PCG’s quarterly employee recognition program, aptly-named the EPIC Awards, is designed to help bring the firm’s four core tenets—Entrepreneurial Spirit, Passion, Impact, and Community—to life in a tangible way. Today, we are thrilled to announce that Nicolle Suvada has been selected as PCG’s first EPIC Awards winner for fiscal year 2023 (FY23) in recognition of her Entrepreneurial Spirit and enthusiasm for business development and strategic relationship building. By embracing these and other entrepreneurial qualities, Nicolle continues to innovate and deliver solutions that meet the needs of our public sector clients and those they serve.
Nicolle was nominated by Fred Forrer, a vice president within the firm’s Technology Consulting practice area, for being steadfast in business development, extremely strong in service delivery, an effective team leader, and a passionate advocate for PCG. Since joining the firm as a director in January 2021, Nicolle has been instrumental in securing new business and add-on work, collaborating across practice areas to develop winning proposals in new areas such as enterprise resource planning and others. Nicolle continues to leverage her business acumen to position her practice area and the larger organization for further success. Consequently, Nicolle’s business savvy has strengthened PCG’s ability to respond to the needs of public sector agencies and the communities they serve. Read on to learn more about Nicolle’s contributions to projects underway in Florida, Georgia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
Entrepreneurs excel at taking calculated risks and thrive on turning challenges into opportunities: Nicolle exhibited both qualities in pursuit of an independent verification and validation (IV&V) contract for the Florida Planning, Accounting, and Ledger Management (Florida PALM) project. Florida PALM is a multiyear effort to replace the state’s decades-old accounting and cash management systems with a cloud-based, modern, scalable financial management solution. Florida’s Department of Financial Services (DFS), the agency leading the statewide project, had contracted with a well-respected IV&V provider for several years prior to issuing a procurement for IV&V services in July 2021. With a mere two-week response window and immediate project start date, the Florida PALM IV&V opportunity seemed to be a routine renewal of the incumbent's longstanding contract, but Nicolle would not be deterred. She insisted on going after the opportunity and worked tirelessly over the next two weeks to assemble and submit PCG’s proposal – all while maintaining her current assignments. According to Nicolle’s EPIC Awards nomination, as late as one day prior to the submission deadline, Technology Consulting leadership considered withdrawing from the competition for fear that PCG’s proposal wasn’t strong enough to contend with the incumbent. Incredibly, Nicolle and her team were successful in their response and PCG now provides IV&V services to Florida PALM.
In conjunction with an associate manager on the Health team, Nicolle led an effort to secure a bid for a project management office for USVI's health information exchange (HIE). Nicolle led the project management portion of the bid, while the collaborating associate manager led the technical components of the HIE. PCG’s bid went up against several formidable firms competing for the contract—including Cognosante and CSG—and ultimately, the cross-practice collaboration paid off with PCG winning a three-year contract with USVI.
Several months after the work commenced in the USVI, Nicolle seized an opportunity for new work when she learned that the client was developing an eligibility system and the project needed an IV&V contractor. Nicolle wasted no time assembling a team to pursue the contract and has since convinced USVI that PCG is the right vendor for the job. She is currently in the process of securing this IV&V contract.
Reflecting on the collaboration and the experience working with PCG’s newest EPIC Awards winner, the associate manager said “Since joining PCG, Nicolle has done nothing but impress me with her work ethic, willingness to take on new and innovative projects, and ability to build strong relationships with our client in the US Virgin Islands. Brand new at PCG, Nicolle took on a lead role in a cross practice area [proposal] and helped expand our footprint in the Health Information Exchange market. Nicolle regularly goes above and beyond to put our team and PCG in a great position. For example, while our client went through a tough and stressful time, Nicolle had flowers sent to brighten our client’s day. Her thoughtfulness and extra effort has opened the door to the pursuit of new opportunities with our client and other affiliated organizations throughout the territory.”
