OUR LEADERS

CTS leaders are uniquely qualified, with niche expertise encompassing worldwide intelligence gathering, technology support, sensitive data collections, analysis and dissemination, and operational activities throughout the IC and DOD.

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THERESA KEITH

CEO

TK@ctstruenorth.com

Theresa, a U.S. Army military intelligence veteran, has more than 20 years of experience in the Intelligence community. She began her work in intel with the National Security Agency (NSA), working as a Mandarin Chinese linguist during the Hong Kong turnover from the United Kingdom to China. Theresa then leveraged her international project management experience from her military service, as well as five years with the international software division of IBM, to support a small, ops-centric government contracting company in the intel community. As a senior program manager overseeing more than 125 people in a variety of intelligence, counter-terrorism, security and force penetration programs, Theresa learned the finer points of government contracting. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP®), Theresa earned dual Associate degrees in Spanish and Chinese Mandarin from Monterey Peninsula College. She graduated from Texas Tech University with dual Bachelor’s degrees in history and English, and received her Master’s in International Business from the University of Maryland. While she currently resides in Northern, Virginia, she considers Austin, Texas her home. Theresa is an active member of Dachshund Rescue of North America and has adopted eight hounds to date. Her love of the outdoors extends to gardening, boating and spending time on the beach.

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LUCA DUCCESCHI

CIO

LD@ctstruenorth.com

Luca, a former federal account executive with a successful record of forging strategic alliances between government systems integrators and blue chip technology companies, is responsible for CTS’ IT vendor relationships as well as the firm’s IT infrastructure. In addition to over 15 years of federal contracting experience, his proficiencies include Big Data analytics and visualization, cloud computing, IT service management (ITSM), insider threat and fraud detection, identity management, and cyber solutions. He earned an MBA in International Business from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, now a graduate school of Vermont’s Middlebury College, and is ITSM-certified. An avid soccer fan and player, Luca has two children in college. He resides in Northern , Virginia, but hails from London, England.
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Dean McKendrick

Executive Vice President

DMCK@ctstruenorth.com

Dean is an accomplished senior executive and a thought leader in the information technology/cyber industry. He brings more than 35 years of hands-on experience managing large-scale technology consulting initiatives in support of mission-oriented Intelligence, Defense, and Civilian agencies to CTS, as well as a well-earned reputation as a subject matter expert in big data analytics and insider threat solutions. Most recently Senior Vice President, Strategic Development for Preferred Systems Solutions, National Security Group, Dean has also successfully managed IC programs for ManTech International and Oracle USA’s National Security Group. In addition, he was responsible for 3 years of unprecedented growth of the professional services business at Unisys, and has led network and system engineering, software development, and hardware integration teams at STG, DynCorp, and EDS. Dean resides in Ashburn, Virginia, is married, and is an avid motorcyclist. He has traveled to the far reaches of the continental U.S. on his Harley Davidson.
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Cynthia Barnes

SVP Client Relations

CB@ctstruenorth.com

Cynthia has more than 40 years of direct intel client experience as well as 15+ years as a management consultant. Her career has spanned numerous roles – human resources officer, intel analyst, business analyst, human capital consultant – giving her a unique depth and breadth of understanding of our client space. Cynthia served as CTS Director of HR for 3 years, where she developed and implemented personnel resource strategies and oversaw employee onboarding, compensation, health and welfare benefits, employee relations and retention, and AA/EEO compliance. In January 2020, Cynthia was promoted to Senior Vice President of Client Relations, where she leveraged her tenure and contacts from her time as a staff officer to help secure new business opportunities for CTS. She studied at Morris Harvey College and the University of Virginia and earned the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certificate from American University. Born in Charleston, West Virginia, Cynthia now calls Fairfax, Virginia home. She enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with friends.
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Ann Hirsch

Director of Talent Acquisition

AH@ctstruenorth.com

Ann, a seasoned recruiting professional and program manager, brings more than 25 years of experience to her role as CTS’ talent acquisition manager, including 15 years as a program manager and professional recruiter in the private industry as well as more than 10 years of service to our primary intelligence community client. Ann’s unique background includes supporting three Directorates and instituting a new hire program to engage family members in first day activities, affording spouses and domestic partners the opportunity to witness the swearing in ceremony and visit the headquarters compound. For CTS, Ann is responsible for staffing numerous multi-disciplinary positions to fill the company’s hiring needs as well as maintaining a pipeline of qualified candidates to staff future contract opportunities. In addition, Ann will lead the firm’s college recruitment activities to acquire entry level talent. Born in raised in Arlington, Massachusetts, Ann and her husband now call Myrtle Beach, South Carolina their home. When she’s not on the beach, Ann enjoys skiing, sailing, horseback riding and spending quality time with her husband and grandchildren.
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Chris Pahlmann

Director of IT

CP@ctstruenorth.com

An engineer by trade with more than 20 years architecting, developing, and delivering technical solutions, Chris joined CTS in 2017 as Director of IT and leads CTS’ technical services division. Additionally, he has 10 years’ experience serving out primarily IC client to his credit. Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in hotel administration, a Masters in information technology, is ITIL Foundations certified and holds numerous ServiceNow certifications. His background includes work as a system architect for IBM, advisory manager for KPMG and owner/architect of Pahlmann Consulting. A “military brat” born at Castle AFB in California, he still loves the warm weather and considers Las Vegas home. During his free time, you can find Chris shuttling between coasts sampling wineries with his wife and son.
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Valerie Passwaiter

