Steven Krauss: The organizer

A rising business leader at GTSI has brought together other young business and government information technology leaders for professional and social activities

It is only fitting that Steven Krauss is among the first Rising Star Awards laureates. The general manager of GTSI’s Enterprise Computing Technology Practice was one of the visionaries who came to Federal Computer Week with the idea of creating an awards program to recognize young leaders in government information technology.

And if Rising Stars is as successful as Krauss has been at GTSI, the awards should be around a while.

Krauss was also the driving force behind the creation of the AFCEA International Bethesda, Md., chapter’s Young AFCEANs. Krauss described the founding members as “overachiever types who were willing to take responsibility for creating an organization specifically for young IT professionals.”

Prasad Karunakaran, president of Zenyon, an 8(a)-certified software provider, said Krauss “not only put the group together, he kept it together. I think that’s the most important part.”

Krauss said he was fortunate enough to be elected the Young AFCEANs’ first chairman. He and other founding members looked for novel ways to expand the organization and be relevant to young professionals.

One of their ideas developed into the Rising Star Awards.

“The first event we held was a career management and development seminar where we brought in some [speakers] who were currently executives in government or had been in government and left for the private sector,” Krauss said.

He also helped create an annual Young AFCEANs’ golf tournament, which has raised more than $50,000 for scholarships in two years.

At work, Krauss took the helm of GTSI’s Enterprise Storage Practice in 2001. Scott Friedlander, executive vice president at GTSI, said Krauss built the practice into a $70 million business by 2005.

Steven Krauss

He said Krauss was also instrumental in rebuilding some strategic partnerships that had fallen apart. “He has been very good working with our professional services group, our marketing and sales force to do some full-blown implementation of solutions,” Friedlander said.

Phil Kiviat, a consultant at Guerra Kiviat, said Krauss is “the kind of young guy you look to for leadership. He’s a young man with a lot of imagination and a lot of drive.”

Krauss is now the AFCEA chapter’s vice president for membership and “is doing a very good job there, too,” Kiviat added.

Krauss said his goal is to increase attendance at AFCEA events because growing membership “is the easiest way to demonstrate the value that we have within the context of the government IT industry.”

To that end, Krauss said, AFCEA will hold a health IT day Nov. 15 that will include high-level speakers. “We haven’t had this kind of IT day before,” he said.

Kiviat said Krauss is an outstanding motivator and a team player who doesn’t hog the limelight or demand recognition. “He’s willing to let other people take charge and run things.”

In January, Krauss went with a 15-person volunteer government/industry group to Nicaragua through the “Bridges to Community” program, which builds homes in poor districts of Managua. He’s looking forward to returning this year.

“What you’re able to accomplish has a lot to do with the people you surround yourself with and having the right team in place. I’ve been very fortunate,” he said.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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