Jim Boyce - More Than Just “Big Blue”
By Art Louise, Director, Vendor Relations and Channel Management
Last week I received a call from Mary Boyce, Jim's wife. She said that Jim had passed away. She said that she had decided to call me when she recognized my name when she was going through some old papers in Jim’s office. And for that I am grateful.
When I started to attend SHARE in the 1980s, one of the first IBMers that I met was Jim Boyce. There were others...George Carroll...Harry Scott...Bob White...But the one who made the most lasting impression on me was Jim Boyce. Jim had a great deal of management expertise, both from his hands-on experience while at IBM and from his personal management consulting business. He brought this expertise to SHARE and was influential in the growth and success of the Management Division, working with Bill Stevens, who was then the Division Manager. I will never forget the 7:00 a.m. Monday morning meetings to start off the SHARE week. All of the weekly responsibilities were handed out on colored IBM keypunch cards. Each project had a different color and you always hoped that Jim ran out of your color before he ran out of assignments. No such luck! He also had a hidden cache just in case.
Jim booked prominent IBM executives for the major SHARE sessions and recruited dedicated IBM representatives to staff the various Management Division projects. He was a well-liked and well-respected member of the SHARE community. It didn’t matter in what city the SHARE meeting was being held, at SCIDS you knew that you could always find Jim, sitting under the Management umbrella holding court. And if you had a problem, Jim always knew where to find the local resident expert to provide an immediate solution.
But Jim was more than just the embodiment of ""Big Blue"". As a raconteur, no matter where we were, you could always depend on Jim to find the best, if not sometimes the only, Irish restaurant in town. Jim also was an avid horticulturist. And when he wasn’t on the road with IBM or SHARE, he was busy up and down the East coast visiting the various flower shows, his favorites being Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. (That probably also had something to do with the number of Irish restaurants in all of those cities.)
I will always remember the good times that Paul Malek, Bill Doherty, Ken Ebbe and I had with Jim over those years that he was associated with SHARE. It was a great experience working with Jim and learning the ""trade"" from the ""Master"". But then again isn’t that why we come to SHARE in the first place...to SHARE the experience.