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Scribble Talk Podcast
SMA Exclusive

Scribble Talk SMA Exclusive is our first ever sponsored weekly show produced by Baachu Scribble and hosted by  Baskar Sundaram.

SMA is pleased to sponsor Scribble Talk SMA Exclusive As one of the top Apple podcasts it delivers valuable knowledge to bid and proposal professionals world-wide. It’s a great source for mentoring and career development, and each episode is so much fun! SMA has been the global leader in capture and proposal services for 38 years.

Podcast SMA

Hosted by Baskar Sundaram


Podcast SMA John C. Rood John Rood has over 30 years of experience in national security positions in the U.S. Government and the private sector in international business and aerospace and defense. He served as a senior official at the Defense & State Department, White House/National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in Congress as a staffer in the U.S. Senate, and as an executive at Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Mr. Rood has been an Associate at SMA consulting since March 2020. In addition to his work at SMA, Mr. Rood serves as Chairman of the Board and Security Director of Radisson Hospitality, Inc. He is also CEO of John Rood and Associates LLC where he assists clients with growth strategies and government relations in the U.S. and overseas. From January 2018 to February 2020, Mr. Rood served as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy where he led formulation and coordination of national security policy within the Department of Defense as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for such matters. He managed a team of over 2,100 civilians and military service members and was responsible for building partnerships and defense cooperation with U.S. allies, including overseeing the $55B foreign military sales program and export controls Mr. Rood managed implementation of strategies, including the National Defense Strategy resulting in a new focus on addressing the implications of growing competition among the world’s great powers. He oversaw development of a new cyber strategy, authorities, and approach; a space strategy for the newly-established Space Force; completion of the Missile Defense Review; Nuclear Posture Review; and a counter-terrorism strategy for the defeat of ISIS. Prior to serving as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Mr. Rood worked for nearly a decade in the private sector. From March 2016 to January 2018, he was Senior Vice President of Lockheed Martin International where he was a corporate officer and direct report to the Chairman and CEO charged with leading business growth and industrial partnerships in more than 70 countries. He also served as VP for Corporate Domestic Business Development at Lockheed Martin. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Mr. Rood was VP for U.S. Business Development at Raytheon from 2009 to 2014, where he managed teams in Washington, DC and 28 field offices responsible for growing the business, preparing market assessments, and managing customer relationships. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Rood served at the State Department as Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security. He was responsible for policy on countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, arms control, nuclear weapons, security cooperation with other nations, and export controls. He also served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation. In two tours at the White House/National Security Council from 2005 to 2006 and 2001 to 2003, he served under President George W. Bush as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterproliferation Strategy, and Director for Proliferation Strategy, Counterproliferation, and Homeland Defense. From 2003 to 2005, Rood served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Forces Policy, where he was responsible for the development and oversight of policy and programs related to U.S. nuclear and conventional strategic forces, missile defenses, and space systems. Earlier in his career, Mr. Rood worked as Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona and as a Fellow for Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi on the Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security. From 1988 to 1999, Rood served in a variety of positions as an analyst at the CIA, including following missile programs in foreign countries. Mr. Rood holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Arizona State University.
Podcast SMA Lana Browner is a proud SMA Associate. A formally trained screenwriter and University of Southern California graduate! Self-starting, multi-tasking executive focused on continuous business development process improvement. 24 years of professional experience including 20 years of senior level experience as a program manager, project manager, capture manager, orals coach, orals script writer, BD executive, proposal manager, volume lead, technical proposal writer, resume writer, past performance writer, market research analyst, marketing director, and technical writer. Expert at managing PMOs, GWACs, and IDIQs for many government customers including local, state and federal in aerospace and defense, systems and software engineering, healthcare IT, and cybersecurity. Winning capture and proposal strategist with contract awards valued at $50 million-1.3 billion for Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of State, DISA, DOD, Military Health Systems, Veterans Affairs, Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, NASA, and GSA, . Easy going and extroverted communicator that loves networking and challenges. Has a creative and persuasive flair for winning new business. Incredible teambuilder with a successful history of turning problem teams into cooperative, successful teams. Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with an MBA from University of Maryland’s R.H. Smith School of Business. Shipley trained and APMP certified in proposal management and capture management at the Practitioner level. My sweet spot is standing up proposal development centers and IDIQ and GWAC Centers of Excellence. Pursuits include defense, aerospace, systems engineering, military health, payment processing systems, and healthcare IT for small, medium and large businesses. I strategize to capture efforts at the contract level then build teams to pursue subsequent quick turn task orders. I started my career in healthcare systems on both sides of Medicaid (on behalf of doctors as well as payors and medical groups/independent physician associations for 7 years. In my spare time I enjoy writing dramatic scripts, making YouTube videos, creating recipes with my husband, and learning how to understand my adult children.
