An attendee described Ruettiger’s address as comical and inspiring. “He was extremely funny and down-to-earth — reminding us that you don’t need to be the smartest person in the room to do great things, it just takes a lot of hard work and character,” the audience member wrote in an entry on the GSA’s Web site recapping the conference.
But Ruettiger seemed to have odd methods: He “spoke about gaining self-confidence through his impressive skills folding underwear,” the attendee wrote. Hmm . . .
And while Ruettiger was sharing underwear-folding tips with an audience that included federal workers, his dirty laundry was also attracting the attention of some other feds. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ruettiger with running a stock scam Dec. 16, 2011, just two months after his performance at the GSA SmartPay Training Conference.
Ruettiger’s Web page describes him as “one of the most popular motivational speakers in the United States” and highlights his biography. Ruettiger improbably played for the Notre Dame football team and memorably sacked the opponents’ quarterback in the only play of his college career.
The annual gathering where he spoke focuses on the GSA’s SmartPay system, which provides charge cards to government agencies to use for purchasing, and attendees regularly include card-program managers from federal agencies in addition to GSA employees.
But let’s hope this year’s speaker fares better post-conference. According to the Web site of the 2012 conference (it’s in Nashville, not Vegas), the featured speaker is
, a veteran of the Iraq war who recovered from devastating injuries and went on to a career as a speaker — and as a winner of “Dancing With the Stars.”
No doubling down
And speaking of the GSA’s Vegas adventures, the agency is issuing a memo to Sin City: We’re just not that into you — anymore.
The agency was slated to go back to the scene of the proverbial crime later this month. But alas for slots lovers, the GSA has canceled the “GreenUP 2012 Training Conference and Vendor Showcase,” set to take place in a Vegas hotel on April 25.
A spokesman says the event has been axed, noting that acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini promised in a letter to employees to review all of its upcoming conferences “that involve travel or substantial expenditures of public funds.”
The confab was supposed to bring contractors and GSA workers together to learn about eco-friendly products and services, such as plug-in cars and “green” paper products.
It was only a one-day event, without the lavish entertainment (clowns! a mentalist!) that the now-notorious 2010 conference had.