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FCW : November and December 2014
Rising Stars accreditation of IT systems. She said her technical background, which includes a bachelor’s degree in finance and business information systems, has grown even sharper with the help of a tech-savvy team and on-the-job training. “My team definitely challenges me,” she said, when asked how she stays cur- rent on the latest IT advances. “I have an outstanding team that stays current on the technologies as well. So it’s a constant communication in challenging each other in the technology arena.” — Sean Lyngaas Brent Bensten Think moving to a FedRAMP-compliant cloud service is daunting? Try building one. That was the charge given to Brent Bensten by Carpathia CEO Peter Weber when Bensten was promoted from vice president of operations to chief technol- ogy officer. He was an experienced data center specialist who managed opera- tions for Fortune 500 firms before turning his attention to public-sector IT. (He holds a patent for innovative methods of “remote management of customer servers.”) He led the development of Carpathia’s newest hybrid cloud offering for federal agencies and strengthened his firm’s partnership with VMware in the process. The new service was built to be “binary compatible” with existing VMware-based virtualized systems and give agencies an easier migration path to the cloud. “Brent was instrumental in this pro- cess, from design all the way through to operation,” a Carpathia colleague said. — Troy K. Schneider Matthew Berninger Some sports, such as skydiving and mountain climbing, have moments when participants must totally commit them- selves to dangerous situations to gain control of them. A career in the emerging world of Farrell O’Neill Proffitt’s job is to help agencies implement the emerging technologies and digital services they need — even when they’re not entirely sure what they need. She excels at “getting to the core of what we do and where we’d like to go...[while] remain- ing an objective third party,” said Susan Thares, digital engagement lead at the Education Depart- ment’s Office of Federal Student Aid. Proffitt has used social media monitoring and engagement to transform the department’s aid application process. As vice president of RIVA Solu- tions, Proffitt addresses the full spectrum of digital services for her clients, which also include the departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Agricul- ture and State. Sally Dadjou, chief of IT sys- tems at HHS, said Proffitt “is a master of building relationships...and [has come to] approach our problems as a fed” with a full understand- ing of the constraints that agencies face throughout the implementation process. When confronted with federal restrictions and resistance to change, Dadjou said Proffitt’s atti- tude has always been “we’ll find a way to make it work.” Rory Schultz, deputy CIO at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Ser- vice, described Proffitt as tire- lessly dedicated and “unafraid of being a woman in a male-dominat- ed field.” “The psychology and sociology behind social media [are] really exciting,” Proffitt said. Agencies have a “vast audience they can reach” but often face difficulty in implementing a standardized approach that works within the rules and regulations of federal policy. She said the solutions are “re-engineering networking” and using social media to “build bonds with customers.” — Jonathan Lutton Farrell O’Neill Proffitt ment Aid. moni trans appli As tions spect her c the d Hum ture Sa tem 16 November/December 2014 FCW.COM