COMMON Announces 2017-2018 Board of Directors

ORLANDO, Florida, May 10, 2017: COMMON, the largest association of IBM Power Systems and Business Computing users, announced its new Board of Directors members during the Meeting of the Members at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando today. With election results in, Larry Bolhuis was reelected to the Board of Directors. He is joined by Charles Guarino and John Valance, all serving three-year terms.

At the meeting, COMMON also announced the new Board of Directors officers for 2017-2018:

  • President – Justin Porter
  • Vice President – Larry Bolhuis
  • Treasurer – Amy Hoerle
  • Secretary – Yvonne Enselman
  • Immediate Past President – Jeff Carey

Other members of the Board of Directors are Randy Dufault, Gordon Leary and Steve Pitcher. Manzoor Siddiqui, Executive Director of COMMON, and Alison Butterill, World-Wide Product Offering Manager for IBM i, also serve on the Board.

The COMMON Board of Directors is made up of dedicated volunteers elected by the association’s membership to provide stewardship to the organization.

Meet COMMON’s Secretary, Amy Hoerle

Amy HoerleFor the last couple of months, we have been taking the opportunity to introduce you to the COMMON Board Members. We have approached the halfway mark with our introduction of Amy Hoerle, COMMON’s Secretary.  Amy’s first exposure to COMMON was during College. On her manager’s prompting, she attended a COMMON Conference. She learned so much hands-on practical knowledge in just that one week, that she’s been an active member ever since. Amy was previously on the Board as a Director. She speaks regularly at COMMON Conferences and has been an active member of numerous COMMON Committees.

Here were Amy’s responses to the general questions we asked each of the Board Members:

Share something about yourself that many others don’t know. (For example, you were on Wheel of Fortune as a teenager, your favorite ice cream is spinach flavored, etc.)
I love to garden, especially vegetables. I truly enjoy being able to pick vegetables fresh from the garden and then prepare something delicious. My favorite is to make vegetable soups that I can put in the freezer and enjoy on those frigid winter days.

What was your strangest Power Systems / IBM i experience?
I can’t say this is a strange experience, but I remember the first time I ever walked into one of the labs at IBM Rochester and saw server after server in a huge room. I thought I was in heaven.

Amy has long been a proponent of COMMON, joining while still in College. Now, after all these years, she still remains as enthusiastic about COMMON as she was as a wide-eyed student. With all the information she’s gathered over the years, where does Amy see COMMON headed in the future?

What do you foresee for COMMON in the future?
I see COMMON as the source for IBM Power Systems professionals for learning, growth and networking. As the speed of change in the IT profession continues to accelerate, we need a place to go where we can find education that will align with the many hats we wear on a daily basis. I believe COMMON can be that place. On a personal level, with the connections I have made because of COMMON, I am confident my continued involvement with the Community will continue to enhance my career year after year.

Thank you to Amy for sharing a little bit about herself with us. Look for more information on the remaining Board Members in the coming weeks.

Meet Gordon Leary, One of COMMON’s Directors

Gordon Leary is one of COMMON’s Directors and another new member to the COMMON Board. Although new to the Board, he is definitely not new to the COMMON Community. He joined COMMON in 1988, but ramped up his involvement and activity with the group a little more than five years ago. Ever since, he has been actively supporting a number of COMMON’s Committees. He’s been involved with initiatives like Communications and Networking, Volunteer Recruitment and the GoTo Market task force. His support and involvement has seen a long-term positive effect in many areas for COMMON.

We asked all of the Board Members a couple of general questions to get to know them a little better. Here were Gordon’s responses:

Share something about yourself that many others don’t know. (For example, you were on Wheel of Fortune as a teenager, your favorite ice cream is spinach flavored, etc.)
I have many interests outside of the working environment. I like to go camping, hike, canoe and kayak. I have been a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America for 30 years. I feel that my volunteer work there has empowered many young people to grow beyond their own expectations and has made a difference in our community. Another fun fact, I am a home brewing hobbyist. I have been brewing my own beer, with friends and neighbors, for about 20 years now. Although I like most styles of beer, I mainly brew India Pale Ales and Stouts. Another passion of mine is Genealogy. I originally got started trying to uncover the mystery behind some family stories told by my Great Grandmother. I am still trying to prove that one of my relatives was at the Ford Theater when Lincoln was shot. Can you believe that there was not an official witness list! But, I have uncovered that I am related to Mary Todd Lincoln. It is great trying to solve these puzzles and learn a little history along the way.

