Women-Owned Federal Contracting 2012 Awards Winners Announced

The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce is very proud to announce 2012 Women Contractor Awards to four high performing women-owned firms.  These firms will be recognized during the WOSB National Council Meeting at the 8th Annual National Small Business Federal Contracting Week.The awards go to:

  • Emerging Star:  CommunicateHealth, Stacy Robison
  • Innovation & Performance:  1st American Systems and Services, Alpa Shah
  • Growth Master:  FCi Federal, Sharon Virts-Mozer
  • Stellar:  Citizant, Alba M.  Alemán

Emerging Star:
CommunicateHealth, Stacy Robison

The Emerging Star is awarded for exceptional contractors exhibiting outstanding growth and achievement in developing federal contracting markets and opportunities.

stacy robison
Stacy Robison, President and co-founder of CommunicateHealth started the business at age 30. Only in business for three years, she has amassed an impressive array of government clients and diverse, successful projects. Starting with only three staff, three short years later she is up to 20 – and revenues have more than quadrupled. Most importantly, quality and responsiveness to client needs has remained excellent and CommunicateHealth continues to pull down a 95+ rating from clients (Duns and Bradford).  Under her direction, CommunicateHealth has won numerous awards for their work on consumer websites and plain language materials development. Stacy is committed to health literacy and health education in a digital world – she mentors staff to pursue their passions, and has committed CommunicateHealth to support intern practicum’s in order to train the next generation of digital health professionals.

Over the years, Ms. Robison has created numerous health literacy tools and resources for health professionals, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Literacy Online: A guide to writing and designing easy-to-use health Web sites.  She served as co-editor of the HHS Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy and consulted on the development of Health Literacy for Health Professionals Online Training on behalf of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prior to starting CommunicateHealth, Stacy served as a Health Literacy Fellow at the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) where she researched and wrote policy briefs, including a U.S. Surgeon General’s initiative to improve health literacy.

Some of Stacy’s current projects include working with the CDC to create a new tool to assess health communication products and continuing to oversee plain language content development for the award-winning interactive health information Web site healthfinder.gov.

Ms. Robison has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a master’s level Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and a Board member of the Society for Public Health Education and the Center for Plain Language (SOPHE).  Stacy lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with her partner (in life and business), Xanthi, and her two boys, Quinn and Henry.

Innovation & Performance:
1st American Systems and Services, Alpa Shah

The Innovation & Performance is awarded for exceptional contractors exhibiting outstanding innovation and performance on key contracts that significantly bolstered the firms ability to secure future opportunities.

alpa shawAlpa Shah provides the overall vision, strategy, and financial leadership for the growth of 1st American Systems and Services. She is a serial entrepreneur who has decades of experience in envisioning, starting, managing, and aggressively growing multiple businesses. She believes in synergy and the value of strategic partnerships to help businesses grow exponentially.

Ms. Shah ventured into government contracting in 2009 and since then, under her leadership, 1st American has won almost 20 prime contracts from The Pentagon, US Air Force, US Navy, US Dept. of Interior, US Dept. of Commerce, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Guard, and the State of Ohio. 1st American was the only firm to be awarded 7 out of 8 contracts from National Institute
of Standards and Technology (NIST) for national healthcare interoperability standards that support meaningful use of Health Information Technology and further clinical information exchange among providers, consumers, public health and other stakeholders – ultimately improving care coordination, reducing cost, and improving clinical outcomes. 1st American also supports FAA’s Aviation Research Division and the results and data developed from the Division’s R&D programs are applied to directly support FAA’s regulatory actions, develop policies and guidance materials, establish standards to ensure the airport and aircraft safety, and maintain continued airworthiness of civil aircraft.

With Top Secret Facility Clearance and resources around the globe, 1st American currently provides services to both CONUS and OCONUS locations. 1st American has a triple digit revenue growth and has posted a profit each year since inception.

Ms. Shah has an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Purdue University.

Growth Master:
FCi Federal, Sharon D. Virts

The Growth Master is awarded to exceptional contractors for the achievement of significant growth in the government sector over a number of years.

sharon virtzSharon D. Virts has over 25 years of experience in the federal market. She founded FedConsulting, Inc. (now FCi Federal) in 1991, originally to assist companies with the identification, qualification and pursuit of business in the federal IT market. She advised many of the largest systems integrators and helped them to win some of the largest IT programs in the federal government.

In 2005, she decided to take her company in a new strategic direction of focusing on providing direct contractual support to the government with records management, FOIA and other program management support services. In the past several years, she has led her company to be recognized as the DHS Small Business of the Year for 2008, and has achieved stellar growth, with over 800 employees.

Prior to founding the company, she was the Director of Government Programs for Prentice Hall/Maxwell Macmillan Publishing in New York where she orchestrated and successfully built a nation-wide government sales program. Early in her career, she was a Program Development Manager for CSC, responsible for winning programs worth over $3B. She began her career as a federal Junior Fellow under a grant program with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Citizant, Alba M.  Alemán

The Stellar is awarded for exceptional contractors that have shown exemplary growth and quality and are positioned as leaders in the contracting community and beyond.

alba_alamanAs president and co-founder, Alba M. Alemán provides Citizant’s leadership team with counsel on business development, corporate growth and ongoing quality initiatives.

Alemán has had an active and instrumental role in the company’s 12-year record of success and fast growth. Since its founding, Citizant has been recognized by clients, government industry and the Greater Washington business community for the successful IT solutions it has developed for government customers and the company’s resulting growth and business success. Citizant has received awards for outstanding achievements from Hispanic Business, Washington Business Journal and Washington Technology.

A firm believer in the industry’s responsibility to invest in the maturation of business practices to ensure the success of customers, Alemán guided the maturation of software development, program management, and business development processes. She guided the company the independent appraisal at SEI Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Maturity Level 3 (ML3). Citizant achieved this prestigious rating in September 2008, joining fewer than a dozen comparable small businesses in the federal marketplace with this qualification.

Alemán’s professional background combines nearly 20 years of experience in talent acquisition and retention with the delivery of high-quality information solutions to the government. During a five-year career with Texas Instruments, she managed a 70-person professional services team to support federal, state, and local government organizations. She began her career at Mobil Oil Corporation in software development.

In 2008, Alemán was named among the 25 top female executives in the region by Washington SmartCEO magazine and was recognized as a ‘Women Who Means Business’ by the Washington Business Journal. She is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

Alemán earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and psychology from The George Washington University.

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