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Washington Consultants Quarterly (Summer 2014) Vol 1, Issue 2
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Washington Consultants Quarterly


A publication of the Institute of Management Consultants National Capital Region

Summer 2014

Volume 1, Issue 2




Member News



Linda Howard, General Manager of Howard Consulting, LLC, has accepted the role of Chair of the IMC USA National Nominating Committee. She will continue in her Chapter roles as IMC NCR Secretary, and as Chair of the IMC NCR Strategic Planning Committee.



Best wishes to Tami Ryley whose presence we so enjoyed at chapter meetings the past few years. She writes: "I wanted to let you know that I've departed the DC area and am finally headed home to WA State and back to a Commanding Officer position in the Navy. My heartfelt thanks to everyone at IMC. Everyone was so welcoming and open with their thoughts and recommendations during my time in DC. I look forward to our paths crossing in the future. Warm Regards, Tami." Thank you, Tami, for your many contributions to our community and best of luck to you in your new role. 


Ed Barks published "The Global Communicator's Welcome to Washington Guide." It is designed to aid international communicators newly posted to Washington. They may arrive in the U.S. to work in public affairs for global corporations, press attachés at embassies, spokespeople for NGOs, or diplomats at organizations like the United Nations or World Bank.


The Latest from CMC Central

Certification is a benefit that few professional organizations offer. Now is a great time to pursue your CMC® (Certified Management Consultant) designation.

IMC NCR's Certification Chair, Becky Roberts, is ready to be your guide through the process. Working with Becky can shine a bright light on why you should become certified, what's involved in certification and recertification, and how you can complete your certification in 2014.

Stay tuned for the next certification webinar at



IMC NCR Leadership


Raymond Suarez



Cynthia Miller



Becky Roberts


Member Alliances:

Parag Ambardekar



Brooke Rolter 



Ed Barks


Past President:

Richard Ziegler



Akira Oyama


Public Relations:

Karen Buehler



Linda Howard



Michael A. Gallo



Mark Haas



Upcoming IMC NCR Meetings



Cool off with IMC NCR on July 10

Thursday, July 10, 2014
5:30 to 9:15 p.m.

Summer Networking Soiree

Check here for registration details


How to Look for Clients in the Private Sector
Thursday, September 11, 2014

International Business Consulting

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The ROI on Marketing Strategy
Friday, November 14, 2014


Chapter President's Message


By Raymond W. Suarez

If we've spent any time together it's likely you've heard my oft-repeated view that what distinguishes IMC from every other professional organization is that every one of our members possesses the same three personal attributes; we are all subject matter experts, business owners, and entrepreneurs. Each of these identities is an accomplishment to attain, a challenge to sustain, and in combination merit unremitting respect.


While IMC embraces consultants of all types, our vast majority are solo practitioners or small firm practices. IMC NCR provides unique value to the owner/entrepreneur operating an independent consulting business in the DC metro area. We bring local perspective and focus to our national industry and professional association whose purpose is to promote excellence and ethics in management consulting. How do we do this?

  • Chapter Programs -- IMC NCR chapter programs are carefully designed to promote the professional development of our local consultant members, both skill-building and knowledge development for the individual consultant and key success factors to practice management, markets, and professional development for your consulting business. (Contact: Akira Oyama)
  • Washington Consultants Quarterly Newsletter -- News and notes of relevance to management consultants in the metropolitan Washington region, featuring local industry and market trends, developments and opportunities in the U.S. Federal government marketplace, local industry and professional meetings and events of interest, and IMC NCR member announcements and opportunities. (Contact: Ed Barks)
  • Director and Committee Volunteer Leadership Opportunities -- Exercise your talents and skills, add to your achievements, build credibility within the local management consulting community, give back and contribute to IMC, the industry and the profession. Volunteer chapter leaders are welcomed to assist with member service, membership development, programs, communications, chapter management, and more. (Contact: Cynthia Miller)
  • Presentation and Speaking Opportunities -- Hosting, moderating, and presenting NCR Chapter programs and events builds and promotes your industry experience, broadens your exposure to colleagues and clients, enhances your credibility as a thought leader, and expands your teaming, partnering and referral network as you demonstrate your skills, knowledge, expertise and professionalism. (Contact: Karen Buehler)
  • Chapter Networking -- Purposeful gatherings to foster trusting business relationships which in turn produce teams, partnerships, sub-contracts, and referrals between members. We leverage our individual contacts and resources to grow the quantity, scale, and quality of our collective business opportunities. (Contact: Parag Ambardekar)
  • IMC NCR Washington Region Member Consultant Directory -- Presenting member (only) consulting capabilities and target client profiles for distribution to members to promote teaming and partnering, and to client executives and decision-makers to support new business development. (Scheduled completion year-end 2014. Contact: Samuel Ticha)

Why all this effort? Because we as independent consultants cannot compete on equal footing with the pooled resources that larger firms invest in branding, marketing, recruiting, training, intellectual property, knowledge management, and organizational culture. Nor can we realize the economies and advantages from division and specialization of labor that accrue to large firms. But there are unique advantages solos and small firms possess.


Through IMC NCR we simulate the benefits big firms derive from scale, while preserving and magnifying the commitment to ethics and professionalism that distinguishes our independent consultant community of solos and small firms. Our ambition is to engage our local client market as a "Virtual Firm of 100" IMC NCR member management consultants, and to join with colleagues across the U.S to project a presence of a virtual firm of 1,000 IMC USA member management consultants, working in partnership and collaboration, guided by shared values, identifying, capturing and delivering more and better client opportunities.


