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Tribute to Carol Ratza

Carol Ratza made a difference in this world.  She stands in memory as 
a magnificent example of how one person's energy and determination can
ripple through thousands, if not millions, of other lives.  She held
fast to her conviction that connecting people to each other and sharing
information will improve our world, and made us believe in it as well.

My organization, the Detroit District of the US Army Corps of Engineers,
came to know Carol through her efforts with GLIN.  When we began our 
cooperation with GLIN, our public outreach was based upon several hard 
copy publications, occasional meetings or press releases, and 
responses to inquiries by telephone or letter.  Carol envisioned another
option: taking us direct to the people, online through the internet.

Undaunted by our lack of inertia at times, she tirelessly cajoled us
and other federal agencies into sharing resources and providing
information online.  Carol didn't allow our ignorance to stymie the effort.
She arranged for experts to set up our web server and internet mail
facilities, and provided staff to help us express our knowledge and
data using these new and powerful technologies. Carol also wouldn't
let us be complacent about the content of our online publications. Due
in large part to her efforts, we now make more information available
to the public than ever before, and in a timelier fashion than previously

Of course, Carol's vision ultimately has meant more to us than providing
another interface to the public.  Going online is initiating a whole new 
way of doing business within our office.  Information that previously 
required a specific employee to be at the office and rummage through 
some cabinet now rests at management's fingertips at any time of day.
Separate groups within the office are more aware of what each other 
does, and cooperate more effectively.  The contacts with other 
government agencies that Carol fostered have led to more work for our
District, and some promising joint ventures. 

As such, our entire organization feels the impact of Carol's 
determination to make good things happen.  As much as anyone, we 
benefited from her tireless efforts to bring government information
and resources on-line.  The human grace with which she achieved these 
accomplishments sets an admirable standard by which to measure our 
impact on the world and the lives near us.

Several of my current and former staff, including Roger Gauthier, Matthew
McPherson, Mark Paasche, Dave Schweiger, Bill Willis, and Gordon Larsen
in particular, would like to extend their deepest sympathies to the family
and friends of Carol. 

                        Thomas C. Haid
                        Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
                        District Engineer