Gene Moran, President of Capitol Integration, is a leader par excellence. Described by clients as “knowledgeable and trustworthy,” Gene has over 20 years of experience preparing and implementing successful federal engagements leading to tangible funding and policy outcomes.
An independent Advisor, Corporate Lobbyist, Congressional Liaison and retired US Navy Captain, Gene has a wealth of experience and knowledge and helps companies accelerate their federal sales. Drawing on his expertise Gene guides defense and security clients through the entire funding spectrum—budgeting, legislation, acquisition, and contracting.
Gene Moran is the only government relations professional inducted into the Million Dollar Consulting Hall of Fame
Gene holds a PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University. His ground breaking research underpins his dissertation exploring the impact of congressional lobbying on contracting and the performance of democracy.
Previously representing the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives in multiple leadership positions as a senior Naval officer, Gene maintains deep Washington, DC relationships and applies his diverse experience to the United States’ most challenging security challenges.
CEO Views is pleased to recognize Gene Moran, President of Capitol Integration on the cover of this issue, leading the list of “Best Inspiring Leaders to Watch 2023. ”We sat with Mr. Moran for an interaction where he shared detailed insights into his leadership journey.
The Idea Behind Capitol Integration
While serving as a corporate lobbyist at a large defense company headquartered in Washington, DC, Gene recognized many small companies had limited appreciation of how to compete for federal funding. Worse, few use all the tools at their disposal to succeed. Companies with inadequate awareness of the rule of Washington, DC routinely miss opportunities to get on the federal budget.
Understanding the difficulties faced by companies in navigating the federal funding process, Gene founded Capitol Integration to help those organizations master the complex federal sales environment. Since 2013, Capitol Integration has been providing legislative counsel, support, and advocacy to companies of varying sizes, routinely accelerating outcomes by 12-18 months.
Capitol Integration specializes in helping companies align their federal customer activities with the Federal budget process and Congressional authorization and appropriations processes, assuring the integration of business strategies with policy and legislative outcomes.
Gene shared, “My years of experience as a former senior military officer, congressional staffer, and corporate lobbyist gave me a unique perspective of the complex federal buying process. I knew I could help the thousands of companies of the defense industrial base by effectively guiding them to better outcomes.”
Understanding The Nuances Of Budget Process
The government being so large, and so many agencies attempting to operate in the best interest of the nation, it’s common for policies to conflict with one another and inhibit sales. Policies come from law or via the authorities of the agencies. Well-intended policies sometimes lack essential information. Helping companies to approach the government with timely and helpful information while pitching their products and services can set the stage for subsequent sales. Positioning the client as a resource for the government buyer helps build trust and speed the path through the red tape.
On the funding side, the budget process is quite complex and unfolds over the course of 2-3 years. Knowing whom to meet, at the right time and place, with the right message eludes many companies. Gene’s understanding of the nuances of the budget process helps companies move much faster than they otherwise might.
Focus On Defense Companies
Gene’s blend of corporate, military, congressional, academic, and consulting background is unique in defense contracting. Speaking about how his experience helped him through his entrepreneurial journey, Gene said, “I focus on defense companies. My military background offers me instant credibility with my clients and government customers. I speak the language and have walked in the government customer’s shoes so to speak. My understanding of the interactions of the co-equal executive and legislative branches of government allows me to share insights with clients. My experience advising companies of all sizes only increases with each passing year. The result of my work with clients exceeds 5 billion dollars as of the start of 2023. Those numbers translate to good government solutions, healthy balance sheets for clients, and American jobs.”
The Pandemic’s Toll
The U.S. industrial base has been under stress to the point of contraction for over a decade. The pandemic caught many companies off guard with respect to cash management, supply chains, and personnel issues. At the macro level, congressional pressure on the defense budget, federal pressure on compliance, and efforts to onshore capacity all put systemic pressure on the federal sales environments. Capitol Integration helps companies see these concerns with appropriate perspective.
Recognition For His Excellence
Gene Moran is the only government relations professional inducted into the Million Dollar Consulting Hall of Fame®. He is the recipient of the Corrie Shanahan Memorial Award for Advancing Consulting (Consultant of the Year), which is a peer recognized award from the Society for the Advancement of Consulting for the consultant who has contributed the most to advance the profession.
Apart from this, Gene has bagged several awards for excellence and innovation, including three times by Bloomberg Government and twice by the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics. Speaking about how these laurels and recognition have affected his work, Gene said, “In the military, it is fairly a regular practice to recognize outstanding performances. Throughout my Navy career, I was fortunate to receive recognition for my work and the work of my shipmates in the ships we served in. In industry, it is less common.
However, that my work with clients is recognized for its significance or uniqueness is incredibly satisfying. Lobbying can be an easy target, largely a result of the misdeeds of the very few. I am one of only a few hundred lobbyists that work in the defense industry. I speak for the industry when I say that we all want what’s best for our clients and for their customers. It is in no way different from any other professional service. I am proud to support clients who solve some of our nation’s most- complex problems and challenges.”
Managing A Blend Of Clients
By design, Capitol Integration is small and nimble. But Gene skilfully manages the load of clients and serve a blend of small, medium and large companies with his knowledge and expertise. No two issues are alike and no two company leadership teams are alike- the variety keeps Gene engaged and his interest and curiosity piqued. Capitol Integration has been on a steady growth curve, carefully managing this blend of client support for years, recognized twice as a Florida State University Seminole 100 fastest-growing alumni-led company.
Standing Out In The Crowd
Though Capitol Integration operates in Washington, DC, Gene works remotely from Florida. Living outside the fishbowl of the beltway bubble, he does not chase the rumors of the day or ponder the palace intrigue. He focuses on client outcomes that solve a government need. He stands out in his depth and breadth of experience.
Gene shared, “One can find lobbyists from my background, but none that understand the federal environment the way I do. My recent public policy PhD-level research focused exactly on the defense executives’ perceptions and understanding of Congress as relates to their federal sales. I am a practitioner of government relations, steeped in both operational and theoretical understanding of how government works.”
Capitol Integration plays in the big leagues of government decision-making. Gene is proud to be seen as a credible resource by government leaders. He believes ethical conduct, transparency in relationships and credibility of doing what he says he will do, carry the day.
Measuring Federal Sales
When asked about how he help clients achieve billions of dollars in upside federal sales, Gene Moran said, “When I tell people my client results measure in billions, that can be a startling number. But the federal government spends hundreds of billions per year, with small contracts measuring in the millions. Depending on the product or program, it is possible for companies to take very big steps with federal contracts measuring in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in a single year. My clients achieve such outcomes routinely, in part through our thoughtful collaboration.”
Stemming from his academic research, Gene recognized that there are aspects of the democracy that underperform. One way this occurs is through unequal access to Congress. While the First Amendment guarantees the right to approach government to all, very few understand how to approach government effectively. That lack of awareness contributes to an aggregation of fewer winners than there otherwise might be. Gene sees it as part of his responsibility as a company succeeding, who also understands how the process works, to help improve the process. He is uniquely qualified to help Congress create more- equal access to federal sales than presently exists.
Words Of Wisdom
Gene believes that credibility is the most important attribute of a leader to survive in the long run. “You absolutely have to do what you said you will do, every time. Giving away credibility needlessly is a cardinal sin,” says Gene.
Effective Communication is another attribute. Gene adds, “Communicate effectively, every single time. I rely on my 8-minute rule of messagingTM when I coach, teach, and guide clients to and through meetings. We are highly effective in efficiently conveying only what needs to be conveyed, and not everything we know. As a result, we routinely give the government decision-makers time back in their calendars.”