By Lynnie Martin
February 21, 2013
Alex Mavroukakis says there is never a dull moment in contracting. As a Contracting Officer for the Department of Education, Mavroukakis works to make sure the Federal Student Aid acquisition workforce has the supplies and training it needs to complete its job. He says that his career is dynamic because he manages different programs and has a broad spectrum of activities with which he is involved.
Recently, Mavroukakis worked to transition almost 100 Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs) into the new standards, which was required within three months. He is also constantly working to maximize acquisitions from small businesses. Working with small business owners, Mavroukakis says, is “invigorating and inspirational,” and he is happy to do his part to help American businesses.
Mavroukakis began his professional career in 2004 working at Bank of America as a Wealth Asset Manager. Throughout his career at the bank, he learned how to become client-focused, always strive to deliver top-notch customer service, be truthful and ethical, and treat money as a delicate topic; skills which have served him well in the acquisition field.
Mavroukakis described in particular his work with foreigners, who came into the bank to open a single account, and soon became overwhelmed with all the offers and specials that the bank advertised to draw in more customers. Mavroukakis went above and beyond by meeting with these prospective clients with a translator of their respective languages during his own lunch periods to ensure that he explained the bank’s offers in an honest and clear manner. It was these personal interactions which got Mavroukakis interested in negotiations and business deals, and when he joined public service, he came in through a business-related intern program as a Contract Specialist with the General Services Administration.
Mavroukakis worked at GSA for three years before moving to the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid in 2008 to pursue alternative acquisition opportunities and diversify his acquisition portfolio. At the Department of Education, he discovered that he really enjoyed the pre-award portion of acquisition, the process that the acquisition team goes through in order to solicit and complete requirements. Negotiations in particular give Mavroukakis a rush and a love for his profession.
Mavroukakis feels so passionate about the acquisition field that he started and currently oversees operations for an organization called Rising Acquisition Professionals Community (RAP-C). He felt that although acquisition professionals receive a good deal of training, there is still a need for supplemental training for entry to mid-level members of the workforce.
In today’s lean federal and private sector acquisition environments, acquisition professionals are in extremely high demand and many new hires end up being rushed into challenging situations before they are ready. With RAP-C serving as an independent organization that works closely with various federal, private and non-profit agencies and organizations, Mavroukakis is working to build a resource that provides training, as well as developmental and social activities, and other opportunities for members of the acquisition community. With a solid core partnership, enthusiastic membership base, and, not to mention, an always large pool of speakers and volunteers, RAP-C is serving a community of over 650 registered professionals and continues to grow.
Mavroukakis’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. In recognition of RAP-C, he was selected as a 2012 Public Sector Partner of the Year recipient by the Professional Services Council. Mavroukakis is very grateful that the acquisition community has been so supportive of RAP-C’s mission and vision. He has never had a shortage of executives eager to speak during various RAP-C events. Furthermore, the Department of Education has been very flexible and supportive with the promotion of RAP-C. The organization is growing rapidly and he would like to encourage acquisition professionals to get involved or spread the word by going to www.rapcomm.org and subscribing to the distribution list for updates on upcoming events and activities. Additionally, if anyone is interested in participating at the organization level of RAP-C, Mavroukakis asks that you contact him directly at email@example.com
For more information about cross-agency organizations, check out the YGL website at www.younggov.org.
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(Image via SkillUp/Shutterstock.com)
By Lynnie Martin
February 21, 2013