Who We Are
Zenius Corporation is a HUBZone- certified, Minority-Owned Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) firm comprised of highly experienced and exceptionally knowledgeable industry experts offering Grants, Financials Management, and IT Optimization domain expertise. As trusted advisors to our clients, we offer expertise in solving complex and multi-dimensional operational and technical challenges.
Zenius represents over 20 years of expertise developing and providing Grants Management systems and solutions, IT Assessment and Optimization systems and services, and Financial Management systems and consulting.
Our consultants have designed and managed complex information technology programs, center-of-excellence-designated grants management systems, and e-Business solutions that are optimized to reduce service costs and operating expenses while maximizing system efficiencies. Their clients include commercial companies, federal agencies, and state and local governments.
Our mission is to discover, develop, demonstrate, and deliver the value to our customers that’s invisible to our peers – through business consulting, technology consulting, and domain expertise.
Zenius aims to become a world leader in implementing digital solutions that improve the future of humanity.
Our Core Values
Our core values are HITEQ – Honesty, Integrity, Teamwork, Expertise and, above all, Quality.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Develops and implements Zenius’ business strategy, growth vision, and provides the day-to-day management and oversight of the company’s operations. Aligns the company’s services and core capabilities with creative partnering approaches, ensuring that clients receive innovative solutions to their challenges.
With a hands-on and solution-oriented approach, serves as a trusted advisor to clients, utilizing his expertise in technology to drive success and innovation.
Barbara Tengs, PMP
Director of Business Development and Program Management
Serves as a business advisor, focusing on opportunity review and business development. Interacts with business partners to form winning teaming arrangements and develops proposal win strategies. Acts as proposal manager, developing the proposal writing templates, coordinating timely proposal development including color reviews, pricing, and finalization.
As a PMP, oversees Zenius project portfolio and ensures projects follow PMI Program Management principals to ensure risks are minimized, high quality is delivered, and our clients are satisfied
Director of Growth
Vaishali Sikotra brings extensive skills and expertise to drive the company’s growth. With her fresh perspective and innovative ideas, she fosters a positive and thriving company culture that encourages growth, innovation, and employee satisfaction. She specializes in recruiting, marketing, and business development to identify and attract top talent. She displays a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and collaborative approach in enabling the team to grow and innovate together. Expert in communication and creating/maintaining documentation, she also has a Master’s degree in Allied Health.
Director of Operations
Jacqueline Pingel serves as Director of Operations where she oversees operational performance and strategic functional initiatives, including business processes and practices. She is responsible for driving the Zenius leadership team agenda for business operations, business technology, and special projects.
Jacqueline has an extensive background in software development and services best practices, including experience with training, consulting, quality assurance, business analysis, and software development methodologies with a special focus on operational excellence in the education and nonprofit sectors. Prior roles include software sales and account management services as well as university administration.
Board of Advisors
Dr. Danny Harris is a retired Federal Executive (SES) with 34 years of experience in information technology and financial management. Dr Harris is now the owner of a Single Member LLC named DA Harris Consulting, LLC., specializing in Executive Advisory Services in areas such as IT Investment Management, Financial Management Systems, Information Systems Implementations, and Project Management.
Dr. Harris served as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Department of Education from 2008 until 2016. As the CIO, he managed the Department’s enterprise-wide IT services, including its IT infrastructure, desktops, network, disaster recovery, and printing services, representing a billion dollars in annual IT spend. Additionally, he maintained the Department’s most mission critical Financial Management Systems, including the Accounting System, Contracts and Purchasing System, Travel Management System, the Department’s award winning Grants Management System, and its Web presence.
Prior to becoming the CIO, Dr. Harris served as the Deputy CFO from 2004 –2008. He oversaw financial management, internal controls and audit resolution, financial systems, contracts and procurement, and grants policy issues. He managed staff responsible for ensuring Department funds were spent appropriately, and staff responsible for the Department daily financial operations.
Dr. Harris has served on the Board of Advisors for the Information Technology (IT) Department at the College of Southern Maryland from 1994 to present. He is also currently an adjunct professor at Howard University, teaching courses in Computer Technology. Prior to his tenure at Howard University, he taught at George Mason University, in disciplines such as Organizational Communications Management, Research Methodology and Design. Dr. Harris was recognized as one of the Top 100 Information Technology Leaders for 2012 by ComputerWorld.
A native of North Carolina, Dr. Harris holds a B.A. in Communications from North Carolina A&T State University, and an M.A. and PhD. in Organizational Management from Howard University.
Steve Cooper is a top Information Technology talent and a dynamic change agent, having served in executive management positions in both public and private industry for many decades. He was the Senior Vice President and CIO of the American National Red Cross and led a team at Eli Lilly in the early 90’s that first used the internet to interact with patients and share disease management information. At Corning, he led the adoption of Peoplesoft’s newly released Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management software to automate those processes. He was named by President George W. Bush as the first CIO of the newly formed Department of Homeland Security under Tom Ridge, where he guided the deployment of the department’s network and infrastructure to combine 22 components and more than 100,000 employees. He stood up Day One IT operations at DHS headquarters, formed the National Information Exchange Model for Information Sharing (NIEM), and guided the deployment of the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). He developed DHS’ first IT Strategic Plan, then launched DHSNet. He later served as the Acting Assistant Administrator for Information Services and CIO for the FAA and was the Deputy CIO as well as IT Director and CIO of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, where he oversaw a team of 400 professionals. Mr. Cooper’s last federal government position was as the CIO at the Department of Commerce, where he was the Secretary’s primary IT advisor across the Department’s 12 bureaus. He was the Senior Accountable Official for Cybersecurity and chaired the Department’s CIO Council. He led the development and implementation of the Department’s enterprise-wide IT program and served as an adviser on mission and business IT systems and services.
