Kevin Jans is the President and Founder of Skyway Acquisition Solutions (“Skyway”). After 16 years as a Department of Defense contracting officer, he founded Skyway to help companies navigate the increasingly complex process of competing for Federal contracts. Kevin built the company on the premise that no one knows the Federal acquisition system better than contracting officers who managed it from the inside. Following this idea, he built a team of experts with actual contracting officer experience. What separates this podcast is the insight that Kevin and Paul bring from having been Contracting Officers (COs).
Kevin has held contracting officer warrants with unlimited signing authority in multiple Department of Defense agencies. He has written and reviewed over 1,000 contracts valued from $7,700 to $882 Million. In addition, Kevin has personally led or managed 143 competitive government source selections. This experience has made him a veritable expert in a series of acquisition regulations including the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS), the Air Force FAR Supplement (AFFARS), and the Special Operations Command FAR Supplement (SOFARS). He has competed, awarded and administered contracts in a wide variety of industries, from aircraft and space systems to facilities and tactical vehicles. His collaborative style allowed him to communicate across a disparate customer base (Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, Air Force and Marine Corps SOF) to create rapid, effective acquisition strategies.
In addition to his hands on experience, Kevin has extensive credentials in the contracting and source selection field. He is an active member of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), Suncoast Chapter. Kevin also has elite training and development experience in the Federal contract market. He was competitively selected for both the US Air Force’s Copper Cap Training Program and the Career Broadener Programs. Both of these targeted Department of Defense training programs are designed to accelerate the experience and knowledge of high-performing professionals in the DOD contracting and acquisition field. He is a Certified Federal Contracts Manager (through NCMA), DOD-Certified in both Contracting and Program Management (through Defense Acquisition University) and he holds a Yellow Belt Certification in Six Sigma.
He is also well respected in the contracting community for his presentation and training skills and his ability to break the complex competitive source selection process into a clear, actionable processes. He has presented and trained clients and acquisition professionals on source selections and negotiations for audiences of up to 2,000 people, including the Suncoast Chapter of NCMA, the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, and the Tampa Bay Service-Disabled Veteran-owned Small Business Conferences. Kevin authored Save Your Time, How to Know Whether (or not) the Federal Market is for You, and has also co-authored a book with John Stenbeck titled Agile Government Contracting.
Paul Schauer is the co-founder and co-host of the Contracting Officer Podcast. Paul’s 25+ years of federal acquisition experience include service as a civilian contracting officer supporting the United States Air Force (USAF), director of contracts and business operations for a small-to-mid size defense contractor, and vice president for a major defense contractor in both contracts and operations (P&L responsible) roles. He is well versed in all facets of the government acquisition process from both a government and contractor perspective; including acquisition strategy, source selection, bid strategy, proposal pricing, acquisition policy, negotiation, and cradle-to-grave management of complex contracts.
Paul earned the Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM) designation from the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) in 2001 and is DAWIA Level III certified in Contracting.
Beginning as a Copper Cap intern at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, Paul spent 15 years as an Air Force civilian in the contracting field (1102) working many amazing national security programs – culminating his government career as a GG-15 responsible for a team of contracts professionals acquiring spy satellites.
From his first day after leaving civil service, he began to learn just how shortsighted he had been as a contracting officer. As a result, he became fascinated with how little knowledge many Government and Industry contracts professionals have about each other’s jobs. Paul’s mission through the podcast is to help both sides understand what the other is thinking and how improving communications and sharing context can lead to more successful proposals, source selections, mission outcomes, and business outcomes.
Paul lives in Broadlands, Virginia with his wife Deb. A guitarist since age 11, he is still wondering how he has spent 25 years working contracts when all he really wanted to do was rock.