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MeriTalk’s Second Annual Optimize Awards Honor Federal Data Center Champions

Data Center Brainstorm, Newseum-–MeriTalk’s Data Center Exchange, a community of Federal data center consolidation leaders, today recognized the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with the Optimize Data Center Awards for leadership in Federal data center management. Judged by Federal data center professionals, the MeriTalk Optimize awards are the only award program that recognize leadership and encourage cross-pollination of best practices.

The Optimize award winners by category:

  • DCX Leader – Excellence in Data Center Consolidation Leadership
    Colonel James C. Parks III, Chief of the Data Center Consolidation Initiative in the Department of the Army’s Chief Information Officer (CIO)/G-6 Office
  • DCX Innovators – Innovative Application of Technology to Support Data Center Consolidation
    Network Enterprise Center of Fort Bragg
    PD Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Enterprise Systems and Services (ALTESS), U.S. Army
  • DCX Economist – Data Center Consolidation Program with Maximum Savings for the Organization
    U.S. Navy – Data Center Consolidation Program
  • DCX Powerhouse – Significant Power Savings within Data Center Consolidation
    NOAA Environmental Security Computing Center (NESCC)

The Optimize Award judges include:

  • Walt Bigelow, Chief, IT Systems Management Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
  • Steve Cooper, Former Chief Information Officer, Federal Aviation Administration
  • Jeanne Etzel, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Department of Homeland Security
  • Margie Graves, Deputy Chief Information Officer, Department of Homeland Security
  • Anil Karmel, Deputy Chief Technology Officer, National Nuclear Security Administration
  • Ben Rhodeside, Office of Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-Va.)
  • Karen Petraska, Service Executive for Data Centers, Office of the Chief Information Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

“Federal Data Center management isn’t an easy task,” said Steve O’Keeffe, founder, MeriTalk. “We need positive examples to light the way for real modernization and new efficiencies. We’re excited to work with such a distinguished panel of Federal experts to judge these important awards and honored to recognize these leaders. The Optimize awards recognize positive Federal leadership and inspire the Federal data center community to move forward.”

Details on the award-winning programs and individuals are available at

About MeriTalk

The voice of tomorrow’s government today, MeriTalk is an online community and go-to resource for government IT. Focusing on government’s hot-button issues, MeriTalk hosts Big Data Exchange, Data Center Exchange, Cyber Security Exchange, and Cloud Exchange – platforms dedicated to support public-private dialogue and collaboration. MeriTalk connects with an audience of 85,000 government community contacts. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, @meritalk. To join the Data Center Exchange community, visit

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