Ryan M. Colker, J.D.
Ryan M. Colker is Director of the Consultative Council and Presidential Advisor at the National Institute of Building Sciences where he is responsible for leading the development of findings and recommendations on behalf of the entire building community and transmitting those recommendations to Congress and the Administration. He also serves as staff director of the Council on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate; the National Council of Governments on Building Codes and Standards; the Off-Site Construction Council and the Sustainable Building Industry Council. Prior to joining the Institute, he served as Manager of Government Affairs for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) where he contributed to the development of a robust government affairs program. While at ASHRAE, he assisted in the formation of the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus and contributed to the development and piloting of the Building Energy Quotient, ASHRAE’s building energy labeling program. Previously, Colker served as the Program Director of the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation, where he was the lead staff member in charge of interdisciplinary programs for a 14-member consortium of natural resource professional and scientific organizations. A graduate of the George Washington University Law School with a Juris Doctor, Colker is a licensed member of the Maryland Bar. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, with honors, in environmental policy from the University of Florida.
James W. Walker
Jim is a partner in the Richmond, VA office of Vandeventer Black LLP. He is an AV® rated trial lawyer who has tried over two hundred cases to verdict in the federal and state courts in Virginia and the District of Columbia. Jim focuses on complex civil litigation and risk management, specializing in defense of claims of professional malpractice against design professionals, accountants and lawyers as well as advising professionals on matters of risk, insurance coverage, professional licensure and discipline, and contract negotiation, among other things. Jim’s broad range of trial experience, often defending complex, high stakes litigation, allows him to assess risk and cost early and accurately, advise the client confidently in the early stages of litigation, prosecute the case to successful resolution efficiently, and provide sound, experienced advice on risk avoidance and risk management. Jim has been recognized by The Best Lawyers In America® in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Litigation – Construction and has been selected for Virginia Business’ “Legal Elite” in the area of Civil Litigation. He teaches Trial Advocacy at the University of Richmond School of Law and is a frequent lecturer on trial tactics, civil litigation, professional liability and risk management for design and accounting professionals.
· B.A. University of Virginia (1983)
· J.D., University of Richmond School of Law (1988, with honors)
· Admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of Virginia and the District of Columbia
Michelle E. Crawford
Ms. Michelle E. Crawford currently serves as the Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel for Technologists, Inc., a Virginia-based international engineering, construction, and management-consulting company that provides exceptional professional services to a variety of government and private-sector clients. Ms. Crawford is a distinguished military graduate of the University of Miami where she received her B.A. in Criminal Justice. She obtained her Juris Doctorate from The University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Upon graduation from law school she entered the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) and served fourteen years on active duty, earning a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College and an LLM in Military Law with a concentration in Criminal Law from The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. While in the JAG Corps she held a variety of positions including Chief, Legal Assistance; Trial Counsel and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney; Defense Counsel; Chief of Claims; Senior Defense Counsel; Policy Branch Chief for the Criminal Law Division, Office of The Judge Advocate General; and Regional Defense Counsel. Upon leaving active duty, she remained in the U.S. Army Reserves and currently holds the rank of Colonel, commanding the 154th Legal Operations Detachment, an element of defense attorneys for the eastern half of the United States. In her civilian capacity she served as the District Counsel for the Charleston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Before joining Technologists, Inc., Ms. Crawford deployed to Afghanistan as a government employee with USACE as the Deputy District Counsel for what was then known as Afghanistan Engineer District – North. She added the duties of Chief Administrative Officer with Technologists, Inc. in 2014.
Ron Gross is Deputy General Counsel for Technologists, Inc., a Virginia-based international engineering, construction, and management-consulting company. He earned a Master’s of Law with concentration in Contracts and Fiscal Law from the Army Judge Advocate General’s School and Legal Center in 2012 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri in 1999. Ron was commissioned as an Army Air Defense Artillery Officer in 1997. He transferred into the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in 2000. In all, Ron has served 15 years as an Army Judge Advocate, seven years of which he served as the primary legal advisor to commanding generals. During 2007 and 2008, Ron served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.
Michael H. Payne
Michael H. Payne is a Partner and Chair of the Federal Construction Practice Group at Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC as well as an experienced trial lawyer who has represented contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers in all aspects of federal contract and construction law. His efforts have included assistance in the preparation of bids and proposals, interpretation of contract provisions, filing of protests, negotiation of contracts, and the litigation and settlement of contract claims and appeals.
