Attain Partners, I’ve led the contracts team to work seamlessly within the company serving both client-facing and infrastructure support team members, and that the contracts support we provide directly contributes to our success.
What was a turning point or inflection point in your career?
Early in my career, I was provided an opportunity to support several functional areas as an individual contributor. I had early success in supporting positions in accounting, pricing and contracts administration, and had a desire to transition into management. I was very fortunate to have a manager at that time who allowed me to expand my responsibilities and take on roles, which offered me the capability to be a greater asset to the company.
I started my management responsibilities in the pricing and contracts organization and was very successful. I took ownership and accountability of my work and career. I attribute part of my success to the leadership, management and mentorship which that manager provided me early on. Throughout my career, I have reflected on the leadership this manager provided me and applied it to my professional career growth.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
Teamwork is critical for a company to be successful. Providing superior contracts and procurement support assists the company in achieving its operational goals and objectives. At Attain Partners, the infrastructure and operational teams work extremely well together. Attain Partners has been, and continues to be, a very successful company.
Part of our success is attributable to the superior infrastructure organization support being provided. I am proud to state that the contract and procurement support my department continues to provide to the company has been a key element in its success.
How do you help shape the next generation of government leaders/industry leaders?
Education, mentorship and experience are key factors for the career growth of contracting professionals.
As we work to develop the next generation of leaders, it is imperative that exiting leaders provide their staff with the ability to continue their education, provide mentorship and training, and establish an environment that enables them to expand their experience while ensuring success of the employee and company.
Although leaders must assume this responsibility, it is also the employee’s job to take ownership and accountability of their career. Existing contracting leaders should establish goals and objectives for their organizations, requiring continuing educational opportunities while ensuring their department provides superior guidance and counseling to the company to support success.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
I have been in the government contracting business for over 37 years and have held various leadership positions. I have been very fortunate and have had a very successful career. On one occasion, I was hired into a company to completely overhaul the contracts and procurement organization from policy development and staffing to infrastructure support improvements.
In that position, I successfully established and implemented a contract, procurement and PMO organization to support the company’s day-to-day operational requirements. A few of the accomplishments included improvements in development of policy and procedures, establishing a CPSR-compliant purchasing system and creating a centralized contracts and procurement database.
In addition, I have mentored, trained and coached several employees, which have since taken on senior leadership roles expanding their career growth. I believe my leadership was a key element in their development and had a lasting impact on their careers.
Although I have been part of a significant number of exciting opportunities in my working life, these are very gratifying accomplishments when I reflect on my career.