Remembering Ginny McCormick
- By Joanne Connelly
- Jun 21, 2013
McCormick, left, and fellow IT pioneer Grace Hopper in an undated photo. (Courtesy ACT-IAC)
The federal IT community lost a pioneer this week with the passing of Virginia McCormick. "Miss Ginny," as she was known to many, was a force in the community. A longtime government servant, Ginny logged an impressive 46 years of service before retiring from the General Services Administration in 1994.
Through her work with the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils (FGIPC, now ACT) and the ADP Council of the Southeastern States, Ginny helped define the government-industry partnership as we know it today. She built and drove conferences the likes of which this industry hasn't seen in years, recruiting speakers from the highest ranks of the military as well as the titans of the technology industry. She hosted delegations from across the pond, sharing both her city and her home with visitors, some of whom became lifelong friends.
Ginny lived by Grace Hopper’s famous words – “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission," and the rest of the industry benefited from her unwillingness to settle for anything less than what she sought. She was persistent and passionate about her job and about the industry. Ginny knew everyone – she made it her business. She was a tireless advocate for her peers and protégés, spending countless hours offering advice, a key contact and sometimes just a shoulder.
An imposing figure she was not, her small frame adorned with neatly pressed blouses, exacting collars and the ever-present string of pearls. Woe to the person who underestimated the slight woman with the big smile for they would end up speaking, participating, meeting or generally doing whatever Ginny wanted them to do. Make no mistake. Ginny was tough as nails.
Ginny’s final years were spent in Atlanta, remaining active with her beloved sorority sisters. Last week, Ginny and her quiet command slipped away peacefully with her family at her side. For those who knew her, we do not mourn her passing so much as marvel at her accomplishments and revel in the memory of a life well spent.
Joanne Connelly, a former reporter and editor in the government IT market, is now CEO of ConnellyWorks, a full service marketing communications company.