Podcast SMA 1) Born in LA and raised in Kansas, lived in NYC, Chicago, LA (and now back in Chicago area)–love cities but like to be on the periphery (In Elk Grove Village we have elks) 2) Also have an MFA with poetry from the Art Institute of Chicago 3) My Career Path started with a Journalism degree -> Newspaper Copy Editor -> B2B Marketing -> Content Creator for Proposal Database -> Commercial Proposal Writing -> Gov’t Program Proposal Writer 4) healthcare and software have become mainstays (Fascinated by IO and cloud-native) 5) First gig with SMA was in aerospace at Virgin Orbit (Rocket Factory); it was amazing
Podcast SMA Experienced, successful program and market segment Business Development, Capture and Proposal Management for nuclear, infrastructure, site services, and Federal asset management. Projects include national and international multi-billion dollar Air Force, Navy, Army, other DOD, NASA, Department of Energy, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Postal Service contracts. Demonstrated expertise in life-cycle and infrastructure reinvestment planning, baseline and cost control, productivity improvement, Small Business/Small Disadvantaged Business subcontracting, and labor relations management. Consistently brought projects in ahead of schedule and under budget. He has a direct understanding of capture management requirements and evaluation criteria from both a Government and commercial customer perspective. Successful record in the development and delivery of innovative proposals, projects, products and services leveraging core competencies to maximize business diversification and growth. Domains include Defense, Intelligence, Telecommunications, Logistics, and Information Technology Market & Program Business Development, Capture and Proposal Management. Extensive briefing and presentation experience.
Podcast SMA Brenda Ballard is an accomplished proposal professional with more than 20 years’ experience in developing winning proposals for myriad clients and industries. Employing actionable leading practices, her experience has spanned education, non-profit, IT, military, government, commercial, healthcare, science, and many other business spaces. Her personal win record includes more than $1.1 billion in awards while maintaining a 92% win rate. An expert in change mastery and joyous living, she is known for simplifying complex problems and creating actionable and effective solutions with measurable results.
Podcast SMA Alvin (Al) S. Whitt is a Principle Associate for SM&A, formerly Steven Meyers & Associates.  SM&A is the world’s foremost management consulting firm providing leadership and mentoring solutions to position clients to PURSUE the right business opportunities, WIN new business, and PERFORM complex projects and programs. Mr. Whitt is an executive level consultant for proposal development and program management services in both public and private industries.  He leads integrated product teams through all phases of proposal and program execution from inception to completion.  He guides the teams in the preparation of proposals, business plans, proposal work statements and specifications, operating budget and financial terms and conditions of contracts.  He is an expert in Logistics enterprise, technology insertion, engineering change management, proposal development, program management, program assessments, program affordability analysis, configuration and data management, and modernization of logistics capabilities and processes. Al Whitt was born in Richlands, Virginia and grew-up in North Carolina where he graduated from Brunswick County High School in 1974 and earned a Bachelor of Science from Appalachian State University in 1978.  He subsequently earned a Master of Science in Procurement and Acquisition Management from Webster University in 1993. Upon graduation from the university, Mr. Whitt was employed in the private sector for two years and then enlisted in the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1980.  In 1985, he was selected to attend the Air Force Officers’ Training School; Mr. Whitt was commissioned in January 1986.  He held assignments at the product center, wing-base, and air logistics center levels; systems center level, major command level, and various joint and inter-agency levels.  Mr. Whitt retired from the USAF in March 2003 in the grade of Major after 22 years of military service. Prior to coming to SM&A, Al Whitt served as the Chief, MILSATCOM Logistics Integration, Directorate of Logistics, MILSATCOM System Program Office, Space and Missile Center. Before joining the MILSATCOM System Program Office, Mr. Whitt served as the Chief Joint Logistics and Deputy Chief for Counter Drug Operations in Lima, Peru.  He was the principal advisor to the US Ambassador on all security assistance matters and counter drug operations support by Department of Defense personnel.
Podcast SMA Alan Berman is Vice President for Research and Strategic Initiatives at SMA, Inc. He specializes in market analysis, strategy development, and new business creation. He focuses on growing the SMA business through new systems and processes to enable rapid scaling in core and adjacent markets. Alan also leads the SMA Research team, which conducts analysis on government contractors, major programs, and government agencies, to support business development and client engagement teams. Prior to SMA, Alan spent 11 years in strategy consulting at Monitor Group and Deloitte Consulting, focused on growth strategy and innovation. In that role, he led engagements with clients that included senior leaders of Fortune 500 companies, emerging technology-based firms, and the Department of Defense. These engagements tackled thorny challenges with multi-billion dollar implications. The projects spanned the aerospace & defense, healthcare, automotive, and consumer electronics industries. Prior to consulting, Alan was at Zone Reactor, a technology incubator funded by the Draper Fisher Jurvetson venture capital network, where he served as Entrepreneur in Residence. Projects centered on technology commercialization of government-funded R&D and resulted in commercial application of over a dozen patents. Prior to Zone Reactor, Alan worked as a hard drive and tape drive development engineer and tribologist at Seagate Technology. Alan received his Bachelors and Doctorate degrees in Chemical Engineering from UCLA and UC Santa Barbara, respectively, and earned an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.
Podcast SMA As the Chief Operations Officer at SMA, Inc. I have spent the past 12 years creating a work environment that ensure the world’s best talent can focus on what they do best. As a Software Engineer, I am recognized in industry as expert in the field of system design and integration for project management, developing and implementing award winning scheduling, resource planning, costing, and enterprise project management systems for fortune 500 companies and government agencies. Including direct responsibility for bringing five commercial software applications (SMA Talent On Demand (TOD), TRAKKER, iPursuit, iPortfolio, and Traction) to market with cumulative revenues over $50M I have received industry and government awards for successful project management and earned value systems implementations including recognition from: Brookhaven National Labs, Xerox, Boeing, National Missile Defense Program, Navy, and Army.

