Executive Spotlight: Tom Gauthier, SVP at SkillStorm
SkillStorm Senior Vice President Thomas Gauthier spoke with the Potomac Officers Club about his goals in his current role, the principles that inform his management style, his advice for executives in government contracting and more during a recent Executive Spotlight interview. Prior to joining SkillStorm, Gauthier spent time at companies including CGI, Deloitte and Gartner.
Read below for Gauthier’s full interview.
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 spent over 25 years in various roles supporting the strategy and transformation of some of the largest Fortune 100 companies globally. The federal landscape is now modernizing faster than ever, and we are seeing federal leaders follow the success of the commercial space. My IT consulting experience, along with my nine years in the U.S. Army provides me a level of credibility in the initiatives that are on the horizon.
When did you decide to pursue a career in the federal landscape and what were the key tasks that you wanted to complete? Any bigger goals you still want to accomplish?
In 2022, I decided to join SkillStorm to provide custom developed resources from a talent pool focused on veterans and underserved communities. My background provided me the understanding of what it takes to fill these roles and we, at SkillStorm, enjoy that we can provide quality careers for veterans and others in well-paying technical roles that support the federal landscape technology transformation.
My goal is to be a leader in closing the gap of technical talent needed to support the best federal government on the planet with the best diverse talent possible. I hope to help as many veterans as possible to find fulfilling careers in technology and continue the amazing service they already provided while in the military to the needs of the federal government.
How would you describe your management style and core values towards building a winning culture?
My style is very much focused on two elements: first, describing the vision and mission your company wants to achieve, and second, finding people that have passion about that vision and mission. This tends to create a lot of highly motivated team members that are driving toward the same goals and willing to put ego and politics aside to solve real problems and make real change.
How would you advise someone entering our industry to build their resume and advance their careers to be in the best position in the years to come?
This may sound counter to a popular saying in the military about ‘never volunteer for anything,’ but I’ve found that if you are willing to do more and take some risks, you will have more opportunity put in front of you. Yes, it may be a little scary, but I’ve learned so much by being willing to move into a new technology, lead a new team, contact a large customer or prepare a presentation to a large group. These items made me stretch, and those experiences added to my resume. Also, the ability to tell a good story about that experience has provided me with great opportunities.
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, push more — don’t reinvent. For example, I was supporting the Department of the Navy on a project many years ago, and I told them that the Army had a solution. The Department of the Navy insisted that it was a different problem, but it was not. I think the departments could save a lot of money and frustration by leveraging solutions that exist today.
Second, find ways to make the procurement process easier, but still keep the level of diligence needed to avoid fraud and mis-use. Lastly, find a solution to keep personal politics out. We have to focus on solutions that are non-political.
Category: Member News
Tags: Army executive spotlight govcon SkillStorm Tom Gauthier