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 Business Development Executive of the Year (Private Company) finalist Mohamed Elansary, who’s vice president of business development and strategic initiatives at Buchanan & Edwards. Here, he talks key achievements, primary focus areas going forward, proud career moments and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2020/2021?
Under my leadership in 2020/2021, BE successfully transitioned from a graduated 8(a) and small business to a successful mid-tier that is on track to achieve 100% full and open revenue. This can be a difficult transition for small businesses to achieve; however, we experienced substantial growth, increasing full and open revenue by 250%.
This was partially due to a strategy of leveraging existing but underutilized vehicles like CIO-SP3 and a determination to keep executing on the strategy while focusing on key pursuits.
Previously known as a small business that primarily supported the State Department, BE has cemented itself as a successful mid-tier company focused on supporting national security in our industry. In fact, the intelligence community is now our largest customer and the State Department is our third largest account.
Specific metrics during this time:
- BE transitioned from 30% full and open revenue in January 2021 to a forecast of 99% full and open revenue by December 2021.
- Major contract wins:
- 20 new clients
- 76% win rate
- 2.4 book-to-bill
- New booked business BD throughput: $343 million dollar value of props submitted (274% increase from previous year(s)
- Successfully formed BE’s first-ever JV, Brightpoint
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
I am proud of our commitment to our customers and employees. Time and time again, we’ve faced numerous challenges and our leadership team has always stepped up to do the right thing for our customers and employees.
These challenges vary widely, but a good example is the support that we provided to our employees at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
None of us knew what to expect, and it was a very concerning time, so we wanted employees to know that we had their backs and would do whatever was in our power to support them both personally and as an organization.
We worked diligently to support these folks by substantially increasing the PTO debt limit, establishing a PTO bank system, which allowed employees to donate PTO hours for those who needed it, and even populating the PTO bank with hours leadership had personally banked. This was all prior to the CARES Act or any other government assistance being developed and implemented.
What are your primary focuses going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
Our primary focus area moving forward is aligned with our purpose as a company: to solve challenges of national security significance to protect the American people. BE will continue to identify opportunities where we can leverage our capabilities and innovation to help our customers with their national and homeland security missions.
Which rules do you think you should break more as a government/industry leader?
There seems to be some unwritten rule that government can’t talk to industry when you’re getting close to putting out an RFP. I would encourage a continued dialogue between government and industry until the RFP is officially released.
The conversation and collaboration can help ensure industry provides what the government is expecting and can be done right up until the RFP is out. Communication can make a positive impact on the RFP and for the country — all while still adhering to Federal Acquisition Rules.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
Our organization was challenged to identify over 50 cleared IT professionals and convince them to move to Pocatello, Idaho. The challenge was huge given most folks were not familiar with the area and we had to convince their families as well.
To assist us with this initiative, we leveraged our relationships in the Pocatello community including the mayor, the local development organization and Idaho State University.
The mayor produced a short video for us to promote the community and highlight this effort to potential candidates. We also set up a domain and site specifically for this recruiting challenge, www.beidahojobs.com, and launched an aggressive marketing campaign to promote the opportunity.
We were ultimately successful in recruiting and relocated over 50 cleared IT professionals to the Pocatello community in support of this client.
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
I would encourage more employees to move into growth-oriented leadership roles at their organizations. A lot of folks are scared of business development and P&L responsibility, but if you continue to focus on delivering for the customer and enjoy problem-solving, you’ll not only be successful but you’ll really enjoy doing it as well.