The circuit

A long childhood

The Environmental Protection Agency's chief information officer, Kim Nelson, is tired of talking about enterprise architecture.

Her daughter's 14th birthday, coming up next month, made her realize she has been talking about enterprise architecture for 14 years. She was pregnant when she was working on the first architecture at a state environmental protection agency, she said, and she's a bit chagrined to still be talking about it.

"I hope I am not talking about it 14 years from now," she said, speaking at an AFCEA International breakfast in Bethesda, Md., last week. "I hope it's like pens and pencils and e-mail, and we all take it for granted."

Acting out

Energy Department CIO Karen Evans has added another name to her list of speakers she doesn't want to follow: Edward Meagher, the Department of Veterans Affairs' acting CIO.

At the AFCEA breakfast, Meagher discussed the department's enterprise architecture team, known as the VA's Enterprise Architecture Innovation Team, and entertained the audience with the group's acronym, (DVAEAInTs), pronounced deviants.

Describing a governance group of 20 top-level managers as deviants — now, that's a tough act to follow.

"It's really hard to talk about the enterprise architecture at the Department of Energy, and he's talking about the deviants at VA," she joked.

Stormy weather

Here are a few last reports about Hurricane Isabel's jaunt across the mid- Atlantic region earlier this month:

* Technology proved a big help for some people during the storm, although not for everyone. Virginia's Department of Transportation site included maps and links to primary evacuation routes. According to VDOT spokeswoman Donna Purcell Mayes, the department relied heavily on its Web site to answer the public's questions.

VDOT operated the Transportation Emergency Operations Center from its headquarters in Richmond, Va., and used the Internet as a communication tool. The Virginia Operations Information System allowed field offices to transmit real-time data of road conditions to the operations center.

Officials at Virginia's State Emergency Operations Center, operated out of Richmond at the state police headquarters, relied on Web-based messaging and satellite phones throughout the storm, which, according to Mayes, served as protection from possible power outages.

* The U.S. Coast Guard fleet in Norfolk, Va., tracked the storm using the HurriTrack system. Commanders communicated via the Coast Guard's intranet messaging system and kept a mobile communications trailer out of Isabel's path to serve as a backup for systems that might lose power.

But according to the Coast Guard's public affairs officer, John Moss, technology went out the window when Isabel reached the Virginia coast.

In emergencies, the Coast Guard takes a step backward and relies on older VHF/UHF-band radios during a storm, proving that high-tech gadgets are only great until the power goes out, Moss said.

* Isabel, of course, closed down the federal government. But some civil servants braved rough weather to get into the office anyway.

Jeff Nelligan at the General Accounting Office answered his phone. In fact, he was answering all of the phones in his office. "I'm going to do the vacuuming later," he joked.

The new Bethesda crew

AFCEA International's Bethesda Chapter welcomed its lineup of officers for the coming year, beginning with new president Cindy Kendall, who is corporate vice president of Science Applications International Corp. Outgoing president Linda Berdine, a founding member of the Bethesda chapter, now joins the chapter board.

After six years of serving in several chapter positions, Berdine said she looks forward to taking a more leisurely approach to the monthly early morning breakfast meetings. She can sleep in a little longer and actually have time to eat the breakfast. "How has the food been for the last six years?" she asked the audience.

The chapter's other officers are:

* Carolyn Manetti (G&B Solutions Inc.), vice president, planning.

* Cathy Hirsh (consultant), vice president, education.

* Charles Sharrocks (RS Information Systems Inc.), vice president, chapter liaison.

* Deb Anderson (Emergent OnLine Inc.), vice president, special interest groups.

* Elaine Dauphin (Computer Sciences Corp.), treasurer.

* Fern Krauss (Fern Krauss Public Relations), vice president, communications.

* Joanne Connelly (ConnellyWorks Inc.), vice president, outreach.

* John Williams (Vignette Corp.), secretary.

* Kenneth Touloumes (Titan Corp.), vice president, membership.

* Philip Kiviat (Guerra, Kiviat, Flyzik and Associates Inc.), vice president, programs.

* Rajeev Aggarwal (Compubahn Inc.), small business advocate.

* Tom Sisti (AT&T), vice president, law and policy.

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