EDITOR'S DESK: Bon voyage to a special colleague

Thomas R. Temin

In 13 years at the helm of GCN, I've rarely used this space to talk about our own people. But this column will be an exception.

This issue is the first in nearly 20 years without Susan Menke on the masthead. Susan has been chief technology editor of GCN for many years and was features editor before that. She joined the staff when the paper was owned by Izzy Feldman and operated out of space above a Chinese restaurant in Silver Spring, Md. She retired Feb. 25.

In the past 20 years, the government and the technology it buys, fosters and deploys have changed to a breathtaking degree. GCN came on the scene, and Susan soon after, when the Brooks Act ruled how government bought technology, and folks were puzzling over whether microcomputers had a useful place in government operations.

Throughout this period, Susan has written and edited with distinction thousands of pages of material that has kept GCN by far the leading technology publication in the government market. From special reports on computer graphics or word processors in the early days, to XML and grid supercomputing today, she has had a guiding hand in GCN's coverage.

Part of Susan's success stems from her own passion for technology. Always eager to try the latest thing, it was common to see her fiddling with a text phone when text messaging was the new thing or with a wireless handheld computer when they came on the scene. She would seek out technology thinkers and visionaries in both government and industry, and come back enthused with new ideas. She can still dash off a pithy story, full of insight, faster than most reporters. She literally wears out keyboards.

Susan probably won't be thrilled with this column, because she is private and modest personally. She is steadfastly devoted to her now-grown children and circle of family and friends. A confirmed traveler, she has marched resolutely around the world.

Susan, thanks for your journalism and friendship. That's a -30-.

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