 What was your strangest Power Systems / IBM i experience?
My weirdest IBM i experience involved a migration from a System/36. I was asked to work on a highly confidential project that needed to be accomplished quickly. There was no time for background checks so we were instructed not to look at the data. The software we were converting was an inventory system, and was in a secure facility in the state. The system was even shut down, all cables were disconnected, and then the system was rolled into a safe every night. We did need to eventually look at the data for verification and testing purposes, and although it was interesting, data is still data. But, how many exploding briefcases have you inventoried.

gordon-headshotAlthough Gordon is new to the Board, his involvement and dedication to COMMON along with his key roles on numerous committees gives him a different pulse on the COMMON Community and where it may be headed.

What do you foresee for COMMON in the future?
I think a lot of people in the industry feel that COMMON is just for educational seminars. I want the COMMON members to see that the COMMON Community is the most valuable benefit of the organization. This community of members cumulatively have thousands of years of combined industry-specific knowledge. In a collaborative environment, this experience can be leveraged to not only assist the individual member, but also each member’s organization. The working environment today has smaller staffs, more responsibilities and moves at a lightning pace. We need to leverage the COMMON Community’s vast knowledge to help our own organization develop resources.

Thank you to Gordon for taking the time to give us a glimpse of him in his personal life as well as his vision for COMMON. Look for more information on other Board Members in the coming weeks.

 

 

Meet COMMON’s President, Jeff Carey

Jeff Carey, COMMON’s newest President, took his seat at the helm in May during COMMON’s Annual Spring Conference. His involvement with COMMON began as an attendee back in 1993. Shortly thereafter, he began speaking and became fully engaged in the COMMON community. Throughout his 20 plus years with COMMON, Jeff’s contribution hasn’t been limited to speaking and participating on committees, he has had numerous roles on the Board, including past appointments as Treasurer and Executive Vice President. We’re excited to see where Jeff will take us in this next year. Let’s take an opportunity to get to know him a little better.

jeff

We asked all of the Board Members a couple of general questions to learn a little more about them. Here were Jeff’s responses:

Share something about yourself that many others don’t know. (For example, you were on Wheel of Fortune as a teenager, your favorite ice cream is spinach flavored, etc.)
I was once featured on the sports segment of a news broadcast. My family and I attended American Girl Doll Day at Wrigley Field. Of course, while my family was at the concessions stand, the news cameraman captured me adjusting the hair of my daughter’s doll and somehow it ended up on the news.

 What was your strangest Power Systems / IBM i experience?
Years ago, while I was at the office working, we took a lightning strike in the parking lot just outside the computer room wall. The System instantly went into initial program load (IPL) and all of the monitors on that side of the building turned purple. It was quite an experience, and a sight not easily forgotten.

Jeff’s long running involvement with COMMON and tenure on the Board gives him a unique viewpoint that will be incredibly beneficial in chartering the future course for COMMON. So naturally we asked him, where do you see COMMON headed?

What do you foresee for COMMON in the future?
I think COMMON can serve the Power Systems community as a great tool both of education and of matching people with the experts they need. Further, I think COMMON will play a significant role in growing the careers of students and those new to the platform as it has for more experienced users.

Thank you Jeff for offering more information about yourself and giving us a little perspective on where the future may be headed. Look for more information on other Board Members in the coming weeks.