Mr. Cooper has been recognized for his talents: in 2007 he was named one of the Top CIOs in America by CIO Insight, and in 2003, he was named the Government Civilian Executive of the Year by Government Computer News. He was also named a Titan of Technology by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, was a recipient of the Fed 100 Award recognizing the 100 Most Influential People in Federal Government Technology and was named by the Washington Post as one of the Five to Watch while serving in the White House. Mr. Cooper has served as a board of directors member and officer for several nonprofits and humanitarian organizations. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, he is now not only a Zenius Advisor, but also currently a member of Dell’s Federal Advisory Board, T-Mobile’s Federal Advisory Council, and Samsung’s Federal Advisory Council.
Successful senior executive and entrepreneur with over 40 years combined federal government and private sector information technology (IT) experience in building, leading and motivating successful business and technical teams. Specific expertise in getting people and organizations to work together to achieve collective and individual success; and, in working collaboratively at all levels to help organizations become more effective and successful.
Professional experience includes:
- Providing business advice and guidance to senior executives of public and private technology companies
- Owning, building, leading and selling two successful IT companies
- Over 10 years of federal Senior Executive Service (SES) experience building and leading successful IT organizations and programs
- Leading IT organizations with over 1,250 members and managing IT budgets over $350M
- Engineering an agile and secure modernized IT infrastructure supporting over 100,000 government employees and 50,000 business and government partners
- Managing, modernizing and refreshing IT assets valued at over $900M
- Consolidating and maturing a $1.5B IT infrastructure investment
- Managing the development and maintenance of mission-critical defense, government and business systems with national and international impact.
Mr. Lee’s federal government experience included serving as CIO (Acting) & Deputy CIO for the U.S. Census Bureau; Program Manager for Enterprise IT Shared Services for the Department of Treasury & U.S. Census Bureau; and, Chief Engineer & Director of Infrastructure Architecture & Engineering for the IRS.
Since retiring from federal government service in 2017, Mr. Lee has taken on the role of CEO for the Advisory Group, whose focus is to provide business advisory services to assist CEOs of private and public technology companies in building successful businesses. He was also the Vice President, Federal Civilian Agency Solutions, Technatomy Corporation and the Portfolio Director for Center for Veterans Enterprise Transformation, MITRE Corporation.
Mr. Lee holds a BA degree from the US Naval Academy and an MS Degree in Technology of Management from The American University.
Meeting Grantor Challenges During Catastrophic Times
This white paper articulates challenges that grantors face during catastrophic times, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, and recommends mitigating approaches to deal with problems effectively. With over $940B set aside for grants and loans in CARES act, grantor agencies have to step up their operations significantly…
Grant Making is Financial Managment
While 26 Federal agencies award over $700B every year in Federal grants, there is still a misconception that grants management is separate from financial management. This white paper makes an argument that financial and accounting requirements must be an integral part of every grant management platform. Robust financial management is part of the grants management ecosystem…
Grants Management in the Trump Administration
It is evident from the title, that this article could have many different meanings. One might think it is talking about the impact the new Administration will have on grant programs, grant contracting, grants reporting, grants workforce or grants operations? The answer is, yes. This white paper will not only briefly opine on the speculated impact on grant programs but more specifically…
Grants Management Maturity Index
The US Government currently spends over $700 Billion annually on various grant programs. These include everything from one-year grants to block grants, discretionary grants, and non-discretionary grants. Over a ten-year period, this represents over $7 trillion dollars of taxpayer’s money or over 20% of the Federal budget. In fact, grant-making is such a mission-critical line of business that some entities have…
Zenius IT Ecosystem Assessment
IT Ecosystem Assessments are a new breed of analysis that is essential to complement service and customer-centricity, without which it is hard for businesses to sustain and grow. Methodologies for optimizing businesses have evolved. From the early days of Deming models to contemporary Six Sigma interventions and analysis, there are both simplistic and complex approaches available for businesses of all sizes to…
Department of Education Dashboard
The Department of Education manages large-scale applications and data management systems to collect, store, and present information related to various parts of the grants management lifecycle. The G5 application tracks and calculates grant financials, the EDFacts system captures performance data on state grants, and the suite of Risk Management Service (RMS) systems store and provides the framework for the analysis of…
Client-Side PMO for Federal Government IT
Failed IT can cost the federal government billions of dollars annually. In fact, according to the non-profit Program Management Institute’s 8th Global Project Management Survey results, titled Pulse of the Profession®, government organizations waste $101 million for every $1 billion spent on projects and programs. For Federal IT projects, these failures not only represent wasted…
Federal Grants Management and The DATA Act
A Synergy to benefit the American people— for increased government accountability, optimized performance, reduced waste and overhead, thereby freeing up more tax dollars for the purpose. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, now known commonly as the DATA Act, was enacted on May 9, 2014. The DATA Act represents the first-of-its-kind legislation that seeks to operationalize the concept of…
JCXS-A Division of DLA, Cloud Readiness Assessment
Joint Contingency and Expeditionary Services (JCXS) division of Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) provides Department-wide secure sourcing capability and ensures visibility and transparency across multiple platforms for strategic decision making. JCXS had various strategic goals, including assessing the readiness and then migrating some of their…