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July 2024 | Issue #30

CONSTANT virtual office background featuring a cat wearing Fourth of July patriotic gear.

Two images stacked on top of each other. Top image is Michelle Constant's family and bottom image is a cake cut into that is decorated like an American flag.We received great news – CONSTANT has made the highly coveted Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list for the second straight year! This wonderful news is based on our performance in 2023 and CONSTANT’s year-over-year growth in the years leading up to it. This is a testament to our entire team’s mission-driven culture and passion for making the world a safer place.


Inc. 5000 will make the official public announcement in August, so we can only share this internally for now. Stand by for a big splash across our website and social media next month – right in time for CONSTANT’s 20th anniversary!


In the meantime, it’s all hands on deck as we focus on revenue for 2024. On the Federal side, there is a huge push for the government to tie out budgets before the end of the Federal fiscal year (September 30) and to spend leftover funds. For State and Local, we are gearing up for the next rounds of grant-aligned projects. All team members are called to bring forward ideas and opportunities for expansion and new business. Let’s keep the momentum from our Fastest Growing Private Companies recognition going.


While we are focused on growth and performance, we remain mindful of our “why” – our mission, core values, and our commitment to people. A great reminder of that “why” is the 4th of July. To that end, have a safe and fun holiday!


In Service,


-Michelle Constant 


Pics: My littles posing for the annual 4th of July photoshoot (top), and one of my few attempts at baking (bottom).

"Welcome to CONSTANT" set on a half circle dark blue background with light blue border

Carmen Khouri, Finance & Accounting Controller

CONSTANT employee Carmen KhouriCarmen Khouri has over 18 years of experience in the accounting field. After her undergrad studies in Global Affairs, she went back to gain her associate in accounting to become a CPA candidate and pursue her newfound passion for accounting.

She has worked in Government contract accounting for over 8 years and in commercial, real estate, and not-for-profit accounting. Her expertise includes Unanet, Deltek, Costpoint, and Quickbooks to name a few.

Carmen and her husband have two beautiful little ones: a boy and a girl, two Great Danes, and a little Scottish terrier that keeps her busy when she isn’t at work. Her hobbies include baking, puzzling, and spending time on the beach.

Alison Brown - FEMA FQS Program Manager

CONSTANT team member Alison Brown.Alison Brown has joined the FEMA FQS project team as the FEMA FQS Program Manager. Alison brings over ten years of Project and Program Management to the team.


Alison loves riding her bike and going to her children’s sporting events. She also has two dogs that love just as much attention from her as her kids.


When Alison has down time she loves to travel with her family and friends. Alison loves life and is living it to the fullest.

Shantè King - ISD Analyst

CONSTANT team member Shante King.Shantè King is a seasoned Instructional Designer with more than 25 years of experience creating engaging and impactful learning experiences. 


As a board-certified mental health professional, she brings a unique perspective to her work, ensuring that her designs are not only educational but also supportive of learners’ well-being. 


When she’s not creating the perfect learning landscape, you can find Shantè indulging in her passion for travel. Whether she’s exploring the refreshing waters of the Caribbean, discovering hidden gems, or simply enjoying a family barbecue back home, Shantè embraces every opportunity to experience life’s beauty and all its diversity. 


Shantè believes in lifelong learning, not just for others but for herself too. Whether it’s picking up a new skill, diving into the latest research in instructional design theory, or staying updated with mental health advancements, she is always on a quest for knowledge. 


Shantè’s journey has been as dynamic as the waters she loves to explore, and she is excited to bring that same energy, creativity, and dedication to every project she will undertake with her new Constant Associates family. Let’s create something amazing together!

Elaine Poett-Payne - ISD Analyst

CONSTANT team member Elaine Poett PayneFor the past 35+ years, Elaine Poett-Payne has designed, developed, and executed numerous Classroom, VILT, and eLearning training and certification programs for Healthcare, Federal, and Professional Services clients. 