Strategic Relationship Building
One of Nicolle’s primary responsibilities as a director is overseeing business development efforts in certain states, including Georgia and PCG’s longstanding client, the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA). Though PCG and GTA had been partners for years, the relationship was strained over some small projects that did not go well. Nicolle brought a fresh face to GTA and a chance the reset the relationship. To start, she identified the senior manager responsible for our work and established a monthly meeting. Over the following months, she cultivated a relationship built on trust with the manager, who began to open up about business opportunities for add-on work with GTA. The relationship enabled Nicolle to develop a better understanding of the client’s needs and pain points as well as how to more effectively demonstrate that PCG was the best vendor to meet GTA’s needs. Nicolle’s opportunity came when the GTA released a bid for IV&V of the state’s all-payer claims database. She assembled a proposal team and oversaw the proposal effort, personally contributing greatly to the proposal’s development.
Nicolle’s approach to business development and relationship building, particularly with GTA, was highlighted in her EPIC Awards nomination endorsement from a fellow director within the Technology Consulting practice:
“Nicolle became a part of our team in early 2021 and, immediately, she changed the landscape of our work winning proposals across new areas and clients. Nicolle contributed directly to our success in meeting and even exceeding revenue goals this year. Nicolle worked across practices to develop winning proposals in new areas such as health information exchange and enterprise resource planning. Nicolle has gone beyond winning work through her excellent proposals, to build and renew relationships with our clients. This dedication to building relationships has resulted in strategic opportunities and major add-on work we would not have otherwise won. Nicolle listens to our customers, understands their pains points, and develops the customized solutions they need.
Nicolle’s work with the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) is most inspiring to me. When Nicolle joined PCG, she became the lead for the State of Georgia and the GTA – a client we had not been successful with for several years. Nicolle leveraged a proposal loss to meet with the client and understand how PCG could better demonstrate how we are the best vendor to meet their needs. Nicolle continued to meet with GTA, get feedback on every proposal submitted, and, this summer, Nicolle won a small but strategic IV&V opportunity with GTA!
Her dedication to excellence and drive to build successful partnerships is what it means to embody entrepreneurial spirit.”
Innovative Problem Solving
Entrepreneurs are innovators and problem solvers at heart. Fittingly, when PCG began piloting a new enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) software to replace its existing project management system—a complex, multi-year effort involving many internal stakeholder groups—Nicolle was enlisted to be the day-to-day project manager for her practice area’s participation. As project manager of this complex project, Nicolle’s enthusiasm for problem solving has benefited not only her team but also the larger organization, a fact that was evident in the following EPIC Awards endorsement from a vice president in her practice area.
“In support of her nomination for the EPIC Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit, I want to recognize Nicolle Suvada in her work for the TC Dynamics migration as the Day-to-Day project manager. Nicolle has been consistently supportive, always on point for management of the project, and has never allowed project assignments and reporting to slip. Nicolle consistently worked to provide value in planning and thought leadership to ensure we were not simply implementing a product, but producing a solution that would provide value to our users, the employees of PCG. I value her work ethic, and believe that she will at any time do all she can to ensure the success of an effort, and a proven value at delivery. Specifically, Nicolle worked with our Corporate IT Team to ensure solutions to many issues with Dynamics to PPM integration. She took the time to understand how each practice area approached an issue, and worked with the entire team and project sponsors to find new ways of meeting wide group expectations. This included how to flag items for related projects ensuring traceability within the system, accuracy in reporting through consistent data entry such as with naming convention standards and domain controls, and lastly, with output reporting. I directly attribute many of the overall improvements to our PCG total Dynamics configuration and implementation to Nicolle’s work driven by her Entrepreneurial Spirit.”
Please join us in congratulating Nicolle for this well-deserved recognition of her entrepreneurial spirit and hard work. It is because of colleagues like Nicolle that PCG continues to design and deliver innovative solutions that matter to the public sector and those they serve.