1996 Federal 100 Judges

This year's Federal 100 judges met at FCW's offices Saturday, Jan. 6. The weather was threatening, but in true Federal 100 fashion, they dodged the Blizzard of '96 by finishing the selection in near-record time.

Each year's panel has its own personality, and the panel's choices reflect the values, experiences and concerns that its members bring to the selection process. Some guidelines remain constant, however.

* The award is for work done in 1995. This is an All-Star team, not a Hall of Fame award.

* It is what the person did, not the job he or she held, that counts.

* Some recipients may be controversial. This is not a popularity contest, and some individuals who had a major effect on the community may not be uniformly liked.

* Some of the awards may be symbolic, representing other deserving people who may have done similar but unrecognized work.

The awards remind us that even in these times of focusing on process, it is people who make the difference in federal computing. One such person, who continues to provide the Federal 100 awards with support and advice even though he is no longer a judge, is Frank Reeder, director of administration at the White House. His steadfast belief in the need to recognize people for their accomplishments remains our guiding principle.

* * *

David Borland

Vice Director of Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications and Computers (DISC4)

Department of Defense

Borland is the senior civilian in the Army responsible for coordinating all Army information technology programs. Joining DISC4 in 1994 after five years as director of the Army's primary contracting shop, the Information Systems Selection and Acquisition Agency, Borland is acutely aware of the pitfalls that can derail IT acquisitions and of the people who have run successful ones.

Defense still commands a majority of the IT funds and a sizable percentage of the Federal 100 nominees. The Defense representative on the judging panel always has more homework and verification duties than anyone else. Borland's quiet, direct style contributed a seasoned professional's experience to the proceedings. He is a three-time Federal 100 winner and a winner of the Superior Civilian Service Award from the Army.

* * *

Mary Ellen Condon

Director, Information Management and Security

Department of Justice

Condon chairs the Information Technology Acquisition Review Board, an interagency group that reviews major government IT initiatives. She brings to that position many years of experience as a program manager and as trail boss of a complex Department of Agriculture software services support contract. From that vantage point, she sees what works and what doesn't in government IT procurement.

As director of information management and security for Justice, Condon is responsible for re-engineering IT oversight functions and implementing the agency's IT goals with a complementary computer security program.

Until November 1995 Condon was director of information resources management for the Agricultural Marketing Service. Twice a Federal 100 winner, she also was Trail Boss of the Year in 1994.

* * *

Olga Grkavac

Vice President

Systems Integration Division

Information Technology Association of America

Grkavac understands that the key to successfully representing a diverse group of people is to craft a position that everyone feels compelled to support. This same skill that has made her a success in Washington is one that brought her back to the Federal 100 judging table again this year.

Since the creation of the Systems Integration Division, Grkavac has spent her time representing SI members' myriad concerns and positions. Last year she served out a several-month stint as ITAA acting director.

Her input on policy and legislative discussions has helped to shape many final rules and laws. A tireless advocate for her members' cause, Grkavac always finds time to pick up the phone and describe the status of a piece of legislation just one more time.

Grkavac is a former Federal 100 winner and has been a judge on three Federal 100 panels.

* * *

Bruce W. McConnell

Chief of Information Policy and Technology

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Office of Management and Budget

Last year our write-up of McConnell was clearly ahead of its time. It said working the policy desk in such volatile times was a bit like working the Balkan desk: Just when you think you have the players straight, everything changes. We spoke too soon. This year everything has changed, and McConnell has been "the still point in the turning world."

In the midst of changes in delegation authority and oversight, McConnell remains a constant. His office is responsible for oversight of the acquisition and use of information and IT by federal agencies and the development of policies and guidelines to improve those practices.

He serves on the Government Information Technology Services (GITS) working group.

He is completing his third tour as a Federal 100 judge.

* * *

Janice Mendenhall

Assistant Regional Administrator for Information Technology

General Services Administration

Based in Atlanta, Mendenhall is responsible for managing information resources for federal agencies in an eight-state zone. A 19-year veteran of GSA, she supervises 120 federal employees, 1,500 contract employees and a budget of $100 million.

Known alternately as a tough negotiator and a real people person, Mendenhall brought these skills to the judges' table. Her thoroughness and attention to detail quickly determined whether a name would be added or dropped from the list. Her "outside the Beltway" location helped to add diversity and balance to this year's Federal 100.

A former Federal 100 winner, Mendenhall has received a number of awards within GSA.

* * *

Neil J. Stillman

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Management

Department of Health and Human Services

Stillman comes quickly to mind when one hears the old chestnut about finding a busy man when you have a job that must be done. Stillman heads two major IRM organizations: the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils and the Interagency Committee for Information Resources Management (IAC/IRM).

From his leadership position in those organizations, he brings an awareness of most of the players in the federal IRM arena.

In his position at HHS, he establishes IRM policies and oversees the development of information systems and communications networks.

In addition to his leadership positions, he is a member of the GITS working group and was named 1995 IRM executive of the year by the IAC/IRM. He was a Federal 100 winner in 1994 and 1995.

* * *

Charles C. Wheeler III

Vice President of Consulting Services

Federal Sources Inc.

For more than 10 years Wheeler was a key player on the House Committee on Government Operations. As the chairman's principal IT adviser, he managed the agenda on procurement and IT issues. He coordinated and did much of the House staff work in preparation for the passage of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994.

With the change in House leadership he has moved into the private sector, where he specializes in helping clients predict and understand congressional actions in IT. He also helps them represent their interests to the appropriate decision makers.

He brings to the Federal 100 selection process a keen awareness of all the players on Capitol Hill and of their contributions to the passage of procurement reform legislation.

* * *

Robert J. Woods

Commissioner

Federal Telecommunications Service

General Services Administration

Woods thrives on running big projects that deliver services to millions of customers. First at the Federal Aviation Administration, next at the Department of Transportation, then at the Department of Veterans Affairs and now at GSA, he has directed programs that depend on a customer-oriented approach.

He now runs the government's telecommunications service—currently a $1 billion-a-year operation—and is in the midst of procuring the hotly debated follow-on contract.

Woods is a key player in government IRM; he sits on a number of interagency task forces and working groups. His knowledge of people and projects extends across a large section of the government. His insights were invaluable to the judges. Not surprisingly, it is his third time as a judge.

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