New Orleans, Louisiana, is the hub of jazz, around-the-clock nightlife, spicy cuisine, and, of course, the home of Mardi Gras. Mainframers at SHARE New Orleans had little choice but to let loose and soak up not only the technical knowledge around them, but also the spicier side of life in the Big Easy.
One of top highlights in New Orleans, according to Reg Harbeck, chief strategist at Mainframe Analytics Ltd., was the cuisine. At Seaworthy, he had pork belly and Brussel sprouts and a specialty cocktail called, “Holy Water.” But it takes a brave soul to eat with a bib and only his hands from a seafood bag at the Fiery Crab. He also took in some of the Big Easy’s best jazz at Café Negril.
Also at SHARE New Orleans, he sat down with IBM Champion Laticia Carrow to record live for her YouTube channel Tish Talks Tech, where they talked about the history of the mainframe, its reliability, and the tight-knit mainframe community.
Harbeck also met a who’s who line-up of SHARE members, including colleagues like Meredith Stowell, vice president at IBM; Joe Winchester, software engineer at IBM; Steven Perva, senior mainframe innovation engineer at Ensono; and all the way from Germany, Frank Balzer, technical solution specialist at IBM. They networked, posed for pictures, laughed, and shared knowledge with each other and others.
Meanwhile, Mark Wilson, technical director at Vertali and GSE UK region manager, was wowed by The River City Hit Squad, which performed at an IBM-sponsored event. He also pointed out that the Virgin Hotel in New Orleans has some unusual décor in one of its reception rooms.
The SHARE event floor also had some eye-catching adornments, notably a full-size IBM z16 mainframe in Lego bricks with a drawer full of mainframers at work and play.
Mainframers had fun while testing their knowledge at the "Mainframe Family Feud" event.
But it wasn’t just fun and games at SHARE New Orleans. Attendees also participated in professional development opportunities, like the Northern Illinois University students who had the chance to network with many SHARE attendees, including SHARE President Scott Fagen. The Women in IT session was another hit.
SHARE members know how to network, and recognizing talented volunteers is almost like the large award shows in the entertainment industry, complete with gifts and certificates.
The volunteers receiving honors and applause from the crowd at this year’s volunteer lunch included Dusty Rivers from Mainline Information Systems; Aron Eisenpress, retired from The City University of New York; Dan Ruehl from 21st Century Software; Dennis Pherigo from Mastercard; Russ Witt from Broadcom; Cheryl Turner from the Internal Revenue Service; Tom Ross from IBM and known as Captain COBOL; Karla Houser from Caterpillar Inc.; Ray Sun from Sun Coast; and many others.
From the opening welcome from SHARE President Scott Fagen to the closing “Game Plan for Success” with Super Bowl Champion quarterback, Joe Theismann, SHARE members were welcomed with open arms and given a framework for future success. At the close of SHARE New Orleans, Fagen also sat down with Futurum to discuss the new digital platform from SHARE and its individual membership offering, which he says is a vital part of reaching the organization’s international members and members who want education at their fingertips.
Learn more about the benefits of SHARE’s individual membership and register to access on-demand education and more. Join us in 2024 for SHARE Orlando.
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