Elaine has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications, a Master of Education in Technology and Design, and is certified in Adult Instructional Design. Her proficiency in desktop applications, learning design software, Al-driven power platform, chatbot technology, and learning management systems all highlight her ability to adapt to and leverage technologies in the design and development of innovative learning solutions that resonate with audiences. 


Elaine lives in the northern Georgia mountains and enjoys cooking, gardening, painting, and traveling. She is married with three grown children and one 2-year-old granddaughter. 

Animated image featuring American flags, individuals playing instruments, etc.

CONSTANT's July Birthdays

Happy Birthday to our July crew!

  • Jeff Philippart– 7/5 
  • James Meeks – 7/9 
  • Charlene Kvech – 7/11 
  • Ali Leis – 7/23 
  • Manny Rodriguez – 7/26

CONSTANT's Work Anniversaries

Happy Anniversary, and cheers to many more years!

  • Lenah Mansour 7/25 – 2 years
Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our mission!
Photo of american flag-decorated beach umbrella and beach ball on a sandy beach.

Go- or No-Go: Riding the Waves of BD's Key Strategies to Inform Bid Decisions

Business Development by Jeff Philippart, Business Development Director

Are you ready for the Summer Summit? The BD Team looks forward to our session, where we will provide cross-training by facilitating a scenario-based workshop on our general proposal process to the wider team. We will be sharing how we select, gate review, pitch, and price opportunities for CONSTANT. To kickstart the conversation from the very beginning, learn how CONSTANT makes go- or no-go bid decisions through key steps:


  • Sourcing Opportunities: CONSTANT receives opportunities and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) through multiple channels that are primarily directed to a shared inbox. This includes use of RFP/opportunity aggregators (BidSync, Public Purchase, GovWin, etc.) and procurement websites (, Cal eProcure, GSA eBuy, etc.), manual checks on select sites, direct requests from past, current, or prospective clients, notifications by partners or via social media, etc. The BD Team monitors the shared inbox, reviews an opportunity/RFP for initial feasibility, and places it on a spreadsheet for review by the ELT and the Portfolio Managers on a weekly basis. Ideally, we have performed capture prior to the opportunity being released to position ourselves, particularly for federal solicitations, as a “cone of silence” is usually enacted once an RFP is live beyond submission of questions to a procurement contact.
  • Receiving Feedback and Intelligence: For state and local solicitations that traditionally have fast turnarounds, the ELT, Portfolio Managers, and the BD Team provide comments on each opportunity for consideration when making a bid-/no-bid decision. This could include comments that evaluate the proposed project compared with CONSTANT’s goals and capabilities, provide intelligence or research on the client, competitors, or partners, identify potential risks (timeline, budget, etc.), pinpoint proposal requirements, etc. For federal solicitations, Portfolio Managers provide an initial bid-/no-bid decision to move opportunities from the stage of identified to qualified. Once opportunities are classified as qualified, deeper capture begins for a period usually exceeding 6 months prior to RFP release, involving engagement and relationship building, attendance at industry days and networking events, conduct of capabilities briefings, research into the agency and key decision-makers, collaboration with partners, and more.
  • Reviewing the RFP In-Depth and Submitting Questions: RFPs can sometimes generate questions about the project’s work plan, budget, timeline, or staffing that can impact a bid decision. If an opportunity strongly falls into the likely ‘bid’ category, we will submit questions to gain needed clarification. Usually, questions are due 2-3 weeks prior to proposal submission. Crafting an outline of the proposal response prior to question submission can help pinpoint potential areas requiring clarification.
  • Weighing Factors to Make a Decision: Once answers to questions are published and intelligence and research is gathered, the BD Team works with Portfolio Managers and the ELT to make a timely decision that is solidified within Weekly Proposal Meetings. In deciding whether an opportunity is a ‘bid’ or ‘no-bid,’ factors for consideration include:
    • Does the opportunity align with CONSTANT’s current services/capabilities and/or our long-term strategic goals?
    • Do we have the internal resources, capacity, experience, subject matter expertise, and technical capability to accomplish the project? Do we need a subcontractor or partner to fill any gaps?
    • Does CONSTANT have an established relationship with the agency, or has any capture been performed?
    • Does the project pose any risks to successful completion? This could include factors like a short timeline, a tight budget, a notably challenging client, etc.
    • Is the project funded at an adequate level? Is there an expected profit margin and return on investment? Could it lead to follow-on work?
    • Is there an incumbent contractor or anticipated competitors? How does our potential of award compare to theirs?
    • Does the BD Team have bandwidth to respond to the RFP while comparing other available solicitations and priorities?
    • For larger opportunities, CONSTANT has available tools like the Shipley Pwin (Probability of Win) Calculator that can help inform a bid decision. This calculator identifies win factors, associated weights (informed usually by proposal scoring), and a self-calculated score for the win factor to result in a recommended Strong Pwin, Moderate Pwin, Moderate Avoidance, or Strong Avoidance.

