2018 – 2019 Board Members

Larry Bolhuis – President

Larry BolhuisLarry Bolhuis has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Calvin College in 1982. He started working on IBM midrange equipment with the S/34 and S/36 in 1984 and the As/400 at its introduction In 1988. Larry Spent many years as a developer before transitioning into the system design and administration role. Larry attended his first COMMON Conference in 1988 and has been a volunteer since that very first conference. He has volunteered as session manager, registration volunteer, SME, CET and Speaker. Larry also provides the lab servers for the annual conference.

Re-elected Spring 2017; term expires Spring 2020.

Gordon Leary – Executive Vice President

Gordon Leary

Gordon is the IT Manager of AMPORTS, Inc. and has been involved with the IBM midrange community since 1987. AMPORTS is an automotive port processor with locations in the US and Mexico. Gordon has attended COMMON conferences since 1988, and in the last several years, he has participated on several committees including Communications and Networking, Volunteer Recruitment and the GoTo Market task force. Gordon earned his degree in Computer Science from Towson State University.

Re-elected Spring 2019; eligible for re-election Spring 2022.

Amy Blank – Treasurer

Amy Hoerle

Amy Blank is a System Administrator at Ellingson Companies. She has been attending, speaking and volunteering at the COMMON Annual Meeting since 2004. Amy enjoys being able to exchange knowledge with other technical leaders and administrators. It is her passion to work with and learn new technologies and in turn teach others how to use technology to work more efficiently.

Re-elected Spring 2018; term expires Spring 2021.

Pete Helgren – Secretary

Pete Helgren

Pete is Java Developer/Team Lead at Bible Study Fellowship International. Pete is an experienced programmer in the ILE RPG, PHP, Java, JavaScript, Ruby, C++ and C# languages with over 30 years of system 3X/AS400/iSeries/IBM i experience. He holds certifications as a GIAC certified Secure Software Programmer-Java and as an MCSE. He held several positions on the COMMON Board of Directors and has been active on several COMMON committees. His passion has always been in system integration and he focuses on Open Source applications and integration activities on IBM i. Pete is a speaker/trainer in RPG modernization, open source integration, mobile application development, Java programming and PHP and actively blogs at petesworkshop.com.

Elected Spring 2018; eligible for re-election Spring 2021.

Justin Porter – Immediate Past President

Justin PorterJustin Porter is President of Integrity First Technology Solutions and President of the COMMON Board of Directors. His professional experience includes infrastructure design, annual budgeting and implementation for all IT and communications functions. Active in the IBM i community, Justin has served as a member of COMMON America’s Advisory Council (CAAC), Community and Networking (CaN) group and Certification Steering Committee. Justin has a strong foundation in both technology and business, both professionally and academically.

Re-elected Spring 2015; term expires Spring 2019.

Scott Klement – Director

Scott Klement

Scott is the Director of Product Development and Support at Profound Logic Software. He has worked in the IBM i environment since he was a young man and loves sharing his knowledge with other people. This passion has lead him to write numerous articles, presentations and open source projects. Scott has won more than a dozen awards in the IBM i industry and is an IBM Champion for Power Systems.

Elected Spring 2018; eligible for re-election Spring 2021.

Dawn May – Director

Dawn May is a leading authority on work management, systems management, performance, and diagnostics, with intimate knowledge of the IBM i operating system developed through her distinguished career with IBM.  Today, as an independent consultant, she focuses her skills on helping companies troubleshoot issues and plan for the future while teaching them how to get the most out of their IBM i systems.  Dawn is the author of the “i Can” blog (http://ibmsystemsmag.com/blogs/i-can/) and a frequent speaker.  In her spare time, Dawn enjoys photography, sewing, baking bread, and playing the piano.

Elected Spring 2019; term expires Spring 2022.

Steve Pitcher – Director

Steve Pitcher

Steve Pitcher is an IBM i Specialist for iTech Solutions Group and an Industry Analyst at MC Press Online. He’s been a specialist in IBM i solutions since 2000 with an emphasis on modernization, security and collaboration products. Steve has been an IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions for the last five years.

