On Thursday December 14, the inaugural APMP Honors Gala burst onto our screens to celebrate the best of the bid and proposal industry in 2023!
This ceremony was the latest installment in a long-standing APMP tradition of honoring the bid and proposal superstars of the year with industry-recognized awards.
In the spirit of our association’s incredible growth over the past year, this year’s awards were more global than ever before. The Honors Gala was specially designed with its international lineup of nominees and worldwide viewership in mind, taking place virtually and broadcast via APMP TV to all corners of the world.
Despite the virtual arena, there was no shortage of community atmosphere and grandeur. Skillfully anchored by our charismatic hosts, Rick Harris (APMP CEO) and Alison Coon (APMP Chair), the ceremony treated us to an entertaining hour of celebration, not only of the individuals and teams who received awards, but of the bid and proposal industry as a whole.
“This was a big year for APMP,” said Rick as he opened the ceremony. “We are thrilled to be here right now, showcasing innovators, showcasing leaders, and showcasing people who move and propel the bid and proposal industry forward every single day. We want to recognize those great efforts!”
“It’s an incredible lineup of awards this year,” Alison agreed. “Every single one of these awards just shows the dedication, the expertise and the forward thinking that define our entire community.”
Bid and Proposal Team of the Year
The first award of the night was the ‘Bid and Proposal Team of the Year Award’. The award recognizes the collaborative efforts and exceptional performance of a specific team within the bid and proposal industry.
This award was sponsored by Responsive and presented by its founder and CEO Ganesh Shankar. Mr Shankar added that he was proud to be presenting the award to a team “that demonstrates industry best practices, thought leadership and a commitment to the professional development of its members”.
Winner: WSP Australia
According to Jackie Rae, Director of Business Development Operations at WSP Australia, the winning team has had an excellent year.
“Our win rates for the business have increased by 15% in 12 months,” she said. “The proof is in the pudding!”
Jackie stated that she was “really proud of [her] team of bid professionals” and “delighted” at being recognized by APMP for this award. Winning the award, for Jackie, is “real validation” of her team’s work and results.
‘Because Everybody Needs to Know’ Award
The ‘Because Everybody Needs to Know Award’ is a brand-new award, which is given to a team or individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in a way that we think our whole community should hear about.
PCSI is an Ability One contractor – the Ability One program is a federal program that provides job opportunities for people with significant disabilities. Since the start of 2021, PCSI have added 350 jobs to their roster under Ability One contracts. It now employs nearly 2,000 people, 80% of whom have significant disabilities.
Melody Cuny, Proposal Manager at PCSI, said that her team is working with the government “to close the gap for employment for people with disabilities”.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for this program,” she added. “What we do is so central to our team, to our whole business, and it really makes those long hours of proposals worth it to make an impact on someone’s life. We change lives at PCSI.”
2023 Charlie Divine Scholarship Recipients
Charlie Divine is the former Director of Certification at APMP and has made a career of promoting professional development for those in the bid and proposal industry. Every year, a cohort of deserving professionals are awarded a scholarship which supports them to pursue their Foundation, Practitioner or Professional certification.
The winners of the 2023 scholarship award are:
- Altaf Bashir
- Tonnie Beck
- Sivaprakash Bellan
- Mandvi Chauhan
- Amanda Coviello
- Cassie Duncanson
- Olusegun Ettu
- Sharlene Felder
- Andrea Gaschignard
- Reba Gingerich
- Julie Growcott
- Hannah Johnston
- Naveen Kumar
- Moitrayee Majumdar
- Ermina Pasierb
- Yolanda Perera
- Anastasia Pestova
- Gina Pieters
- Tinnetta Pillay
- Robin Quade
- Parvathy Rajaraman
- Adones Sabijon
- Sohail Safeer
- Susan Sarver
- Healther Scukanec
- Roshan Shetty
- Faseelath Shihabudheen
- Sundeep Singh
- M’Liss Sutherland.
We wish them the very best of luck in pursuing their certification.
