Evening of Honors 2023: The Most Prestigious Night in Government
7 minutes

Evening of Honors 2023

The Most Prestigious Night in Government

May 3, 2023

It’s hard to believe that the long-anticipated Evening of Honors has come to pass. There is no other public sector event like it, and we at GovExec are still buzzing from the excitement of the night. Join us as we step back to relive the evening, and to find out how you can keep the celebrations going.

GovExec’s Evening of Honors is the most elegant night in government, celebrating those who have changed and shaped our nation. For the second year as a combined event, the Government Hall of Fame and the Federal 100 ceremonies honored current and former government decision-makers and stakeholders that have broken barriers and gone above and beyond the call of duty.

A Night to Remember

On April 20, 2023, over 550 guests from across the public sector arrived at The Washington National Cathedral, standing before centuries of history. As they opened the enormous steel doors, they were greeted by a rush of chatter, glowing gothic architecture, and a sea of familiar faces anticipating a night to remember.

This was the Evening of Honors. As guests were escorted to their designated tables, they stopped to catch up with old colleagues and introduce themselves to new connections. The lights dimmed and GovExec’s CEO, Tim Hartman, kicked off the evening under the spotlight. Hartman expressed his gratitude for the distinguished honorees who have tremendously altered the way our government operates and serves its citizens. Whether working to protect national security, improve access to healthcare, or promote social justice, they have made a difference in the lives of millions of people.

As the night continued, a star-studded list of speakers took the stage, like Max Peterson, Federal 100 winner and Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector of Amazon Web Services; Maria Roat, Federal 100 winner and Deputy Federal CIO (former) at the Office of Management and Budget; and Juliana Vida, Federal 100 winner and Group Vice President and Chief Strategy Advisor, Public Sector of Splunk. These were just three of the 129 government and industry VIPs in the room. Other notable attendees included Thad Allen, Government Hall of Fame inductee, Admiral, US Coast Guard (Retired); Suzette Kent, Former Federal Chief Information Officer; Mittal Desai, Federal 100 winner and Chief Information Officer of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and Yemi Oshinnaiye, Chief Information Officer of the TSA, who have all dedicated their lives to serving the public sector.


From left to right – Presenter: Max Peterson, Industry Eagle Award Winner, VP of Worldwide Public sector for AWS. Government Hall of Fame Inductees: Douglas Owsley, Sean O’Keefe, Barbara Hackman Franklin, Elizabeth Duke, David Chu, Thad Allen. Co-presenter: Troy Schneider, President of GovExec 360

But, the work of these individuals is not done in isolation. Honorees, like Federal 100 winners William Bridges, CIO and Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical for the Department of the Army; Jay Bonci, Chief Technology Officer for the Department of the Air Force; and Robert Carey, President of Cloudera Government Solutions, couldn't have accomplished remarkable feats without support and collaboration. Everyone, even you, plays a role in helping them achieve their goals.

A major highlight of the evening was the long-anticipated unveiling of the Catalyst Award, Government Eagle Award, and Industry Eagle Award.

The Catalyst Award is a unique element of the Evening of Honors, which not only recognizes an outstanding contributor in the public sector, but also explicitly highlights a critical issue or theme that is essential to making government work better. Maria Roat, former Deputy Federal CIO of the Office of Management and Budget, was chosen to receive this award for her willingness to look beyond just her agency’s problems and help find lasting solutions government-wide, her interagency collaboration, her ability to navigate bureaucracy, and her unwavering dedication to get things done in government tech.

From left to right – Presenter: Teresa A. Weipert, General Manager, Federal Services Segment of Maximus. Catalyst Award Winner: Maria Roat. Co-presenter, Troy Schneider, President of GovExec 360

The Eagle Awards are presented to one government and one private sector recipient of the Federal 100 who stood out as the best of the best. For his work in finding astonishingly varied solutions for civic challenges (including vaccine management systems, rapid deployment of cloud solutions during the initial invasion of Ukraine, and assisting USPS with the delivery of Covid-19 home test kits), Max Peterson, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector for Amazon Web Services, received the Industry Eagle Award. 

Industry Eagle Award Winner: Max Peterson, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector for Amazon Web Services

The Government Eagle Award went to Laura J. Stanton, Assistant Commissioner for the Information Technology Category of the Federal Acquisition Service and General Services Administration. The overwhelming consensus across the federal landscape was that Stanton fostered an environment of collaboration in order to streamline IT acquisitions and help develop innovative solutions to the most complex challenges.

Government Eagle Award Winner: Laura J. Stanton, Assistant Commissioner for the Information Technology Category of the Federal Acquisition Service and General Services Administration

These inspiring stories struck the hearts of many, and the speeches closed with thundering applause. Ball gowns and tuxedo tails floated across the room, and mouth-watering food danced on palettes. Guests perused the cathedral to admire the beautiful archways, flawless marquees, breathtaking tablescapes, and recognition of contributors who made this night possible. The air was alive.

Under the Government Hall of Fame archway, through the “Walk of Fame,” guests browsed the reverent displays recognizing the fearless leaders that have catapulted public service, government entities, and our country to a new level. Eloquently written biographies detailed how individuals like Ada Deer, ​​Former United States Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs, and Carla Hayden, the first woman and first African American Librarian of Congress, dedicated their lives to the betterment of America. The Government Hall of Fame inductees paved the way for a better world. Without the Evening of Honors, there would not be a night of recognition for the tremendous work of these individuals in public service. GovExec is humbled and honored to host this commemoration.

Although the Cathedral doors closed once the clock struck 10, the celebration continued. Guests made their way to Barcelona Wine Bar to connect, laugh, and break out a rusty dance move or two. The exclusive after-party was the place to be to network with individuals across the public sector, as many did not want this night to end. Neither did we.

Even though the 2023 Evening of Honors has come to pass, we must remember that the work of government is never finished. Let’s continue to recognize the accomplishments of the guests of honor and recommit ourselves to building a better future for all citizens.

A Lasting Celebration

2024 Evening of Honors Sponsorships
If you missed the 2023 Evening of Honors, don't worry. Sponsorships for the 2024 Evening of Honors are now available! Don't miss this chance to get in on the ground floor and honor the work of your respected colleagues. You could be one of our distinguished speakers next year, help celebrate the Government Hall of Fame with a branded installation at the “Walk of Fame,” receive exclusive branding as guests unwind at the after party, and many more options to elevate and align your brand.

Federal 100 Winner Showcase Video Series
If you don't want to wait until next year, tap into GovExec’s Federal 100 Winner Showcase video series. For 31 years, the Federal 100 Awards have celebrated outstanding individuals' triumphs in the federal IT community. With this series, join FCW as they dive deeper into some of the 2023 winners and their inspirational stories and accomplishments. Not only will the 2023 winners be featured, but FCW will also open the floor to discuss broader trends across government, such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, IT modernization, and much more.

Washington Technology’s Top 100 Showcase
That’s not all! The Evening of Honors is a perfect example of how GovExec Events pulls out all the stops to create unbeatable, high-impact experiences. If you’re looking for another celebration this year, Washington Technology’s Top 100 Showcase is an excellent opportunity. Sponsorships are still available for this event and include high-quality leads, speaking opportunities, GovExec TV: Five Questions taping for your SME, a full-page four-color ad in FCW, and much more. Join us to recognize the companies that dominate the government market and are the gateway to growing business in the federal space. Taking place at the stunning Archer Hotel in Tysons Corner, VA, Washington Technology will debut its Top 100 Breakdown, offering a unique insight into the rankings. Attendees will have plenty of networking opportunities, giving them a chance to reconnect face-to-face with long-time partners as well as meet new ones. And of course, their competitors will be there too.

Our Deepest Gratitude

We at GovExec extend our deepest gratitude to the people who made this event possible, the attendees who helped us celebrate, and, most importantly, the honorees who have committed themselves to bettering our great nation.

For more information on the Evening of Honors, 2024 sponsorship opportunities, post-event celebrations, and other GovExec events, please reach out to Solutions@GovExec.com.



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