2007 Rising Star award winners, Pr-W

Editor's note: This story was updated at 5:40 p.m. Dec. 11, 2007. Please go to Corrections & Clarifications to see what has changed.

Cathy Prusinowski

Employer: SRA’s Touchstone Consulting Group

Job title: Senior professional staff

Job description: Prusinowski is part of a team that supports the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of E-Government and Information Technology. She works with OMB managers, agency chief information officers, e-government program managers and OMB portfolio managers to perform a variety of tasks related to strategic support and program management.

Career in brief: She has been in her current position for about two years and in the government IT community for almost five years.

Why Prusinowski is a Rising Star: She has managed, improved and institutionalized the E-Gov Implementation Plan by identifying several major improvements in e-government reporting, including the types of data agencies submit, the schedule for submission and the organizational components involved. OMB officials said she remained true to the principles of transparency and accountability by viewing the plan not as administrative overhead but as a tool for the objective communication and evaluation of critical project information.

Karen Richey

Employer: Government Accountability Office

Job title: Senior cost analyst

Job description: Richey provides costs analysis support for a variety of audits conducted by GAO’s Center for Technology and Engineering, including audits of defense systems, information technology projects and management systems.

Career in brief: She has been in her current job for six years and in the government IT community for 11 years.

Why Richey is a Rising Star: She led a project to create GAO’s first “Cost Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Estimating and Managing Program Costs,” for which she consulted experts and reviewed 400 policy and legislative documents.

The massive undertaking often required her to work nights, weekends and holidays. In commending her work, GAO officials said the guide provides an invaluable foundation to help agencies make better auditing, program planning and budget decisions — all of which will lead to greater government accountability.

Andrew Rider

Employer: Labor Department

Job title: Information technology project manager

Job description: Rider is project manager for the Departmental E-Budgeting System (DEBS) at the Labor Department, where he is responsible for all aspects of development, operation and maintenance of the department’s new automated budget formulation application.

Career in brief: He has been in his current job for two and a half years and in the government IT community for five years.

Why Rider is a Rising Star: He successfully led the effort to deploy DEBS departmentwide. Now, for the first time, all 12 Labor agencies have successfully prepared automated budget submissions for the fiscal 2009 internal budget process and fi scal 2009 budget submission. Officials also expect to use DEBS to produce Labor’s fiscal 2009 congressional budget justifications. Automating the budget formulatio n process has not fared well in the federal environment, but Rider’s IT skills are formidable, and his interpersonal skills enabled him to win over skeptical budget analysts, senior agency leaders said. He learned the business process and was able to speak knowledgeably with budget analysts about the tasks they were seeking to accomplish.

Dan Smith

Employer: GTSI

Job title: Enterprise solutions manager

Job description: Smith manages a team of enterprise solutions consultants who provide agencies with products and services that include data center build-outs, network design and implementation services.

Career in brief: He has been in his current job for three years and in the government IT community for eight years.

Why Smith is a Rising Star: He plays a major role in GTSI’s evolution as a services and solutions company, and he is recognized by many of his customers as a valuable technical resource.

He designed a new Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange environment for the Customs and Border Protection agency that has enabled CBP to consolidate and operate in a secure e-mail environment.

He also was the lead technical adviser to the FBI for an e-mail archiving project that will enable the agency to comply with records retention mandates, locate specific e-mail messages on request and increase productivity. Colleagues said Smith has an ability to bring people together across organizational boundaries and inspire them to work hard to support a common goal.

Nancy Sternberg

Employer: Small Business Administration

Job title: Program manager

Job description: Sternberg is program manager for the Business Gateway Initiative, which has four major components: the Business Gateway Portal, the Federal Forms Catalog, compliance assistance resources and data harmonization. As part of that initiative, the Small Business Administration, in partnership with 21 other federal agencies, is working to deliver information and services more efficiently to the business community.

Career in brief: She has been in her current job 16 months and in the government IT community for 15 years.

Why Sternberg is a Rising Star: She coordinated collaboration among 22 federal agencies to produce a single access point, www.business.gov, for businesses to easily find government information, including forms and compliance assistance resources and tools. The site pulls together more than 30,000 compliance links from about 100 federal Web sites. Business owners surveyed reported time savings of about 2.6 million hours thus far in fiscal 2007 from using the site. Senior federal IT leaders praised Sternberg’s motivation to constantly improve the site so that visitors are satisfied and return frequently for more assistance and information.

Stuart Wells

Employer: Army

Job title: Chief of network operations

Job description: Wells is the senior information technology specialist providing computer systems and network infrastructure support for the Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command Headquarters, subordinate organizations and other Army customers.

Career in brief: He has been in his current job and the government IT community for two years.

Why Wells is a Rising Star: When Wells accepted the job, the commandant’s office was struggling to maintain network services. Because of Wells’ skill at performing a variety of complex software and hardware engineering, integration, implementation and operations tasks, the network operations team has been able to achieve and maintain services and infrastructure at 99.999 percent availability. In the short time he has been on the job, his supervisors said, Wells has brought a much-needed forward-thinking attitude into the network operations culture.


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