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April 15, 2008



This morning we joined a crowd of 400 for NVTC’s Titans breakfast series with General Dynamics Information Technology prez Dan Johnson. Dan talked about the culture of successful federal IT firms, and the consolidation of government service providers with platform manufacturers.  His, entitled “Federal Market Consolidation and Growth: 1+1=3” for some reason reminded us today is April 15 and we better get to the post office.


Dan with NVTC leader Bobbie Kilberg. In his first public speech since being promoted from COO on April 1, Dan harkened back to his days as COO of Anteon, which GD bought in 2005. He said the toughest part role for government IT companies is being in the middle. “The smaller companies are off to the side taking up subcontracts while the tier one companies are taking all the big opportunities,” he said. “It’s the middle companies that must work the hardest to stay relevant.”  Anteon had 9,000 employees, GD IT has 16,000. We believe these are considered relatively big.


We think it was just coffee in the mugs, but were happy to toast the morning with Compusearch CEO Peter DiGiammarino (known to friends as Peter D so they don’t have to pronounce or look up the spelling of his name), ServerVault CEO John Kraft, Unanet’s Richard Hayden, and Turtle Wings’ Jeff Farber. Jeff tells us his firm just merged with PC Recycler six weeks ago and now the 15-person company has three locations: Chantilly, Capitol Heights, MD, and Watervielt, NY.  The company’s biggest customer is, you guessed it: General Dynamics Information Technology! Richard said software company Unanet is celebrating its 500th customer; it works with government contractors doing things like time expense tracking and project reporting. 


We snapped Washington Post Company CFO Jay Morse, M&T Bank CEO Peter Black, and Sprint’s John Manning chatting about the “survival of the financial services industry.”  Peter’s take: “This too shall pass.” Black tells us the bank is on the cusp of closing a number of “major transactions,” this week, but tightened his lips when asked for more information. “I will talk about every thing in a couple of days,” he said, “but until then it’s a secret.” One thing he did talk about was his golf game as he plans to spend the weekend lowering his 16-handicap at Bethesda Country Club.


Microsoft’s Carol Kerins and Dede Sweeny stand with EDS’ Matt Birckhead, Donnie Scott, and Dave Morris.  Dede’s looking forward to Bermuda next week with her husband and one-year-old son, while Carol’s been busy on the weekends schlepping her 13 and 16-year-olds back and forth like a taxi service.  Both ladies say they attended last month’s NVTC Bill Gates event.  When we asked if either of the two ever met him, Carol said, “He sneezed on me once!”    


The busiest retired woman in Washington, Lydia Thomas, stands with NVTC’s Pam Covington. Thomas, who retired as President and CEO of Noblis last September, spends her golden years serving on every board imaginable from INOVA Health System to Academic Affairs at GW to her former company. “I am busier then when I worked!” Despite her schedule, she finds time with her two grandchildren, including Matthew, who turns three Saturday. “I spoil him everyday,” she said. “Not just on his birthday.”


There was a lot of firepower standing with former Maryland CIO Ellis Kitchen: LECLAT Group President Maria Chaloux, DWJ Consulting’s Dr. Dona Witten and Maryland OIT’s Stacia Cropper. Kitchen switched over to Lockheed Martin two weeks ago where he will work with NASA in outsourcing ODIN, a service that provides companies with ready-to-go hardware and software. “It lets companies know what their computer costs will be throughout the length of their contract,” Kitchen said. This weekend, Kitchen can be found aboard his Cape Dory Troller “Slipaway” for the start of Rockfish season.



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