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Government Winners Announced for the 2015 ConVurge Technology Awards

30 Jun 2015 | Under News, Uncategorized | Posted by | 0 Comments logoJune 29, 2015 – Gettysburg PA – The Government Technology Research Alliance (GTRA) announced the public and private sector award winners for the June 2015 ConVurge Technology Awards.  The awards were presented at the ConVurge Honorary Awards dinner, which celebrated and recognized government and industry IT leaders whose vision, innovation and remarkable accomplishments have improved efficiency, the delivery of government services, citizen engagement, information sharing, and national security. Nominees from Civilian, Defense and Intelligence agencies along with leading solution providers were evaluated and selected by GTRA Council Members and community public voting.

“GTRA is pleased to honor these leaders for their accomplishments and innovative contributions to the government IT community,” said Kelly Yocum, Co-Founder and Executive Director, GTRA.


  • Emery Csulak, CISO, Senior Privacy Official, CMS Excellence in Privacy
  • Maria Roat, CTO, Department of Transportation (DOT) Leadership Visionary
  • Darryl Peek, Information Technology Leader and Cyber Security Strategist, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Innovator to Watch
  • Carolyn Sanders, CIO, National Endowment for the Arts – Women in Tech for Data Analytics
  • Arlette Hart, CISO, FBI – Excellence in Identity & Access Management Strategies
  • Evette Maynard-Noel, Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO), and Director of Information Technology Accessibility, Information Collection, and Knowledge Management programs for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Excellence in Federal Data Collaboration
  • Gregory Capella, Deputy Executive Director, Enterprise System Development Office of the Office of the CIO, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Excellence Mobile Security
  • Benjamin Bergersen, Cloud Security Program Manager, Shared Services, Department of Education Excellence in Cloud Security
  • Michael Echols, Director, Joint Program Management Office, National Protection and Program Directorate, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Excellence Information Sharing
  • Michaela Iorga, Senior Security Technical Lead for Cloud Computing, and Co-chair of NIST Cloud Computing Security and Cloud Computing Forensic Science Working Group, NIST Leadership in Innovation for Cloud Security
  • Steve Cooper, CIO, Commerce – Excellence in Federal Open Data
  • Ann Dunkin, CIO, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Excellence in Federal Leadership
  • Michael Valivullah, CTO, Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Statistics Excellence in Cloud
  • Michael Johnson, Energy Excellence in National Intelligence & Information Sharing


  • AvePointExcellence in Government SaaS – for Citizen Connect Platform
  • Skyhigh NetworksExcellence in Government Cloud Security
  • FireMonExcellence in Government Risk Management for Security Intelligence Platform
  • VormetricExcellence in Government Data Security & Encryption for Unified Data Security Platform
  • Norse CorporationExcellence in Government Security Intelligence & Breach Prevention
  • SanDiskExcellence in Government Storage for Fusion IO
  • ClouderaExcellence in Government Open Data
  • CienaGovernment Innovator to Watch for OneControl
  • IronKeyExcellence in Mobile Government

About GTRA: GTRA is a leading nationally recognized nonprofit 501(c)3 organization of CIO’s/CISO’s/CTO’s dedicated to bridging the gap between Washington D.C. and Silicon Valley, creating a public-private sector technology collaboration fostering thought leadership, executive knowledge exchange, and to drive government technology ideas forward. Our core focus lies in the areas of Security, Big Data, Cloud, Mobile, Infrastructure, and IT Services. GTRA has over 120 Council members, Ambassadors, Technology Advisors, and Speakers who are senior government officials dedicated to improving their IT community through trends research, executive briefings, roundtables, boardroom meetings, thought leadership think-tanks, strategic knowledge exchange panels, networking receptions and dinners, recognition awards, and bi-annual summits. By becoming a GTRA Contributor, executives are able to take action with their peers and utilize GTRA as a platform for improving outcome, access to a vast body of knowledge, innovative thinking, sharing best practices and lessons-learned, and enjoy opportunities to collaborate with like-minded executives.

Deborah Kay

SOURCE:  Government Technology Research Alliance

GTRA is a unique forum, bringing together many senior, technically focused, executives in a single interactive setting of roundtable and one-on-one discussion. Their unique version of a Summit format allows commercial and government IT Leaders to come together and discuss information management solutions to their shared mission critical challenges. This non-sales environment builds trusted, long-term relationships and allows the sharing of requirements, architectural frameworks, and valuable insights from an operational perspective.


