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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - April 29, 2003. The Network Professional Association® (NPA) recognizes four individuals as the Association hosted it's second annual Awards for Professionalism ceremony at NetWorld+ Interop 2003, which took place at 2pm, April 29, 2003 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The awards program, in cooperation with NetWorld+Interop, honors individuals for their outstanding achievements within the network computing industry. Each winner received a specially designed, personalized trophy.

According to the NPA chairman of the board, Jim Belasco, "These awards show our commitment to recognize those extraordinary individuals in the field of networking, true professionals." By teaming with NetWorld+Interop, the NPA is enhancing the prestige and visibility of award winners while continuing the awards as a standard ceremony at this definitive networking event.

An independent panel consisting of industry media representatives and senior networking professionals evaluated the entries. Barry Sellers of the NPA headed up the judging efforts this year, noting "Reviewing the submissions was an honor and the panel is thankful for the opportunity to recognize the professionals in our industry." Other panel members included seasoned representatives from Microsoft, Network Computing Magazine, and Network World. Several senior network professionals and long time members of the NPA contributed to the judging committee including Steve Hyzny and Simon Stickley.

John McHale was honored with the Best Networking Professional Career Achievement Award due to the contributions he has brought to the networking industry. Mr. McHale is a man full of innovation and determination, and he inspires and encourages those he comes in contact with. Mr. McHale has created some truly innovative networking technology. His technological contributions have been so valuable that Compaq purchased his first company, and his second company was purchased by Cisco. John McHale is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TippingPoint Technologies (www.tippingpoint.com), a leading provider of network-based intrusion prevention systems.

Emerson Chase was awarded the Most Innovative Networking Project or Implementation, Corporate Small Business. Mr. Chase was selected because of his ability to take a situation where there basically was no budget and produce an information technology infrastructure that is amazing. In his own words, "I understand that the technology we have may be small potatoes compared to others, but if you consider that 7 years ago we had to go down to the corner drugstore to place a fax, to what we have now, we have most certainly raised the "quality of life" for our residents." Emerson Chase is the Director of Technology for The Hickman (www.thehickman.org), non-profit assisted living facility located in West Chester Pennsylvania.

Gary Markin and Bill Perlowitz were selected for the Most Innovative Networking Project or Implementation, Government category, because of their work with the City Of Falls Church, Virginia. Mr. Markin and Mr. Perlowitz created a completely secure, integrated platform and directory with immediate return on investment that would evolve in a very short period of time to coordinate accounting within the City, integrate the applications required by all departments, enhance both City worker and citizen services, and be affordable to maintain. Gary Markin, COO, and Bill Perlowitz, CTO, are program/project management staff with Reliable Integration Services (www.risi.com), a network design, implementation, and management firm.

Culminating the awards presentation and in keeping with the professionalism themed event, after the awards ceremony the attendees heard how to "Kick It Up a Notch" in their professional and personal life from Natalie Forsyth of National Seminars. This high-energy presentation addressed seven areas of excellence for self-improvement with tools to achieve development ambitions.

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