APMP’s 40 under 40 list
This award recognizes 40 individuals under the age of 40 who are making outstanding strides within their company and industry.
2023’s 40 under 40 are:
- Valerie Amaral
- Whitney Anderson
- Meryl Angelicola
- Melinda Antonious
- Veekshitha Arasa
- Snehal Bathina
- Carmer Briner
- Brianna Buri
- Sam Chown
- Joanna Crane
- Monica Delaney-Teran
- Emilia Dronkert
- Melissa DSouza
- Kelsey Gietl
- Sophia Glaus
- Brittney Grujic
- Eric Gunlefinger
- Amanda Haven
- Trudie Haywood
- Piyush Jain
- Jatin Kapoor
- Camille Kauffman
- Daniel Kinney-Spears
- Jessica Klasicki
- Bryony Lane
- James Midgley
- Sarah Miranda
- Kathryn Morgan
- Bennette P
- Phillippa Phiri
- Alexa Ramsey
- George Ramshaw
- Catriona Robinson
- Gaurav Sethi
- Samvedna Sibbal
- Soni Singh
- Manorajan S
- Ashley Teatum
- Stephanie Torres
- Lauren Woodward
Volunteer of the Year
The first individual award of the night, the ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’, is for an individual whose dedication and contributions have made an impact on the APMP community in 2023.
Winner: Tori Bunk
Although her day job is Senior Proposal Advisor at the Midtown Group, Tori has won this award for her outstanding contributions to APMP’s Mental Health Affinity Group, of which she has been chair for the past year.
Tori told us that her volunteering work centers around “creating a safe space for members to discuss topics in their life” and helping to counteract “the mental toll” that a career in bids and proposals can take on our members’ lives.
“The impact my volunteer work has had on me personally has been so incredible and meaningful,” Tori added. “I’ll never be able to express my full gratitude to our members in APMP.”
Stephen P. Shipley Chapter of the Year
The ‘Stephen P. Shipley Chapter of the Year’ award goes to the chapter that has gone above and beyond to provide their members with an extraordinary APMP experience.
Winner: APMP UK
APMP UK has had an excellent year, with a number of events, initiatives and focus groups keeping the 3,000-strong membership engaged in all things APMP.
“Winning this award for the UK chapter is recognition of all of the hard work that everyone puts in,” said Deputy CEO of the UK chapter, Mel Bunston. “We’re all super delighted, and it really is an opportunity to celebrate the successes across the chapter.”
CEO Mairi Morrison added: “I would just like to say thank you to everybody that’s on the chapter board for all their hard work.”
Chapter Leader of the Year
The next award of the evening went to the ‘Chapter Leader of the Year’. According to Alison, this award honors the “visionaries who have led their chapters with unwavering commitment and dedication”.
Winner: Kate Moshoadiba
By day, Kate Moshoadiba is a Bid Management Office Lead at IQbusiness; but her nomination for this award comes from her outstanding leadership as the Chair of the APMP South Africa Chapter.
Kate told the audience she was “really surprised and honored”, to have been considered for the award.
“As an individual, I am proud to be APMP,” she said. “I think my fierceness, my charisma and, most importantly, my passion and drive for the profession is what was visible to the people who nominated me for this award.”
APMP Fellows Class of 2023
One of the highest honors of the evening is for those who are being inducted into our 2023 class of Fellows. Induction as a Fellow is recognition of significant contributions an individual has made to the bid and proposal industry throughout their career.
“It’s not just doing your job or volunteering,” said Rick, introducing the awards. “Our Fellows class is recognized for outstanding work.”
Our first Fellows inductee was Thomas Mortizer, affiliated with the DACH chapter. Among other outstanding achievements in his career, Thomas was nominated for his contributions to the APMP Body of Knowledge (BoK). Thomas tirelessly translated the entire BoK into German to improve accessibility for those in his chapter to be able to study and achieve their certifications.
