About Michele Atkinson

Michele Atkinson is the founder and Principal of Cavalry Consulting, LLC. Michele graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies, and a Minor in Business Administration, Marketing Emphasis. Michele’s extensive background in federal contracting covers a broad spectrum including Proposal Management, Marketing Management, Business Development, Capture Management, and CRM. She is known for her can-do attitude, strict attention to detail, ethical and responsible work standards, and high standards for performance.

Cavalry’s President Receives 2019 APMP “40 Under 40” Award

Michele Atkinson receives 2019 APMP "40 under 40" award APMP is the Association of Proposal Management Professionals Congratulations to Michele Atkinson, CF APMP, for being recognized by APMP as one of 4o outstanding proposal management professionals from around the world. APMP’s 40 Under 40 program celebrates winners’ accomplishments to date and future aspirations. The program recognizes contributors who are young but have already made a noticeable impression on their companies and the overall profession. Hailing from around the world, the 2019 class features proposal managers noted for winning big, revamping processes, facilitating teamwork, and giving back to their communities. The APMP 40 Under 40 awards will be presented publicly at Bid & Proposal Con in Orlando this May. See the full details here: APMP 40 Under 40 Connect with Michele on LinkedIn  Participation in APMP When Michele started the company, she joined APMP and [...]

2019-04-09T16:55:18+00:00By |

DFARS Proposed Changes for Small Business Set-Aside Architect-Engineer & Construction Design Contracts

Proposed Changes for Small Business Set-Aside Architect-Engineer & Construction Design Contracts Acquisitions for A-E services for military construction or family housing projects of $1,000,000 or below could now be set-aside for small businesses, up from $400,000.  Published on 12/04/18 as a proposed DFARS rule in Federal Register (83 FR 62554). Public comment period ends 02/04/2019. Synopsis: This proposed rule implements section 2804 of the NDAA for FY 2019. Section 2804 removes the dollar limit on small business set-asides of contracts for architectural and engineering services and for construction design, in connection with military construction projects and military family housing projects. Read the full Proposed Rule here: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2018-26308  Background DoD is proposing to revise the DFARS to implement section 2804 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 (Pub. L. 115-232), which amends the thresholds at 10 U.S.C. 2855 for small business [...]

2019-04-09T13:59:47+00:00By |

Take the Time to Listen at #SAMESBC18

Take the Time to Listen at #SBC18 This blog was written by Michele Atkinson for the Society of American Military Engineers blog, SAME Bricks & Clicks, and reposted on this website. You can view the original blog here.  Each time I prepare for a professional conference—such as the upcoming 2018 SAME Federal Small Business Conference for the A/E/C Industry, Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in New Orleans—I get excited for the opportunities ahead. This enthusiasm is not because conferences are a chance to make sales or meet potential clients (although that might seem like the logical reason). It’s because I know I will get to spend time with some of the best people in the federal contracting business—people who have so much knowledge and experience, and who gladly share their incredible wisdom. The real excitement and energy I experience comes from gaining the knowledge passed [...]

2019-04-09T13:59:08+00:00By |

Cavalry’s Fiscal Year-End Overflow “Elves” – ‘Tis the Proposal Season!

The Fiscal Year-End is upon us. And it is FABULOUS. As Federal Contractors - this is our "holiday season" - federal funding is officially in the black, so to speak, and the solicitations are hitting the street faster than we can add them to your capture plan. Some of us weird proposal people get a real kick out of this season, while others with operational tasks on their plate may find it a bit.... well, overwhelming. Do FYE right and you will set up your next year strategically and intelligently. You can then focus on developing new business and relationships at the conferences this fall, and on performing excellently throughout the year to nail those Past Performance ratings, which pave the way for your future proposal wins. You are probably thinking - There are not enough hours in the day, people on my staff, or resources in our [...]

2018-10-03T03:16:38+00:00By |

7 Steps to a Successful Print Ad

When done correctly, advertising can be a game changer for your business. Familiarity with your firm opens doors for teaming relationships and opportunities that occur only when industry colleagues know and recognize who you are. Advertising is a great way to initiate and grow that familiarity, while shaping the message the way you want it to be perceived, in the places that you want it to be seen. Marketing – and specifically, advertising – is not a one-size-fits-all activity. What works well for brands that market to consumers is not going to fit when a B2G business tries it on. Marketing is complex, and you need to understand your consumer’s buying behavior before you begin any campaign or ad design. Good advertising provides brand recognition, industry presence, and builds the perception of a successful, active, and reliable entity. Advertising is also challenging. How do you know if you [...]

2018-10-23T13:48:22+00:00By |

The First Step to Developing a Winning Proposal

Winning proposals don't happen by accident - they are carefully and expertly crafted. Each section, each paragraph, and each element must be composed, discussed, and thoughtfully reviewed to create a document that is stamped and ready for submittal. But before any words go to the page, a winning proposal goes through a process where the RFP is critically evaluated to ensure that the company proposing can indeed meet and exceed all of the criteria required. When it comes to proposal "success rates" or "win rates" - this in-depth RFP evaluation is the critical factor. Does your firm have a statement like "Submit X number of proposals per month," written in its business plan? In our experience, your number of submittals is not a logical equation to number of wins. Quality of submittals equals number of wins. You can submit 20 proposals a month hoping to win 5, but unless we are talking IFBs - which we are not - then all [...]

2018-10-23T13:51:11+00:00By |

Seamless Success for Small Business

Small Businesses are very near and dear to my heart. They are where I “grew up” in this industry, so to speak. And one of the great lessons that I learned is that it is a definite challenge to find your niche in this contracting world, but it’s worth it, for small businesses are afforded great advantages once you discover out how to make your mark.  Something that always stuck out to me quite strongly is the amount of small businesses who had their 8(a)’s, their WOSB certifications, their SVOSB certifications, but were still having trouble getting contracts. In my role as the Senior Business Development Manager at a successful 8(a) firm, I was afforded the opportunity to speak with many folks from other SDV firms who just wanted to chat and ask about what we did to get off the ground. This was not uncommon – it happened [...]

2018-10-03T03:17:27+00:00By |

Become an Industry Expert Through Media

What better way to get to grow your federal contracting business than to have an article published in a leading industry magazine about your accomplishments? Let me tell you something - the writers will not come calling you, you need to take action and put the story in front of your potential clients. A/E/C firms:  your opportunity is here, at the perfect time. This is an important issue for a few reasons - it is distributed at the SAME Small Business Conference (which will be bigger than ever this year now that the VA is attending), and it is the Design & Construction issue. As a published writer (including The Military Engineer) here are some things to consider to help you decide if this approach is for you: Is my project interesting? What is the human/mission element behind it? Why would anyone care to read about this? Have I [...]

2018-10-03T03:13:33+00:00By |

Capture & Forecast to Win

How do you capture and forecast your opportunities? Are you an Excel person? CRM? Pen and paper? This is one of my favorite questions to ask when I meet new contacts.  The government acquisition process is much different than the traditional sales cycle. You can’t fit it into the mold for typical lead generation-type selling. I mean, you could try, but it’s just unique in so many ways. You really have to know all about B2G sales and fine tune your process. So back to the question – Excel, CRM, or pen and paper?  Furthermore, what sources are you tracking? How much time are you spending on capture? Are you missing opportunities? Are you seeing them far enough into the future? You surely don’t want to be the one who only sees an opportunity as a presolicitation (or worse yet - a solicitation!) when all of your competition has [...]

2018-10-03T03:21:40+00:00By |
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