Circuit

Barry, the heroine
Women in Technology earlier this month honored the 2007 Heroines in Technology. Among them was Leslie Barry, vice president of Government Affairs and Business Development at GTSI, whom WIT recognized for the work she does each year in Nicaragua. For several years, Barry has traveled with a group of government and industry employees to Central America where they help villagers construct buildings.

Barry was honored for that work with a 2007 Individual Heroine in Technology Award. The Heroines in Technology awards honor women who balance demanding roles in the fast-paced technology sector with significant commitments to community service.

Among the other winners at the Women in Technology gala:

The 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award went to Lauren Kirby, president of Turn-Around.

Other 2007 Individual Heroine in Technology Awards went to Dolly Greene Greenwood, director of Army Intelligence, Mitre and Ashley Hall, owner of Mediatrix Technologies.

The 2007 Corporate Heroine in Technology Awards were awarded to Kathy Albarado, president of Helios HR, Linda LaRoche, chief executive officer of CSCI; and Lydia Thomas, president and CEO of Noblis.

The gala raises money for the March of Dimes.

NVTC honors Warner
Autumn is gala season. Last week, the Northern Virginia Technology Council held its annual gala. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), who has announced he will leave the Senate at the end of his term after the 2008 election, was given NVTC’s Chairman’s Award.

Warner could not attend the gala because of recent health issues, but three Northern Virginia representatives did accept in his name: Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.). Davis, who recently announced that he would not run for Warner’s Senate seat, said that after 29 years, Warner “has become the “senator’s senator.”

The keynote address at the NVTC dinner was David Rubenstein, one of the founders of the Carlyle Group, the Washington-based private equity firm.

Rubenstein said Carlyle’s founders came up with the idea for the firm at the McLean Hilton, the same hotel at which the NVTC dinner was being held. And he noted that 20 years ago, the concept was not well known. Back then, they were called leveraged buyout firms.

There have been several eras for private equity. The recent subprime credit woes brought an end to the third era of private equity, but the fourth era should begin in early 2008, Rubenstein said. “They will come back because investors know the returns are better than they can find anywhere else.”

The first phase of private equity deals, from 1978 to 1990, were known as leveraged buyouts. The second phase was from 1991 to 2000 and was notable for the bursting of the dot-com bubble. The third phase was from 2001 to the summer of 2007, when the subprime credit problems scared off investors, Rubenstein said.

Private equity will be back in 2008, but it may need to find a new name because activity by groups such as Carlyle no longer take place behind the scenes. The public, the media and Congress watch them, he said.

“Private equity has never been very good at explaining what it does,” said Rubenstein, who co-founded the Carlyle Group in 1987. “We have to retool how we explain ourselves.”

The next phase of private equity also will be different because investors around the world will be looking to participate, he said. It likely will be marked by new types of investors, such as pension funds and corporations, that will try similar types of deals.

The Carlyle Group, which has long been an active investor in the government market, will be looking to increase investments in Asia and China, the Middle East and Washington. Washington is at ractive because the federal government will continue to grow and defense spending will continue to increase, Rubenstein said.

“People will continue to look to buy companies in this area,” he said.

FCW.COM poll
Procurement changes FCW asked the question, “Does procurement need more government checks and balances?”

Yes: 31 percent
No: 69 percent

Smart reading
One of our favorite parts of conferences is hearing about the books people are reading. So we pulled together the books and reports we heard about during the sessions we attended in October at the American Council for Technology/Industry Advisory Council’s Executive Leadership Conference in Williamsburg,Va.

Among the books discussed at ELC:
■“Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything” by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams. Williams, vice president and executive editor at New Paradigm, the Toronto management consulting firm, was a speaker at ELC.

Regular readers of Federal Computer Week will be familiar with New Paradigm. FCW’s editors earlier this year named New Paradigm an Organization worth watching.

Tapscott , Williams’ co-author, was at FCW’s CIO Summit in May. The issue of FCW distributed at the summit included an interview with Tapscott. At the summit, Tapscott met Karen Evans, administrator of e-government and information technology at the Office of Management and Budget, and they began a discussion.

Tapscott then attended the CIO Council’s off-site meeting, which resulted in OMB and the CIO Council participating in New Paradigm’s Government 2.0 study.

We have read Wikinomics, parts of it several times. Wikinomics is one of the most-quoted books at conferences these days, not quite up there with Thomas Friedman’s “The World Is Flat,” but if you haven’t read either one, both are worth a few hours.

■ And speaking of Friedman, yes, his book was mentioned at ELC: “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century.”

■ And as long as we’re mentioning Friedman, there was some discussion of the National Academies Press publication, “Is America Falling Off the Flat Earth?” by Norman Augustine, chairman of the National Academies committee that produced the report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future.”

From the report:
“The aviation and telecommunication revolutions have conspired to make distance increasingly irrelevant.

“An important consequence of this is that U.S. citizens, accustomed to competing with their neighbors for jobs, now must compete with candidates from all around the world. “Those candidates are numerous, highly motivated, increasingly well-educated and willing to work for a fraction of the compensation traditionally expected by U.S. workers.”

Here is some other reading mentioned at ELC:
■ “We Are Smarter Than Me: How to Unleash the Power of Crowds in Your Business” by Barry Libert and Jon Spector. Don Tapscott wrote the foreword.

From the book:
“This book is the result of an unprecedented wiki-based collaboration that brought leading experts on social networking and communities from the Wharton Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management together with more than 4,000 business innovators worldwide who contributed.”

■ Forget telework. Think around-the-clock workplace, as in “Smashing the Clock,” a BusinessWeek cover story about Best Buy’s radical reshaping of the workplace.

■ And, of course, “The Wisdom of Crowds” by James Surowiecki. Surowiecki, who also spoke at a CIO Summit, argues that all of us collectively are smarter than any one of us.

■ We hadn’t heard of this one: “A Whole New Mind” by Daniel Pink.

From Publishers Weekly:
“Just as information workers surpassed physical laborers in economic importance, Pink claims, the workplace terrain is changing yet again, and power will inevitably shift to people who possess strong right-brain qualities.”

■ More related to the world being flat is this book: “The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us” by Robyn Meredith.

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