Introducing Your New Board Directors

Happy New Year, APMP Members!

At the end of last year, APMP announced changes to its HQ Board of Directors at its Annual Member Meeting.

Now that 2024 has begun, APMP would like to extend a welcome and congratulations to those on the board who are new, as well as those who have stepped into new positions within the executive committee.

Seven new directors have been elected to the Board – the new directors are:

  • Tori Bunk, CF APMP |Director of Direct Services – Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention
  • Samantha Keay, CP APMP |Global Manager of Proposal Strategy – Rapid7
  • Karthik Koutharapu, CP APMP |Bid Management Leader and CTO Ambassador –
  • Mindy Marchel, CF APMP |Chief Operating Officer – Salentis International
  • Melissa Palmer, CF APMP |Vice President of Proposals – Strategic Growth Advisors
  • Mitsuhiro Seto, CF APMP |Senior Director & Global Practices Lead, Head of Japan Bid & Proposal Management – SAP
  • Steve Skeldon, CAP APMP |Capture Director – Chickasaw Nation Industries

These new board members will serve their three-year term under an executive committee consisting of APMP CEO Rick Harris, CP APMP, the Past Chair, Chair and Vice Chair.

Having served her term as Chair in 2023, Alison Coon, CF APMP will now finish out her term on the executive committee with a stint as Past Chair. Alison will be joined by Stacey Lee, CP APMP, who has been elected Vice Chair – meaning she will now serve three years on the executive committee and will be next year’s Chair.

At the board’s helm is our new Chair, David Gray, CP APMP. The incoming Chair promises that 2024 will be “a big year” for APMP, with several brand-new initiatives in the pipeline, three new micro-certifications in progress, and a host of exciting events on the calendar.

A key focus of the new board members will be executing APMP’s long-range plan, a document produced every few years that outlines the strategic priorities for the APMP board during the following three-year period. A new long-range plan will be developed this year for the 2025-2027 period.

“The current long-range plan is very exciting for our industry,” says Steve Skeldon. “I see this as an opportunity to be a part of a really exciting time in APMP.”

He added that, after being a member of the association for coming up on 14 years, he’s excited to “serve the APMP community” and “give back.”

Mindy Marchel says she’s particularly looking forward to supporting the “leadership pipeline and international expansion areas” of the long-range plan.

“I’m honored to be able to serve,” Mindy added. “I’d like to do my part in service to the only industry trade body within our profession and impact its growth.”

The association’s growth has paved the way for a number of developments in the makeup and operation of its leadership. Last year, it was determined that board members’ terms would be extended from two years to three to align more with other large associations in the business world, meaning our newly-elected members will serve until the end of 2026.

This year, we are also seeing a continuation of the trend of increased global representation in the board’s composition to reflect the growing geographic diversity of the membership. This year’s additions to the board include professionals from the United Arab Emirates, Japan, the UK and the US.

Being appointed to the international board gives our new directors the exciting opportunity to extend their frame of experience and influence beyond their own territory.

Mitsuhiro Seto has been the Vice Chair of the APMP Japan chapter since 2020, but says he is now interested in “expanding [his] involvement and contribution globally” and being involved in developing “value-add activities” that can “be of benefit to APMP members around the world”.

He added: “I am very happy and highly motivated to take on a role in the APMP Board of Directors.”

The new directors join APMP’s leadership amidst a time of growth and advancement, not only within the association, but in the industry as a whole. Fittingly, forward-thinking and innovation are central priorities of this new board – in particular, one of the most talked-about trends of 2023: AI.

“I would like to envision APMP as a thought leader for Generative AI in proposals,” says Karthik Koutharapu, a self-professed ‘AI whisperer’. “I am excited to develop and implement strategies for embracing AI to benefit APMP members and the proposal industry as a whole.”

Karthik says he feels “humbled and deeply grateful” to be elected to the board, calling the achievement a “prestigious global honor”. He adds that he sees his appointment as “an opportunity to give back to the community and help raise the bar for APMP professionals globally”.

Our new board members are set to bring a new lease of life to the board with their extensive experience and knowledge of the industry. The caliber of this new cohort is, in part, demonstrated by the fact that it includes this year’s recipients of the Bid and Proposal Executive of the Year award (Mitsuhiro Seto) and the Volunteer of the Year award (Tori Bunk) – these awards were given last week at APMP’s first Honors Gala.

Melissa Palmer also received a nomination for Bid and Proposal Executive of the Year.

“I am so honored and excited to serve on the APMP Board!” Melissa said. “Throughout my career, APMP has always been just what I need for mentorship, education, and networking. Best of all, it’s a way to connect with likeminded people about the struggles and joy of working in our field.

“I can’t wait to be an integral part of making APMP great for all members. I’m so proud to be APMP.”

While our seven new board members are just beginning their terms, three more concluded theirs at the end of last year. APMP would like to extend well wishes and a huge ‘Thank You’ to Bette Sturino, CP APMP, Kumiko Shikimachi, CPP APMP, and Leigh Ann Newman, CP APMP, who have now left the board after three wonderful years of invaluable contributions.

Also leaving the board at the end of 2023 was Steven Coles, CPP APMP, who is at the end of his three-year rotation on the Executive Committee, having served successful terms as Vice Chair, Chair and Past Chair. APMP is grateful for his service and commitment to the APMP community, and we wish him all the best.

As we celebrate the arrival of our new board members and bid adieu to those concluding their terms, the stage is set for even more growth and innovation in this year.

In the words of David Gray: “There’s a lot to be excited about this year. We’ve had some fantastic growth and built some fantastic momentum over the last couple of years. I want to keep building on that momentum.”

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