A Federal Happy Hour You Can’t Miss: OIT and Conference Room “CC” Get it Right

OIT Happy Hour

Front to back row: Lynnette Williams, RIVA’s Farrell O’Neill, Keith Chapman, Matt Eitel, Rory Schultz, Donald Staren-Doby

Posted by: Farrell O’Neill

On May 3rd, I found myself at Conference Room “CC.” (Save you a trip to the List of Acronyms. “CC” stands for Cap City…Brewery that is.)

Last week was a whirlwind of hand-shaking happy hours, but this invitation was different from the rest. Every other Thursday, OIT Feedback and Discussion “CC” Sessions encourage guests to leave their elevator pitch at the door and give the business cards a break.

Phew.  Finally, an opportunity for meaningful conversations. I was honored to join the discussion. Here are my “CC” takeaways…

1.    Meet Rory Schultz.

Meet Rory Schultz; your humble host. A 26-year Fed, Director of this fine Technology Division (OIT), and Chief Technology Officer for the Food and Nutrition Service, an agency of the US Department of Agriculture.

Rory is on record as enjoying a signature brew and fine cigar off the clock. But where does he find the time, I wonder?  With so much on his plate, how does Rory heed the “CC” mantra: “come early, come often, come by and join the fun?”

2.    It’s work. Living the ACT-IAC Philosophy.

He’s still working. Rory is also government co-chair of the American Council for Technology – Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) Partners Program, a nine-month training curriculum allowing industry and government executives to “walk in the others shoes.”

Rory hosts “CC” sessions based on the ACT-IAC philosophy of trust and collaboration among members of industry and government.  It’s critical, he believes, to get to something called the “safe zone.” Rory’s “safe zone” is a place where you can have an open and honest conversation without worrying if it will end up in the Post or in a protest.  In this zone, we get farther and farther away from what Rory calls the adversarial approach. Ultimately, he says, industry can ask better questions, and the government can write better contracts.

Here’s where I’ll be NEXT week:

Join RIVA at our very own Federal Networking TweetUp at Co Co. Sala, Penn Quarter’s chocolate boutique and lounge.

This interactive champagne and chocolate tasting is where to be seen for DC heavy hitters in web, mobile, and social. Don’t forget to use the events hashtag, #RIVATweetUp. And while you’re at it come follow us and CoCo Sala on twitter here: @riva_solutions @cocosala!

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