Once a final bid decision is made, others may need to be informed if it is a no-bid or they will receive confirmation of our bid decision when we submit a proposal. This could include informing the ELT or Portfolio Managers as well as the client or prospective client. When appropriate, CONSTANT will send a respectful no-bid email to a client if we have strong interest of working with them but may be unable to bid for various factors (timeline, bandwidth, budget, etc.).


This represents a condensed version of how the BD Team collaborates with the ELT and Portfolio Managers to inform bid decisions. After a decision is made, the fun part starts in solutioning a proposal response. We can’t wait to show you all more about what happens after a ‘bid’ decision is made. Thank you all for your ongoing support and efforts to grow CONSTANT, and we will see you at Summer Summit.

Animate image of individuals celebrating America while holding flags, wearing flag costumes, etc. All have their hands in the air.

CONSTANT Quality: Building Products That Match Our Values

Operations by Jayson Kratoville

CONSTANT’s mission is to make the world a safer place. The products we build represent a shared understanding about how our communities handle their worst days. This month, we’re rolling out our new Quality Management Plan to enhance our approach to ensuring these products live up to our mission.  Once available, it will be part of the Project Management Toolkit.


Every client-facing correspondence or product must reflect the integrity behind CONSTANT’s work, our gratitude for our clients’ trust, and our commitment to quality products and meaningful service. CONSTANT’s approach to quality management is grounded in our team culture of dynamic collaboration, feedback, adaptability, and innovation.


Our Quality Management Plan is designed to serve as a baseline that PMs can then tailor to their projects and client needs. The plan includes:

  • Standards for all client-facing products
  • Approaches to quality planning, assurance, control, and improvement
  • Review processes and roles
  • Strategies for company-wide monitoring and evaluation of deliverable quality
  • QA/QC checklists for key deliverables

We’ll keep the plan updated regularly; we also have plans to market our approach as part of our business development strategy and pursue future industry certifications for quality. 


Red, White, and YOU! Celebrating Progress and Looking Forward to the Rest of 2024

People and Culture by Maggie Peters, Director of People and Culture & Alyssa De La Cruz Sr. HR Business Partner

Summer Summit is almost here! Join us Monday, July 29th, and Tuesday, July 30th from 8 am-12 pm PT for our CONSTANT 2024 Summer Summit “Here’s to the next 20 years.”


We are ready for an information and fun-packed Summit at the end of this month. Also, please make sure to check your mailboxes the weekend before Summit … *hint hint*


We’ve officially reached the halfway point of the year! While summer beckons with thoughts of vacations and relaxation, it’s also a perfect time for a professional pit stop: the mid-year check-in. This week take a moment to celebrate and reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far this year and set your eyes on the second half of the year.


  • Victories to Celebrate: List your accomplishments so far. Acknowledge your hard work and the progress you’ve made.
  • Roadblocks Encountered: Did you face any challenges that stalled your progress? Analyze the reasons – were priorities different, or did unforeseen circumstances arise? Learning from these detours helps you navigate future hurdles.
  • Goal Evolution: Have your priorities shifted? Did your interests evolve? Revisit your initial goals and adjust them to reflect your current aspirations.
  • New Horizons: Is there a specific skill you’ve been itching to learn? A project you’d love to spearhead? Now’s the time to explore those possibilities. Consider researching online courses, attending industry events, or even initiating conversations with colleagues about potential collaborations.
  • Bonus Tip: Enhanced Support System: A colleague or manager can offer encouragement, advice, and celebrate your wins along the way. They can also be a sounding board for ideas and help you brainstorm solutions to any challenges you encounter.

