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Awards: Best Networking Professional –
Career Achievement Award
2008 NPA Awards for Professionalism

This award honors Debra Rowe who has demonstrated years of the highest ideals of the network computing professional. Debra serves as a role model in the network computing community and may be considered by peers as an industry luminary.

Debra Rowe - Knowledge Management Lead for the Operations Group, Information Technology Directorate, Air Traffic Organization of the Federal Aviation Administration, West Columbia, South Carolina

Attended Columbia College, Columbia, SC, Certified Netware Administrator (CNA), 3/4/5/6, Certified Netware Engineer (CNE), 3/4/5/6
Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Windows 3.1/Windows 2000
Electronics Technicians’ Association International Certified Service Technician and Certified Network Service Technician, Comptia A+&Network+, ITIL

Debra says, “I’m honored to win this award, networking has been my life since the 80s starting with Unix and starling and brose. Networking is my life. “ Twenty-five years in the network computing industry, Debra reflects on her first job: “My company received Burroughs mini computers in mid 80 new to everyone – had to find the operations manager to help me figure out which book to read to learn how to use it. I gave Private Pilot exams that went automated. It went from No automation to all automation.”

Debra's networking knowledge and experience have enabled her to contribute to the Air Traffic National Airspace System (NAS) and help ensure that NAS equipment provides safer skies. She has worked on ATSS teams as emergency situations required troubleshooting inoperative equipment and communications feeds for the NAS.

Debra is a Certified Network Professional, and manages all ATO IT infrastructure operations including all networking infrastructure and support for non-NAS in an area from Richmond, Virginia, through St. Simons, Georgia, and to the west through Tri-Cities, Tennessee. The scope of responsibilities include, but are not limited to, enterprise IT directory services, desktop support, asset management for hardware/software, helpdesk support, network management, technology refresh, procurement of hardware/software/related consumables, and information security management providing Computer Customer Service to nearly 1,000 FAA and contract employees. This has been her primary responsibilities since 1997 as the Service IT Lead (SAIL).

Debra plays an integral part as the Knowledge Management Lead for the National Service Center in the successful consolidation of user support and IT infrastructure management functions for ATO. She is trained in Project Management and IT Infrastructure Library and achieved ITIL Foundations certification in 2007, contributing to ITIL implementation in ATO.

Debra’s leadership style is active mentoring. She assists networking individuals by mentoring many, challenging assumptions, and brainstorming alternatives. Debra received an “Out-Of-The-Box Award” for innovative thinking. She is an active participant in mentoring programs from the Administrator’s FAA Corporate Mentor program to the Technical Women’s Organization Mentoring program, and has mentored networking professionals in many regions including Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Virginia, and Oklahoma. Debra Rowe utilizes every opportunity to support Mentoring and Individual Development Plans for networking professionals—some of these developmental assignments include Team Lead for KSN Site Development, the ESA Infrastructure Drawing Workgroup, the ESA Double-Take Standardization Project, the ESA Image Standardization Project, the ESA Life Cycle Management, IT Asset Management, and IT Exchange Team.

At the FAA since 1977, Debra managed the Y2K program for the ESA ESU, and received an award for her efforts. The first automation in FAA in South Carolina was a network of Burroughs B20, B21, and B22 minicomputers, using StarLAN technology with UNIX servers. Later in 1990, came the Windows OS computers and LANManager networking, and almost immediately after that implementation of a Novell network architecture. In 2006, FAA moved to Microsoft Networking with Windows 2000 and then Windows 2003 servers, and XP desktop/laptop OS.

As the IT Lead (SME) appointee to the 90-Day Safety Review for the FAA Administrator after the TWA800 and Valujet crashes, Debra’s team evaluated the trends that may have contributed to the accidents, using advanced analytical data to determine the need for the new Certification, Standardization, Evaluation Team (CSET). Debra wrote portions of FAA Order 1100.159 as the IT Technical Lead of CSET.

On 09/11, having been promoted to Air Traffic Services, Debra remained at work voluntarily to assist critical personnel and provide help so that by continuing to provide network support and assistance, ensured the FSDO's productivity.

Debra Rowe was recognized for automation Aviation Safety and Paratechnical expertise and writing skills, and was asked to become an FAA Academy Associate Instructor and teach automated EIR, accident, and incident report processing at the FAA Academy.

Debra's networking knowledge and experience have enabled her to contribute to the Air Traffic National Airspace System (NAS) and help ensure that NAS equipment provides safer skies. She has worked on ATSS teams as emergency situations required troubleshooting inoperative equipment and communications feeds for the NAS.

For 11 years, Debra has maintained, repaired, and ensured the ATSS's could remain productive with their Maintenance Data Terminals (MDT's), ensuring the security of the MDT's, installing Safeboot w/scancards. Debra assisted ATSS's with the use of communications software to communicate with remote NAS facilities, and built computers to be moved to these NAS remote facilities for use monitoring the NAS. She assists Engineering Services frequently with engineering/design of the LAN/WAN networking of new ATCT facilities housing NAS equipment, and assists with, and ensures installation of, LAN/WAN's in these new facilities, installing routers, switches—the entire networking infrastructure. She assisted in every way possible during emergency situations to ensure our ATSS's can restore systems as quickly as possible and ensure outages were as brief as possible, examples of which are hurricanes and 09/11/2001 for which she received several awards. Debra monitors LAN/WAN Connectivity at the 48+ facilities in the ESA/ESU and notifies FTI and ensures.

In 2007, as Lead for the ESA/ATO-wide Infrastructure Drawing Project, Debra ensured ATO-wide posting to KSN, coordinating for CCB approvals in order to meet this Goal/Objective, one of the FAA Administrator’s Flight Plan Goals and Objectives, analyzing the progress of the project, interpreting accomplishments for the team, and briefing management on their progress towards project deliverables and the status of the project in relationship to their shareholders. She developed workflow/functional documentation, database information, program needs. She briefs management on team subjects: team budgeting, planning, implementing, & managing assignments carried out by my teams, ensuring technical compliance & alignment with the requirements of the project/communicating individual team member performance to supervisors. Debra provides accurate analysis and interpretation, along with clear communication as a member of the National Desktop Standards Workgroup, creating a standard image for computers in ATO, and briefing management. She has made KSN Presentations, one of which was at the ATO IT All-Hands Meeting in San Antonio, TX, June 2007

Awards: Network Security & Incident Response Award-03/2007-AJW-1; Administrator’s Commendations for Y2K, 2000; FAA National Airspace System Defense Program 9/11 Service Award, 2001, Monetary Award-08/07;Superior Accomplishment Award-NDP-08/2007;SCI-2007;Outstanding ATS Service Area IT Lead;7 Certificates of Achievement;9 Commendation Awards;17 Letters of Appreciation; Barrier Breaker Award-1994; FAA Academy SME-CBI Training;SME IRM Infrastructure Workgroup;SME for Skill Based Training;SME-Automated Airman Certificate/Rating Application

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