DRTers Transform & Reinvent During Pandemic

DRTers are always reimagining their customers’ work and methods. But in the past 16 months, many DRTers reimagined their own routines, making transformative changes. What new habits and wisdoms will you preserve from the lockdown? Here’s what a few of your colleagues shared:

Susan Guerin, Expert Consultant
“My husband and I teamed up to find online cardio and strength training we could do from home. We’ve encouraged each other and found we get a better workout than before at our YMCA, and we make fewer excuses!”

Shanza Bukhari, Senior Associate
“Because of the lockdown, I was forced to confront things about myself . . . I’ve realized I can’t pour from an empty cup. Now I schedule time for myself—to take a breath, a walk, or a bath—and stick to it, like a meeting I can’t afford to miss.”

Lana Bian, Manager
“I’ve lived in my home for 25 years but this was the first time I’ve enjoyed my yard on a consistent basis . . . In nature, I’ve learned to focus my awareness, using all my senses, hearing birds, bees, and recently the cicadas. I’ve tasted mulberries and honeysuckle.” See her beautiful photos below.

Bruce Cannon, Expert Consultant
“The pandemic really taught me I am more of an extrovert than I realized. I missed the frequent, face-to-face collaboration that a shared workspace affords. I appreciate now more than ever the genuine camaraderie we enjoy in our office.”

Kat Scott, Expert Consultant
“I have a big family—six siblings, 19 nieces and nephews that live in multiple states. We started virtual meetings twice a month, something we hope to continue. It’s been great to feel more connected.”

ice patterns
Lana Bian enjoyed her yard during the lockdown, closely observing nature. This was an ice pattern on her driveway.
Cicada in greenery
“The yard was a big selling point of the house,” says Bian. This year, she got to look closely and admire the bustle of nature there.

Add BD Bonus to Your Summer Plans

Your choice vehicle this summer might be a convertible, top down. But as the federal fiscal year winds down, we have contract vehicles for you to suggest to customers—sweetening your summer with a potential bonus.

Help customers know how to purchase our services quickly and easily—by FY21 end with these options:

  • All customers can access our GSA STARS II contract vehicle and direct award a contract to DRT up to $4M without competition. Place orders by August 30, 2022; complete service work by June 30, 2022.
  • All HHS customers can access our CMS SPARC contract vehicle and direct award a contract to DRT up to $4M without competition. Place orders by Feb. 20, 2022; complete work by February 20, 2027.
  • All customers can access our CIO-SP3 small business contract as either Small Business or Woman-owned Small Business. Orders placed on this vehicle will be competed with other contract holders.
  • All customers can access our 8(a) Joint Venture (TSS-DRJ 8a JV) and direct award a contract up to $25M without competition. Please contact your manager and Dinesh Vesra for more information.
  • All customers can access our Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Joint Venture (TCG-DRT JV) and direct award a contract up to $5M. Please contact your manager and Dinesh Vesra for more information.

DRTers who submit leads between now and September 30 are eligible for a $50 gift card for each lead.  But wait, there’s more… if your lead turns into an actual contract award, you will receive a $1000 bonus and 50 percent of the calculated BD bonus for the resulting contract award.

Email Kelly White and and Brandi Jones to ensure you receive BD credit. You’ll be added to either the Health or Civilian BD Prospect meeting so you can share your idea. Here’s to your big BD summer!

Employee Spotlight: Chrystal Walker

Chrystal Walker with camel
In this Employee Spotlight, Manager Chrystal Walker shares her BD tips and her hopes to travel again—like this jaunt to the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Chrystal Walker in hot air balloon
On her trip, Walker says, “My cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing.”  She took in museums, a mosque, hot air balloons, a speedboat and river boat, sand dunes, surfing, and more!

D.C.-based manager Chrystal Walker works at the FDA where she is a proponent of forging close relationships with her customer, contributing to her business development success. 

Q. You have a particular zeal for bringing leads to the Idea Lab. Tell us how you do that.

A. My customers talk to me. I know them well, little things about them that create a trust. This is on top of delivering the highest quality work. When my customer shares an issue with me, they may not even realize it’s a pain point. I just see that the problem is solvable—and that it’s likely DRT can help.

Q. Wow, you perceive a pain point even if they have not. What other tips can you offer to generate leads? 

A. I’ll use my program as an example. We are doing great work and there’s a saying that “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But I’m always thinking about how we can do it better. I brought the idea of Robotics Process Automation (RPA) to the Idea Lab because the client wanted to improve on their business process. My tip is not to look at just pain points but for improvements as well.

