Federal Employees News Digest

21 feds receive 2019 Rising Star awards

Each year, the Rising Star Awards recognize individuals who are early in their federal IT careers yet already are having an outsized impact. The women and men listed below have been selected both for their accomplishments over the past year and for their leadership potential in this community.

These awards are part of our larger Government Innovation Awards program. A joint effort of FCW, GCN, Washington Technology and Defense Systems, these awards also recognize the companies supporting the government’s transformation and the most innovative technology initiatives across the public sector.

The Public Sector Innovation winners were announced today as well; the 2019 Industry Innovators will be revealed in the coming days. You can learn more about the overall Government Innovation Awards here.

We'll be running full profiles of the 2019 Rising Stars this fall, and the winners will be honored in person at the Nov. 7 Government Innovation Awards dinner. Until then, here's a quick salute this year's winners — 21 individuals we're confident you'll be hearing about for years to come:

  • Brecken W. Auchterlonie 
    Business Development Manager 
  • Kevin E. Brisley 
    Manpower Analyst / Senior Human Resources Manager 
    Command, Control, Communications and Cyber Systems Directorate, U.S. Transportation Command
  • Kaitlin I. Bulavinetz 
    Managing Director 
    Washington Cyber Roundtable
  • Will Cahoe 
    Projects Coordinator, 10x 
    General Services Administration
  • Gilberto Castro 
    Global Networking Manager 
    Georgetown University
  • David Catanoso 
    Director, Enterprise Cloud Solutions Office, Dept of Veterans Affairs 
    Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Taylor K. Chott 
    Data Scientist 
  • Anna Cordrey 
    Deputy Program Manager 
  • Mahtab Emdadi 
    Regional Sales Director 
    Dell Technologies
  • Omid Ghaffari-Tabrizi 
    Acquisitions Lead 
    Centers of Excellence, General Services Administration
  • Ryan V. Hendricks 
    USA Performance Product Development Supervisor 
    Office of Personnel Management
  • Dr. Leonie Heyworth 
    Director of Synchronous Telehealth, VHA Office of Connected Care/ Telehealth Services, Department of Veterans Affairs 
    Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Michelle Johnson 
    Communications Manager, Senior Research Analyst 
    Section 809 Panel, Defense Acquisition University
  • Samer Madarani 
    Partner Account Director - Partnership Development 
    Dovel Technologies
  • Ellen Nadeau 
    Deputy Manager, Privacy Framework 
    National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Lt. Jason A. Pawlak 
    Cyber Battle Captain 
    U.S. Transportation Command
  • Jonathan Riksen 
    Associate Partner & Client Leader 
  • Christopher Rorvig 
    Senior Consultant, Consulting Services 
    CGI Federal
  • Blake M. Scates 
    Digital Program Manager 
    Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Robert G. Sheldon 
    Head of Technology Strategy, Public Sector 
  • Travis Sorensen 
    Oddball, Inc.






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