By taking the time for a mid-year professional check-in, you can ensure a focused and productive second half of the year. So, grab a metaphorical cup of lemonade, settle into a comfortable spot, and get ready to set yourself up for professional success!


Important July Dates:


  • June 27-July 10: Alyssa De La Cruz on PTO, please contact Maggie
  • July 4: Holiday – Independence Day – CONSTANT Closed
  • July 5: Payday $$
  • July 10: Expense Reports Due
  • July 15: Timesheets Due
  • July 19: Payday $$
  • July 22: Expense Reports Due
  • July 29 & July 30: Summer Summit
  • July 31: Timesheets Due

If I need to work on a holiday or I don’t personally observe that holiday, can I swap it for another day off?


  • With your Manager’s approval, you can swap a CONSTANT holiday for any other day in the calendar year, and it doesn’t need to be taken in that same pay period. Please use the Comment section in your timesheet to clearly state on both dates which days you are swapping for.

Make a splash with your summer health!


  • Hydrate like a champ: Carry a reusable water bottle and sip throughout the day. Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water daily.
  • Early Bird Gets the Workout: The heat can be oppressive in the afternoon. Schedule your exercise routine for the cooler morning or evening hours.
  • Frozen treats done right: Make healthy popsicles with fruit, yogurt, or coconut water for a refreshing and nutritious snack.
  • Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget Your Mental Wellness:
    • Unplug and unwind: Schedule time to disconnect from technology and relax in the shade or out on a patio.
    • Social butterfly: Connect with friends and family for barbecues, picnics, or pool parties.

Summer Summit:


Our Summer Summit is just around the corner! From Monday, July 29th and Tuesday July 30th make your mark on how we continue to shape our company to professionally grow and exceed our client’s expectations.  Action: Do you have an idea or recommendation of what you’d like to see, hear, or learn about? Let Brea know! So many ideas have been used before to continually refine these important events. We’ve started our planning sessions because it takes a lot of collaboration to make a great event focused on what you need and want.


Great Place To Work Annual Survey:


Our annual Great Place To Work Survey is scheduled for 8/1 to 8/15. It is anonymous (as usual) and will have +60 questions for you to tell us how you feel about anything from EDI, compensation, benefits, culture, you name it. We cannot stress how important it is to hear your perspectives on these areas. We take consider each recommendation to continue to build the best company you would ever want to work for. More information will follow and please, participate in this survey!


P&C Check-In’s:


Hey there! Remember how we mentioned P&C check-ins at the last All Staff meeting? Well, guess what? It’s your turn! From now until the end of the year, P&C will be reaching out for brief (like 15 minutes, unless you would like more time) informal check-ins with each team member to chat about YOU! Be on the lookout for an email invite from us!


90 Day Onboarding Cycle:


We’re always looking for ways to make things better for you, and we’ve got two new tools to help you rock your role, especially if you’re new to CONSTANT or have moved into a new role. P&C is ‘constantly’ focused on continued improvement of our processes to better support you.


First, we are instituting a 30/60/90 Day Roadmap for Managers to create and use for all new team members and those who have changed roles (such as a promotion). Think of this like a personal GPS for your new position, giving you a clear path of what to expect while you adjust to your new role.


Second, we have instituted a 90-Day Performance Review in isolved. These reviews focus on four core areas that apply to everyone here, from leadership skills to becoming a total pro in your area:

  • Leadership & Culture
  • Relationship Management
  • Project Management
  • SME/Knowledge & Expertise

Bottom line? The purpose of these two new tools is to ensure clear guidelines are established and set people up for success. Consulting is both tough and professionally rewarding. We are keenly aware that consulting is not the easiest of industries to join and we want to help our people thrive.


