IBM Champions

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Congratulations 2020 Lifetime IBM Champions

By Libby Ingrassia posted Tue August 25, 2020 01:43 AM


Lifetime IBM Champions

The IBM Champion Lifetime Achievement award recognizes IBM Champions who stands above their peers for service to the community. Over multiple years, these IBM Champions consistently excel and positively impact the community. They lead by example, are passionate about sharing knowledge, and provide constructive feedback to IBM.  We look particularly for consistency and excellence in a few areas, above and beyond their IBM Champion contributions.

  • Service to the Champion program: in addition to regular IBM Champion contributions, we want to recognize the work some of the IBM Champions do to support the program, for example:
    • by recruiting and nominating new Champions
    • by mentoring or being a "buddy" to newer Champions
    • by regularly reporting their activity
    • by speaking at our calls
    • by offering their expertise and supporting requests and opportunities from the program team
    • by sharing program news on their social media or blogs
    • by giving us regular feedback to improve the program
    • by representing the program to other IBMers and communities
  • Acclaim & positive notoriety: Champions, IBMers know right away who they are and why they deserve to be named Lifetime IBM Champions
  • Length of service: consistent service and long tenure

How Lifetime Champions are selected

Lifetime Champions are selected by the IBM Champion program team, based on nominations from IBMers and other IBM Champions. We ask IBM Champions and IBMers who they recommend, and we review the annual nominations for extremely strong returning candidates. When we begin the process of selecting Lifetime Champions, we also ask the existing Lifetime IBM Champions for their input: who better to know who is right to join their ranks? Finally, after we have consensus, we approve the names with our internal executive sponsors.

2020 Lifetime IBM Champions

Congratulations to the 2020 Lifetime IBM Champions.

  • Mark Lack - Mark has been a customer of the IBM analytics solutions since 2006. He started with Cognos and has expanded their use of IBM's analytics portfolio to include Planning, data science, Watson and engagements with IBM Garage. Over the years, Mark has given generously of his time to collaborate with other clients in various user forums and Advisory councils. He has met with countless clients one on one to share Mueller's analytics journey and best practices, and presented to and for IBM at numerous events. Most recently, Mark presented at an internal IBM meeting to share his upgrade experience and provide positive suggestions on how IBM can improve our offering experience.
  • Dusty Rivers - Dusty has been an IBM Champion for 11 years, before the Z Business Unit had even started their program! As director of Z systems at GT Software, Dusty works with global companies to API-enable their IBM Z systems. Dusty is also an active member in the Z Community. As a project manager for SHARE, he enjoys being involved with the community and track planning and was even awarded the Best of the Best for his session on APIs this past year. Dusty is also active in mentoring the New to Z community, a panelist for TechU sessions, and a passionate IMS user and advocate.
  • Bob Oesterlin - Bob Oesterlin is a Senior Storage Engineer at Nuance Communications, and an IBM Storage and IBM Cloud Champion. Bob is the leader of the North American Spectrum Scale User Group, hosts, organizes and manages the vendor-agnostic agenda at the largest IBM Spectrum Scale user group meeting in North America. He proactively builds regular interaction at world-class technical computing events like the annual Supercomputing conference, speaks on IBM Champion panels, and delivers technical presentations at IBM Systems Technical University. In addition, Bob offers  in-depth technical storage expertise to other IBM Spectrum Scale users. His name is synonymous with IBM Storage, and he has served as a regular client reference for IBM Storage products.
  • Jaqui Lynch - Jaqui is the President of Jaqui Lynch Consulting and an Engineer for IBM BP Flagship Solutions Group. She is well-known in the community as a respected advocate for IBM Power Systems including AIX, Linux, IBM i and Power hardware. In addition, Jaqui is a regular speaker at IBM Systems Technical University and writer for IBM Systems Magazine. One of the things that makes Jaqui stand out is her willingness to help: to offer feedback about the program, to help when the program team asks, and recently jumping in on one of our first livestream IBM Champion Chat events.
  • Martin Hubel - Martin has been an IBM Champion since 2008 and an IBM Gold Consultant since 1994. His Db2 industry activities include being the host of the Db2Night Show, a member of the IDUG Volunteer Hall of Fame, an active IDUG speaker of over 50 presentations over the past 30 years, a panelist, an author, and an executive committee member of the Central Canada Db2-IMS Users Group.
  • Stacey Gregerson - Stacey Gregerson is an Information Security Architect at Westfield Group in Ohio. He has over twenty years of experience in database security and has strong expertise with IBM Security Guardium. He's the co-founder of an international Guardium User Group and has been an IBM Champion for many years starting in 2013. In the words of IBM's Data Security Customer Advocacy Manager, "Stacey has been one of the most involved customers for Guardium. He serves as a reference for us for many accounts, and speaks at every conference, user group, and Customer Advisory Board in which he's been asked. He has been the long-time host of a customer-only User Group monthly to ensure all Guardium users have the support they need to be successful users of the product. Stacey is the epitome of an IBM Champion."
  • Morag Hughson - Morag THE go-to person for WebSphere MQ. A former MQ product architect, Morag is now a MQ Technical Education Specialist and writes technical education courses to help others.  Beyond that, Morag blogs on MQ, producing multiple series (MQ Little Gem) with incredible consistency. Presenting at MQ technical conference's, IBM Events and User group events. Morag is also active on Twitter and at the IMWUC community, answering questions and supporting the community members and fellow Champions.
  • Lester Knutsen - Lester founded one of the longest Informix partners in 1993 - Advance Data Tools, and serves as President and Principal Consultant. Lester has been building large data warehouse and business systems using Informix Database software since 1983, and focuses on large database performance tuning, training, and consulting. Lester Knutsen was one of the first to receive the IIUG Directors award in 2002. Lester is a member of the IBM Gold Consultant program. Lester was one of the Inaugural IBM Champions by IBM and has won this award every year since 2008. He is also one of the founders of the International Informix Users Group (IIUG)  and the Washington Area Informix User Group.
  • Paul Cortellesi - Paul is a FileNet admin at Memorial Sloan Kettering. He runs the NYC ECM user group, is an active speaker at conferences and events like Think, and recently presented at our Global User groups day for our Automation track. Paul is always willing to share his knowledge and advocate IBM'S products and most importantly, is always ready to help the program managers and the community on request.

These nine amazing Lifetime IBM Champions join the 17 existing Lifetime IBM Champions, named since 2016.

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