Leona Charles

Freelance Grant Writer & Business Plan Writer

Location:Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
2 Skills
Leona is a seasoned professional with over ten years of experience in project management, acquisition and federal procurement reporting. She has proven experience in developing diversity goals in contracting and commercial departments, managing and developing diversity program reviews, policy implementation, advocacy, and strategic research. Key skills include: training, organizing, conducting analysis of organizational and projects, public speaking and staff development. She supports a broad spectrum of clients including the manufacturing industry in the United Kingdom, the US Department of Defense and US nonprofit organizations.

Education Certifications Areas of Expertise
Masters of Business Administration-University of Phoenix Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB) Supplier Diversity
Project Management Institute (PMI) Program Management
Bachelors of Arts-Criminal Justice University of Texas-San Antonio Total Quality Management (TQM) Organizational Change Management
Contracting Procedures and Policies


Key Areas of Knowledge

Diversity Strategy Initiatives, Project/Program Management, Formulation of Program Goals, Program/Project Improvement, Business Analysis/Auditing, Progressive Management Practices, Community/Public Relations, Strategic Partnership Development, Senior Level Management and Leadership Testimony and Presentation, Urban Multicultural Programs and Benchmarking.

Subject Matter Expert

Demonstrated knowledge of Federal Procurement, ESRS ISSR/SSR, DFARS and FAR Reporting, Maryland and Local regulations with the particular emphasis on Diversity Program Management, Procurement, Budget and Maryland MOU Compliance. Experience in preparing and presenting analysis of Federal contracting goals,
Supplier Diversity Programs and the management of procurement reporting requirements.

Business Development

She has worked with resources and partners on a Federal, state and Local Level to find sources and implement strategic alliances, partnerships and joint venture initiatives for small businesses. Her involvement in multiple private organizations incorporates entrepreneurial knowledge with organizational objectives.


Supplier Diversity Program Manager
Southern Maryland Electrical Cooperative (SMECO)
January 2014-Present

• Increased the percentage of diverse suppliers from 3.42% to 9.25% in 8 months through effective working relationships with internal buyers, employees and vendors.
• Oversaw the management of requests for information (RFI’s), Requests for Bids/Invitations to Bids (RFB/ITB’s) and Request for Proposals for 6 departmental buyers.
• Created and implemented the Supplier Diversity Council comprised on key buyers from 6 purchasing departments to create purchasing forecasts, developing internal outreach strategies and external vendor outreach events.
• Managed the daily compliance of federal and state contract compliance in terms of ISSR/SSR reporting and Public Service Commission diversity goals utilizing knowledge of state and federal contract policies and procedures.
• Prepared and analyzed combined unit spending of $125m and oversaw an individual program budget of $300K.
• Supervised supplier registration and recommending program changes and/or improvements.
• Developed initial program policies and implemented a standard operating procedure for both vendors and buyers.
• Developed diverse bidder’s plans and tracked progress.
• Independently engaged internal staff, vendors, Public Service Commission and external private organizations.
• Oversaw the programming planning decisions, vendor outreach sessions, vendor debriefs and pre-bid meetings.
• Served as the single point of contact and the SME for staff to develop effective business initiatives and implementation plans.
• Responsible for the presentation of written and oral organizational ideals, plans and goals to the public, private organizations, government agencies and points of contact and to the Public Service Commission.
• Responsible for the public testimony on behalf of organization regarding the Supplier Diversity Program and the progress of the program.
• Responsible for the oversight and administration of a $50M federal utility contract to include ISSR, SSR and subcontracting reports, subcontractor regulatory compliance,contract modification and regulation adherence.

SPC Business Consulting - Washington, DC

Sample Client List and Accomplishments:

Project Summary: Local Utility (SMECO)

Ms. Charles is currently assisting Utility Cooperative (SMECO) with the compliance of Federal procurement reporting contract requirements. She ensures each year that the utility cooperative’s ISR and SSR are submitted bi-annually; she assists in the development and formulation of diversity goals, manages ISR and SSR year reporting preparation and submittal, reviews and analyzes SMECO subcontracting and supplier spending. She manages the review of the program progress and related reports.

Project Summary: Local Government- (DC Water)

Ms. Charles is currently collaborating with DC Water’s Contract Compliance division to develop a Supplier Diversity Program to create a subcontracting pipeline ensuring DC Water meets internal diversity goals for its capital improvement projects. Some of the central responsibilities of the program are to formulate qualified small and minority businesses goals, develop the program objectives, scope, participant requirements and evaluate program progress.

