Innovate’s Salesforce Product Owner Team Lead Recognized as Salesforce MVP

Stacey Cogswell, Innovate’s Salesforce Product Owner Team Lead, was recently recognized as a Salesforce MVP ( for a 4th year. Salesforce MVPs are leaders in the Trailblazer Community, an online learning ecosystem for all things Salesforce. We had a conversation with Stacey about her Salesforce work and some of her favorite things about Innovate.

  1. What is your role at Innovate?

I am the Product Owner Team Lead. The Product Owner does just that; they own the product. A lot of my day-to-day work involves translating between the client and our development team. I meet with the client to understand their needs and pain points. I meet with the development team to make sure they have all the information they need to be able to build. I then listen to the development team about what they’ve built and translate that back to the client. And we iterate from there. Anytime we show the client something we’ve built, there are always aspects we can change. It’s a repeating cycle of enhancements and improvements.

In addition to being the Product Owner, I am also the Product Owner Team Lead. I lead people on the product team, which includes other product owners, business analysts, and support specialists. I streamline our processes, remove hurdles or obstacles our employees face, and am available to assist in any way that I can.

  1. What has been one of your favorite projects while working at Innovate?

I’ve been singularly focused on one large project the entire time I’ve been at Innovate. I’m working on the Mission Transformation through Salesforce pilot we’re doing for the Office of Pesticides Programs within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It’s actually been really fun to help them take a primarily paper-based process and turn it into a digital system. I get to watch the OPP embrace the benefits of this digital transformation, which has been incredibly rewarding. One unexpected benefit was the switch to telework due to COVID-19, which the EPA has never had to do before. But because of our digital transformation pilot, they were able to use our cloud-based system in Salesforce to continue operations.

  1. Tell us about your professional growth while at Innovate. How have you been supported throughout your career here?

Innovate has absolutely been supportive and encouraging of my professional growth. In my year and a half that I’ve been with Innovate, I began as a Product Owner and am now the Product Owner Team Lead. So that is growth right there.

Innovate has also been very encouraging of the work I do within the Salesforce ecosystem. Since I’ve been at Innovate, I have been designated as a Salesforce Analytic Champion ( and have learned more about Salesforce’s advanced analytic tools. I now get to share that by implementing Analytics Cloud for our clients and by hosting workshops for my coworkers to help them learn how to use these tools. There are certain things I knew I wanted to do to grow professionally—for example, I wanted to keep using Trailhead to learn more about the Salesforce platform—but there are other things that Innovate has suggested. Earlier this month, Innovate provided training in the Scrum framework for anyone who was interested. As soon as I heard about it, I knew it was something that I wanted to do. And so, thanks to Innovate, I am now a certified Professional Scrum Master, which allows me to run projects more efficiently.

And then there’s a whole third leg of growth that I see professionally, in the example set by my manager, Rebecca Thomas, and other managers like Eric Baptist, my counterpart on the technical side. They’re both phenomenal leaders and watching how they lead and help grow the individuals on their teams becomes inspiration for me to do likewise with my team.

  1. What are some of your passion projects?

My passion is all things Salesforce! I have a Salesforce podcast called Salesforce Campfire Stories. My co-host Justice Sikakane, Sr. and I share stories of Trailblazers in the Salesforce ecosystem and how they have overcome obstacles—personal, professional, or environmental—to reach incredible heights. The Trailblazer community is an incredible group of people with remarkable stories full of inspiration and encouragement.

My other passion project is Salesforce Saturdays, a monthly networking event I host in Wilmington, North Carolina. We meet the first Saturday of every month (right now we’re virtual but will meet in-person again once it’s safe). It’s for locals who work with Salesforce in any capacity to come together, network, share what we’ve learned, and maybe learn something new together. I am passionate about what Salesforce can do for people, for professions, and for companies that I’ll share it with anybody who will listen and give people a microphone to be able to share their own stories.

