Leslie Weller

Freelance Copywriter & Proposal Writer

Location:Austin, Texas, United States
2 Skills
Proposal manager/writer who takes full responsibility for the proposal process and ensures RFP compliance. Six years of experience managing, writing, editing proposals. Five years additional experience in proposal graphics and layout. Ten years additional writing/editing experience. Sixteen years of overall experience managing projects, improving processes, ensuring timeliness.

• Management/Organization: Provide operational control over proposal activities. Self-motivated and highly skilled at multi-tasking, organizing, and streamlining. Create efficient, repeatable processes for scheduling proposal response, ensuring proposal compliance against RFP requirements, managing proposal reviews, and tracking prospective proposal bids. Able to manage multiple projects and meet multiple deadlines. Focused on winning, not just completing proposals.
• Writing/Editing:
- Technically savvy; able to interview/understand subject matter experts in technology, science, medicine, and service industries to write proposal technical sections; able to research details online or from technical documents
- Talent in copy editing for clarity, consistency, accuracy, brevity, grammar, sentence structure
- Trained in information mapping, a method of writing that quickly structures a logical flow of information; wrote user manuals and other process and procedure flows
- Ability to detect proposal statements that un-sell the company to a prospective customer
- Attended numerous writing seminars/classes, studied books on the craft of writing
• Graphics/Desktop Publishing: Skilled in graphics/desktop publishing. Adept in setting-up master documents and style sheets, converting/filtering file types, integrating text and graphics. Taught adult education classes in Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator, Flash, FrontPage, PowerPoint, and JavaScript.
• Software: MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, QuarkXPress, InDesign, Dreamweaver, SharePoint, some MS Project.

