John Hogan: Leader, Mentor, Friend

By Robert Rosen, SHARE member and close friend of John Hogan

My history with John goes back to the 1970s. While I knew of John at SHARE, I did not really get to know him until he became SHARE president. He appointed me to the SHARE Advisory Council (comparable to today’s Program Council) as a deputy division manager. As time went on, we would occasionally interact and eventually he made me a Division Manager.

During his “purple reign,” John put me on his major nominating committee, only to subsequently throw me off to nominate me for Director at Large. I foolishly thought I had a chance to win running against Liz Kaufman and Dana Becker—talk about being naïve.

I did end up on the Board, being appointed by Bettye Odneal as Director of Divisions. There, I really got to know John as he was a constant source of information, guidance, and counseling.

Over the years, I would pal around with John at SHARE meetings, songfests in the SHARE suite, and dinners when he came to Washington. Our friendship grew even though John lived across the pond in England. It was John who convinced me I could be president of SHARE and was a constant source of help throughout my term.

As the years went by, we kept in constant touch via email and eventually Facebook. Throughout, John never changed. He was there when you needed help, a kind word, someone to laugh at your jokes or make you laugh at his, and playing guitar in the suite. Moreover, let us never forget his memorable song writing skills as shown by the classic “Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Carol, You’re the Bottom of the Barrel.”

Those are personal recollections. However, we should not forget his significant accomplishments that helped keep SHARE alive and prospering for over 60 years. John, over the complaints from the line, insisted that SHARE projects not just focus on current products but on the future. That insistence ended up making IBM more appreciative of SHARE and helped us partner with IBM on several significant efforts. Not to mention, made SHARE more valuable to its members.

We should also not forget the crisis SHARE faced with IBM over third party mainframes. John led us through that battle and ensured IBM stayed with and continued to invest in SHARE.

John also made the nominating process what it is today by moving it from the “smoke filled” back rooms to our current nominating committee system.

These are just some of John’s SHARE accomplishments. Even when he left office, his advice and guidance helped the Board steer SHARE in a positive direction for many years.

John’s love of the SHARE organization is evidenced by the distances he would travel to continue to come to SHARE meetings. Not just from England, but from work assignments in Siberia, Padua, New Guinea, and other distant locales around the globe.

I know my history with John is not unique. He was a friend, counselor, and mentor to many. All of us are much richer for knowing John and poorer for our loss.

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