Meet the Break Trail Solutions Team

Our team of subject matter experts is ready to support your team in all phases of government contracting: from writing a proposal for a contract, as you navigate through the schedule and requirements of those contracts, and as you strategize about your business’ sustainability and growth opportunities.

Picture of Break Trail Solutions owner Tess Ellis

President

Tess Ellis has been involved in government contracting from several perspectives:

  • On behalf of government agencies,
  • As a government contractor, and
  • As a government employee.

One thing remained consistent in every role was that was most businesses struggled to manage the additional requirements the government places on contracts funded by our tax dollars. She started Break Trail Solutions to provide critical, short-term support for these businesses.

Her experience includes supporting the following agencies:

  • U.S Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Air Force Medical Service
  • Colorado Medicaid (HCPF)
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Tess’ leadership experience includes day-to-day operations, finance and budgeting, implementing new programs, contract management, strategy development and implementation, and program management. Her focus on communication and strategy resulted in high performing teams and successful programs.

Tess earned an Executive MBA from George Washington University, and a B.A. in Literature from American University, both in her hometown of Washington, DC. She worked full-time while earning both degrees, which she credits with helping her hone her skills in prioritizing, time management, and organization.

Tess moved to Denver in 2014. In addition to her passion for Break Trail Solutions, she loves hiking, snowshoeing, and is learning to cross-country ski. You may find her out trying the latest Denver restaurant or brewery, and exploring Colorado and beyond. Tess will be your initial contact with Break Trail Solutions.

Photo of Jennifer Hilbers

Costing and Compliance Consultant

Consultant Jen Hilbers brings expertise in costing, compliance, and negotiations to Break Trail Solutions. She specializes in government contract compliance and financial and accounting services. She has the flexibility and experience to support customers at any stage of the government contracting lifecycle. Her expertise includes assessing indirect cost rates and preparing compliant cost proposals, FAR compliance for new and ongoing contracts, contract negotiations, DCAA/DCMA audit support and implementation, and training on government accounting requirements.

Jen’s combination of expertise and exceptional interpersonal skills can support negotiations and other critical customer-facing roles, such as audits and site inspections. Jen earned a BBA in Finance and an MBA in International Business from Georgia State University, and is a CFA® charterholder.

Photo of Andrew Perry

Program Management Consultant

Consultant Andrew Perry is a creative problem-solver with an in-depth understanding of business information systems. He has a record of identifying the fulcrum points of complex systems to solve intractable business problems.

Andrew previously supported the U.S. Department of State, where his successes included helping to turn around the IT department at one of our nation’s largest diplomatic missions, coordinating support for overseas visits for four U.S. presidents, and assisting Americans in difficult situations in foreign countries.

More recently, Andrew managed technology for one of four $10 billion Universal Service Fund programs. He assembled and led a team that delivered a new system to replace legacy applications for the Rural Health Care program. The team worked closely with program stakeholders to create and roll out a comprehensive technology solution for the new nation-wide Healthcare Connect Fund.

Andrew has a Master’s degree in Computer Information Systems, and recently completed a Driving Strategic Impact executive education program at Columbia Business School in NYC.

Photo of consultant Rekha Ayalur

Program Management Consultant

Consultant Rekha Ayalur is a creative thinker who brings more than 15 years of progressive healthcare experience in Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), healthcare policy, and program management. She has a solid background in policy interpretation and implementation and IT implementation efforts. Rekha’s collaborative style, excellent communication skills, and diverse expertise are coupled with a tenacious commitment to achieving success for her clients.

Rekha recently supported a client as the Product Owner on a large digital member experience project for Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Federal Employee Program (FEP). The project utilized SAFe development methodology to overhaul FEP’s existing member portal, including development of mobile apps, and measurement tools to ensure compliance with HEDIS goals.

Prior to her role at FEP, Rekha worked for the District of Columbia’s Department of HealthCare Finance as a Project Manager responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act for the city. In this role, she was responsible for applying for and managing planning and establishment grants, working on RFPs to create the Navigator program for the city, and serving as a member of various operating committees.

Rekha has a health policy focused Master’s degree from John’s Hopkins University and a Program Management Certification from Vanderbilt University.

Photo of Jack Melito

Principal Consultant

Jack Melito has fifteen years in the private sector overseeing corporate communications and proposals for a DC-based government contractor, he also held leadership positions at the federal and state levels. His government experience includes NY State Department of Taxation and Finance, NY State Governors Office, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Specializing in competitive bids and small business set-asides, Jack’s business network enables Break Trail Solutions to provide additional proposal specialists for niche contracts such as awards under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Part 13 – Simplified Acquisition Procedures, other FAR areas, and Costing experts. His focus is on providing training and coaching to teams around bid and proposal strategies.

Jack has a Masters degree in Applied Philosophy from Bowling Green University and Bachelors of Science in Philosophy from SUNY Oneonta.

Photo of Barbara Faculjak

Communications and Marketing Consultant

Consultant Barbara Faculjak specializes in marketing and strategic communications. Good communication is the key to every successful enterprise, whether a single contract or your entire business. Barbara provides communications assessments and strategic communication plans for your business, a contract, or a project team.

Barbara has more than twenty years of experience in all aspects of internal and external communications for clients including Northrup Grumman, the National Association of Manufacturers, ICF International, EY and others. She is a former U.S. Markets Leader for Ernst & Young and marketing executive for Sallie Mae. Barbara is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and holds an MBA from UW-Milwaukee.

She will provide communications and marketing expertise in all program areas.

Photo of consultant Ted Kinsman

Financial Consultant

Ted’s expertise is in helping teams and leadership learn and understand the impact between operational decisions and company performance. Ted has thirty years of consulting skills in financial and operations analysis, executive management, master facilitation, and course design. With a Master of International Management degree from The American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird), Ted offers a unique perspective gained from successful projects conducted worldwide.

He has worked with Verizon Wireless, General Motors, Exxon-Mobil, American Honda, ABB, Dean Foods, BOC Gases, Steelcase, Philips Electronics (Belgium, Holland, Singapore, and Brazil), Mount Isa Mines (Australia), and Kraft Foods (New Zealand).

For the last ten years, Ted has designed and taught online courses that use his advanced Excel skills to help client teams understand the impact their operational decisions have on company financial performance. His focus will be with clients looking to maximize financial performance, implement Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and train leadership across business units to thoroughly understand how their work and decisions impact the company’s bottom line.

A rock cairn icon represents our Project Management consultants who help ensure we're on the right path

BTS Program Management Consultants

BTS Project Management Consultants specialize in getting and keeping projects on track. They have an understanding of operations and programs, and how technology can be leveraged to support your contracting efforts.

We have PMs who are systems analysts, skilled in agile technology. They have expertise defining custom software solutions, accurately capturing and expressing business and system requirements to deliver enterprise solutions that help position organizations for contract success.

We can help improve efficiencies, maximize potential, and support your organization’s ability to meet critical business objectives.

Our Project Managers can apply their systems and operations experience to projects at any stage of your contract.