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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Leaders in Homeland Partnerships: The 2021 GTSC Award Winners

The Government Technology & Services Coalition awards a select number of exceptional members each year — members who take their time, resources, and devotion to mission to give back to our organization. We could not thrive, grow, and serve the homeland security community without them. Whether it’s representing our nonprofit to ensure that the perspectives of small businesses are included, responding to national emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, or working to make the procurement and acquisition process better, these companies have notably succeeded in business and they have given back to our community to help all of us thrive and serve the homeland mission better. We are extremely proud and honored to announce our annual GTSC Member Awards:

GTSC Small Business of the Year


Since joining GTSC, SharpEDG has jumped right in to help our organization stay afloat during COVID-19 and pursue opportunities for new programming, collaboration, and expanded communications. Sophia Edwards, founder and CEO, started her firm after working as chief of staff for the U.S. Marshals Service and has doggedly pursued a “GTSC Days” collaboration on our behalf. Additionally, she worked with GTSC to pursue a number of grants and brought ideas to leadership on how to expand our revenue and gain new members. She is a small business that packs a mighty punch!

GTSC Mid-Tier of the Year


For a number of years, Excelicon has engaged with GTSC on numerous levels — supporting the organization through endorsements, sponsorships, thought leadership, and relationship-building. CEO Tushar Garg has reached out to help GTSC expand its programming and has given his time to elevate the organization’s viability and connection. In addition to volunteering his time, Tushar was one of the first companies to sponsor online programming during COVID. His vote of confidence and support throughout the shift in online programming was invaluable. We are proud that Excelicon is one of our leading mid-tier members.

GTSC Mentor of the Year


As GTSC adapted to online programming AT&T stepped up to help with both volunteer time and mentoring for our small-business members. The AT&T team played an invaluable role in developing GTSC’s Cyber/CISA Days in 2021 with their working knowledge of the areas of interest for our members and our government partners. Their assistance resulted in an extremely robust Cyber Days. Additionally, AT&T and their entire team hosted a mentoring session for GTSC small-business members to learn more about their strategy, meet their team and build relationships with the small-business community. Their work with GTSC is an example of “mentoring in action” and we are proud to name them Mentor of the Year!

GTSC Strategic Partner of the Year

Hagerty Consulting

From the moment the former administrator of FEMA signed on to join the Homeland Security Today Editorial Board, it was full speed ahead! Executive Chairman of Hagerty Consulting Brock Long joined the Board, started writing a monthly column on all things emergency management, and engaged his team to contribute their thought leadership to HSToday — especially the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Add to that joining us for webinars and contributing to our strategic plan and you have one of our most engaged strategic partners … ever! Huge thanks and appreciation to Hagerty Consulting’s contributions and commitment to our mission!

GTSC Strategic Advisor of the Year

Debbie Dowling, Partner, Deep Water Point, LLC

Strategic Advisors to GTSC offer their advice and suggestions on how we continue to lead the homeland community — both in substance and messaging. Debbie has continuously supported GTSC through her endorsement, business development efforts, strategic advice, financial support, and generally being a wonderful spirit to have among us. She has fought for Deep Water Point’s alliance with GTSC, encouraged new companies to join the Coalition, gone on record supporting us through her wonderful endorsement, and continues to think of how she can help GTSC thrive. Debbie has always thought about the needs of GTSC and how supporting us helps the community rise.

