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Honoring FCW's Rising Star award winners

This week's issue focuses on the sophomore class of FCW's Rising Star award winners. And yesterday, amid a brush with weather here in Washington, D.C., we got a chance to honor the Rising Star class of 2007.

If you were not able to attend, Federal News Radio's Max Cacus did a good piece today incorporating many of the parts of the event. Read it here... or listen to it here. [.mp3]

It was interesting because it was a late arriving crowd. The event was to start at noon, and many people were delayed by weather. Washington, D.C. had it's first snow of the season, and, just as happens every year, it just wreaked havoc on the area. Conrad Cross, theCIO of the city of Orlando, Fla. and “Rosa” Akhtarkhavari , a Rising Star from the city of Orlando, almost didn't make it because of weather and plane issues. I was really thrilled that they did. (I also joked with Cross that they were delayed because they were out making snowballs, given that Orlando doesn't get all that much snow. He said it was in the 80s when they left. I told them if they wanted to be like Washingtonians in a snow storm, you had to do two things: 1. Panic -- like a crazy person. 2. Go to grocery store and buy all the bread, milk and toilet paper that the market has. I mean all of it. Apparently people in Washington aren't convinced that they will ever get out of the house again, so... what do you need? Bread and milk, of course. One of the local TV stations even measures the severity of snowstorms by how many loafs of bread you should buy.)

All of that aside, Cross and Akhtarkhavari attending was important because they were one of five winners who came from outside the DC area, and I think it speaks to how this award really resonates with people. After all, this award came about because young people came to us and said that there wasn't a program that recognized young people -- and that there should be. And they were right. I think it is very powerful that these organization support these Rising Stars.

I consciously tried to keep a different feel from normal award programs. To be honest, I don't find it all that interesting to just hear names listed. So we invited OMB's Tim Young, who has been an ardant supporter of Rising Stars, to speak... and he did, very eloquently, about the influence that young people can have on their organizations.

Also speaking... Angela Norris from Oracle, president of the AFCEA Bethesda, Md. chapter Young AFCEAns. The Young AFCEAns were the ones who came to us with the idea.

Then, rather then hearing a list of names, I took a microphone into the audience and actually spoke to winners about what the government does well for young people -- and what the government should do better.

One of the recurring themes: It's about the mission. The people who decide to become public servants strongly believe in the mission.

Over all, it is a great event -- one that I'm proud to spearhead.

Next year, all of the 1105 Government Information Group publications -- FCW, Government Computer News, and Washington Technology -- will be participating in the Rising Star program. The respective winners will be profiled in the respective publications:FCW will focus on the policy/management winners; GCN on the technology winners; and Washington Technology on the business winners. And it is going to be a summer event, so we'll be seeking nominations starting... well, not that long. So keep your eyes out for good folks.

And thanks to everybo y who partici ated this ye r. br /&am ;g ;
Finally, we'll get photos posted soon... and run a few in he 12.17 issue of Federal Computer Week.

Posted on Dec 06, 2007 at 12:17 PM


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