 

Meet One of COMMON’s Directors, Steve Pitcher

Steve_PitcherA couple weeks ago, we started a series to introduce the COMMON audience to the COMMON Board Members. We began with one of our longest running members, Larry Bolhuis. This week, we would like to introduce Steve Pitcher, one of COMMON’s newest members and Board Member. He joined COMMON shortly before his first conference five years ago. In addition to currently serving on the Board, Steve has been serving on the COMMON Americas Advisory Council (CAAC) since 2012, and is an integral part of the YIP committee. He speaks regularly at COMMON conferences as well as COMMON virtual events.

Here were Steve’s responses to the general questions we asked each of the Board Members:

Share something about yourself that many others don’t know. (For example, you were on Wheel of Fortune as a teenager, your favorite ice cream is spinach flavored, etc.)
Not sure whether this would be considered odd or funny, but I can tell you nothing relaxes me more than ironing clothes. If I have a bad day or get frustrated, I pull out the ironing board and somehow there is instant harmony in the world.

 What was your strangest Power Systems / IBM i experience?
About 15 years ago, I went into a colleague’s server room and the first thing I saw was a tarp hanging from the ceiling over their two servers. The tarp was there to protect the servers from the sprinkler system situated above. The room was nearly airtight with the little rubber protector at the bottom of the door. I couldn’t help but wondering at the time, they’ve protected the servers from above but how long would it take to fill up a 10×10 room with water.

Since Steve is relatively new to the Board, and with just five years as a COMMON member, he may offer a different perspective on COMMON. With only a brief snapshot of COMMON’s history, where does Steve see COMMON headed?

What do you foresee for COMMON in the future?
I think our diversification options for education are getting some real traction. Webinars and virtual conferences are so important considering how the economy can affect our travel budgets. And for those of us who can make it to Spring and Fall Conferences, I hope to see an overall growth of younger people and people new to Power Systems and IBM i. While it’s been on the rise recently, I really want to see it extend and that’s what we’re partly trying to facilitate with YIPs.

Thank you to Steve for providing us a glimpse into his world. Look for more information on other Board Members in the coming weeks.

 

Meet COMMON’s Treasurer, Larry Bolhuis

COMMON’s Board of Directors are all volunteers with a passion for all things IBM i. They provide big-picture guidance, and their significant contributions of knowledge, wisdom, time and talent are critical to our success. One by one, we’d like you to get to know them a little better beyond the confines of COMMON.

Larry Bolhuis, COMMON’s Treasurer, is our resident Systems Administration expert. He began working on IBM midrange equipment with the S/34 and S/36 in 1984 and the AS/400 at its introduction in 1988. Larry attended his first COMMON Conference in 1988, and has been an integral part of the organization ever since. In addition to currently serving on the Board, he has held past positions with the Strategic Education Team (SET),  along with participating as a Session Manager, Registration Volunteer, Subject Matter Expert (SME) and Speaker.

We asked all of the Board Members a couple of general questions to get to know them a little better. Here were Larry’s responses:

Share something about yourself that many others don’t know. (For example, you were on Wheel of Fortune as a teenager, your favorite ice cream is spinach flavored, etc.)
I spent a summer as a bicycle tour group bus driver, driving a 40’ 1955 GM Scenic Cruiser named Moby Bus. We traveled all over the country hitting hot spots like San Francisco, the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Key West and even Mackinac Island, Michigan.

What was your strangest Power Systems / IBM i experience?
My strangest Power Systems experience thus far was assembling a 7’ model 270 in an IBM Lunchroom in Rochester, MN. Known as Frankie III, this demo allowed me to show how IBM’s capacity rules could be exceeded by factors of two and three for that system. It was truly a blast!

As a current Board Member and an almost 30-year member of COMMON, Larry has been witness to decades of growth and development for COMMON. Being privy to this history and knowing what he does, we were curious, what does Larry envision for COMMON’s future?

What do you foresee for COMMON in the future?
I see COMMON continuing to provide amazing conferences, but also growing in additional ways, allowing members to enhance their careers. COMMON is connected to nearly everyone who is anyone in the IBM i and Power Systems community. As such, they are in a perfect position to facilitate the delivery of excellent education and timely information.

Thank you to Larry for taking the time to give us a little insight. Look for more information on other Board Members in the coming weeks.