If you are a DC area subject matter expert, business owner and entrepreneur with a serious commitment to succeeding as an independent consultant, IMC NCR is an essential enabler your career and business cannot be without.


What's Happening at IMCUSA


New Faces at IMCUSA

AMC Source is IMCUSA's new association management firm. They are located at 4440 PGA Boulevard, Suite 600, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. Telephone is (561) 472-0833, fax: (800) 837-7321.


For information on leadership groups and organizational issues, contact Executive Director Greg Brooks at


Direct your questions about member records management, member profiles, renewal and reinstatement, registration for chapter events, academy events or C2M Live!, certification and re-certification to   

Rayne Provost, Association Executive, at


Issues about dues payments, issues regarding any payments, financial transfers for chapter events, chapter allocations, chapter annual reports go to Lisa Marburger in Finance at


National Elections

On May 5, the IMCUSA Board ratified the election of three new directors: Terry Flanagan (Chicagoland Chapter), Trina Hoefling, and Jo Smith (Oregon/Southwest Washington Chapter). 



Chapter News and Views


Homage to John Strawhorn

IMC NCR, with heaviest of hearts, notes the passing on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, of long time member, John Martin Strawhorn, age 70, of McLean, Virginia. John was an active and vital member of the Chapter who served IMC NCR diligently as Director and Program Chair. A ready smile, sage advice, and generous with time and energy, we all benefited from his many contributions: his wit, his wisdom, and his insight. He is deeply missed and fondly remembered.

New Director at IMC NCR
JB (Brook) Rolter will join the IMC NCR Board as Mentorship Chair. Brook is President of JB Rolter Associates. He is a management and organizational development consultant with over 20 years of experience assisting federal, private, and nonprofit organizations with strategic and operational changes. Brook holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA, a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and is a graduate of Georgetown University's Organizational Development and Change Management Program. He is active in the Organizational Development Network, American Society for Quality, and the Association for Strategic Planners, and has been a member of the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. We extend our gratitude to Brook for his volunteer service and welcome him to the IMC NCR Board.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), seeking consultants to bring best practices to its clients, sponsored a program on April 9, at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. EBRD is an international financial institution comprising 64 government shareholders, including the U.S. government. It procures 2,800 consulting assignments annually for a total value of approximately $237 million across central Europe, central Asia and the Mediterranean regions.    

Executives from EBRD's Technical Cooperation and Small Business Support Teams made presentations to inform and expand their network of advisers from varied sectors, industries and specializations, and to meet and identify consultants to engage on future projects. Consultants in attendance were briefed on EBRD procurement policies and the various types of EBRD consulting projects.


Approximately 70 consultants attended the EBRD meeting in DC, approximately 20 of who were NCR members or guests. There was significant impact for both EBRD and IMC participants in this stellar example of the IMC community sharing information and opportunity that furthers our business interests such that our whole is bigger than the sum of our parts. Thanks to Al Sagarese of the IMC New Jersey Chapter for coordinating IMC's participation in these events.


Member Profile:
Meet LaFern Batie


Washington Consultants Quarterly recently caught up with IMC NCR member LaFern Batie of The Batie Group.

Washington Consultants Quarterly: Tell us about your firm? What's your "elevator speech?"

LaFern Batie: The Batie Group is a boutique management consulting firm that maximizes the potential in leaders and organizations. We do for the business what a great boot camp does for one's body; there may be discomfort but the results speak for themselves.


WCQ: How do you position your firm's distinctive competencies, competitive differentiators, and unique advantages from your clients' point of view?

LB: We help clients deliver on the emotional promise of an experience that they make to their customers, employees and supporters.


Our impact areas are leadership, strategic planning, goal alignment, execution, and branding. We immerse ourselves in our customers' operations to deepen our understanding of what they do well and where they are challenged. We challenge conventional thinking, routine processes, and comfortable behaviors. It's not about making them like some other organization but about how to uniquely distinguish who they are. Clients engage with us because they appreciate how our approach leverages everything they already have, leading to tangible results.


WCQ: Who, what and where are your ideal "sweet spots" in terms of customers and projects?

LB: Our ideal project helps mid-sized organizations, or a business unit or functional area within a large-sized organization, assess and reshape the experience they create for their customers.


WCQ: How are you looking to contribute to or support other IMC member businesses, and how can IMC members assist, support or collaborate with you?

LB: I joined IMC as a partner, not a member, to help my fellow partners connect with individuals, organizations, and opportunities that will help them achieve their goals. In serving diverse clients, I inevitably engage with organizations seeking the best resources to help them overcome challenges. If a direct referral, I want to make that happen for other partners. If an opportunity to better serve a client via collaboration, it's important to know there are other capable management consulting leaders who can form a team and exceed the client's expectations.


WCQ: What critical "lessons learned" from your experiences as a management consulting professional, business owner, or entrepreneur would you share with other members? 

LB: It is critical to understand the value you deliver. Whether with a client or part of a team, stand confidently in what you know, and be humble enough to admit what you do not. And do not be afraid to ask for support.


Be a voice in the business community. Find a platform - writing, speaking, blogging - and provide valuable and practical information.


Build a positive experience. Your brand exists whether or not you work on it. How others perceive you, positively or negatively, IS your brand. If others' perceptions do not reflect what you want them to see, develop and execute a plan to reshape those perceptions.


Surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth, even when you do not want to hear it, and use their feedback to develop and grow.


WCQ: What else about you and your firm do you want members or clients to know? 

LB: In addition to providing management consulting services, I am a professional speaker and published author. I enjoy sharing insights about both areas and know firsthand the impact those complementary services can have on business development. If you have questions about either, do not hesitate to contact me. Click here to learn more about who I am and why I serve.



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