Resource management professionals from organizations across Redstone Arsenal weathered the gray and rainy conditions on March 29, 2018, to attend the American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC) Redstone-Huntsville Chapter’s Mini Professional Development Institute (PDI). MorganFranklin Consulting was proud to be the 2018 event sponsor for a great day of learning and discussion focused on the challenges facing the Department of Defense (DoD) comptroller community. The Mini PDI serves to provide the comptroller community with quality educational, training, and professional development programs along with the opportunity to network with the local resource management community. The Mini PDI is the chapter’s largest annual event and includes speakers hailing from many of Redstone Arsenal’s occupant commands and organizations.
The chapter’s president, Stephen Elison, served as the master of ceremonies for the day. After a brief welcome and introduction, including a gracious thank you to the Mini PDI Committee members and chapter volunteers, Elison turned the microphone over to Bill Hicks, CFO of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Hicks began his presentation by providing an overview of MSFC and the role the center plays within NASA. He then moved on to discuss the Space Launch System (SLS) and expanding the human presence in space and finished by detailing NASA’s budgeting and execution process and their overall financial management challenges.
Next, Todd Johnston, MorganFranklin Consulting’s senior manager, presented on the financial management challenges the Army faces as the DoD continues on the path toward auditability. Johnston highlighted various complexities across the Army’s operating environment as key audit impediments, including nuanced differences across Command and PEO-level operations that make the standardization of business processes difficult; the complex migration from numerous static legacy systems to the Army’s integrated ERP environment; and stakeholders from across the Army (HQ, Command, PEO, Installation) interpreting financial improvement and audit readiness (FIAR) guidance differently. Johnston discussed MorganFranklin’s capabilities in supporting Commands and PEOs as they navigate FIAR initiatives to remediate audit impediments.
Colonel Thomas Holliday Jr., Garrison Command of Redstone Arsenal, delivered the Redstone Update, detailing the installation’s collaboration with the local community and its economic impact. Colonel Holliday fielded numerous questions regarding the most current happenings across Redstone Arsenal. After he addressed all the Redstone-related questions, Richard Manley, president of Thompson Gray Incorporated, gave a brief presentation detailing the firm’s capabilities and future opportunities. Manley discussed Thompson Gray’s General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS) support services, which have been successfully delivered to clients across the Army.
Following a brief lunch break, the scheduled lunch speaker took to the stage. Major General (Retired) Vincent E. Boles of Defense Acquisition University briefed the attendees on his pathway from a second lieutenant to a major general and on the importance of leadership in today’s professional environments. Patricia Gore of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) then gave a wonderful overview of the MDA’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program, which is considered a national priority and has a purpose to attract, inspire, and develop exceptional STEM talent. Harry Hobbs of the Florida Institute of Technology took to the stage and, sensing that the attendees were hitting the afternoon homestretch and staring to nod off, insisted that everyone stand up and take a good stretch before he continued with his emotionally charged presentation on business ethics in corporate America.
Next, Mike Cook of the Space and Missile Command (SMDC) gave a presentation on auditability, the promise and the current reality. After he led the audience through “the valley of despair”—or what one would consider the timeframe for an organization to move from a pre-auditable to auditable posture—Susan J. Goodyear, SES of the Army Materiel Command (AMC) closed out the event, providing an audit update as it pertains to AMC. Her presentation touched on AMC’s biggest challenge areas—audit readiness of both human capital and information technology and continuing to make audit a priority, given the known resource management challenges.
Other sponsors contributing to the event included PwC, Vintun LLC, GEHA, American Benefits Exchange, Teksouth, and Canvas Incorporated.