By A. Harry Williams, SHARE President
I remember the first SHARE event I ever attended during August 1985 in New Orleans. Just a kid from a small town in New York, I felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of hardware and software experts that surrounded me. But as I started to grow in my career and in my connections through SHARE, I realized that these people were kids just like me who enjoyed taking things apart and figuring out how they worked. Even early on, I recognized that SHARE was a great place to connect with people I admired and it was somewhere I could feel at home with my peers.
Looking back on my first experience with SHARE, I’m so honored that the members I have respected, learned from and enjoyed connecting with since 1985 have elected me as the 2016-2018 SHARE president. I feel very fortunate to come into this leadership role with SHARE already set up on a firm foundation built by James Vincent and his predecessors. So much has been accomplished the past several years, and I plan to keep on that upward trajectory. As the board and I work on completing the strategic pan, I will outline just a few key goals.
- Become a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization.
- Expand the SHARE Academy brand with intensive, one-day training classes.
- Work cooperatively with other associations such as Open Mainframe Project, IDUG and GSE.
- Engage members, both existing and incoming.
- Protect, promote and enhance z Systems.
SHARE’s tagline highlights the three key tenets of what our organization does: educate, network, influence. We’ve done a great job of providing education — from webinars to the ever-growing breadth of topics at each of the events — and we are well-poised to continue providing this high-level of knowledge sharing.
However, it’s not the technology that keeps people coming back to SHARE; it’s the relationships. SHARE is the forum where mainframers new and advanced can learn from each other, and this is what makes us truly unique. This community is where small-town kids like me can find mentors to help them grow their careers. This community is where everyone can have a real impact on the future of the mainframe.
I’m excited to take the helm of this organization, using knowledge and experiences I’ve gained over the years, to impact SHARE in a positive way. One of my favorite business authors Tom Peters says, “Winners must learn to relish change with the same enthusiasm and energy that we have resisted it in the past.” This is something I take to heart as I embrace the changes ahead, and I hope you will, too. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns or recommendations. I’m always looking for feedback.