Leah Smith — Excellence

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Leah Smith — Excellence

Leah+Smith+Olympic+Gold+MedalA Pittsburgh Native’s Commitment to Excellence

A March 2013 Athlete of the Week television spot from WTAE, features now Olympic Bronze and Gold Medal winner Leah SmithWTAE’s Mike Clark again featured Leah in an interview only a few weeks ago that moved us to throw in our 2 cents as well!  At RTSGC we feel it is important to seek out and laud Commitment to Excellence wherever we find it!  In this case, Leah is extra special to us because she is not only a Western Pennsylvania native with extremely deep roots but also an Oakland Catholic High School graduate (GO OC!).  We LOVE everything Family and everything Pittsburgh!!

Leah’s focus on excellence comes, in great part, from her family.  In only her second year at the University of Virginia, her commitment and that special excellence derived from her family resulted in the continuation of a family legacy at UVA.  Her finishing time in the 500 freestyle at the NCAA Championships set a collegiate record and her time in the 1,650 freestyle set UVA and ACC records as well.  This is follow-up to her father’s silver medal winning pole vault in an ACC Championship match.

From her “All in the Family” article in UVA MAGAZINE, Errin Whack wrote:  Competing at the highest level might be in Smith’s DNA.  Because of his competitive streak, Smith’s great-grandfather Jimmy Smith, who was an infielder for the Cincinnati Reds, holds the distinction of being the only player ejected from the 1919 World Series, for tirelessly heckling White Sox second baseman Eddie Collins.  Smith’s great-uncle, boxer “The Pittsburgh Kid” Billy Conn, fought Joe Louis for the heavyweight championship twice.  In his first fight he lost by a knockout in the last round, even though he was well ahead of Louis on points.  His second challenge to Louis, a knockout loss in the ninth round, was the first televised heavyweight championship.  Smith recalled being inspired as a young girl by her relatives’ athletic feats, poring over old newspaper clippings, and admiring trophies – including those belonging to her father, Dan.  “I definitely think it made me want to be like my dad and have the same success that he did,” Smith says. “I used it to motivate me in the pool.”

What greater testament to her father and her family could Leah possible be?!  We salute her, her accomplishments, and her family.  Congratulations Leah Smith!

“Ground truth…”



RTS Global Consulting LLC




Overseas Contractor Complexities

(Editors Note: Please join us in welcoming guest blogger and author Valerry Mannarino.)

Overseas Staffing Complexities for Contractors

By: Valerry Mannarino

To remain competitive in today’s global economy, many U.S. companies have either expanded overseas or will in the near future.  When it comes to that expansion, few challenges are as immensely meticulous as navigating regulations, policy and culture in order to effectively staff the organization.  From language barriers to extraordinary insurance costs, a successful staffing plan is not a straightforward process.  The primary components that need to be included in establishing a strategy are resources, tax and employment regulations, cultural insight, and the time you’ll need to get the employees in place. It’s not the screen candidates, interview, and make an offer experience.  Yet with patience, perseverance, and some knowledgeable people on your side, it can be enormously rewarding.

Employment law in foreign countries is extremely complex and designed to protect the worker not the employer.  Take extreme care in deciding to hire independent contractors, also known as “service contractors”. An independent contractor may later be deemed an employee by the host country.  This can happen during or after the engagement and can lead to substantial penalties and fees that may outweigh the cost to hire.  Engage with professional assistance familiar with the employment laws of the host country.  Have formal policy in place and documented outlining your company’s position in engaging the independent contractor and any applicable tests to qualify them.  This reinforces your company’s intent to follow the employment laws of the host country in the event of an audit.

Employment tax laws vary greatly from country to country.  The responsibility of whether the paying agent or the independent contractor must make tax payments at the time of compensation, at the time of annual tax return preparation, or quarterly tax prep will depend on the regulations of the host country.  Understand the local income tax policy and both the company’s obligation, as well as the independent contractor’s, to both U.S. and local authority.  Keeping good records and tracking payments made to the independent contractor should be considered a best practice.  In addition all independent contractor expenses need to be charged to the appropriate project and document retention practices need to be adhered to.

In order for a company to be a successful global operation, they must think like global consumers.  While an office in another country may resemble the same environment you are used to seeing in the United States (or your home country), make no mistake there are explicit and implicit cultural differences at work.  Explicit cultural differences relates to the local customs, food, dress, entertainment and even their attitude about things such as work ethic and decision-making patterns.  Implicit cultural differences is in regards to how work relationships are defined in the host country.

Is the decision-making process a group or individual effort?  Should relationships be established before, during, or after entering into a project together?  Language and comprehension skills are daunting.  I recall a situation where I presented an offer to a candidate coming from India.  Throughout the entire acquisition process his response to every request was “sure, sure.”  Then he turned down the offer.  In diving deeper I learned that the culture in India sees it as disrespectful to disagree with a person they view in a higher level of decision-making authority.

