DOD is top source of 2009 Rising Star award winners
The Defense Department seems to have a knack for either attracting or nurturing rising stars in the field of information technology.
We recently announced the 28 winners of the 2009 Rising Star awards. In case you didn’t notice, nearly half of them were associated with defense work, either as a service member, civilian employee or contractor.
The Rising Star awards program, as you probably know, recognizes up-and-coming individuals (in the first third of their careers) who are making a substantial mark in the federal information technology community.
I suspect it is no coincidence that DOD generates so many winners. The concept of succession planning -- something many agencies struggle with -- is built into the system there. They make a point of identifying potential leaders and providing them with opportunities to shine.
And for contractors, it’s just a great place to work on exciting and important work.
Here is a sampling of our defense-related winners:
* Kristine Beck, Web team lead for the Military Health System team at Vangent, has helped bring Web 2.0 technology to the military’s various health-related Web sites.
* Maj. Heather W. Blackwell, as the chief of the Deployable Communications Team and Air Combat Command (ACC) functional manager for Communications Officers in the Air Force, led the modernization of $600 million worth of systems used for theater command and control and air control communications systems. Blackwell is now a legislative fellow to Sen. E. Benjamin Nelson (D. Neb.).
* Louis Carrion, a contractor with General Dynamics Information Technology, helped complete the fielding of the Army Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) system to all Air Force facilities (13) throughout the war zone in Iraq.
* Don Gunnell, a lead project engineer for the Navy, oversaw all technical and management aspects of the Navy’s Wireless Reach-Back (WRB) Program, which supports Navy and Marine Corps firing and testing ranges.
* Joseph Arthur Rhodes, a log automation officer, helped oversee the construction of a Movement Tracking System support facility at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. MTS tracks the location of logistics vehicles and their contents.
* Emily Scott, a consultant with IBM working for a DOD task force, is the project manager overseeing the development of Iraqi’s National Retail Payment Infrastructure, which provides ATMs, debit cards, credit cards, mobile banking and point-of-sale devices for the first time throughout Iraq.
NEXT STORY: DOD to launch Web 2.0-intensive site