The 2005 GCN Gala: Innovators who march to their own drums take their awards in stride

Defense Executive of the Year Dave Wennergren, Navy CIO, talks about drawing daily inspiration from 'young men and women who have chosen service and sacrifice.'

Zaid Hamid

Gala 2005

Industry Executive of the Year Robert Stevens, chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp., with Lockheed executive Linda Gooden.

Innovation in support of public service was the dominant theme at the 2005 GCN Awards Gala earlier this month in Washington.

Spicing up the traditional black-tie color scheme were splashes of red, white and blue'from the huge American flag backdrop on stage to the bow tie worn by Jim Williams, director of the Homeland Security Department's U.S. Visit program and the winner of the Civilian Executive of the Year award.

It was also his 20th wedding anniversary. He thanked GCN for 'saving me. I didn't have any time to plan an intimate dinner.' Williams, looking over at his wife, said: 'So Honey, this is it. Please enjoy it.'

Eighteen months into his job as Navy CIO, Defense Executive of the Year David Wennergren heard that the average life span of a CIO was 18 months. He thought he'd prefer to stick around. 'I'm having a lot of fun,' he said. 'I have small children to send to college.'
Industry Executive of the Year Robert Stevens said he was 'humbled' by the award, as he couldn't get his BlackBerry to work. Stevens, Lockheed Martin chairman, president and CEO, talked about the promises of technology and ended on a serious note: 'The global war on terror is real, and it must and it will be won.'

The newest member of the GCN Hall of Fame, former IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti, received the award for a 'lifetime of service and his substantial contribution to government IT,' said emcee Tom Temin, senior vice president and editor in chief of PostNewsweek Tech Media, which publishes GCN.
Rossotti, who founded American Management Systems Inc. (now CGI-AMS) in 1970 and now is a senior adviser to the Carlyle Group of Washington, praised the 'success we have had in using technology to make the government work as effectively as it does.'

To see more pictures and read about the winning projects and people, go to

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.


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