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.
Although 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.