Program Goal: The development and implementation of a mentor/protégé program for small businesses subcontractors.

Project Summary: Non-Profit (College of Southern Maryland Small Business Development Center)

Ms. Charles is currently developing, implementing and overseeing the creation of a DBE pilot Certification program for local small and minority-owned subcontractors in Charles County in partnership with the College of Southern Maryland SBDC. Ms. Charles will oversee program responsibilities such as the formulation and implementation of program objectives, goals and metrics; the development of program acceptance/rejection criteria, the development of a fast track procurement readiness program for unqualified companies, the identification of strategic partners on state, local and federal level to build and a leverage a program pipeline. Ms. Charles will oversee the program participants approximately 20 companies and the project staff.

Program Goal: To create a pipeline to the State Highway Administrations Supplier Diversity Program and build capacity for small and minority subcontractors.

Project Summary: Professional Organization (Lakenheath Organization Board)

Ms. Charles facilitated the coordination of vendor procurement outreach sessions, communicated with potential vendors regarding upcoming opportunities, trained vendors ISSR/SSR reporting requirements, oversaw the evaluation of submitted bids, handled contract compliance oversight, developed scopes of work, sourced vendors and awarded low threshold procurements based on the rule of two. Ms. Charles regularly facilitated pre-bid meetings, formal bid openings, post-award debriefings and kick-off meetings. Ms. Charles oversaw the hiring, training, performance reviews and disciplinary hearings for a staff of 20 and managed over 50 vendors.

Community Positions

Board Member
National Small Business Alliance
March 2015-Present
Economic Development Council and Technology Committee
Leona Charles serves in a committee member capacity representing small and diverse business on a variety of legal and social issues. The purpose of these boards is to provide our membership with advocacy regarding current and pending legislation that effects their ability to do business domestically and internationally.

Vice President
National Contract Management Association-Chesapeake Bay Chapter
July 2014 - Present
Leona Charles serves an important and high profile leadership role in the chapter planning, budgeting and implement chapter programs. She is responsible for assessing the professional development, leadership training, day to day operations and continuing education of chapter members conducting chapter workshop sessions on topics such as:
? Contract Management/Subcontractor reporting compliance
? Federal Supplier Diversity Programs
? Joint Ventures and Teaming
? Procurement/Acquisition Regulation and Policy (DFARS/FARS)
? Acquisition Compliance Review
? Contracting Experience and Acquisition Training

Secretary/University Initiative Chair-Chair of Membership Committee
December 2011-Present
Institute of Management Consultants-National Capital Region
Leona Charles serves as an integral part of the leadership team for the National Capital Region deciding on leadership strategies, policy decisions, committee responsibilities and day to day operations of the chapter. As the University Initiative chair she is responsible for the business development and relationship strengthening of local University Business Schools and the NCR chapter.

Maryland Entrepreneurs Resource List
Entrepreneur Consultant
Leona Charles works TEDCO providing entrepreneurs within the Technology and Biomedical sectors mentoring
companies at all levels including:
? Creating Policy and Procedure
? Development and Training
? Developing Standard Operating Procedures

Southern Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce
May 2013-Present
Leona Charles works with the Southern Maryland Black Chamber helping to provide an infrastructure and entrepreneurial support to businesses of all sizes within Southern Maryland. She is responsible for ensuring that the chamber is compliant the rules and regulations of a non-profit as well as with the membership bylaws. Along with the other members of the Executive Board, she shapes the image, constructs and managers the membership events, develops and implements initiatives as well as develops business relationships and partnerships for the organization.

Key Initiatives:

? Vice Chair of the Annual Procurement and Entrepreneur Expo held at the College of Southern Maryland.
? SMECO Mentor/ Protégé Advisory Council
? Annual Entrepreneurship GALA

Local Education Authority Governor
Norfolk County Council
September 2007-July 2009

Ms. Charles worked with the Norfolk County Council managing the workforce for local school systems. She was on the Executive Committee that oversaw the:
? Quality assessment of individual and industry professional development programs, curriculums and trainers in diversity training and adult learning.
? Collection and analysis of annual performance goals for training, budget, staff professional development, testing results, action plans, and improvement plans for the school it is assigned to.
? Analysis and alignment of KPI metrics and annual improvement plan for success or failure in relation to organizational goals/objectives set.
? Coordination and administration of the annual budget resource allocation.
? Evaluation and execution of pay policies, training policies, disciplinary strategies and executive appointments.
? Analysis and forecast of statistical significance or correlation between performance figures and strategic initiatives.
? Implementation of a succession planning strategy for the workforce.