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January 5, 2009
Jones Lang LaSalle


As the Army PEO EIS (that's Program Executive Officer for Enterprise Information Systems for you non-military speakers), Gary Winkler oversees acquisition of 50 to 100 large business systems at any given time along with an annual $4 billion budget and 1,600 workers. Somehow he found time to meet with us at his Fort Belvoir office last week.


He told us the Army is trying to re-architect its global information grid to give soldiers seamless communication infrastructure no matter where they are in the world. "We want our system to be plug and play where a soldier has the same information, the same access, the same everything no matter if he's at his home base, a training center or overseas." Gary says his office develops systems for biometric badging in Iraq and Afghanistan using fingerprints and retina scans. The systems link to the terror watch list and FBI database. The office has also improved communications so medics can send information on injuries to doctors in field hospitals. The medical records electronically follow soldiers wherever they get treated.


Gary, here with public affairs officer Jill Finnie, grew up in NoVa as his Dad, a lifelong Air Force man, worked at the Pentagon. For locals, he went to Gar-Field High School in Dale City before getting an electrical engineering degree at Va Tech and an MBA at William & Mary. Gary worked in private industry on numerous Army programs before starting his government career. He was appointed to the SES in '03 when he was the Army's first Chief Knowledge Officer.  He started his current job (which he compares to a profit-loss center) earlier this year. "We try to get the most bang for our buck," he says.


Gary also oversees Army Knowledge Online, DoD's web portal that provides deployed soldiers a place to talk to loved ones. Gary spent his holidays at home and jokes his New Year's plans consisted of staying awake until midnight. He spends most of his off hours with his wife, 13-year-old daughter, and three dogs named Kohle, Sylvia and. a poodle named Bubbles? "I think my daughter was blowing bubbles when I asked her for a name for the dog, so don't blame me," Gary says.



We recently met Deputy Assistant Secretary and USDA Senior Procurement Executive Gil Smith, who tells us he's overseeing the implementation of an agency wide timekeeping system. "We've been using about six different systems and found that in any payroll period we had $160 million that was at risk," says Gil, an expert in risk management. He says when he took office, the USDA didn't have an up-to-date property inventory system (a monster task considering the agency owns property in nearly every county in America). "That was one of our biggest wins because we now have everything properly inventoried and organized," he says.


We should have had Gil take this picture since he doubles as a professional photographer shooting promotional photos for Nikon and LiveNation. He also owns a 36-foot sailboat, Bad Latitude. He grew up in Maryland and served as a search and rescue medic in the Navy before retiring in '99. After working as a consultant at AMS, Gil rejoined government service after 9/11 as an Associate Director at the Peace Corps, then in executive support at the White House. When his USDA appointment ends, Gil would like to run a large non-profit, but may also return to government work. He might also restart his own risk management business. "There are lots of choices, so I'm sorting through them."

Enjoy the new year and keep sending story ideas to David@Bisnow.com.

Reston Limo

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