Re-elected Spring 2019; eligible for re-election Spring 2022.

John Valance – Director

John Valance

John Valance is the President and CTO of Division 1 Systems, a software development and consulting firm based in Burlington, Vermont, specializing in web application development and application modernization on the IBMi. He has a BA from Queens College, CUNY, where he studied computer science. He has been working on IBM midrange systems since 1983. John has extensive experience in software development and project management. His deep knowledge of both legacy and new technologies, coupled with a love of teaching and working with people, puts him a great position to help his fellow IBMi professionals advance their skills and careers.

Elected Spring 2017; eligible for re-election Spring 2020.

Manzoor Siddiqui – Executive Director

Manzoor Siddiqui has been with COMMON since 2006, having served in the role of Marketing Communications Manager, where he led all marketing and sales initiatives for the organization. He has over 20 years of multi-disciplinary business, marketing, and IT experience across a broad range of industries, including Associations, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, and Insurance organizations. He has served as a subject matter expert on several panels through Association Forum and LFGSM. Manzoor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from National-Louis University, and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, where his focus was on Marketing and International Business Management.

Alison Butterill – IBM Liaison

Alison ButterillAlison Butterill is the World-Wide Product Manager for IBM i. In this role, she works with the entire IBM i team to define the future of IBM i including the content for releases and technology refreshes. Her responsibilities include working with the IBM i sales, marketing, development and clients and partners to ensure that the IBM i Operating System and associated software products reflect their requirements. Alison is therefore the ideal person to tell us about the very latest trends and directions on the i platform.

Board of Directors Information


The structure and purpose of the Board of Directors is governed by the Bylaws of COMMON. The Board of Directors delegates the authority and responsibility for day-to-day activities to COMMON’s Executive Director. The primary duty of the Board is to concentrate their activities on issues of strategic importance to the future well being of COMMON.


  • Reports to COMMON Membership
  • Sets policy and strategic direction for COMMON
  • Has fiduciary responsibility for all COMMON Activities
  • Provides direction to the Executive Director
  • Approves the annual budget
  • Maintains communication channels with IBM and all levels of the COMMON organization
  • Participation in strategic planning sessions held by Users Groups, IBM and/or other organizations that require non-disclosure
  • Acts in accordance with COMMON’s Bylaws and Code of Ethics
  • Represents COMMON to other users groups
  • Votes on issues presented to the Board

Recommended Qualifications

  • Leadership
  • Team player
  • Experience with budgets and business planning
  • Financial management and process management
  • Change and quality management
  • Participation in two (2) conferences over the last two (2) years
  • At least five (5) years of experience in a system (software, hardware or applications) and/or management environment


  • Must be able to commit time required to the term of office set by the election procedures
  • Must be able to attend the Annual Meeting, plus two (2) days before and one (1) day after each Annual Meeting to attend Board meetings
  • Must be able to attend to participate on monthly conference calls
  • Must be able to attend one (1) Strategic Planning/Board Meeting per year, totaling three (3) days
  • Must be able to attend special meetings called by the President
  • Must be available to participate in conference calls as designated by the President


  • A Director has the opportunity to meet with key personnel in IBM, Users Groups and other organizations
  • A Director has the opportunity to interface with key personnel throughout the COMMON organization and to discuss current technology
  • A Director develops policy and procedures that contribute to making COMMON a dynamic and highly effective organization, through interaction with COMMON’s membership
  • A Director can experience personal growth through the interchange of ideas with IBM and peer groups, and can expand their knowledge of planning and managing a large organization
  • A Director has the opportunity to make a significant contribution to COMMON’s future

Reasons for Dismissal

  • Inability to attend the COMMON Annual Meeting
  • Unable to attend Board meetings and conference calls on a regular basis
  • Failure to attend a Strategic Planning meeting on a yearly basis
  • Unable or unwilling to act in a capacity designated by the Board of Directors
  • Failure to fulfill the responsibilities of the office
  • Failure to act in a way consistent with COMMON’s Code of Ethics and Bylaws