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FCW Insider: The Ed Meagher retirement party


So it is a week of retirement parties. On Wednesday night, I got to attend the ACT/IAC/ITAA festivities honoring Ed Meagher, who has had a long and distinguished government career most recently as deputy CIO at the Interior Department and previously as deputy CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Meagher now is director of SRA International's Healthcare Strategic Initiatives.

We are hearing that Marietta Allen will be filling the deputy CIO post, but we haven't had any official word yet.

As part of this, I am trying something new: video. I have a little video camera and I'm taking it around with me to record interesting tidbits or interviews and I will post them. I can edit them -- these were not edited because I just didn't have time. We'll see how it goes.

So we told you back in May that Meagher had announced his retirement. As was noted repeatedly last night during a series of roast-like toasts, Meagher calls 'em like he sees 'em. That sometimes can ruffle feathers, but... it also makes him a very valuable person -- he's no yes man.

Just to quote from our post back in May:


Back in December 2004, FCW referred to Meagher as a "true public servant." And, in 2005, Meagher not only won a Fed 100 award, but he was presented with the prestigious FCW Eagle Award, which is given each year to the best of the best — the first among the 100. Meagher was recognized for his amazing work with vets — work that has gone on for years and continues to this day.

Soon after the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Meagher and a contingent of his Vietnam vet friends started taking a group of wounded soldiers to dinner on Friday nights. Back in 2006, we referred to the dinners as "Friday night magic" because they help these brave warfighters begin to re-enter society.


Meagher's work with vets has been -- and continues to be -- absolutely remarkable. He doesn't look for acknowledgement. I fully believe the only reason we all know about it is because we have been asked to help -- and, thankfully, most people have.Meagher , a Vietnam veteran, determined that vets were going to be treated better then Vietnam vets were. And he has made it his personal mantra to make it happen.

Meagher's work with the vets sometimes eclipsed his day job. While he was somewhat controversial and almost always outspoken, most people initially underestimate him -- and come to respect him, his work -- and even his passion.

I have known Meagher for years -- not nearly as long as most of the people there Wednesday night. Meagher, after all, was college fraternity brothers with George Molaski, the former Transportation CIO, and with Dick Burk, the former OMB chief architect. Burk, now retired and dressed in his "work clothes," which consisted of a Tommy Bahama shirt and that Burk said was his dress-up outfit, gave a hilarious roast of Meagher -- the kind of a roast that only can occur when you know somebody for 40-smothing years.

One of the best toasts was from current DOT CIO Dan Mintz, who noted that Meagher's ability to challenge conventional thinking.





The other, which I somehow didn't record, came from another former DOT CIO, Dan Matthews, who simply thanked Meagher for all his work with the vets. "For that, I salute you," Matthews said, and then he actually did salute Meagher.

You can see Meagher's comments for yourself:





He noted that while there have been many retirements, he noted that there is a whole new generation of young people that are ready to take the reins.

One touching aside: While everybody was there to honor Meagher, the talk of the party -- at least with me -- was Marty Wagner, who remains in George Washington Hospital after sustaining serious injuries earlier this month.IAC's Ken Allen led a moment of silence to start off Meagher's festivities as people came together to think and pray for Marty.

As we told you earlier this week, you can get regular updates from the family on this wonderful site, CarePages.com. (Once there, you have to register... and then you can search for "MartinWagner" -- no space.) As regular readers will know, I'm a big fan of these Web 2.0 tools -- and CarePages.com, a site created by Steve Case's Revolution Health, is a marvelous example. I think it is great of the family to keep us all informed.

And I'm still getting cards for Marty -- and I will continue to take them... if you want to send Marty or his wife, Elizabeth, or his three daughters or his family a card, I am happy to collect them. I am making sure they get to the family:


Marty Wagner
c/o Christopher Dorobek/1105 Media
3141 Fairview Park Dr., Suite 777
Falls Church, VA 22042

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Jul 18, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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