Johnny is a retired United States Marine Corps Mustang and an expert in federal information technology acquisition and management. Johnny is also an author and a journalist who has spent the last thirteen consecutive years working inside eight different federal agencies in Washington D.C. for the purposes of conducting in-depth research and experiments in the areas of management and information technology. Throughout his research, Johnny pushed the boundaries of complacency and incompetence inside federal bureaucracies that were built to resist change and waste taxpayer money for his upcoming book, “How to Make Better Federal Technology Spending Deals and Save Taxpayers 500 Billion Dollars Now.” This will be his first major publication not under a pen name.
Johnny’s new book is based on his 48 years employment experience inside 9 federal agencies and 12 private companies that include:
- National Labor Relations Board – Associate Chief Information Officer
- Department of Labor – Director of Enterprise Solutions
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services – Lead Architect National E-Verify System
- Department of the Army Warfighting Mission Area – Combat Technologies Portfolio Manager
- DoD Business Transformation Agency -Senior Technical Director
- DoD Business Mission Area – Business Technologies Portfolio Manager
- Shoulders Corporation – Vice President
- Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) – Senior Technical Director
- Federal Aviation Administration -Network Security Expert
- CGH Technologies – CIO
- National Institutes for Health – Biometric Systems Installer
- MVM Security Services – CIO
- America Online – Executive Director
- Adjunct Professor at Sterling College and Park University
- United States Marine Corps – Chief Warrant Officer 3
- The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company – Selector
- Western Sizzler – Grille Cook
- Red Lobster – Fry Cook
- Farrell’s – Bus Boy
- Italian Kitchen – Dishwasher / Pizza Maker
- Billy the Kid Lounge – Dishwasher / Crab Steamer
- Paper Route (morning and evening) – started helping his brother til Johnny got his own routes.
Johnny is retiring from the federal government soon after 25 years total military and federal civilian service to work on his books and offer his expertise to people and businesses that want to maximize revenue by exploring bold innovative methods and techniques that Johnny has created or adopted, refined and successfully implemented with astonishing results over the years.
Johnny’s greatest skill is problem solving and continuous improvement and he says that his greatest privilege has been to serve his country as a Marine and federal civil servant. Working for the government in large, medium and small federal agencies, Johnny has collected evidence that technology spending by our federal government is poorly managed but can be fixed easily in many federal agencies with a few simple immediate steps.
After high school, Johnny went on to work as a ‘selector’ at The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company warehouse in Richmond, Virginia loading trucks with food and merchandise. It was a good union job that his oldest brother Steve once held. The job paid extremely well too! Life was good. When fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were taken hostage in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, Johnny and his best friends Randall and Chip decided to join the U.S. military on the buddy program to defend the U.S. against terrorists and fight Russians in the Cold War.
Randall and Johnny attended boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina together and graduated in Platoon 2013.
Honor Grad LCpl Johnny with Senior DI Gunnery Sergeant Kalnas
MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina
Johnny returned to Parris Island two years later as a Drill Instructor in B Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion . At only 20 years old, Johnny was the youngest Marine Corps Drill Instructor as a Sergeant. He was later meritoriously promoted to Staff Sergeant two years later at age 22.
In 1984, Johnny returned to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where his son Robert was born, and then transferred to Okinawa Japan for a few years where his second son, Bryan was born. Johnny was the poster-child for the United States Marine Corps 1985 calendar pictured below, appearing on posters and recruiting literature and in commercials around the world.
After a whole bunch of other great things and tours of duty including being commissioned an officer, Johnny finished his distinguished Marine Corps career in the late 1990’s with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and professional certifications (PMP, Lean 6 Black Belt, CGFM, etc.) hanging on his walls.
After the Marines, Johnny wanted to get away from the government for a while so he took a job working at America Online (AOL) for several years where he designed and built and led the data analytics and reporting organization for the new interactive advertising business. Johnny developed creative new ways to collect data, track and measure visitors, impressions and clicks, and helped build AOL’s online brands while driving over one billion visitors to new eCommerce destinations on the web each day. When Johnny left AOL, the online advertising business had grown to more than $2 billion per year in gross revenue for the company from around the world. Johnny was recognized by the Interactive Advertising Bureau for developing the first industry standards and guidelines for advertising on the World Wide Web.
After the dotcom bubble burst, Johnny went on to lead software application acquisitions, modernization and development as a Chief Information Officer at MVM Security Services and CGH Technologies; and was Senior Technical Director for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) working at the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Defense, Department of the Army and the Business Transformation Agency as a contractor. In 2007, Johnny received the Computerworld Honors Program’s 21st Century Achievement Award for the Best Data Mart in Education and Academia for his work at the Defense Acquisition University. In 2010, Johnny was named as one of SAIC’s top 100 employees throughout the company (SAIC had 41,000 employees nationwide) and was nominated for the Technology Development and Analysis Annual Achievement Award which is the highest honor that the company bestows for its technical employees. In 2011, Johnny was appointed as Charter Member of SAIC’s Technical Review Board for Homeland and Civilian Solutions.
In late 2011 after leaving SAIC, Johnny mashed up a collection of his instructional videos to introduce himself and help explain his philosophy about how the federal government could modernize legacy information systems and reduce federal technology costs. That video, called “The Integrated Management Information Environment Quick Start Guide” was reposted in 2014 and can be watched here.
Making the decision in 2012 to leave the private sector to serve his country again, Johnny became a federal civilian employee working at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, then Department of Labor, and finally at the National Labor Relations Board.
At DHS in May 2012, Johnny was hired as the GS15 lead architect and acquisition lead for the national E-Verify system to lead the modernization of that system for comprehensive immigration reform. E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration to confirm employment eligibility. E-Verify’s most impressive features today are its speed and accuracy. E-Verify is the only free, fast, online service of its kind that verifies employees’ data against millions of government records and provides results within seconds.
After comprehensive immigration reform legislation stalled in Congress in late 2013, Johnny transferred to the Department of Labor as a GS15 Director of Enterprise Solutions to lead the acquisition and the modernization of all national apprenticeship and grants management systems to comply with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that consolidated all job training programs into a single funding stream.
The WIOA legislation was signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2014. Johnny’s “Green Monster” architecture was approved, acquired and implemented by carefully migrating on-premise hosting of legacy Cold Fusion and Java applications that were scattered across poorly maintained servers and databases, into secure AWS commercial cloud platforms powered by Appian Business Process Management Software that was integrated seamlessly with Apache-Spark and Elastic MapReduce / Hadoop data factories on the back-end.
In April 2016 Johnny transferred again, this time to a small government agency where he has overseen the agency’s case management, imaging (scanners, faxes), reporting and data warehouse technologies. Johnny led and engineered a major IDIQ technology labor acquisition that was awarded in 2017.
Johnny believes the next frontier for competitive technology contractors who are chasing scarce federal modernization projects in the federal government is to be able to show current and prospective government customers how to safely reduce information technology maintenance costs from their budgets, reform their organizations and justify new investments to improve computer systems. Working inside very large federal enterprises (DoD/DHS), mid-sized federal civilian departments (DOL), and one very small agency (NLRB), Johnny has become an expert at modernizing federal information technology systems by organizing technology operating budgets, architectures and technology personnel into an alignment that creates new opportunities to seek and obtain funding to modernize systems by continuously making legacy systems better at a much lower cost.
If you would like to learn more or have an idea you would like to share or discuss…