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January 9, 2009
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Reminder! Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze: "Federal IT Trends in the Obama Era: What's Hot and What's Not." All-star panel of top government contractor CEOs and agency CIOs, Tower Club, breakfast, Thursday, January 22.  Sign up! 

Now for our third installment of five; no one will be allowed to leave the theater until the end.

21. Bruce Klein, VP, Cisco Public Sector. Bruce has successfully weaned Cisco from the routers mentality and more into IT services, greatly boosting its brand in the IT space. Previously at HP, which he positioned to adopt more of a project mentality, he’s thought of as honest, thoughtful, efficient, and reliable: a John Chambers-like leader who’s the reason you don’t hear much noise about Cisco but know everyone respects for its management structures, information systems, and execution

Apatoff Peters

22. Ed Towns, Chairman, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Henry Waxman’s name was enough to make contractors groan (and that’s when they weren’t swearing). No one’s quite sure what to expect from his 74-year old Brooklyn successor in his 27th year in Congress. Some whispered he had too spotty an attendance record at Waxman grillings and is too low-key to exercise the power Waxman and Tom Davis created for the panel; others pointed out he’s held plenty of hearings himself as chair of the procurement subcommittee and that his style comports better with a new “no drama” President.  


23. Stan Sloane, CEO, SRA. It’s not easy following outsized predecessors like Ernst Volgenau and Renny DiPentima, but Stan knows what he wants to do: change the culture and grow. Now at $1.5 billion, half from defense and C3I, his goal is to be at $5 billion in a few years, recession or not. Having come over last year from leading Lockheed’s IS&S unit, he’s applying his big company techniques, even at the risk of ruffling feathers. The jury’s still out on whether it will work, but his determination is impressive.


24. Dendy Young, founder, McLean Capital. Never mind Dendy is no longer running GTSI, everyone in the federal tech community knows and listens to him. Now he’s using his government marketplace expertise and no fear attitude in the equity game, helping financially strapped up-and-comers get out of trouble with some well-timed funding and advice. We’d group him with other financiers, who you’ll see below, but his personal popularity, high profile executive experience, and ubiquitous community involvement make him stand out.


25. Martha Dorris, GSA Office of Citizen Services. When it comes to government information on the Web, Martha holds all the keys. Her office at GSA runs sites like Kids.gov, Consumer-Action.org, and USA.gov, which gets more than 100 million monthly visitors. Described widely as a terrific public servant with a heart of gold, Martha is receptive to nothing more than ideas that will help inform the public. Martha also doubles as head of ACT, which gives her close ties to other agency and industry execs and seems to be getting broader GSA responsibilities through the transition.


26. Joe Kampf, CEO, CoVant Management.  Don’t think from his firm’s name that Joe’s just some consultant or systems integrator. He’s a financial entrepreneur, who spent years in South America learning tricks from billionaire Daniel Ludwig, then with hedge fund Caxton went on a spree of Anteon acquisitions, did the ol’ IPO, and sold with exactly the right timing to General Dynamics for $2.2 billion. Now everyone’s watching to see what Joe the Dealmaker does with his strategic management company; open and amiable, his intense focus and execution provokes more praise than jealousy.


27. Tom Davis, Senior Adviser, Deloitte. Tom’s reportedly collecting a 7-figure paycheck (not bad in this economy without being a lobbyist) to re-establish himself in the contracting community from whence he came 12 years ago to Congress (he’d been general counsel at PRC).  The betting is the hyperenergetic pol will figure out his new landscape just as well and become a major spokesman and business generator. The betting is also that next year on this list he’ll be even higher.


28. Financiers extraordinaire. We know they make the world go round, via their M&A alchemy, and since they have different strengths and cycles we are taking the liberty of lumping them together. We've pictured Paladin’s Ken Minihan, and Novak Biddle’s Roger Novak and Jack Biddle. We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention Carlyle’s Pete Clare, KippsDeSanto’s Bob Kipps and Kevin DeSanto, BB&T Windsor’s John Allen and John Hagan, Arlington Capital’s Jeff Freed, Veritas’ Tom Campbell and the folks of Houlihan Lokey and First Mark (formerly Pequot Ventures). If anyone stays independent with all these ace dealmakers around, you can thank the shutoff of lending spigots for disabling buyouts. 


29. Ken Bajaj, CEO, SystemsNet. Talk about a knack for timing: The engineering whiz left Perot Systems to build I-Net with his wife, selling to Wang at its peak; built AppNet in the dot com days and sold to Commerce One for $2 billion right before the bust; and founded network security firm DigitalNet five days before 9/11 and sold it three years later for $600 million. Now that he’s started SystemsNet, people assume another windfall is just a matter of time.


30. Power Consultants: Rob Guerra and Phil Kiviat, Guerra Kiviat, Inc., Kevin Carroll, the Kevin Carroll Group. Rob and Phil get credibility via pre-screening; agency officials know, Rob says, that if they bring them someone “it will be worth their time,” and the fact they’ve rarely lost bids seems to back him up. They also facilitate the transition of high profile government execs like Jim Flyzik and Kevin Carroll, whose reputation endures after retiring as the Army PEO EIS, where he was known for a refreshing openness and communications skill about Army objectives. In the wings: Bob Suda, a vet of USDA, GSA, and DOT.

Cardinal Bank
Kipps DeSanto

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