To begin my first message from SHARE as president, I want to acknowledge the previous board, program council, SHARE staff, and, especially, immediate past President Jim Erdahl for their tireless stewardship of this great community. A huge thanks to them for effectively navigating the organization through the unprecedented, uncertain, and unsettled events and conditions of the past two years. It would be hard to understate the pandemic’s impact on the day-to-day operations of SHARE as well as the planning and execution of two yearly conferences. Thanks to the strength of a dedicated and flexible team of volunteers and staff, we managed to successfully deliver these conferences despite challenges.
Going forward, it’s important that we apply the lessons we learned from the last two years. With the guidance of Executive Director Brian Langerman, we have streamlined and improved many processes, resulting in more accurate forecasting and better budgeting. We’ve gained valuable experience in utilizing newly popular technologies to augment our traditional conference with virtual offerings.
With all the challenges of the pandemic, I am grateful that Brian stayed with us as interim executive director from the Bastin to the Erdahl administration and up until now while we searched for a permanent replacement. Thank you, Brian!
Surely, brighter times now lie ahead. So, what’s on the horizon? We’ve negotiated contracts and announced the events for 2023 and look forward to seeing all of you at our conferences in Atlanta and New Orleans. These next events will be valuable, entertaining, and information-packed as always.
As many of our partners have moved to a continuous delivery model for hardware and software, SHARE will be adapting to be timelier with education, influence, and networking. We are going to continue to expand our virtual offerings and formats, including networking events and other kinds of ad-hoc meet ups.
While our in-person events are unmatched for delivering education, there can never be enough session slots, and there will always be conflicting sessions in the schedule. It is important for us to capture and maintain educational content so that members can access it, on-demand, when they are ready to receive it. We are building a year-round education strategy to capture and deliver this content for our membership. Content received in a vacuum can often be frustrating, so along with virtual content, we will have online communities where questions can be asked and experts can weigh in with their wisdom. To encourage mastery, we will offer digital badges for completing certain curricula. We are going to need new volunteers to help deliver these initiatives.
It’s going to be an exciting couple of years, and I’m looking forward to the new ways in which we can grow together and learn from one another. If you have questions, comments, or if you are interested in playing a part, please let me know.
For nostalgia, here’s a picture of me at SHARE in 1999 (far right):
Scott Fagen is the 47th President of SHARE. He has been involved with the association since the mid-1990s, as a speaker, IBM representative, project officer, member of the board of directors and officer. He started programming with punched cards on mainframes in 1980 and has been working to move technology forward ever since.