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July 9, 2008



Legends in love? Well, not quite, but it alliterates, and tennis heroine Billie Jean King and famed entrepreneur Sidney Harman certainly showed a shared love of the Washington Kastles debut last night downtown when we bothered them for a picture.


90-year young Sidney Harman is, of course, the tech wunderkind who in 1952 started Harman/Kardon electronics that through its many brands (including JBL and Infinity) provides high end speakers in many of the world's luxury cars—and living rooms. KKR was going to buy his company for $8 billion last year until the pesky economy intervened. But Sidney has plenty of pocket change: He donated $20 million to the Shakespeare Theatre for its new 800-seat Harman Center. And Billie Jean founded World Team Tennis, of which the Kastles become the eleventh team.


Just a year into the job and Health and Human Services CIO Michael Carleton is reviewing the IT infrastructure supporting Medicare and Medicaid, eg, help desk, telecom, and main frames. "We're comparing our efficiency with similar organizations, both government and civilian," Michael told us when we visited him in his big Independence Ave office. The study will be in next year.


The Walpole, Mass., native came to HHS as a management intern in 1979 and worked his way up to Deputy Director of the Office of Information Resources Management and CIO for the Office of the Secretary, before becoming CIO of GSA in 2000. He returned to HHS last year. "I came back and everything changed: new people, new technology, new furniture." Another task is reducing the department's external computer connection points in a government-wide initiative to fight cyber terrorism.


When Michael is not running the CIO office, he's running soccer fields: During the school year, he plays a weekly game at Sidwell, where he says his position is determined by the other players. "If they're older I can play midfield; if they're younger, I'm stuck playing defense." Next month Michael and family go on an Alaskan cruise, though he'll also visit an Indian village to glean tech needs of Native Americans. "We focus so much of our resources on large groups, we want to be sure minority segments with special needs get what they need," he says.



BrandClik CEO Josh Konowe loves Bluto Blutarsky, but he thinks like Einstein for tipping us off on his deal to provide in-text advertising for the National Newspaper Association and its 2,800 publications. (The official announcement comes Thursday.) Reston-based BrandClik, which launched last August, connects content providers with advertisers who pay per click for certain words or phrases to be linked back to their site. The NNA will repackage BrandClik's service (calling it NewzClik) and push it out to members.


Visiting them yesterday, we found Josh and co-founder Lowell Perry taking their afternoon Frisbee break. Josh, who you'll recall as one of our top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35, launched BrandClik after his previous start-up, real estate services advertising site e-Agent, saw its brand name compromised. "Realtors called themselves e-agents, because it sounded cool, but they had nothing to do with us," Josh says. So instead of suing potential clients, he started BrandClik, which allows clients to monetize brand names. In a few weeks he'll escape to Europe: visiting the in-laws in Germany and spending two weeks on an organic farm in Tuscany.


Kent Schneider planned to spend the rest of his working years as head of Northrop Grumman Information Technology's Defense Group (after 26 years with the Army Signal Corps), until AFCEA Chairman and QinetiQ CEO Duane Andrews (a man no one wants to say no to) came calling this time last year. "I'd been involved with AFCEA for years, but never expected this," says Kent, now the organization's CEO, who oversees the worldwide organization's 19,000 individual members and 134 chapters from their Fairfax headquarters. AFCEA's main goal: connecting government agencies and defense contractors through networking events and seminars, held all over the globe. Kent stays busy gardening with his wife at their 4-acre home in Waterford and traveling: recently to Rome and soon to the Napa.

David Stegon loves story ideas more than kittens, baseball, and ice cream. Combined. Send story ideas to David@Bisnow.com or 703-674-7718.

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