Excelling Through Challenging Times: 2021 Homeland Security Today Awards

Stars in the Homeland Community: 2021 Mission Awards

Kristina Tanasichuk
Kristina Tanasichuk
From terrorism to the homeland security business enterprise, for over 20 years Kristina Tanasichuk has devoted her career to educating and informing the homeland community to build avenues for collaboration, information sharing, and resilience. She has worked in homeland security since 2002 and has founded and grown some of the most renowned organizations in the field. Prior to homeland she worked on critical infrastructure for Congress and for municipal governments in the energy sector and public works. She has 25 years of lobbying and advocacy experience on Capitol Hill on behalf of non- profit associations, government clients, and coalitions. In 2011, she founded the Government & Services Technology Coalition, a non-profit member organization devoted to the missions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and all the homeland disciplines. GTSC focuses on developing and nurturing innovative small and mid-sized companies (up to $1 billion) working with the Federal government. GTSC’s mission is to increase collaboration, information exchange, and constructive problem solving around the most challenging homeland security issues facing the nation. She acquired Homeland Security Today (www.HSToday.us) in 2017 and has since grown readership to over one million hits per month and launched and expanded a webinar program to law enforcement across the US, Canada, and international partners. Tanasichuk is also the president and founder of Women in Homeland Security, a professional development organization for women in the field of homeland security. As a first generation Ukrainian, she was thrilled to join the Advisory Board of LABUkraine in 2017. The non-profit initiative builds computer labs for orphanages in Ukraine and in 2018 built the first computer lab near Lviv, Ukraine. At the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she worked with the organization to pivot and raise money for Ukrainian troop and civilian needs. She made several trips to Krakow, Poland to bring vital supplies like tourniquets and water filters to the front lines, and has since continued fundraising and purchasing drones, communications equipment, and vehicles for the war effort. Most recently she was named as the Lead Advisor to the First US-Ukraine Freedom Summit, a three-day conference and fundraiser to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of Ukrainian war veterans through sports and connection with U.S. veterans. She served as President and Executive Vice President on the Board of Directors for the InfraGard Nations Capital chapter, a public private partnership with the FBI to protect America’s critical infrastructure for over 8 years. Additionally, she served on the U.S. Coast Guard Board of Mutual Assistance and as a trustee for the U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation. She graduated from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Citizens’ Academies, in addition to the Marine Corps Executive Forum. Prior to founding the Government Technology & Services Coalition she was Vice President of the Homeland Security & Defense Business Council (HSDBC), an organization for the largest corporations in the Federal homeland security market. She was responsible for thought leadership and programs, strategic partnerships, internal and external communications, marketing and public affairs. She managed the Council’s Executive Brief Series and strategic alliances, as well as the organization’s Thought Leadership Committee and Board of Advisors. Prior to this, she also founded and served for two years as executive director of the American Security Challenge, an event that awarded monetary and contractual awards in excess of $3.5 million to emerging security technology firms. She was also the event director for the largest homeland security conference and exposition in the country where she created and managed three Boards of Advisors representing physical and IT security, first responders, Federal, State and local law enforcement, and public health. She crafted the conference curriculum, evolved their government relations strategy, established all of the strategic partnerships, and managed communications and media relations. Tanasichuk began her career in homeland security shortly after September 11, 2001 while at the American Public Works Association. Her responsibilities built on her deep understanding of critical infrastructure issues and included homeland security and emergency management issues before Congress and the Administration on first responder issues, water, transportation, utility and public building security. Prior to that she worked on electric utility deregulation and domestic energy issues representing municipal governments and as professional staff for the Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce. Tanasichuk has also worked at the American Enterprise Institute, several Washington, D.C. associations representing both the public and private sectors, and the White House under President George H.W. Bush. Tanasichuk also speaks extensively representing small and mid-sized companies and discussing innovation and work in the Federal market at the IEEE Homeland Security Conference, AFCEA’s Homeland Security Conference and Homeland Security Course, ProCM.org, and the Security Industry Association’s ISC East and ACT-IAC small business committee. She has also been featured in CEO Magazine and in MorganFranklin’s www.VoicesonValue.com campaign. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and earned her Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University. She was honored by the mid-Atlantic INLETS Law Enforcement Training Board with the “Above and Beyond” award in both 2019 – for her support to the homeland security and first responder community for furthering public private partnerships, creating information sharing outlets, and facilitating platforms for strengthening communities – and 2024 – for her work supporting Ukraine in their defense against the Russian invasion. In 2016 she was selected as AFCEA International’s Industry Small Business Person of the Year, in 2015 received the U.S. Treasury, Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization Excellence in Partnership award for “Moving Treasury’s Small Business Program Forward,” as a National Association of Woman Owned Businesses Distinguished Woman of the Year Finalist, nominated for “Friend of the Entrepreneur” by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Military Spouse of the Year by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2011, and for a Heroines of Washington DC award in 2014. She is fluent in Ukrainian.

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