COMMON Board Elections Now Underway
April 2, 2013 Alex Woodie
COMMON is now holding elections for its board of directors. Four candidates are battling for three open slots. Members of the IBM i user group can vote electronically through April 9, and the winners will be announced the following day at a meeting at the COMMON conference in Austin, Texas.
The COMMON slate includes two incumbents on the board of directors, Pete Helgren and Kevin Mort, and two new candidates, Yvonne Enselman and Todd Spight. Helgren and Mort were elected to the board for the first time in 2010, and must defend their posts against the new challengers.
Short biographies and position statements for each of the candidates are available on COMMON’s website. Here are condensed summaries of the candidates and their positions.
Helgren, a programmer at BSF International who is trained in everything from RPG and C# to PHP and Ruby on Rails, has two main platforms for his re-election campaign. First, he wants COMMON to focus more on open source, which would not only bolster the IBM i platform but open COMMON to younger group of individuals, like the YIPs. Secondly, Helgren, who also holds the position of COMMON secretary, thinks the controversial cuts to speaker and volunteer benefits were “strategically misguided,” and advocates a more “balanced” approach.
Mort, who is a vice president of technology services at IBM business partner Flagship Solutions Group, wants to continue to broaden COMMON’s base, and to “grow and change our offerings to suit a wider audience.” As for the benefits cuts, Mort says “We have, when appropriate, made changes to restore volunteer recognition and benefits . . . but with a keen eye to the fiscal responsibility required for a healthy organization.”
Enselman, a testing and deployment analyst at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance who has been involved with the IBM i platform for 15 years, says she wants to expand COMMON’s membership by reaching out to “non-traditional programmers” and people who don’t necessarily identify themselves as IBM i professionals. Community awareness is also key to Enselman’s position. “I believe in this platform passionately and I know the most effective way of keeping our profession strong is to provide education and modernization support via user groups working in concert with IBM.”
Spight, the vice president of IT at Smalley Steel Ring Co., has more than 15 years of experience in IT. His position statement is simply “to promote the awareness and strength of IBM Power Systems i throughout our community.”
The board is composed of eight elected members and two non-elected members. Other elected members sitting on the board include president Randy Dufault, executive vice president Bob Krzeczowski, treasurer Jeff Carey, immediate past president Pete Massiello, director Phil McCullough, and director Justin Porter. Also sitting on the board are IBM liaison Linda Grigoleit and executive director Ralph Gervasi.