You can listen to Salesforce Campfire Stories here. (link:

  1. What are the main career lessons you’ve learned so far?

One area I’ve learned grown in recently is my confidence to speak up more. This may look like having the confidence to make a case for a new tool I know will be beneficial for my team or speaking up to a client when they want to rush through a vital quality check. Using Innovate’s value of “Love and Respect Human Beings,” I’m learning that speaking up confidently allows me to improve my and my team’s work.

Another lesson I’ve learned is to allow myself a bit of grace to fail. With innovation, there is potential for benefit, but there is also risk. As long as you’re innovating in a safe, responsible way—by communicating with a manager, doing research, getting proper approval, understanding risks, and putting safeguards in place—it’s okay to take small, incremental risks.

This growth has come from time and experience, as well as surrounding myself with support. I have incredible teammates who have my back even if my innovation does fail, a manager with whom I have a good working relationship who is incredibly supportive, and a challenging environment that inspires me to try new things. I have my own back, too, because I planned ahead and put safeguards in place. Then I move forward, boldly but cautiously, and iterate from there. There will be failure, but it’s not the end of the road. Take the lessons learned, apply them, and keep moving forward.

Interested in reading more of Stacey’s career lessons? She recently wrote a blog post for Salesforce Admin about how she got involved with Salesforce and her top three ways you can take your Salesforce Administrator career to the next level. (link:

  1. Any final thoughts or words of wisdom?

When people ask, “What is your favorite thing about Innovate?” I always mention the culture. While our three core values are not your typical marketing-approved buzzword-heavy values, they are genuine and authentic. I love being part of a company that lives out their values every day and in every project. And yes, we’re hiring! (link:

Innovate! Proud to Launch Drone and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) Services

Innovate announces the launch of our drone and small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) services as a powerful, cost-effective method of aerial data collection. We have FAA Part 107 certified pilots on staff with the skills and know-how to produce a range of products. A drone can generate high-resolution orthoimagery, elevation products, point cloud, 3D models, and other high-resolution static imagery. These products can be used for a variety of purposes, such as inspections, architectural planning, asset inventory and management, and marketing materials. Using drones and sUAS can also drastically reduce costs when compared to conventional surveying inspection or mapping workflows.

Innovate leverages our experience as a geospatial company to provide expertise in post-processing and analysis while maintaining a customer-focused perspective. We have certified staff members with a combined 14 years of piloting experience who can take customers through the process and spectrum of products and help evaluate the best fit for the customer’s needs. Additionally, as an Esri Silver Business Partner, we are experts at Esri technology throughout the drone workflow, from Esri Sight Scan to Drone2Map to ArcGIS Pro.

How does it work? First, Innovate performs a project evaluation to understand what the customer wants and determines whether drone services are the best fit. The next stage is flight planning and area of interest selection. Detailed flight planning allows us to estimate flight time and end-product characteristics, such as overlap, resolution, coverage, and ideal ground control point (GCP) placement to improve the accuracy of end products. We then place survey-grade GCPs. After GCP placement, we fly our drones and collect the data. Finally, we process the data and meet back with the client to explain the final products.

For our pilot flight, Innovate’s Max Marno worked with the Community Development Department of the City of Driggs, Idaho to utilize drone services for planning and marketing purposes. The City is developing a new aquatic center to be constructed summer 2021. Using drones at the future site of construction, Max was able to use sUAS to produce several key deliverables for the City. These deliverables included a 3D model for marketing purposes, a digital elevation model (DEM) for architectural planning, and other integral decision-making data on site selection.

Wondering how to leverage drone services for your project? For more information, please contact us at or (703) 922-9090.

Innovate Awarded NOAA NMITS Contract 

Innovate is excited to announce the award of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Mission Information Technology Services (NMITS) $2.1B Small Business BPA as part of Reston Consulting Group’s (RCG) team. NMITS is a NOAA- wide contract for enterprise IT services that advances NOAA’s mission by achieving excellence in IT service delivery. 