Michael has represented contractors on numerous types of projects, including those involving military and civil works construction, dredging, hazardous waste remediation, highway construction, public projects for state and local agencies, and federal supply contracts. He has represented clients before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, the Government Accountability Office, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and a number of Federal District and Appellate Courts including the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Michael was formerly the Chief Trial Attorney for the North Atlantic Division of the Army Corps of Engineers. He developed the Federal Construction Contracting Blog, the only blog devoted exclusively to federal construction contracting. The blog is widely read by members of the construction industry for its insight and commentary on topics of interest to federal construction contractors. He has lectured extensively throughout the United States before contractors and government agencies regarding government contract matters.
Michael coauthored Bidding and Managing Government Contracts, published by R. S. Means Co., Inc, and also coauthored chapters in two books on Federal Government contracting published by Thompson/Reuters. In 1994, Michael developed a computer program, FEDCON, which provides federal construction contractors with a hypertextlinked database of information about federal procedures and regulations. He currently presents several seminars each year on a variety of federal government contracting topics including construction, proposal preparation, and ethics in government contracting, while maintaining an active national construction practice.
Charles G. Field, JD, PhD
Charles Field is a Senior Research Fellow and lecturer at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Field teaches basic and advanced negotiation to graduate students in the School of Public Policy. At Maryland he also teaches negotiation in the Office of Executive Programs, School of Public Policy to government officials at the federal, state and local levels, and to non-profit groups. Dr. Field also teaches as an adjunct lecturer at the Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University, and in the Masters of Real Estate Development in the School of Continuing Studies, Georgetown University. He is founder and president of CGF Resolution Group LLC which provides professional training in the areas of negotiation and leadership.
Dr. Field brings a rich background in teaching negotiation concepts and skills. He undertook his negotiation training through the Harvard Program on Negotiation where he participated both as a student and then as a teaching assistant with Roger Fisher. He has extensive experience working in both the public and private sectors in the housing and community development areas
Before joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Field served as Staff Vice President and Regulatory Counsel for the National Association of Home Builders. During his fourteen-year tenure at NAHB he served as chief staff negotiator on complex regulatory and product defect matters. Prior to this private sector experience, Dr. Field served in both policy and regulatory/legal positions at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Dr. Field earned his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University (1971), J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center (1978), Masters of Urban Planning from New York University (1965), and B.A. in government from Cornell University (1962). He has written extensively on housing, housing policy, regulatory policy and negotiation/joint problem solving.
Sean Stadler, AIA, LEED AP
Mr. Stadler is a Design Principal and partner of WDG where he focuses on elevating the firm’s stature in design, with particular emphasis on enhancing the civic realm. He is directly responsible for leading the planning, re-zoning and design of complex, high-profile urban projects, bolstering WDG’s reputation for sustainable and distinctive, mid- and high-rise structures with contemporary urban sensitivity. Mr. Stadler’s diverse experience includes commercial, residential, hospitality, educational, and sporting facilities.
Mr. Stadler takes a strong leadership role and his commitment to design excellence and innovative thinking influences the projects he is involved with. He believes that design is a process and that this process begins not with a brief, program, or even a charette, but rather with the people from which ideas flow. His example shows that leadership is a two-way street; it involves the ability to influence others and be receptive to the needs of those you lead. Sean believes design excellence is not the application of certain techniques or the realization of inborn talent, so much as the development of a latent understanding for the negotiations that are at the heart of architecture; negotiations between site and program, client and designer, architect and engineer.
Prior to joining WDG, Mr. Stadler worked for the noted Cleveland architectural firms of Richard Fleishman and Partners, and Gilberti Spittler International. In 1999 he relocated to Washington, DC to work for the acclaimed firm of David M. Schwarz where he contributed to the design of prestigious national projects including the $650 million American Airlines Center Arena in Dallas, TX, and the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, TX.
Mr. Stadler has been honored with an AIA President’s Award for his service to the profession and was recognized as one of the “rising stars of the AEC industry” by Building Design + Construction Magazine in 2009. He is a recipient of the 2011 AIA Young Architects award where the jury noted that “he is a unique individual of outstanding talent and clear commitment.”