Q. That’s in keeping with the DRT motto “Think Hard, Work Smart,” right?

A. Yes. Recently I mentioned to my customer that instead of signing up each year to extend our task order, they could apply “option years” and use a different contract vehicle (SPARC). This is my job as a manager, to know and secure these for DRT—opportunities to make clients’ jobs easier with our excellent delivery of work.

Q. You’re active with Tiger Teams. Tell us why that is important to you.

A. I was raised as a Christian. My mother was always doing community service work so you can say she inspired me. So, I chair DRT Cares. We took things to a whole  new level during the pandemic, publishing an employee cookbook to raise money for our corporate charity YLF. I also chair the Business Development Tiger Team which has been more educational, another skill set for me to learn. I encourage everyone to join a Tiger Team!

Q. The last 16 months has been a ring of fire. What have you learned that you think will change your life going forward?

A. I’m a big fan of paranormal books and before the pandemic, I would have been satisfied to stay in the house and read. Now I feel compelled to go do things, especially travel. Since tomorrow is not promised, I don’t want to think, “Did I spend my life reading or did I really make the most of it?” Life is way too short.

Gen Z Comes to DRT: Welcome Class of 2021

Seven new grads have traded caps and gowns for DRT swag as they launched their careers in our midst. A few fun facts about them . . .

Favorite first week moments?

“Meeting the team and learning all the cool things CPAIS can do.“ ~Kevin Taylor, USDA CPAIS

“Going over the code base with one of the senior developers—daunting to see the sheer size of the project, but exciting to get a feel for exactly what I will be working on.” ~Matt Sams, CDC iFund 

Their summer recommendations?

Dune by Frank Herbert. Amazing sci-fi classic and coming out as a movie this fall.” ~David Bauer


“Give a listen to Rezz. Aggressive yet hypnotic style of midtempo electronic music.” ~Matt Sams

“Lee Chang-Dong’s 2018 drama ‘Burning.’ So many small details for a keen viewer, and Steven Yeun’s performance is phenomenal.” ~Dominic Faustino

Gen Z traits that resonate with them?

“Saving money. That’s true, I almost never spend money.” ~David Bauer

“Continuous learning and growth mindset. I’m a big believer—and DRT seems to be, too.” ~Kevin Taylor

“Innovative and independent. Still, I recognize the need for teamwork and appreciate the incredible support from my boss and team if I need any guidance.” ~Dominic Faustino

Top row, left to right: Dominic Faustino (Towson U.), David Bauer (Virginia Tech), Wallita Busalee (George Mason U.) ; Middle: Kevin Taylor (James Madison U.), Kelly White (Howard U.), Matt Sams (Emory U.): Bottom: Paprika Berry (Simmons U.)

Happy Summer!

We are excited to welcome the Class of 2021. The fortitude and adaptability they demonstrated this year in exceptional circumstances will serve them and our company well.

Welcome, too, to DRT’s new Vice President of our Civilian Accounts Richard Klemmer (below). He’s a former customer of DRT’s, having served as the Deputy CIO with the Department of Commerce.

May you continue to glean lessons from the past 16 months—like those DRTers share in this issue of The DiRT—that will serve your personal and professional growth. Your transformation fuels the company’s wellbeing as it does your own.

Hope your summer is filled with great movies, books, and cherished reunions with friends and family.


Richard Klemmer at gala with wife
Pictured here pre-pandemic at a benefit gala with his wife Yolanda, Richard Klemmer is DRT’s new Vice President of Civilian Accounts. During the lockdown, he took time to focus on his health and workouts, to plant a garden, and to play with his Covid puppy, a now one-year-old Goldendoodle.

Sync Your Calendar


All Month: Donate to DRT Cares’ Perfect Match: Bikes 4 Kidz, promoting a happier, healthier childhood. Sponsored by Tess Palmer. Email DRT Cares: Perfect Match to get your donation matched.

Friday, July 30: New Employee Orientation (Tentative)

TBD: New Associate Training & Engagement (NATE)


All Month: Donate to Youth Leadership Foundation, DRT’s corporate charity—with 20 years of mentoring achievers and building character. Email DRT Cares: Perfect Match to get your donation matched.

Friday, August 28: New Employee Orientation (Tentative)