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 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.