Recommended Links 

Since 1982, SMA has been the global leader helping companies be more competitive from market entry, to winning business, to profitable operations. Clients hire us for the expertise and experience of our world-class talent, and the operational strength and insights we bring from 38 years of corporate experience across many industry segments and markets.

SMA’s Talent On Demand (TOD®) digitally enables the professional services activity chain from talent sourcing and project resourcing to delivery. TOD® enables you to capture relevant information to describe the capabilities and past performance of your talent, and ensure they have the right professional characteristics for each required role. For each project, TOD® ensures you:

  • Find the right talent for the effort
  • Optimize your workforce
  • Get the right capabilities
  • Rapidly meet your project need
Podcast SMA


SMA  provide a range of free, online assessments for you to assess your internal capabilities against best practices:

Podcast SMA

CA/PTW Assessment: Start the Journey to Improve Your Internal Processes

Assess your implementation and execution of Competitive Assessment/Price-to-Win (CA/PTW) on proposal efforts. The assessment looks for objective evidence that your CA/PTW implementation and execution aligns with industry best practices.

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Proposal Assessment: Are You Ready for Your Next Review?

Did you use best practices promoted by the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) to develop your current proposal? Take our free Proposal Assessment to find out before that next review!

Podcast SMA

EVMS Assessment: How Does Your Implementation Score Against Best Practices?

How do your Earned Value Management System (EVMS) implementation and practice score against EIA-748? Take our free online EVMS Assessment and find out!


A good strategy process produces distinctive, robust, actionable decisions on the most important issues.


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Sign up for our APMP Foundation certification training, and we’ll enter you into our monthly draw, where we’ll pick one random entry each calendar month to WIN free APMP Foundation certification training (refund your training fee), a $300 value, and one random entry each calendar month to WIN an APMP Foundation certification examination fee from SMA, a $400 value! You must have joined APMP after 21 September 2020 to be eligible.


And more…. 

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Get A 10% Discount On APMP Certification Training
Elevate your careers with APMP Certification Training and join 1600+ Baachu Trained APMP Professionals