The leadership of SHARE spearheads projects and the direction of the mainframe user organization, ensuring the three pillars — education, networking, and influence — are upheld. The new board members have deep history within the mainframe industry and the SHARE organization itself. Each of them plans to focus their energy on membership growth and expanding education opportunities to members.
In the second part of our meet the board series, we spoke with two new leaders of SHARE:
- Art Gutowski, mainframe systems engineer at Huntington National Bank and board treasurer and chief financial officer
- Glenn Hanna, lead IBM systems architect at PKWare and board director in charge of information technology
We discussed how they started in the mainframe, where they are now as leaders of SHARE, and how they plan to expand education opportunities to grow SHARE membership.
SHARE HQ: What’s your mainframe story? How did you come to the platform?
Art Gutowski: I remember my dad taking me to the office when I was in grade school. Though I didn’t really understand it much then, I thought he had a cool job. He was a mainframe COBOL and Assembler programmer at a local insurance company.
I was drawn to math and logic and was fascinated with computing devices. We had a Teletype on which we could play text-based games, like football and Star Trek, provided we finished our class work. I later learned these games ran on a mainframe supporting the entire school district.
I took my first programming class in high school and learned BASIC and COBOL and a little JCL. We entered our programs on terminals connected to the school district’s mainframe via modem (everything was dial-up in those days). We had a remote-attached printer in our classroom to provide results of our compiles and program execution. Because we had limited system time, we filled out coding and printer forms and desk-checked our code before we got to use the terminals. It was challenging and interesting to learn the process and to get a simple program to convert Roman numerals to decimals to work. Turns out we were using POWER and VSE to run our jobs. I was hooked.
When I entered college, counselors tried to convince me to go into chemical engineering, based on my entrance exams, but I was convinced data processing was my path. I took a part-time job in the computing center. At first, I wrote JCL to produce audit reports for information security. I also worked in the student computer labs. I soon “graduated” to writing COBOL and Assembler programs, then transferred into the technical support department. I had a great mentor early on, and due in large part to his guidance, I hired in as a full-time systems programmer, finished my degree, and built a foundation for a fantastic 30+ year mainframe career.
Glenn Hanna: I started my mainframe journey in high school. At the time, we had an IBM 360 model 30 with 64K of memory. The only way to input programs into the computer was through punch cards or through the toggle switches on the front of the machine. Students in the IT classes (back then called data processing) were taught COBOL, RPG II, and Fortran. I also learned Assembler since I completed the required curriculum.
I have been on the platform since I was 14 years old. It amazes me to see how the platform has evolved over the years.
SHARE HQ: Joining the SHARE board must be exciting. What are you passionate about and what are some of your goals as a new member?
Art Gutowski: I really want to make sure we maintain a good financial posture so that we can invest in important, transformative programs, like the new membership model and year-round education. I want us to be able to explore new ideas for growing the association from a comfortable financial position.
I want to see SHARE grow in the next several years, reaching more mainframers around the world, as well as across the country. I’m excited to be a part of this team and to see what we can learn from our members, our partners, and others along the way.
Glenn Hanna: I am passionate about technology and getting a machine to do your work. Computers are supposed to make your life easier and keep track of information for you. I have always found it exciting to learn about new technology.
As a new member of the board, I’m excited to continue solving problems with technology and to educate fellow members with the same excitement and enthusiasm I have for the platform.
One of my goals is to listen to the members about the technology they are using at SHARE and help shape the future.
SHARE HQ: How will you help SHARE in its mission to educate, network, and influence the mainframe industry?
Art Gutowski: First and foremost, I want to ensure we are carefully managing our investments and expenses so that we keep the association viable short-term and thriving long-term.
I will work with the leadership team and our partners to put forth timely and valuable training to our community, whether via our traditional in-person conferences, virtual events, or hybrid programs. I will continue to advocate for SHARE as the premier mainframe association and promote our in-person events for networking and influencing opportunities. From my role in finance, I will facilitate new ways for our members to join, collaborate, learn, and influence.
Glenn Hanna: Besides being an attendee, I also like to present on various subjects. I feel that having topics of interest to the members will help attract more members to SHARE.
SHARE HQ: Why was it important for you to become a board member?
Art Gutowski: I have been a SHARE member since my first conference in Chicago in 1991. I was amazed and a little intimidated by the breadth and depth of the sessions offered and the sheer number of people, rooms, and buildings it took to put on the event. I would truly like to see us grow to that number of people again, and I want to help us get there.
I also want to give back to the organization that has given me so much over these 30-some years of conferences. That’s why I started volunteering in 2014, and that’s why I’m on the board now.
Glenn Hanna: I've been a volunteer for several years and learned a lot about SHARE. I also enjoyed chairing sessions, being on the planning board, and helping guide the direction of the materials presented for the MVSE project. I wanted to get more involved in what happens behind the scenes and help the organization with the survival of the mainframe.
SHARE HQ: Tell us something about yourself that SHARE members may not already know.
Art Gutowski: Though I’m kind of an introvert, I love to travel and meet people. I like to share stories, jokes, a good meal, and have an adventure. Two of the craziest adventures I’ve had to date are a one-day solo motorcycle trip from Detroit to Rochester, Minnesota, and climbing into a raft with eight strangers to brave the Rio Grande in 6500+ cubic feet per minute white water.
Glenn Hanna: I am a licensed boat/yacht captain. I also work in radio.