The team RCG assembled is full of award winning and customer service-focused members that are expert in meeting essential service requirements both now and for the future. Innovate will provide focused geospatial and Salesforce related support for NOAA’s digital transformation journey.  Calling our on success with the NOAA Greater Atlantic Regional Fishing Office IT Support program, we look forward to reengaging NOAA.   

The NMITS team’s collective expertise and certifications are unparalleled and include CMMI-SVC, CMMI-DEV, ISO 27001, ISO 20000, ISO 9001, Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) SIN, Managed Hybrid Cloud secure hosting platform; and ISO 27017 certifications for Cloud Security Management. A core strength is our experience supporting agency CIO and OCIO’s on over eight Cybersecurity programs and digital transformation solutions. 

Our excellent history with NOAA demonstrates that our team provides the full range of advanced solutions that the staff and line offices require including enterprise services; customer support services; mission and business applications, tools, and web services; enterprise computing; end-to-end Cloud; shared services; space based and field data management; network services; and cybersecurity and information assurance services. Our team’s experience in scientific and technical agencies demonstrates a deep understanding of the unique demands of NOAA’s mission to protect life and property.  


Innovate! Inc. Appraised at CMMI Maturity Level 3 for Services

ALEXANDRIA, VA – INNOVATE! INC. (, a premier Cloud and GIS Platform Integration Services Company, is pleased to announce it has been appraised at CMMI Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)® Level 3 for Services. An appraisal team led by Multi-Dimensional Maturity (MDM) performed a CMMI Institute Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) for Innovate.  Demonstrating appraisal readiness at the highest level in the company’s history, this successful CMMI® Maturity Level 3 appraisal is reflective of Innovate!’s commitment to continuous process improvement and mature process implementation.

An appraisal at maturity level 3 indicates Innovate! is performing at a “defined” level. Our organization’s processes are well characterized and understood, and are described in standards, procedures, tools, and methods. Our set of standard processes, which is the basis for maturity level 3, is established and improved over time.

Innovate Management’s demonstrated commitment to business and technical excellence and CMMI Maturity Level 3 helped to ensure this success. Auditor Dr. Richard Waina commented, “All levels of the organization are involved in and focused on continuous improvement. Every individual’s commitment to process discipline and improvement was quite evident.”

“The CMMI® Services Level 3 rating is a distinction that clearly demonstrates to our customers that we are fully committed to process improvements that assure the delivery of superior product, system and service solutions. This maturity level is an important competitive differentiator on many government programs and is consistent with Innovate!’s culture of continuous improvement and commitment to delivery excellence,” Phill Thomas, Innovate’s CEO commented.

This widely recognized model, in use for ten years, has been the basis of over 21,000 appraisals in 100+ countries on all seven continents. Companies and organizations using this model have achieved performance excellence as measured by increased productivity, improved quality, better control of projects, reduced cycle time and decreased costs through using the CMMI to guide process improvement. Organizations typically report productivity improvements of 10-50% and a return on investment of 4:1 (cost savings realized vs. process improvement dollars invested).

The SCAMPI was conducted August 31-September 4, 2020 in accordance with the model described in the CMMI Institute’s publication Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI-SVC) for Services, version 1.3. The appraisal was based on the previously agreed to criterion of thoroughly examining 100% of the specific and generic goals and practices for Maturity Level 2 and 3 Process Areas. The SCAMPI team consisted of four trained team members in accordance with the CMMI Institute requirements for conducting a Class A SCAMPI. The members of the team were Dr. Richard Waina (MDM Certified Lead Appraiser), Tom Perkowitz and Bobby Jo Britt of Innovate and Judy Rexin and Nino Guidry of Integration Technologies Group.

“Innovate’s earning CMMI 3 in such a short period of time is due to all the processes and systems that our team had already been using.  It is a validation of the quality of work that is being done daily to deliver Innovate services to our valued clients,” noted Tom Perkowitz, Innovate Quality Manager.

