Patrick Burns, Senior Director, U.S. Public Sector Marketing, NetApp

It’s all too easy at this time of year to feel completely overwhelmed. As the end of the year approaches, everyone has a lot on their plate – from closing out the quarter, and sometimes the fiscal year, to all the things going on at home, which is why I really appreciate the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a moment to stop, look around, and realize all that you have to be grateful for. While we often have that moment of thanks and reflection in our personal lives just before the turkey is carved, I think it’s just as important to take a moment for thanks and reflection at work.

This was the spirit of the conversation I had with several GovDataDownload contributors over the past few days. Many of them have shared their success stories throughout the year, so I reached out to find out what, specifically, they are thankful for this Thanksgiving.

I talked with Mark Conway, Senior Program Lead for Academic Alliances, who always shares his appreciation for U.S. military personnel with us. He has explained how NetApp chose to sign onto the White House’s Joining Forces program as recognition of the abundance of skills that service personnel bring to the private sector when they leave the service. Joining Forces ensures that military personnel have access to training and job resources to build successful careers after their military service is completed. Conway said he is particularly thankful for U.S. Military personnel, many of whom do not have the opportunity to be with friends and family so that we are able to enjoy Thanksgiving and other holidays with ours.

Dr. Greg Gardner, NetApp’s chief architect for government, defense, and Intel solutions for the U.S. Public Sector, frequently shares his thoughts on big data and how it affects government agencies. This Thanksgiving, Gardner is particularly thankful for innovative technologies, such as the cloud, that are constantly evolving and changing how agencies and organizations achieve mission success. From the Distributed Common Ground System – Army (DCGS-A) to the cloud, and storage apps, technology can solve challenges for the Department of Defense (DoD) and many of his other customers.

Lee Vorthman, NetApp’s chief security architect, cited customers and partners, all of whom, he says, truly are an extension of the NetApp team. Working with partners, such as Cisco, VMware and Microsoft, Vorthman and his team are able to create solutions for cyber security and analytics for agencies big and small.

For myself, I am thankful to be able to work with a team that includes people like Mark, Greg and Lee and many others who make NetApp one of the world’s best places to work.

We hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving. We hope that at least for one day you can “unplug” and enjoy your holiday, free from any IT worries.

We’ll see you back here next week at GovDataDownload.