• Proposal Specialist: HRL Laboratories, Malibu, CA. Jun. ’13- Jan. ‘14.
Created proposal compliance matrices and templates for proposals in science and technology. Edited final drafts and modified layout, as needed. Prepared final proposal files or printed and bound hard copies for shipment. Edited and provided layout of final reports. Provided other editing and layout. (Hired to strengthen the proposal process, establish the Shipley method, and help write, edit, and layout proposals. Not a strong alignment between projected and actual job duties. Am seeking to return to more extensive and complex responsibilities.)
• Proposal Consultant/Manager: URS, Las Vegas, NV. Dec. ’11- Nov. ’12
Served in various capacities — proposal manager, technical writer, copy editor, volume lead. Initially brought on to manage a last-minute proposal that was further reduced in time frame due to the proposal crew’s already-planned week off for the holidays. Proposal was compliant, passed Gold Team, and completed on time. Strong, positive feedback from assisting technical subject matter experts in rewriting drafts including clarifying story, streamlining thoughts, revising sentences for easier reading, consolidating topics, creating a more logical flow of ideas. Received high praise for leading a past performance volume to create a more compelling story then simply stating similarities between contracts. Helped rewrite and edit proposal development manual; revised sections to be more in line with Shipley and other best practices. (Proposal center operations were closed and consolidated with three larger proposal centers leading to downsizing.)
• Proposal Consultant: TRAX, Las Vegas, NV. Aug. ’10-May ‘11 (Contract position)
Proposal consultant for a large government contractor. Helped establish a proposal process and train new proposal manager. Created RFP compliance matrices. Created a proposal template to capture RFP requirements, schedules, writing assignments, and other proposal data. Participated in teams to help strategize offer and define discriminators and best approach to a response. Wrote past performance volume, small business plan, resumes/position descriptions, phase-in plan, and sections of other technical/management volumes. Ensured compliance with FAR requirements. Contributed significantly to an oral presentation proposal; created outline; defined type of data to capture. Major consultant for creating a SharePoint portal for proposals.
• Website Developer: ZipRail, Las Vegas, NV. Aug. ’10- Dec ’11 (This is my own company)
Worked with remote MediaWiki/PHP developers to build a new website (Wikipothesis.com) and a local ColdFusion developer for database development for a separate website. For wiki site, created specs for customized modules; learned MediaWiki and provided hands on modification of site; created graphics. For ColdFusion site, created database specs, site design, graphics, and marketing plan. Wrote text for both sites, including extensive How To section. Strategized ways to modify code to improve ease of use. Troubleshot both sites for functionality.
• Proposal Manager: CMC, North Las Vegas, NV. July ‘09-June ‘10
Established and managed proposal process for a contractor specialized in multi-million dollar government contracts. Helped company strategize their offer and define the best approach to a response. Led proposal kick off meetings. Created RFP compliance matrices. Managed schedule and proposal review meetings. Researched/wrote new material for past performance, management, and technical volumes based on research and/or interviews with subject matter experts. Worked with multi-contractor teams as the prime or as a subcontractor. Wrote software How To manual. Reviewed proposals for compliance, accuracy, and thoroughness. Edited/rewrote final proposal. Created layout and graphics. Researched/ tracked new bid opportunities. Organized large collection of online and hardcopy files. (Laid off due to a company internal financial loss (unrelated to proposals).)
• Proposal Manager: SA-TECH, CA. Sept. ‘06-July ’09
Managed proposal process for contractor specialized in multi-million dollar government contracts. Participated in capture activities; developed new capture plan. Helped company strategize their offer and define the best approach to a response. Led proposal kick-off meetings. Reviewed RFP requirements. Created RFP compliance matrices. Established and managed an organized proposal process. Created and managed schedule. Worked with multi-contractor teams as the prime or as a subcontractor. Led proposal review meetings. Researched/wrote new material for past performance, management, and technical volumes. Interviewed subject matter experts (on-site and virtual); edited/rewrote boilerplate or wrote new proposal sections. Reviewed proposals for compliance, accuracy, and thoroughness. Created layout and graphics. Edited/rewrote final proposals. Researched/tracked new bid opportunities. On own initiative, created a SharePoint portal for tracking business development data. Organized large collection of online and hardcopy files. Redesigned marketing material. Updated corporate website. (Resigned position to take a job with better salary/cost of living alignment.)
• Marketing Coordinator for Proposals: Harley Ellis Devereaux, Los Angeles, CA. July ‘06-Sept. ‘06
Edited and wrote responses to RFPs for civic division of a commercial architecture firm. Reviewed requirements. Established schedule. Met with lead architect and subject matter experts to interview/ collect information; reviewed write-ups for accuracy and thoroughness. Responsible for final production. Created presentation material for post-RFP interviews. Researched new bid opportunities. (Resigned after contacted by a recruiter regarding a more challenging position that better aligned with my skills and experience.)
• Proposal Writer: VPA, Calabasas, CA. Nov. ‘05-June ‘06
Functioned as a proposal writer/manager. Reviewed RFP requirements. Created RFP compliance matrices. Developed proposal schedule. Met with subject matter experts to interview/ collect information, and/or developed writing assignments. Worked with sales team to help strategize the offer and define the best approach to a response. Reviewed, edited, and rewrote drafts. Ensured compliance, accuracy, and thoroughness. Updated proposal boilerplate database. Created proposal graphics and final layout. On own initiative, researched competitors to improve responses to RFPs and increase corporate competitiveness. Won a large bid against competitors who came in at a lower cost due to the higher score of our written material. Researched, wrote, and refocused marketing material, including sales presentations, to present the company’s best, most competitive qualities. Reviewed/edited copy and recommended functionality of website user interface to meet end-user requirements. Reviewed/recommended modifications to improve functionality of internal client services database. (Position ended due to acquisition of company by Sedgwick CMS.)

• M.A. International Relations, University of Houston, Houston, Texas
• B.A. Biology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas

• Shipley proposal management/proposal writing training. Hy Silver proposal workshop. Numerous proposal and program management courses through Southern California Chapter of Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) and Program Management Institute (PMI).
Skills (2) Rating
Proposal Writing