Now that we are three years into the post-COVID environment, new realities and challenges have emerged for people, businesses, and organizations. Our members and volunteers have been working hard to meet all of them head on. SHARE looks forward to continuing the evolution of the organization in 2024.
With a lot of good, hard work by the board and our volunteers, SHARE has weathered uncertainty and has successfully executed two in-person conferences with good attendance and reviews in Atlanta and New Orleans. Dan Ruehl, director of conference operations, Dusty Rivers, director of leader development, the Focus Area and Track Leaders deserve our applause and thanks for their diligence and hard work in producing these events.
Both Dan and Dusty received the SHARE President’s Award, honoring their individual efforts for the organization and its members last year. And we are all back to work preparing for the 60th anniversary of the System/360 and the 2024 conferences in Orlando and Kansas City.
As part of our efforts to provide some of the premiere technical education in the field, SHARE continues to create the gold standard for mainframe education at our in-person conferences and has been working to create a great online experience that is available 24/7/365.
As we continue to build out our digital content, Dusty will be involved in enrolling members to help with important activities like content curation, forum moderation, and live online event support. “In 2024, we’re looking to get more volunteers involved with SHARE through a smoother onboarding process and to provide them with interesting areas to which they can devote their time and effort,” he said. “We’re eager to continue providing leadership into what topics and areas of interest are evolving in the tech-verse for SHARE to offer sessions in both in-person and virtual content. SHARE is the go-to place for technical knowledge, and we need to keep evolving with new people and content.”
I encourage anyone interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities to reach out to Dusty to see what might fit your interests and availability.
This work also goes hand-in-hand with the work of the Membership Committee as we determine the intersection of types of membership, benefits, and responsibilities. Cynthia Overby, director of membership, is excited about the new SHARE individual membership model.
“Our individual membership is for a specific individual and has benefits that are based on what an individual needs from SHARE to be successful,” she said. “One of the key differentiators for SHARE as an organization is our new Learning Management System (LMS). This system was designed with the individual member as the focus.”
With our new, free Emeritus Membership, retirees from the mainframe platform can remain engaged with the organization and its members, providing mentorship and guidance to SHARE members.
According to Preston Rominger, director of year-round education, “Expanding membership to provide individual access beyond corporate affiliations ensures that young professionals can now enjoy year-round education independently, fostering continuous learning and skill development. This access to a Learning Management System empowers them with flexible and personalized educational opportunities, contributing to their professional growth and adaptability in today's dynamic work environment.”
We are hard at work integrating technology into our offerings to provide more education at your fingertips. SHARE’s work is driven by the speed of business, and SHARE’d Knowledge is a new resource, with on-demand education that will include our conference material and sessions and a variety of learning opportunities for our colleagues.
Sean Waldron, director of member engagement, points out there are a number of digital volunteering opportunities with SHARE. “Everyone can volunteer year-round to help grow and contribute to the SHARE community. Have an exciting upgrade or production issue story that might help others avoid some pitfalls? Or come up with a great automation solution to a manual process? Think about contributing a story to SHARE’d Intelligence to share your experience with the SHARE community. Or maybe you have some z/OS or DB2 tips and tricks or knowledge that you want to share with new mainframers. Consider submitting content to SHARE’d Knowledge to help grow our community’s knowledge and skills.”
We’d also like to share our deep appreciation for our strategic partners, Broadcom and IBM, who aid us in providing technical expertise and content for our members. We’re looking to strengthen these collaborations going forward, particularly with our new learning management system.
SHARE Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Art Gutowski has been working with the entire board and SHARE staff to build a budget for 2024, maintaining the high standards for SHARE’s 2024 events and enabling prudent investments for the future.
“In the coming year, the top three items I want to see us accomplish is to grow our membership, build out our year-round education platform, and continue to provide the best mainframe education conference in the industry,” Gutowski said. “The Finance Committee, the board, and I will work to maintain profitability of SHARE’s conferences so additional funding will be available to improve future conferences and to drive our year-round platform and membership initiatives into self-sustaining projects over the next decade.” He added, “Along with these initiatives, I want to support our strategic planning efforts, so that we have a documented road map for the incoming board this August.”
SHARE also would like to congratulate Jim Erdahl, our immediate past president and chair of the Nominating Committee, on his retirement. Every year, SHARE holds an election, which determines the composition of its Board of Directors. We’re seeking capable people from a diverse background to help set the future direction of SHARE, to be stewards of the 66-year-old institution within the enterprise IT community.
According to Brian Langerman, executive director of SHARE, “Our deep dive into the organization and its operations led to the creation of a task force, which will reimagine the art of the possible.” The task force is in its early stages and is very excited to get to work leveraging SHARE’s history and modernizing it and its membership offerings for the future. “2024 will be about thinking through the re-imagining process and seeking feedback from the ecosystem so that member voices help shape the future of SHARE,” he added.
The future of SHARE is its members in the mainframe community. Thank you to our members and I’m looking forward to seeing you at SHARE Orlando (March 3-7).
TAGS: share updates , Individual Membership
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