Two win Public Sector Partnership awards

Elliott Branch

The Navy's Elliott Branch is one of two winners of the Public Sector Partnership of the Year Awards. (Navy photo)

Two federal acquisition officials—on opposite ends of the career spectrum—received awards Nov. 1 for their efforts to strengthen the federal contracting community.

Elliott Branch, deputy assistant secretary for acquisition and procurement at the Navy, and Alexander Mavroukakis, contracting officer at the Education Department, each received the 2012 Public Sector Partnership of the Year awards. The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Professional Services Council (PSC) and FCW sister publication Washington Technology presented these awards to honor the winners for their leadership, innovation and commitment to excellence.

Mavroukakis has worked at the Education Department since 2008, and was lauded as a leader in the next generation of acquisition professionals. Along with his day job, he founded and is now director of the Rising Acquisition Professional Community, or RAP-C.

RAP-C is a community-of-interest group for young federal professionals working in the acquisition field. The group promotes community between the younger employees across agencies through education, mentoring and networking. Sponsored by the Federal Acquisition Institute and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, RAP-C hosts events where employees can hear from various speakers and also share their experiences with people in similar positions, said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel at PSC.

Mavroukakis is also actively involved with Young Government Leaders and GovLoop, Harry Klaff, managing director of commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, said.  He has “a passion for building an acquisition community of excellence, delivering results for the taxpayer and generating an environment of true partnership,” said Klaff, who presented Mavroukakis the award.

The second award went to Branch, a long-time acquisition professional who has been on the national stage. He has been a leader of the National Contract Management Association for many years and is its current national president. Branch has also been an outspoken advocate for lasting partnerships between the public and private sectors, Stan Soloway, PSC’s president and CEO, said in announcing the award.

“While our first award went to a young man who represents the vital future of the federal acquisition workforce, our second awardee, although still a young man, has been one of the most respected leaders in federal acquisition for many years,” Soloway said.

In his remarks, Branch emphasized the need for solid connections between contractors and agencies. He said government relies on the goods and services that industry provides. So the two need good relationships that are built on mutual respect and trust. “We don’t build anything in government,” he said. “We build relationships.”

Branch, who has been in the Senior Executive Service since 1993, also talked about his days as an intern at Naval Air Systems Command – where, as luck would have it, he worked for Mavroukakis’ father, John.

Nick Wakeman contributed to this report.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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