David Slotwinski is a proven, dynamic leader, manager, public administrator and change agent with over 30 years of progressive experience in operations, strategic planning, personnel and resource management, training, and sales and marketing. His demonstrated abilities include conducting gap analysis, creating visions, developing and implementing transformation and corporate communication strategies as well as building coalitions and teams. He has over six years of CEO/COO equivalent experience leading multifaceted and distributive organizations within the United States Army and Department of Defense; nine years experience directing Army recruiting sales and marketing activities at the local, district, regional and national levels, and ten years experience building coalitions and partnerships with senior executives from the military, government, academic, civic and private sectors. Additionally, he has supervised numerous military personnel, government employees, and contractors of various grades and has experience in all aspects of personnel management to include recruitment; selection; awards; promotions; employee and labor relations; discipline; administration; organizational development; training; and oversight of health, safety and security programs.
His actions as the CEO equivalent for a military organization with over 2700 employees and more than 20,000 customers best demonstrate Dave's ability to lead change. Upon taking charge he immediately faced numerous challenges across all spectrums of the organization which was stagnant and riddled with outdated business practices and technology, a lack of a customer focus, poor internal controls, and less than adequate resources. Within the first few weeks, he made several field site visits to assess conditions and then formulated a plan to transition the organization. He developed a holistic plan and focused simultaneously on enhancing the business practices, building horizontal and vertical consensus for reform, while obtaining necessary resources.
Dave first directed that a top-to-bottom review of business practices be conducted with representatives from both stakeholders and customers. Additionally he went after immediate resources to fund an independent review of the existing information technology structure. Upon completion, the results of both reviews were integrated and appropriate action plans developed. As the organizational leader/CEO, he personally took on the task of building consensus to support and endorse the transformation among the organization's board of director's and stakeholders which included elements of the Department of Defense (DOD), the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the service personnel chiefs, and service recruiting commanders. Through persuasive analytical arguments he prevailed and obtained the external support and initial resources necessary to launch a major transformation. Meanwhile internally, Dave directed major efforts towards standardization of business practices, reassessed the organization's command and control structure, revamped training and began to implement the business practice reforms identified in the top-to-bottom review. Lacking metrics to measure progress towards transformation, he established a series of metrics and systematic reviews to ensure milestones and objectives were achieved.
To ensure synchronization of all facets of the transformation, he next integrated all major programs and efforts into a strategic plan and balanced scorecard. Each supporting strategy was assigned a champion and routine staff calls and briefings were replaced by systematic reviews of each strategy and its supporting programs.
Additionally, Dave established a communication plan to ensure all customers and stakeholders were informed of the status of the transformation and the implementation of new policies and procedures.
During his 30 year Army career, Dave had the opportunity to lead and supervise not only military personnel, but also government civilian employees, and contractors of various grades. He has dealt with disgruntled employees (military and civilian), as well as unions. Dave has established awards and recognition programs and has always led from the front.
Dave knows and understands the importance of communicating with all employees and has developed communication strategies to convey vision, intent, and change. As an example, in his last organization he conducted over 130 field-site visits to the 65 nationally distributed locations, hosting town-hall meetings with all employees. Other mediums and forums he has used to help "get the word out" include newsletters, magazines, websites, training seminars and videotapes. Additionally, he trained and used his subordinate leaders and staff to help assess the work environment, review polices and to ensure equality and fairness.
Having served almost 10 years in the Army's fast paced Recruiting Command, Dave fully understands and appreciates what it takes to obtain results in a time sensitive, tough environment. However, to illustrate his ability to obtain results, there is no finer example than the major transformation he initiated and led from 2002-2004.
Being significantly under funded, one of the most immediate needs he faced was to obtain resources in a constrained environment. Having conducted a top-to-bottom review and having successfully built consensus, he took his analytical arguments to his board and stakeholders, successfully lobbying for a budget increase of approx $51 million over his previously approved budget. However, needing additional funds to support and establish a major information technology acquisition program, he again took his arguments to his board of director equivalents and once again prevailed, obtaining an additional $34 million. These examples attest to Dave's effectiveness in conceptualizing, documenting, packaging, selling, and promoting programs.
Lacking effective performance measures within the organization, he next went about the process of determining standards and measures for all critical tasks and functions. In doing so, he faced numerous obstacles internal to the organization as this had never been done before. Ultimately through trial and error, an effective communications plan, and perseverance, Dave again prevailed and established a series of performance measures. As the metric system matured, he institutionalized the program into a series of quarterly reviews which significantly improved his situational awareness in the organization's nationwide distributive corporate environment.
Army recruiting, unlike most military organizations, is a big business. Consequently, Dave's progressive recruiting assignments nurtured and developed his ability and skills to access, develop and implement best business practice solutions within organizations.
His most recent CEO equivalent experience demonstrates his application of these skills. When he assumed leadership and responsibility for the organization and its mission, Dave found business practices outdated and little respect among the customers for how his organization performed and provided its services. Within 18 months this was turned around as he systematically went about improving the business practices and customer service. Key was demonstrating early on a commitment to change and improving the business processes. This was demonstrated by conducting three weeks of extensive workshops with active customer participation. The result was a road map for business practice reforms that became a major part of the transformation effort. Policies and procedures identified during these workshops that could be easily changed and implemented were immediately executed and communicated to the customers. Internally he revamped budget and buying processes looking for smarter ways of doing business. As an example, he immediately changed how furniture was procured; establishing a blanket purchase agreement that almost doubled his buying power. Additionally, he restructured expensive applicant housing contracts as well as information technology contracts, developed internal controls and procedures that ultimately produced substantial savings. Dave established systematic reviews and metrics to evaluate and access the impact of his program decisions. To ensure future prosperity, he partnered with several external governmental agencies to help develop the analytics necessary to support location and staffing optimization modeling.
Forging consensus for transformation inside of government was no easy feat and it required Dave to use all his skills. Early in his Army career, he learned the importance of communication and establishing coalitions both internally and externally. He has approximately 10 years experience building consensus and cooperation among multiple, diverse players and customers consisting of senior executives from the military, government, academic, civic and private sectors.
Understanding the importance of relationships and politics, Dave is a persuasive negotiator, who knows how to balance being analytical, with being politically attuned. He knows the importance of establishing a communications plan that keeps all internal and external parties informed of decisions, as well as the status of all ongoing initiatives.
Quotes from Dave's performance appraisals:
"Analytically picks apart business practices and identifies reforms; then painstakingly builds consensus through persuasive analytical arguments and wins in resource fights..." (2004)
"Extraordinary business acumen and stunning management..." (2004)
"Detailed functional analyses generated more than 50 business improvements, with over 40- many complex and high leverage- delivered during first 18 months..." (2004)
"Master of synchronization..." (2002)
"He translated my strategic vision and eight goals into a command-wide strategic plan and then implemented it." (2001)
"...keen focus on mission and people has produced improvements in every conceivable area." (2000)
"...superb leader and coach..." (2000)
"...ability to identify critical tasks and tenacity in getting difficult things done is extraordinary." (2000)
Dave's academic and military education
Master of Arts: Business, Webster University, St Louis, MO (1984) Bachelor of Arts (Summa cum laude): Political Science and International Affairs, Widener College, Chester, PA (1974)
United States Army: Executive Military Leadership/Strategy School (US Army War College, Carlisle, PA, 1997) Senior Military Leadership School (Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS, 1986) Staff and Resource Management School (Combined Arms Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, KS 1982)
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