By Jim Erdahl, SHARE President & Chief Executive Officer
I would be remiss if I did not start out my first “Message from SHARE” as president by thanking those who came before. Consider this a resounding “thank you” to SHARE Immediate Past President Justin Bastin for leaving the organization in such a great state. Since joining the SHARE Senior Management Team (SSMT) many years ago, I am amazed with the energy, dedication, and vision all the volunteers have. With this tremendous effort given by so many others, I know that we will continue to make this “The Best SHARE Ever.”
It is my honor to serve as SHARE’s 46th president, a role I assumed just as SHARE was reimagining its summer virtual event amid technical difficulties. Under a new name, we pressed on with SHARE Virtual: Power on Reset and, as they say, the rest is history. On behalf of SHARE and the leadership team, I thank you, the members of our community, for your support and participation. The fact that you continuously turn to SHARE for enterprise IT education is a role we do not take lightly. And, I must also thank James Vincent, Rick Barlow, and the many, many volunteers who worked quickly to develop the virtual conference.
I have said before that your voice matters. Before I get to my ideas about “what’s next” for SHARE in 2021, let’s take a look at some of the feedback you shared on SHARE Virtual. To start things off, SHARE Past President and current Director of Conference Operations James Vincent noted that he “found a lot of good content with my daily job only getting in the way a couple of times.” Flexibility was a common theme in the feedback we received, and some additional standout commentary included:
“The flexible schedule was great and I appreciated the time and cost savings of not traveling.”
“Given SHARE was planned as a physical conference and ended up being virtual, WELL DONE!!!”
“[SHARE Virtual] gave me a chance to participate and catch up with the field. Having virtual sessions like this opens up opportunities to participate and present for those who find it difficult to travel.”
“The access to session recordings for an extended period of time makes this the first SHARE I don’t have to worry about session conflicts in my schedule.”
“I think, from now on, [I] will attend every SHARE virtually because I like the flexibility and lower cost.”
SHARE leadership is fully aware of the challenges that we all continue to face — both personally and professionally — during these unprecedented times. Typically, we host in-person events twice per year, while also placing the highest priority on our community’s health and safety. In light of the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to cancel the winter in-person meeting for 2021 in favor of a virtual offering in March. For summer, we continue to carefully monitor public health developments and evaluate options. Updates will be published to our website as soon as decisions are made or new information is available. In the meantime, we are accepting presentation abstracts for March. Anyone interested can submit here through Tuesday, December 1.
As we look forward — to “what’s next” — I know that virtual cannot replace the tremendous spirit of community that is so evident in-person. But, I am excited about the opportunity for SHARE to continue to offer strong, valuable, innovative education and networking opportunities…and to inhabit new virtual frontiers. Further, I am especially thrilled about the ongoing education we’re making available through two member programs:
- SHARE Webcasts – On December 10, SHARE’s already successful webcast program welcomes sponsor Enterprise Performance Strategies for “Revisiting WLM Options for the Modern Mainframe.” Register.
- SHARE Nibbles – Created by users for users, the new SHARE Nibbles offerings are 10-minute-or-less tutorials that serve as a quick (literally!) learning opportunity on enterprise IT hot topics. Learn more.
Our need as professionals to continually learn, evolve, and connect remains paramount, and it is my mission as president to ensure SHARE is here to help you do just that.
For those already registered for SHARE Virtual, please continue to take advantage of the content available and connections you’ve made between now and December 31. If you are not registered, sign up here to access recordings.