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December 18, 2008
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This Saturday, DC will be the center of college football! The start of bowl season happens at RFK, at the first-ever EagleBank Bowl. Navy v. Wake Forest. Be there! Please see ad at right for details.


USDA not only pushes green programs outside its walls, but Assistant Secretary for Administration Boyd Rutherford has tried to make the 106,000-person agency environmentally friendly inside, too. Boyd created the USDA Sustainable Operations Council that brings together the agency's senior leadership to discuss best practices. "We previously made efforts on sustainability and environmental concerns, but it was exclusively focused on our programs and not us," says Boyd, also the agency's chief acquisition officer. He notes the USDA has 27,000 facilities nationwide, 47,000 vehicles, and one of the government's largest air fleets.


If you peak over Boyd's shoulder, there's a picture of him with President Bush. Let's zoom in.


President Bush appointed Boyd to his current position two years ago; and in 43's first term, to be Associate Administrator for Small Business Utilization and Performance Improvement at GSA. (Boyd worked as Secretary of the Maryland Department of General Services between Presidential appointments.) He's spending his last few weeks completing projects and preparing for the transition, but hopes the next administration follows the Agency's higher standards for green technology. "I think we look very closely at products we purchase, especially looking for things that are EPEAT certified as well as Section 508 compliant. We test IT products ourselves to make sure the products are actually compliant," Boyd says.


If you think Boyd is smiling now, you should see him on football Saturdays since he's a big USC fan (he got a masters and law degree there). Boyd is also pure DC; he grew up in the city, went to Carroll High School and Howard. As for life after his appointment, Boyd doesn't yet know what he'll be doing Jan. 21. "I hope to stay involved in some of the sustainability issues, because that's been one of my main focuses. I'm looking not only at products, but how people manage facilities to get the most energy for their money."

Speaking Our Language

We met AppTek's Mike Veronis, Hassan Sawaf and Steve Cook a couple years too late, considering we could have used the 20-year-old company's help on our Spanish homework. The 30-person McLean-based company develops human language (as opposed to whale language?) technology used to translate print and speech, search for topics, and find names in more than 50 language pairs and 23 languages. "Every week we translate Newsweek from English to Arabic, so we're used for all sorts of things," Mike says.


Here's Mike telling a joke in one of the five languages he knows. Mike says the Army is one of AppTek's biggest clients with thousands of licenses. "I'd tell you where they use them, but they don't tell us," says Mike, noting AppTek developed its own language building technology, meaning they can add a new language in a couple of weeks. "We have a bunch of scientists who went out to build the best products that work in the real world — not just a lab," Mike says.


Mark Amtower, WFED Radio Host and Federal Contracting Guru on who Obama's CTO should be: "[OMB's] Karen Evans has been a tremendous standout in the world of CIOs and has basically been acting the role Obama wants to create as his CTO. She's done as good a job as can be getting the different agencies to listen without having a big stick. She has a verbal stick, but there is no way to get the agencies to get what you want them to do. When the new President establishes IT policy and someone to head it, I would like to see some enforcement capability behind it. A bad OMB report isn't going to cut it unless you give them a real brick to throw. I don't know anyone who didn't respect Karen or her work and if you put someone in there with less intellectual capacity, you're going to have people throwing shoes at them as they leave the room."

David Stegon would like to tell people on I-95 between Stafford and Lorton to step on the freaking gas already and stop looking at construction workers eating their breakfast on the side of the highway. Send stress relievers and story ideas to David@Bisnow.com.

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