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CHESS Change of Charter

By Ellyn Kocher, PEO EIS Public Affairs

New PD Mr. Thomas Neff (right) accepting the CHESS Charter from Mr. Douglas Wiltsie (center), as Former PD Mr. Brendan Burke (left) looks on.
New PD Mr. Thomas Neff (right) accepting the CHESS Charter from Mr. Douglas Wiltsie (center), as Former PD Mr. Brendan Burke (left) looks on.

A ceremony was held July 10 at Fort Belvoir, Va., to officially recognize the change of charter for Computer Hardware Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS). Project Director Mr. Brendan Burke, who has led CHESS since April 2011, transitioned leadership of the project office to Mr. Tom Neff in a ceremony hosted by Mr. Douglas Wiltsie, PEO EIS.

PD CHESS is the Army’s one-stop shop for commercial IT, and manages more than $30 billion worth of contracts. CHESS provides a no-fee, flexible procurement strategy for Army users to buy COTS hardware, software and services, leveraging the Army’s buying power by creating competition among vendors and consolidating requirements for contracts. The CHESS Consolidated Buy is the best example of this ingenuity, providing the most cost-effective approach to fulfilling user requirements for desktop and notebook computers and printers for the Army at the Enterprise level. The CB directly supports the Army CIO/G6 strategy for acquiring products which are fully compliant with Federal Desktop Computing regulations as well as Department of Defense and Army security and interoperability standards.

During Mr. Burke’s tenure, the Information Technology Enterprise Solutions (ITES-2S and ITES-2H) contracts, estimated to be worth up to $27 billion over a nine-year period, have gained traction as the primary source of IT equipment supporting the enterprise at a reasonable cost.

The ITES-Software (ITES-SW) was crafted as one of Mr. Burke's initiatives to provide a centralized contract vehicle for specialty software products not currently on a ESI or ELA, but that have a Certificate of Networthiness (CON).

“Because of Brendan’s leadership, [the ITES-SW] effort will streamline the Acquisition process for the Army by allowing customers to go directly to the contract vehicle and purchase software that can be placed directly on the network,” said Mr. Wiltsie in his remarks at the ceremony. “Brendan has also been instrumental in building the case for small business competition within the CHESS marketplace, which has saved a lot of money and created opportunities.”

Mr. Burke leaves PD CHESS to attend the National Defense University’s prestigious Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy Acquisition Course (formerly ICAF), one of only seven acquisition employees selected this year for this prestigious opportunity.

“Brendan’s departure will be a monumental loss for PEO, but it is a tremendous gain for the Army and the Acquisition Corps,” said Mr. Wiltsie at the ceremony today.

Mr. Tom Neff has a long history of program management leadership within PEO EIS, having served most recently as the Deputy Project Manager for the General Fund Business System (PM GFEBS). Among his many accomplishments at GFEBS, Mr. Neff championed contract actions for GFEBS Sustainment and the Army Contract Writing System (ACWS) and worked tirelessly on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) data center migration efforts during a time of continuing budget restraints.

Mr. Neff also previously served as the Project Director, Reserve Component Automation Systems (RCAS), and as the Deputy Product Manager for the Joint-Automatic Identification Technology (J-AIT), which has since aligned under the Product Director Automated Movement and Identification Solutions (PD AMIS).

“I am excited that you are a part of the team again, Tom, and I look forward to your continuing the great work that Brendan has started at CHESS,” remarked Mr. Wiltsie. “You have a legacy of strong leadership at PEO EIS and we are fortunate to have you on board at CHESS.”

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Posted July 11, 2014