Digital collaboration at the VA

This week on Federal Tech Talk, host John Gilroy speaks with Blake Hall, founder & CEO of; Emily Tavoulareas, VA Digital Service, and Greg Gershman, co-fo...

Today’s guests are Blake Hall, founder & CEO at; Emily Tavoulareas, VA Digital Service, and Greg Gershman, co-founder/principal at Ad Hoc LLC.

The interview takes a look at a website called “” and opens up the world of collaboration in solving many issues with funneling 500 Department of Veterans’ Affairs websites into one portal.

Group photo of Tavoulareas, Gershman, & Hall
Emily Tavoulareas, Greg Gershman, & Blake Hall

Each of the three persons gives a different perspective on this difficult transition.

Tavoulareas explains how the agency worked with users to improve the user interface.  Believe it or not, the VA actually sends teams out to get feedback from users.

Gershman is well-known for his brilliant work on a team that improved a badly performing  Healthcare.Gov.  He has applied many of the lessons learned in that high-pressure environment by assisting the VA with system integration issues.

Hall is a veteran and empathizes with concerns about improving the VA.  His specialty is with identity management and helping users of the VA site get the benefits they have earned.

Five years ago identity management was spelled in lower case letters; today it is known as Identity Management, what some shorten to the colloquial, “IDMAN.”  Studies show that Identity Management is one of the top five most popular applications being installed today.

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