Special Report | Channel leaders: After the storm

Tim Schilbach, project manager, Apogen Technologies Inc.

The leaders

» Mark Blevins

Perot Government Systems

Vice president of civilian services

» Jerold Clark Jr.

Anteon International Corp.

Senior group manager of operational intelligence

» Douglas Gilbert

Verizon Federal Network Systems

Director, Energy Dept. operations

» Bhaskaran Jayaraman

Avineon Inc.

IT director

» Kevin Lee

Health Management Systems Inc.

Vice president and senior program director

» Eric Olson

InfoReliance Corp.

Director of Marine programs

» Greg Pellegrino

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Public sector global managing director

» Tim Schilbach

Apogen Technologies Inc.

Project manager

» William Smithson

SI International Inc

Vice president of financial systems applications development

» Heinz Wimmer

Analex Corp.

Vice president of central operations

How we found our leaders

The Washington Technology Channel Leaders were picked from nominations submitted by our readers. The editorial staff read the nominations and judged them on the following:

» How the person helped a federal, state or local government agency fulfill its mission

» How the person helped his or her company meet growth, positioning and profitability goals

» How the person showed creativity, leadership and good partnership in the delivery of products or services to a government customer.

Nominations of chief executive officers, division presidents and executive vice presidents were not accepted. Instead, we wanted to recognize the people in the trenches: program and project managers and sales and business development executives. These are the people who touch and interact with government customers daily.

"Knowledge is power. After that, it's about getting noticed, doing the right thing and keeping in line with your goals and morals," says Tim Schilbach.

©Anthony Sisco

It doesn't take long to get a sense of Tim Schilbach's energy level. You can even feel it crackling over the phone. The project manager for IT integrator Apogen Technologies Inc. of McLean, Va., talks fast, thinks fast and acts fast.

That energy has helped Schilbach rack up an impressive resume: He's served in the Army National Guard for the last 12 years and led combat missions in Kosovo and Bosnia. He's built up an expertise in various computing architectures. He's had oversight of the relocation of a large government operation from the eye of Hurricane Katrina to safe ground in Philadelphia.

"The jobs that I like are high intensity," said the former Alaskan resident. "We've got to get this stuff done yesterday, we've got half the budget that we need, and we have no personnel to do these things. It's like, wow, this is a really cool challenge."

Schilbach's intensity was put to the test in September 2005, when Hurricane Katrina shut down his work for the Agriculture Department's National Finance Center, which distributes paychecks and manages benefits for federal civilian employees. Schilbach moved operations quickly to a temporary site in Philadelphia, and helped piece together a center that wouldn't miss a single payroll.

"This was a massive effort," Schilbach said. "You would sleep a half-hour here and a half-hour there."

Schilbach and his team are now back to concentrating on the original task of the contract: build a dual data center for the National Finance Center.

His supervisors said Schilbach has an uncanny ability to communicate with people and motivate his staff.

"If you were looking for somebody you could bring into a project and say, 'This is what I need you do,' Tim's the guy you want, because he does it without a miss," said Judi Bruns, director and division manager for the federal civilian group at Apogen. "On paper, Tim walks on water."

Schilbach came to Apogen when his former employer, CenturyTel, a Monroe, La., communications provider, eliminated several jobs in the company. Apogen hired Schilbach because of his knowledge of multiple computing architectures, including e-mail systems, security, network engineering and storage area networks.

After eight years in the Army's 82nd Airborne division, Schilbach's first civilian job was in 2000 as a lead workstation analyst for Meriter Hospital in Milwaukee. He also worked for Snap-on Inc. in Kenosha, Wis., before going to CenturyTel.

Schilbach is now on a 60-day sabbatical from Apogen while he studies to be an officer in the Army National Guard. Schilbach is also working on his master's degree in information systems from American Intercontinental University in Chicago.

Schilbach's goal is to become CIO, chief technology officer or chief security officer of Apogen.

He's learned an important lesson through the years: always keep learning and always think of yourself as a leader, even if it's not in your job title.

"Knowledge is power," he said. "After that, it's about getting noticed, doing the right thing and keeping in line with your goals and morals."

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