It’s hard keeping a secret in Washington, but WashingtonExec successfully organized a surprise birthday party for Dr. John Hillen, who turns 50 on Feb. 3. The event was sponsored by Julian Setian of SOS International and roastmaster JD Kathuria of WashingtonExec.
A native of the D.C. region, Hillen, currently the executive in residence of George Mason University School of Business and former CEO of Sotera Defense Solutions, was surprised by 40 of his closest friends and colleagues at an event held at The Tower Club. The surprise party included a full-blown comedy roast with Hillen as the guest of honor and an array of good-natured jokes around his impressive career.
The three “roasters” were Bill Cave, Sid Fuchs and Mac Curtis. Curtis and Fuchs presented their rendition of “Roast of John Hillen: All Hillen’s Day.” Hillen was mercilessly ribbed on his Wikipedia page, his extensive passion for the Ottoman Empire, board seats, and was nicknamed the “Kim Kardashian of the GovCon industry.”
The roasters also told stories of Hillen’s service in the Army, stint as chairman of PSC and his tenure as assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs in the Bush 43 administration. Special guests included Lt. Gen. John Sattler and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Curtis and Fuchs closed the night with their version of the “Top 10 Contributions by John Hillen to the GovCon Industry.”
“I met John almost 10 years ago and have the utmost respect for his impactful career thus far,” Kathuria said. “I was proud to organize a one-of-a-kind event for him and on behalf of his friends in the GovCon community.”
Usually not one to be at a loss for words, Hillen concluded the program by saying, “all those roast comments wouldn’t sting so much if they weren’t so true!”