Director of Marketing

VP@ctstruenorth.com

Valerie brings more than 30 years of marketing and corporate communications experience to CTS. She is responsible for the firm’s branding as well as planning and executing internal and external communications strategies. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Valerie has worked in the IC space since 2001 and has earned numerous awards and citations for strategic communications, multimedia development, and project management in support of client-based tradecraft, application development, information management, cyber security, and network engineering programs. The Cleveland State University graduate resides in Reston, Virginia and divides her free time between D.C.’s theater and concert venues and central Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains.
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W. JEFFREY SHUPE

Director of Contracts

JS@ctstruenorth.com

With 35+ years in the government contracts arena, Jeffrey has experience working for a variety of business enterprises, from small startups to large, international defense contractors. He has focused the last 15 years on the intelligence and defense communities, serving in senior contract management positions at ManTech, BAE Systems Information Solutions, RAI Government Services, and Commonwealth Technology. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in contracts and procurement from George Mason University; a Procurement and Contracts Management Certificate from the University of Virginia; and his Certified Professional Contracts Manager designation from the National Contract Management Association. A native northern Virginian, he resides in Bristow with his fiance, Kay, and her 2 daughters. In his free time, Jeffrey enjoys home improvement projects, golf, and traveling with his daughter.
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SUZANNE SPENCER

Director of Sales

SS@ctstruenorth.com

Suzanne is an accomplished business development executive with 20+ years of experience in enterprise and federal IT sales ands services to numerous global Fortune 500 and U.S.-based organizations. She will lead the growth of the firm’s federal and commercial IT practice, predominately focused on implementation of ServiceNow, the cloud-based workflow platform that delivers operational efficiencies by streamlining and automating routine tasks. Suzanne has a demonstrated success helping clients achieve significant return on investment, reducing their operational expenses, and improving their business processes with ServiceNow. She was named Top New Logo Account Executive for Ricoh Enterprise Solutions Group in 2019; is fully accredited in all ServiceNow modules; and most recently was responsible for the start up of a federal ServiceNow practice in the Washington, D.C. metro area. An avid traveler and outdoor enthusiast, Suzanne enjoys running and has hiked active volcanoes in Chile and Hawaii as well as parts of the Appalachian Trail and Maine’s Acadia National Forest. She and her fiancé live in Laytonsville, Maryland.
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John Thompson

Director of Programs

JT@ctstruenorth.com

John, a decorated U.S Air Force combat veteran, has more than 20 years of experience in anti-terrorism operations, force protection, and intelligence program management. His military career began in Air Force Special Operations with deployment to more than 55 countries as a Phoenix Raven, Combat Advisor, and Personal Protection Officer to the Air Force Chief of Staff. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in strategic leadership as well as Associate degrees in information management and criminal justice. Prior to joining CTS, John was a Defense Attaché Program Manager assigned to U.S. Embassy Budapest, Hungary. John manages key contracts for CTS and leads a dispersed team of intel community professionals in the Washington, D.C. area. Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, he and his family now reside in northern Virginia. When he’s not working, he enjoys traveling, playing golf, and working on his Mustang.
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Benjamin Cranshaw

Program Manager

BC@ctstruenorth.com

Benjamin has provided finance expertise to public sector clients for more than 10 years, including 3 years in the intel community. He has a track record of applying his strategic and analytical skills and world class customer service to successfully manage accounts and earn rave reviews from his clients. His focus areas include cost analysis, budget preparation and execution, trend analysis, and financial dashboard creation. A graduate of Morgan State University’s Earl Graves School of Business with a B.S. in finance and a Master’s in business administration, Benjamin offers expertise across a wide spectrum of financial management. He joined CTS in 2018 as a senior resource manager before being promoted to a senior leadership position for the firm. Originally from Long Branch, New Jersey, Benjamin now resides in Prince Georges County, Maryland. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his daughter Taylor, listening to music, and exploring D.C.
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John Janssen

Talent Acquisition Manager

John.Janssen@ctstruenorth.com

John has spent 30 years working in the Federal sector. More than 20 of those years were overseas assignments in support of information technology and program management work while deployed to U.S. Embassies and Consulates through the Department of State. Later, he joined our primary intelligence community client as a staff officer where he worked to modernize the recruitment process to attract technical talent for critical national security positions. His work has provided extensive travel opportunities, and he speaks fluent Spanish and Vietnamese. Originally from California, John, his wife, and their son reside in Virginia Beach. His free time is spent enjoying his family time, motorcycle rides, home improvement projects, and travel.

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ADRIAN PROST

Director of HR

asp@ctstruenorth.com

Adrian Prost serves as HR and Executive Administrator for CTS. She ensures the smooth onboarding of new teammates; maintains relationships with the company’s numerous benefits providers; and manages leadership team engagements. Her background in primary education and insurance administration lends itself to her responsibilities juggling numerous, simultaneous obligations on behalf of CTS and its employees. She has prior experience managing and organizing businesses and large groups of volunteers and, as an Army officer’s wife for many years, has also led Army Family Readiness Groups (FRG) pre-, active- and post-deployment. While raising three children, she is involved with numerous education panels, focus groups, and community organizations. She and her family live in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where they enjoy skiing, biking, hiking, kayaking, and fishing.