As an AFCEA member I think this is very impressive and feel appreciative for forums like GTRA that are facilitating to provide outstanding opportunities for collaboration and convergence of ideas, concepts and thought leadership. GTRA through enhanced collaboration with GITEC has opened the doors in bringing Government and Industry together. It will take synergies such as these to affect positive organizational and national progress in cyber security awareness, knowledge and education through people working together.

CIO, ASC (LCMC), Wright-Patterson AFB, Air Force

I’ve been at this 20 years and this was the best conference that I’ve been to. GTRA has a young aggressive staff who is able to pull in key people and the roundtable concept worked very well. The government executives were committed to the process as well as the solution providers. I spent major individual time with all participants! GTRA did a tremendous job! We closed one contract within the first few months and have a seven figure deal that is also going through!


I’m very impressed with the value from the GTRA Council Meeting. First and foremost is an excellent collaboration opportunity across federal agencies. The presentations I’ve attended were not only very interesting but very relevant to what we’re doing in our agency. I certainly plan to follow up with the presenters and use their briefing material to further the collaboration with what we’re doing with the other agencies. I’m very struck with the positive opportunity it represents for collaboration.

Deputy Chief Information Officer, Office of Enterprise Development, VA

GTRA is probably one of the only events I’ll attend from here on out. If I am going to spend time and money on a conference, this would be it! We will definitely be back next year! This is by far the best conference I have attended – dealing with high decision makers has been great. I loved the roundtable discussions because you get to sit down and talk to customers about their problems. This is far better than a regular conference where the government officials just pick up a brochure and then leave.

Director of Sales, TopQuadrant

GTRA has consistently continued to do what the past two Presidents have agreed is a top priority: bringing a diverse grouping of ‘disciplined’ from across the government. ‘GTRA is a vehicle to help realize our administration’s vision for government performance! GTRA preceded Obama and no one can ride the coat tails! If Kelly Yocum, Co-founder & Executive Director, GTRA, sees it and says it, it has to come true!”

Professor of Systems Management, Information Resources Management College, National Defense University (NDU)

FAR, FAR, FAR, better environment that is conducive to feds and private sector feeling comfortable working together – awesome opportunity to meet and build relationships with key thought leaders.

Director, PPC

This is definitely the best conference event I have been to. “This small intimate setting is definitely the best. At most conferences you hear one speaker and then 400 vendors try to speak to them and give their their business card. It’s nice to have the quality face-time. GTRA runs a well-oiled ship!


We get about 50 phone sales calls a week about other industry events – each telling us they have the greatest show out there. I myself have been to a number of different events and have found GTRA to be the best event I’ve ever been to. The event had the highest quality of attendee to vendor ratio, better than any other event that I’ve ever attended. GTRA did a great job making sure that all our priority meetings were met and that we were able to meet with additional executives that we weren’t scheduled to meet with. I would definitely recommend it to my peers!

GM, Systinet Federal

GTRA brings in the ‘cream of the crop’ in the government and industry! No other event provides us the opportunities and access to high level government executives that GTRA does. For three days we get to connect with people and foster relationships through roundtables, casino night networking and strategy sessions. GTRA gets the right people; the number of high ranking officials is amazing!

Customer Service Director, GSA

The GTRA events are my professional highlights of the year. I really enjoy talking and exchanging ideas in with those I don’t normally get to work with. The nonDoD government has such a refreshing view on problems and solutions that I can’t help but bring back more ideas than I can even begin to implement.
The location was superb, but the friendships and time together was the best.
I love the fact that you know us by name and we’re considered friends!

Senior Principal, Information Systems Engineer, MITRE

The boardroom style is a brilliant idea-much better format than the exhibition hall and you get to hear other ideas-it works the way it’s supposed to!

Chief Technology Officer for Information and Network Assurance, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Networks and Information Integration, Defense (Speaker)

The face-to-face collaboration and roundtable discussions allow for a more interesting interaction and a chain of networking. When you throw everyone in a room, it’s too broad and not effective. This is my first event, but it seems to be very efficient. The personal attention of the GTRA staff throughout the conference was most appreciated. Don’t ever lose the personal touch! It is a great differentiator for your organization to raise you above the pack!!

Enterprise Architect, Office of the CIO, Social Security Administration

I hope your ears burn every time I mention your group to people who can’t get out of their own way. You guys are an awesome display of entrepreneurs, courage and most importantly…excellence.

Customer Service Director, Federal Acquisition Service, GSA

GTRA provides valuable collaboration and networking with executives from across the federal government and commercial business partners in a non-hostile, non-political environment.

Chief Architect and Principal Director, Deputy CIO, DoD

Of the 30 events that I have attended this year, GTRA is by far the best organized event and the technology presentations surpass all others!

Senior Computer Scientist, NIST