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October 16, 2008
Jones Lang LaSalle

QSS Founder;
1105 Gov't

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After selling QSS for $250 million last year, Frank Islam tells us he's supposed to be retired, but as we found out earlier this week, he is anything but. He's running FI Investment Group, hosting a television show, and recently signed on as chairman of the State Democracy Foundation, a Bowie-based non-profit portal providing comprehensive voter registration information, online voting tools, and connecting citizens with national and state legislators. But will it connect us with Joe the Plumber?


Frank met State Democracy founder Shukoor Ahmed years ago when Shukoor was running for the Maryland House of Delegates. The two remained friends, and following Frank's "retirement," Shukoor approached him to become the new chair. "With the times we're in, it is imperative that people reach out to their leaders, and we give them the information they need to do so," Frank says, noting the site has increased traffic 400% in the past month.


Here at Frank's Tysons office, State Democracy executive director Ken Laureys tells us he didn't have to think hard about the new chairman: "Frank built a quarter of a billion dollar company, so who better to take our organization to the next level?" Even un-retired, Frank has still managed some travel. He's just back from a European vacation where he traced his wife's Dutch ancestry, finding her parent's original farm and church, which was the same one that Vincent Van Gogh's father once preached at. (Doesn't this story end with Tom Hanks fending off Opus Dei?) Frank also traveled to Barcelona and visited the building where Christopher Columbus met Queen Isabella upon returning from America.

New Administration Coming

To learn what IT execs should expect in a new administration, we dropped in on 1105 Government Info's "Transition" Conference at the Four Points Sheraton on K Street, where we spotted Topside Consulting's Bob Woods and Bearing Point's Ron Aument. Bob told the 130-person audience the Treasury Department will likely undergo a reorganization similar to DHS: "It's a train wreck that needs to happen."


GSA Federal Acquisition Service CIO Ed O'Hare told the audience GSA will be helping 2,500 new political appointees take office following the election. The problem? "Eight years ago only 25 were appointed by April, so it's a slow process." GSA says it will ask the new administration to name at least 100 by April, while Congress is going to ask for 500.


It's always fun to see two competitors in the same picture. If you look closely, you can see FedSources Ruth Zein and INPUT's Kevin Plexico reaching for their knives. We kid, of course, but Ruth did try to get the upper hand by telling us FedSources is making an announcement later this week concerning the financial markets. She's just back from a trip to the Adirondacks, so we hope it involves taking us all to Lake George to forget our woes. But somehow we doubt that.

David correctly predicted Leanne would be Project Runway champ. Stay tuned tomorrow as he guesses who will win a checkers match between the ladies on The View. Send your prognostications or story ideas to David@Bisnow.com

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