About Innovate! Inc: More Than a Consulting Company

Innovate! delivers elite Geospatial, Information Technology, Cloud Advisory, Management and Business Consulting services. The talent pool at Innovate, led by renowned industry leaders, consists of a multi-disciplinary team of analysts; information management and technology specialists (IM/IT); geospatial professionals; scientific and technical experts; regulatory specialists; and project and program management consultants. Innovate, established in 2002, is a woman and minority owned “green” small business providing results-driven solutions to solve mission-critical problems. Innovate! has an award-winning history of delivering state-of-the-art services and solutions to Federal, State, Tribal and local government clients and private industry.

Media Contact or for more information: Stacy Roux Business Development Manager, 703.922.9090 x749; Innovate! Inc., 6189 Cobbs Road, Alexandria, VA 22310

About CMMI:

CMMI Institute is the global leader in the advancement of best practices in people process, and technology. CMMI Institute promises to inspire cultures of continuous improvement that elevate performance and create a sustainable competitive advantage.

Innovate!’s Sanitary Beach Survey Application Proudly Featured on NITAAC’s CIO-SP3 Solution Showcase


The NITAAC CIO-SP3 Solutions Showcase offers insight into the innovative quality Information Technology (IT) solutions that CIO-SP3 contract holders deliver. The Solutions Showcase serves as a newsfeed that highlights new approaches to today’s more complex IT challenges. Innovate is proud to be featured in this edition’s Solutions Showcase for our Sanitary Beach Survey Application.

To learn more, check out the the NITAAC CIO-SP3 Solutions Showcase Blog!

Innovate acknowledged by Esri as a partner in the ArcGIS Indoors Specialty

 August 19, 2020, Innovate! Inc. was certified by Esri as a partner in the ArcGIS Indoors Specialty. The ArcGIS Indoors Specialty designation is the newest provided by Esri following Innovate’s attainment of ArcGIS Release Ready, ArcGIS Online, Local Government, and Small Business that Innovate currently hold. Partners in the ArcGIS Indoors Specialty are recognized for their knowledge and expertise in indoor mapping for use in creating connected workspaces. Innovate is an Esri Silver partner and was awarded the 2020 Collaboration Partner of the Year award for work in support of the Department of Interior (DOI). 

On ArcGIS Indoors mapping is a unique platform of opportunity designed specifically for interior use. The implementation of ArcGIS mapping in the workspace allows for smart building management, whether it be one or multiple buildings. Within ArcGIS Indoors, users can view a building in multiple dimensions including levels and attributes within the structure. ArcGIS Indoors allows organizations to strategically organize and allocate their space to increase productivity and collaboration among coworkers. It is important for organizations to have a full understanding as to where assets reside (e.g. shipments’ status, up to date inspection records, etc.) which can easily be tracked using ArcGIS Indoors. 

ArcGIS Indoors also ensures an organization’s safety is top priority; it can help managers comply with social distancing and building capacity guidelines during COVID.  Indoors is structured to serve all kinds of employees in the workplace to ultimately analytically navigate through their day to day space. 

Innovate leverages Indoors to produce floor-aware maps using CAD, BIM, and site scans as well as other datasets. This capability enables Innovate to provide improved spatial management, as well as safe and productive workspace. Indoor mapping is taking Innovate’s services to the next level (literally). We cannot wait to share our new service expertise in ArcGIS Indoors with our clientele!



Innovate’s GroupLayerlist Widget for Esri WebApp Builder – Quick and Easy Access to Customized Groupings of Layers

Innovate’s Grouped Layerlist widget addresses a common issue faced within the geospatial community and by Esri WebApp Builder users; it enables customized groupings of layers. Users can quickly and easily view the specific information that they need to visualize. The Grouped Layerlist widget is a widget for utilization within Esri’s Web Application Builder. This widget provides a layerlist that can be organized by custom themes/groups (e.g. Transportation, Gas, Railroads, etc.). When the Grouped Layerlist widget is configured in the Web Application Builder, themes/groups can be created and layers within the web map associated with the application can be grouped into those themes. Each layer within a theme has options for changing the layer transparency, enable/disable popups, change layer symbology, view attribute table, and showing item details depending on the layer type.For example, if a user needed to see all the data relevant to railroads, the Developer could easily create a new group titled, “Railroad.” They would then select from the list of available layers in the map what layers are related to Railroads and save. Now, users could select the “Railroad” option in the Grouped Layerlist rather than manually selecting individual layers every time.