“To be inducted into the Fellows class really means a lot to me,” Thomas said as he accepted the award. “It’s an honor to be recognized for the work I have done for APMP.”
Thomas said that the BoK being solely in English was a “hurdle” for some members of his chapter that made them “reluctant to tackle certifications”. He said he wanted to “give back to APMP” and remove that barrier for his fellow chapter members to encourage their participation in certification program.
In the space of around a year, Thomas translated over 66 documents.
“He did this because he cares about the industry,” said Rick. “He cares about his region, his chapter – he’s now made it possible for anyone who speaks German to understand the BoK.”
Our second inductee was Jon Darby, affiliated with the UK chapter. Jon Darby was the mastermind behind the idea to develop a standards document which outlined what good practice looked like for a bid and proposal function in an organization. Jon and his team at BidCraft developed the PAS 360 guidance document along with the British Standards Institution, and approached APMP for sponsorship.
“It means a huge amount to me to be inducted into the APMP Fellows,” said Jon. “I’ve been a member of APMP for over 20 years and knowing that I’m going to be joining a group of people who I respect enormously and have contributed so much to the profession is a source of real pride. I’m very delighted to be part of it.”
Discussing the PAS 360, Jon said that there was “an enormous gap in the APMP armory, which was a quality standard”. His work helped to fill that gap, and we now have a “code of practice available freely to everybody worldwide” which outlines standards for the industry.
“Jon has a very decorated history at APMP,” said Rick. “He’s the former Chair of APMP UK and leader of an ATO – Jon, you’re a big winner!”
Our final inductee is Sarah Hinchliffe, affiliated with the UK chapter. Sarah has been a dedicated volunteer and member of APMP for many years and has generously donated her time and skillset to the APMP community throughout that time.
“This means a great deal to me,” Sarah said of her induction to the Class of 2023 Fellows. “I’m really proud of the achievement.”
She added: “I’ve worked hard to present at every single UK conference in person. I have been a mentor for three years. I also set up the APMP UK social value group to help members understand social value better, to score better in their social value questions in their tender responses, and to try to influence the policymakers and procurers to make social value much more supplier friendly.”
“Sarah is well-known in APMP circles,” said Rick. “She is a great speaker and a great person. She’s passing along her knowledge to the next generation, and is very selfless.”
Bid and Proposal Industry Executive of the Year
The final award of the night was given to the ‘Bid and Proposal Industry Executive of the Year’, an award highlighting one talented individual who has been making impressive strides in both their career and the industry overall.
This award was sponsored by Cella and presented by its Group Account Director Ros Angus. Ms Angus added: “by recognizing and celebrating exceptional talent, we’re fostering a culture of excellence and inspiring others to reach for the highest standards”.
Winner: Mitsuhiro Seto
Mitsuhiro is the Vice Chair of the APMP Japan chapter and is the head of Japan bid and proposal management at SAP. He largely attributes his win to his commitment to advancing his profession and sharing his knowledge with colleagues and fellow APMP members.
“I have participated in APMP study sessions for the Japan chapter and have been a lecturer 10 times for approximately 150 participants,” he said. “I’ve spoken at BPC, CBDC and other APMP conferences. I have been with SAP for close to 7 years now, and have consistently been a high performer, often going beyond the regular scope to simplify seemingly complex scenarios.”
Congratulations to all our award winners!
As the first Honors Gala ceremony drew to a close, Rick and Alison took a moment to congratulate all nominees and winners added to the APMP hall of fame in the 2023 cohort.
“What a list of nominees for the whole awards program,” said Rick. “This gala has been an outstanding success, and we want to thank you all for your dedicated service.”
“I feel really lucky to be a part of a profession like this and be able to celebrate with everyone and see everybody’s accomplishments,” said Alison at the close of the ceremony. “I want to leave everyone with a heartfelt congratulations to all the nominees and all the winners. We’ve had an incredible year, and I can’t wait for next year. Let’s keep raising the bar and making strides.”
For the full list of nominees, check out our article here.