Excellence takes center stage at GCN Gala

At a festive dinner ceremony in Washington last night, GCN honored federal and industry officials and agencies that have given their all to make a difference in government through IT excellence.

At a festive dinner ceremony in Washington last night, GCN honored federal and industry officials and agencies that have given their all to make a difference in government through IT excellence.And a supportive family seems to be the hidden key to IT success, according to the honorees [view ].In receiving her at last night's GCN Gala, Kim Nelson, CIO of the Environmental Protection Agency, credited her family as a crucial factor in her success.In addition to her father and husband, Nelson said other family members attended the event, filling an entire table. Even her teenage daughters, also in attendance, support her career in their own way. Nelson quipped that they would often tell her, 'Mom, don't rush home.'Each award winner said family played a significant role in their successes. Dawn Meyerriecks, former chief technology officer of the Defense Information Systems Agency, thanked her family for 'putting up with the hours' she put in as one of the officials in charge of the military's effort to establish a Global Information Grid. Meyerriecks, who was named , left DISA in July to become vice president of strategic development for AOL Inc. of Dulles, Va.Both Nelson and Meyerriecks, as well as the other individual award winners, also noted contributions their co-workers had made.John Thompson, chairman of the board and CEO of Symantec Corp., said his was 'really for the 6,000 colleagues I have around the world.'And national archivist John Carlin, who was inducted into the , credited not only his co-workers at the National Archives and Records Administration but other agencies and outside experts who had worked on technology efforts.The award winners also noted that the efforts of their organizations will likely have an effect far outside the federal IT community. Carlin, for instance, said, 'The ultimate result of NARA's Electronic Records Archives project will benefit everyone.'Thompson summed it up simply: 'The information that drives the global economy is really the lifeblood we live on.'In addition to the individual award winners, GCN also bestowed honors on 10 agency programs:

NEXT STORY: 2004 Gala in Photos

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