Over the past year Innovate has worked with World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Norway to make this new widget a reality. Thanks to the generosity of the WWF, we have been allowed to make this widget available to the Web AppBuilder community. Below is a link to a short video to demonstrate how the widget works. We have also created a public GitHub repository, so others in the community can use the code at no cost!

The video is accessible here!
The Github repository is accessible here!

For more information on this widget please contact us at: Have a great summer!


Innovate and Esri – Improving Wildfire Mapping

In 2018, Innovate was awarded a prime contract with the Department of Interior (DOI) to support the development and Optimization of the Integrated Reporting of Wildland-Fire Information (IRWIN) Application. The interagency fire community depends on the IRWIN application to maintain data exchange operations year-round, 24x7x365. This requires the coordination and collaboration of multiple of stakeholders, internal and external of the OWF because it offers the community large scale, cross- agency technology.

Partnering with Esri, Innovate is helping the DOI attain clarity and collaboration with state and local partners on shared national wildfire issues via IRWIN to discover the reality of fire risk management including population and response metrics. Innovate provides operations and maintenance (O&M) services and supports IRWINs further development, modernization, and enhancement. This includes updating existing tools used for visualization and understanding of data integration, enhancement of existing tools, and providing new solutions used for visualization and understanding of data integration. IRWIN services are focused on the goals of reducing redundant data entry, identifying authoritative data sources, and improving the consistency, accuracy, and availability of operational data. By interconnecting systems, new and updated information is automatically available to the different interagency systems and to a dashboard to provide queries and reports.

For more information, check out Esri’s article: Improve Your Wildlife Maps with These New Layers.

Innovate Awarded CIO-SP3 Small Business

On May 11, 2020, Innovate! Inc. was chosen as one of the prime recipients by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Information Technology Assessment and Acquisition Center (NITAAC) for their Chief Information Officer – Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3)  Small Business contract. In addition, Innovate! is currently an 8(a) contract holder on the vehicle which allows clients to sole source awards without additional competition or justification under FAR Subpart 19.804-6 (b).

CIO-SP3 is a multiple award Government Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) with a ceiling value of $20 billion, and it can be used by federal civilian or Department of Defence (DoD) Agencies to meet scientific, health, administrative, operational, managerial and information management requirements. It was designed to provide general IT purchases across all agencies, and it gives Government agencies a mechanism for the quick ordering of needed IT solutions and services for the best value. CIO-SP3 offers government agencies an unprecedented breadth of IT that supports the Federal Enterprise Architecture, the Federal Health Architecture, and the DoD Enterprise Architecture, and it can be used to meet the requirements of agencies with Data Center Consolidation, Cloud Computing, Health IT, Mobility, and Cybersecurity needs.

Under the NITAAC program, agencies receive an easy-to-use, secure web-based e-GOS ordering system for automated task order completion, set-aside, management, and awardee selection and notification. The customer service center is able to deliver a 1-hour response time for any contractual, technical or procedural question, and it provides 1-day turnaround on free, comprehensive SOW/SOO assessment for every task order. Finally, there is no special “Delegation of Procurement Authority” required. Meanwhile, the GWAC offers streamlined ordering and procedures under FAR Subpart 16.505 save time, money, and resources.

CIO-SP3 Small Business Contract Holders have gone through a comprehensive review process prior to award, which includes dimensions such as technical capabilities, past performance, price and cost. This enables contract officers to use simplified evaluations at the task order level, resulting in significant savings in time, money, and resources. Furthermore, ceiling rates were negotiated at the Master Contract level to be the best available, so agencies start with the most competitive rates available; however, competition will only help to lower those rates further. Finally, contract holders were rated in and awarded the contract in up to 10 different task areas, for a total of 10 years.

For information, please visit Innovate’s CIO-SP3 page or reach out to our team: