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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - May 8, 2002 - The Network Professional Association® (NPA) honors Individuals for Excellence in the Networking Industry. Six individuals were recognized today as the Network Professional Association hosted its first Awards for Professionalism ceremony at Networld+ Interop 2002, which took place at noon, May 8, 2002 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The award winners were acknowledged for their outstanding achievements in the field of networking aministration.

"In inaugurating this event, the NPA asked the networking industry to recognize and promote the excellence within it, and the industry has responded with winners," said Chris Setz, president, NPA Advisory Board. "It is appropriate that the professional body for networking provide the framework for these winners to set ethical and professional standards. It is in the nature of our industry that future winners will continue to raise those standards."

Presiding over this year's NPA Awards for Professionalism were judges Jim Belasco, chairman, NPA board of directors; Chris Setz, president, NPA advisory board; Fritz Nelson, publisher, Network Computing Magazine; and John Gallant, editorial director , Network World Magazine.

Canadian Stephen Ibaraki took home the highest honor as the recipient of the Best Networking Professional – Career Achievement Award. Ibaraki is chairman of iGEN Knowledge Solutions Inc. and senior faculty/head of research for Advanced Professional Programs at Capilano College. As a distinguished writer and speaker with a career stretching over 35 years, Ibaraki has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Gary Hadford Professional Achievement Award, the highest of international IT awards, presented to him by the Canadian Information Processing Society.

The honor of Best "Rookie" was awarded to Henry Penaranda, a Vice President in the Global Network Services Group of Citigroup.
In less than two and a half years, Penaranda progressed from consultant to assistant vice president to his current position while accumulating numerous certifications and completing his Masters degree in IT Project Management from George Washington University.

As a Systems Specialist with Ontario's Shaw Cablesystems, Graham Reed is the NPA's award winner for Youngest Networking Person. Reed, now age 20, launched his career in networking at the age of 11 by setting up his own dialup Bulletin Board System (BBS). At age 15, he implemented a peer-to-peer Ethernet network for the Coleman County Medical Center in Austin, Texas. He has since served as the network security specialist for a Canadian Internet Service Provider (ISP), where he maintained the provider's backbone using wireless spread spectrum technology.

Doug Linman, CEO and chief engineer of Network Anatomy, LLC received the Award for the Most Innovative Networking Project - System Integrator Implementation, for his design of a wearable communication system in the wake of the events on September 11. The fully integrated communications system that includes voice, data, audio and video capabilities along with survival elements and wound management fits in one lightweight backpack system.

David Vaillancourt, founder of CompuSage, LLP was awarded the Most Innovative Networking Project – Small Business Implementation for BatterUp, a math skills game. Vaillancourt has implemented a network version of BatterUp throughout the public school system.

The Most Innovative Networking Project – Corporate Implementation Award went to William Collins of the educational management organization, White Hat Management. As network technology manager, Collins designed and managed the implementation of servers and network configuration for charter schools and distance learning academies.

"We are very excited to kick off our first awards ceremony," said Jim Belasco, chairman, NPA board of directors. It is a privilege to recognize these individuals for their contributions to the industry, and we congratulate all the winners and finalists."

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