The ties that bind

The 2009 Rising Stars share certain characteristics: initiative, creativity, entrepreneurial drive and, of course, unlimited imagination.

What is the tie that links a would-be restaurant owner, rock-and-roll singer, SWAT team member, movie producer, baseball commissioner, automobile tester, HGTV home-renovation host, deep-sea fisherman, home chef, NFL linebacker, travel writer and shortstop for the New York Yankees?

Those might have been the jobs of this year’s winners of the fourth annual Rising Star awards -- if they had not pursued much less fanciful careers in the world of information technology.

Thank goodness for our government and our nation that the 28 men and women singled out for recognition in the early stages of their technology careers have found a truer calling – at least for the time being. Nominated by colleagues and chosen by an independent panel of judges, this year’s winners work in all corners of government and in private-sector businesses that serve the government.

In the course of putting together their profiles for this special issue, we asked each Rising Star to tell us his or her dream nontechnology job – hence the answers listed above. More to the point, we asked about their latest accomplishments, career highlights and whom they considered to be their early IT mentors.

What emerged are the ties that bind them to one another and the government IT community at large: initiative, creativity, entrepreneurial drive and, of course, unlimited imagination.

The 1105 Government Information Group, publisher of Federal Computer Week, is pleased to present the 2009 Rising Star award winners. As always, we tip our hats to our distinguished judges — and to Phil Kiviat and the Young AFCEANs, who first suggested this program and offer much-welcomed support.

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