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January 28, 2009
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Trademark This!

A big salute to great sponsor Cardinal Bank, which announced this week that it's named John Toups, famed techie and philanthropist, as honorary chairman of the bank's 7th annual Charity Classic golf and tennis fundraiser, May 18. More on this great event below!


The US Patent and Trademark Office is undergoing a massive IT modernization as it develops new ways for inventors to show their stuff. We met Deputy CIO Deborah Diaz who tells us 97% of trademark applications and 72% of patent applications are now filed electronically, along with all of the department's records: "We have patents from the 1800s that we keep on file, so maintaining that history is a big part of what we do."


Deborah came to her post two years ago after serving as CIO for Science and Technology at DHS (she helped start the agency's IT department). Her division there developed those fun "puffer machines" at airports, so the Boston native loves innovation. She tells us her passion is collaboration tools, such as teleworking, that improve communication with the public and increase staff morale.

Apatoff Peters

Meanwhile, she's off to the Philippines this week to lend her IT expertise to Doctors Without Borders. She's made a number of humanitarian trips for different organizations, including to South Africa to work in an AIDS clinic, and Nicaragua to build houses. "It's not just about money, but giving your time and knowledge," says Deborah, who also gives time to three daughters, driving to their numerous basketball and lacrosse games.

Virtualization Domination

Accelera Solutions president Joe Brown runs an up-and-coming virtualization boutique with three of his childhood friends not far from where they grew up in Falls Church. "We each put a thousand dollars on the table as seed money and now we're a $20 million company," Joe says. They help government agencies and other companies maximize their server usage. Accelera is currently working with Pepco to build virtual desktop infrastructure for the Air Force and USDA.


Joe started the company seven years ago after working for Citrix. "I was amazed at the relationship Citrix had with its resellers and came up with an idea that all my partners got excited about," says Joe, a George Mason grad and entrepreneur at heart (he once started a gym, but getting memberships can be tough). This year Joe and his wife plan to hike the Matterhorn circuit (in Europe, not Disney) after already doing Machu Picchu in Peru and mountains in Ecuador.

Women in Technology Want You!

WIT began accepting nominations for the 10th Annual Women in Technology Leadership Awards this May; that's WIT president and SiloSmashers exec Sue Liblong. The organization is accepting nominations in the following categories: Corporate Leadership, Entrepreneur Leadership, Government Leadership, Women in Technology Champion, Rising Star, and Best Supporting Actress. OK, we made that last one up. Anyone interesting in nominating can find more information here.

Cardinal Classic

Further to our shoutout above, the Cardinal charity event benefits the Inova Kellar Center and the Cardinal Bank Community Fund, quite appropriate because John Toups is a former chair of both the Inova Health System board and foundation. It'll be May 18 at the serene Country Club of Fairfax. Former CEO (in the 70s and 80s) of then tech giant PRC, he's also been over the years a director of GTSI, Halifax, NVR, and Dewberry, plus chair of the George Mason University Foundation. Cardinal president Kevin Reynolds tells us the Classic has raised more than $1.5 M since 2002, greatly exceeding goals. We are proud to have participated in recent years in the event, fielding our very finest tennis talent (which is generally a condition of employment at Bisnow).

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