Help Us Attract Talent – GlassDoor Reviews:


Studies show a significant portion of job seekers consult Glassdoor reviews to learn about company culture, compensation, and work-life balance before applying or making a final decision about an offer. Please post a positive review on GlassDoor when you have a moment. This platform is so important for us to continue to attract quality candidates like YOU!

Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

EDI by Co-Leads Manny Rodriguez, Maggie Peters, and Alyssa De La Cruz 

For July, Sloan Grissom wrote an amazing article on Islam Heritage, which you can find here. The Islam New Year is July 8.  Sincere thanks to Sloan for a very insightful article!  And thanks to all the volunteers for writing these important articles so we can continue to learn together! 


We recently posted two educational documents on the EDI SharePoint site: Equity and Inclusive Language Toolkit and Conscious Language. Please read these when you have a moment!


Reach out to Manny, Alyssa and Maggie, EDI Co-Leads, if you need to assist a client with their EDI efforts or how to incorporate EDI into our engagement.


Next Meeting:  


Our next EDI Committee Meetings will be September 25 and November 20. The meeting is linked on the Staff Calendar. All meeting presentations and educational articles can be found on the P&C SharePoint site under the EDI Committee tile.

Clip art image featuring phone, iPad, TV, laptop, and phone with screens of animated characters wearing fourth of july gear.

Red, White, and Who?! Our New Controller, Carmen

Finance By Maggie Peters, Director of People and Culture

Please welcome our new Controller, Carmen Khouri! Take a moment to introduce yourself to Carmen. In her first several weeks, we will be onboarding Carmen to get her familiar with our processes and systems. 


Carmen will be a key contact to ensure that our accounting, payroll, and finance systems are running smoothly. P&C will be transitioning payroll to Carmen over the next several cycles. In the meantime, send your questions to Carmen and she and P&C will get these handled collaboratively.  

Stock image showing a group of people celebrating fireworks being displayed over a city

Welcome to the IT Side

Information Technology By Morgan Forrest, IT Manager

This month I would like to highlight the Cyber Hygiene Policy, as well as the Cyber Incident Readiness Plan which will be made available soon. The Cyber Hygiene Policy details the steps we will take as a company to protect our data and physical assets from cyberattacks. It lays out steps and tactics to protect ourselves from hackers and other entities. The Cyber Readiness Plan discusses what we will do in the event of a cyberattack of any kind. It lays out who will handle the different aspects of an attack.


This includes:

  • Cybersecurity Incident Response Team (CSIRT)
  • Planning
  • Protective measures
  • Communications
  • Assessments
  • Training and Education
  • Exercises
  • Lessons learned

Please be on the lookout during Summer Summit 2024 for an IT tabletop exercise. For any issues, please submit a helpdesk form via the IT Tech hub.

CONSTANT Brain Games banner

Congratulations to last month’s brain games winner, Mona, who knew all the trivia questions without googling! The most visited National Park in the United States is Great Smoky Mountains National Park which stumped many of you.


Thank you to all who participated, it was a close one!


This month’s brain game is a simple request! The ask for Summer Summit’s Virtual trivia is that you show up with your background changed to a photo of you in 2004. The first person to email Brea your photo that you will use for Summit wins a prize. Happy time traveling!

Our mission is to make the world a safer place.

It’s that simple, and that’s why we are here. We have a strategic plan for the next three years, called CONSTANT Strategy, which outlines what our biggest priorities are:


  • Take care of our people
  • Forward our mission
  • Respond to our clients’ most pressing needs
  • Expand strategically across markets
  • Build infrastructure for the future

To help us execute on our mission, we have developed the CONSTANT Credo and our aligned core values (see the graphic below). We live by these.


CONSTANT Credo 20th anniversary version. Features 2 and a 0 crossing over each other.

We appreciate all of your hard work as we continue to grow. We hope you enjoyed reading this issue of CONSTANT Connections! We are open to any ideas, suggestions, or feedback on CONSTANT Connections. Please submit your ideas to Brea Dees.

CONSTANT horizontal logo. Blue C with CONSTANT Associates stacked