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Executive Spotlight: Tom Councell, Chief Growth Officer of Procentrix

Tom Councell,

Chief Growth Officer,


Executive Spotlight: Tom Councell, Chief Growth Officer of Procentrix

Tom Councell currently serves as chief growth officer of Procentrix. He began his career in the U.S. Air Force, and prior to joining his current organization, Councell held leadership roles at CACI, ManTech and other technology companies.

In a recent interview with the Potomac Officers Club, Councell reflected on his career background, discussed his core values and shared his thoughts on the current government contracting environment.

Read the full interview below:

What can you tell us about your background and how you’ve been able to adapt to the ever-changing challenges of the federal landscape over the course of your career?

I’ve had the privilege to partner with federal civilian, Department of Defense and Intelligence Community organizations over the past 30 years, and one of the constants across these markets has been the increasing pace of technology change. That pace only accelerates as cloud and artificial intelligence technologies mature and systems evolve to make sense of growing volumes of data. You have to be open-minded to change in order to capitalize on the disruptions to benefit your mission.

As a young airman, the establishment of Intelink in the late-90s was a welcome change. With just a few button clicks, we were able to instantly share intelligence products with all who had secure access. Not only did it eliminate the need to wrestle hole punches and fastener prongs to build hardcopy target folders, but it sparked my interest in technology. Moving into developer and integrator roles, the evolution from thick-client applications and APIs, to Web Services, to microservices enabled us to deconstruct large, legacy systems and get component updates in the hands of users quickly. The introduction of DevSecOps tools improved cyber hygiene and automated system deployments. There are many other advancements that occurred during my career, and each brought a unique set of challenges. But by thinking and doing things differently, we were able to take advantage of the changes.

In recent years, the shift to cloud and as-a-Service models for infrastructure, platform and software and the adoption of low/no code platforms are driving modernization initiatives. These are true game-changers and a key reason why I joined Procentrix. We’re all-in on helping clients get the most from their investments in Microsoft technology. Their low/no code platform offers the opportunity to fully automate process workflows, unify siloed data sources and connect to legacy systems. And you can do it in significantly less time than it took us to write and compile lines of code back in the day. It’s about reimagining the art of the possible. 

How would you describe your management style and core values towards building a winning culture?

Simply put, people are any organization’s greatest asset, so communication and collaboration have always been priorities for me. Whether you’re managing a team, leading a business group or partnering with customers, it’s essential that everyone is in the boat, rowing together toward the same goal.

As a leader, you have to identify the diversity and strength of experience and expertise that each individual brings and put them in positions where they can achieve personal success and bring value to the team. Each must understand what’s expected of them, know what they’re accountable to their teammates for and commit to doing their part.

It’s equally important that everyone be open to learning. That ability for each person and the team to adapt and innovate is vital for long-term success and growth.

If you were given free rein to enact changes in the federal landscape, what are the first three changes you would implement and why?

First and foremost, we must continue to prioritize talent acquisition and development for both government and industry. We have to rethink everything from the geography of where we hire, to reducing the barriers to join this community, to streamlining the clearance process. The pandemic forced us to confront some of this, but there are a lot of smart, talented people out there that aren’t considering federal service or contracting. We have to figure out how to connect with these people and define career paths – not just jobs – where they can contribute and be successful. 

Second, we have to broaden engagement with mid-tier companies. Too much world-class talent and innovation resides in this part of the GovCon community not to. We must encourage more frequent outreach programs, initiatives and set asides focused on these emerging companies to further build on the successful small business policies already in-place.

Third would be to increase transparency in the opportunity space. There are too many systems, tools and data to sift through. We have to make it easier to match government buyers with experts and solutions they may not be aware of but would definitely benefit from. There are tremendous opportunities that companies are built to successfully deliver for but may not be tracking. This is too easy not to address with technology available today.

With emerging technology influencing the federal government and industry more by the day, what are some of the challenges on the business side of innovation that aren’t always discussed as often as they should be?

Artificial intelligence grabs a lot of headlines, and it’s good to consider how we safely and responsibly implement that technology. On the business side, AI can help improve efficiency and boost productivity. It can inform decision-making and reduce decision timelines. For business development, this could translate into being able to submit more RFI and RFP responses each year. Are government acquisition teams prepared for that workload increase? Does this drive extended source selection periods? Can we expect shorter response periods to offset? Will there be a push for more oral presentations? Is AI incorporated into the government evaluation process at some point, and how do we ensure that’s done transparently, without bias? There’s a lot to consider. Government and industry need to come together and work through these topics.

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