Conclusion:  Resources to connect with can be found on websites such as the United States Department of State, on HR websites such as SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), CEB (Corporate Executive Board), and many others such as LinkedIn groups dedicated to discussions on global hiring challenges.  U.S. Embassies and Consulates can also be of assistance in helping the worker and his or her family transition as easily as possible.  The value in understanding a host country’s employment processes cannot be understated as it can greatly impact the success or failure of your projects.

“Ground Truth”


RTS Global Consulting LLC


RTS BLOG Post Inception and Development


How we create and Cultivate Blog Articlesblog

We begin our blog development process with a concise 5-Step Process that is grounded in company CEO Sam Miess’ long-time compelling need to research, develop, and share information –

  1. (Always) Do the right thing, tell the truth, (and for God’s sake) be nice!
  2. HUMINT is the most dependable form of information.
  3. (Whenever possible) share the HUMAN side of every story.
  4. (Lou says) Avoid hyperbole.
  5. Know your subject matter – Research, research, RESEARCH!

“What?”  (You question.)  “Research?  You mean you don’t just simply re-post or re-tweet a blog that someone else has put together?”

We rarely re-post.  Instead, we follow the money and the information to its logical conclusion, recognize our sources, and post what is most meaningful to us as a team.  This takes a LOT more time so we hope that you not only find real value in our posts but that you will also share with family and friends.  In fact, because we LOVE responsible dialogue, we hope that you will feel comfortable in sending us your thoughts, opinions, and questions about our company and our blog!

Finally, always remember…

“Ground truth…”

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US Plans Expansion of UK Intelligence Drawdown


Civilian Intelligence Assets Pay the PriceSatellite Dish

In early 2015, the BBC reported that, as part of the DOD base-closure/cost-savings program, the United States Air Force would be eliminating intelligence and other facilities located in the United Kingdom.  Specifically those at RAF Mildenhall, RAF Alconbury, and RAF Molesworth.  “US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the Americans will leave (as) part of a program to save $500m a year across Europe. The USAF lease(s) the RAF bases.”

While significant expansion seems to be taking place at RAF Croughton, as reported in the Banbury Guardian.  “The former RAF bomber base, now fully operated by the USA, is set to become the center for consolidated operations from other US intelligence groups based at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire.  The new, ultra-secure Croughton could be staffed by 1,250 personnel covering operations in Africa, a current focus for US counter-terrorism activities.”

A recent article from Stars and Stripes by John Vandiver calls into question just how far the US will take the drawdown in the “land of our cousins across the pond”.  “Congressional legislation to eliminate housing subsidies for hundreds of U.S. intelligence analysts based in the United Kingdom, the latest salvo in a battle with the Pentagon over a base relocation plan, has raised fears about a possible exodus of qualified personnel.”  Many are concerned that the US Congress may be now irreparably harming the very apparatus that is vital to the protection of its citizens.

The Vandiver article goes on to note that, “The proposal to end housing benefits for all Defense Intelligence Agency employees assigned to U.S. European and Africa Commands is contained in the House’s Intelligence Authorization Act for 2017.  The legislation, which has already passed the House and now must be considered by the Senate, would effectively cut off all living quarters allowances for roughly 1,000 personnel.  Those housing benefits, considered recruiting incentives, apply toward rent and can add up to as much as $3,000 per month.”

A DIA spokesman commented, “Our talented dedicated analytical workforce that fulfills a critical mission requirement overseas, could be faced with a decision of ending their tour early.  Employees considering tours overseas might not want to go.”

This concerns us greatly at RTSGC as we believe there is no substitute for the human component when it comes to information gathering.  HUMINT – arguably producing the highest quality information – is not possible without actual personnel at many levels.  While there is some consolation in the expansion of the US presence at other facilities, we would submit that the potentially permanent loss of civilians operating within our information gathering community is a catastrophe that must be avoided.

“Ground truth…”

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RTS Supports Veterans First Program

Veterans SDVOSB

RTS Supports Veteran Owned Businesses

Did you know???

RTS Global Consulting LLC is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)?  For more information about this very special designation please visit the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.  Consistent with Public Law 109-461, awarding contracts to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) firms is the highest priority within the Small Business programs for VA.  Consistent with the mandate and the mission of VA, participation of SDVOSBs in VA Acquisition programs is strongly encouraged.  OSDBU is the advocate that monitors the Veterans-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Program, with a special emphasis on SDVOSBs.  Under the authority granted in Public Law 109-461, VA is authorized to set aside contracts and/or award sole source contracts, to SDVOSB and VOSB firms.

RTS Global Consulting Mission and Philosophy



The Mission of RTS GLOBAL CONSULTING is to identify and engage a global Client Family with the absolute aim of providing the best support services possible in the areas of Management Consulting and International Business Services.  Our goal is to create and cultivate a partnership atmosphere with our Client Family, Employees, and Management Team within the International Community which we serve.


We are dedicated to the delivery of quality mission-oriented technical services and solutions that will provide for the security and welfare of our Global Client and Employee Family. Our strongest belief is that the highest ethical standards are paramount for us to reach our corporate goals as highlighted in the RTSGC Corporate Mission.

“Ground truth…”




RTS Global Consulting LLC