For November, the IBM Champion Spotlight we are featuring Joe Grasso. Joe is a Senior Platform Engineer at PNC Bank in Wadsworth, OH. He’s been a dedicated IBM Champion for several years, as well as a Websphere User Group Leader. Recently, Joe sat down with me to discuss his journey to IBM products, his volunteer work, and Billy Joel. 1. KS: Let’s start with your background. How did you get started working with IBM products?
JG: Back in the late 1980s, I was in construction and got a call to build a room with the doors 18 inches off the floor that no one bid on so we built it after the 4th IBM just gave the mainframe to set up then I got into direct talk (ivr) so I have been doing web sphere since before it was branded 2. KS: What activity or contribution have you made as an IBM Champion that you are most proud of and why?
JG: I have been able to restart several died groups in the past 2 years 3. KS: What does being an IBM Champion mean to you?
JG: A little recognition is all was good 4. KS: If someone is considering joining the IBM Community, what would you tell them?
JG: (You should join because) it contains a pool of great information and provides the ability to share data with other peers. 5. KS: What IBM product or technology do you think will make the biggest impact in the future, and why?
JG: (It is pretty clear that )everything is going to the cloud, so I would say that. Fun Questions
KS: Okay Joe we’re moving into what I call the “Lightning Round” where we ask some fun, non-tech questions. Are you ready?
JG: I am ready, let’s go. 6. KS: What book is currently on your nightstand or tablet?
JG: To Hell and Back: The Classic Memoir of World War II by America's Most Decorated Soldier by Audie Murphy, and the Holy Bible. 7. KS: Who are 3 famous people, living or dead, that you would like to have dinner with, and why?
Ben Franklin – because he was a great inventor and author
Billy Joel – to me he made the best songs of my time
Audie Murphy – because he was the most decorated solider of all time 8. KS: What would you for a living if you weren’t in your current job?
JG: I would work with the Children's Heart Project. I currently volunteer with them. Children's Heart Project arranges life-saving operations for hundreds of children who live in countries where the required medical expertise and equipment are not available. Since 1997, Children's Heart Project has arranged lifesaving surgery for more than 1,400 children. 9. KS: What is your favorite mobile app right now?
JG: Skype 10. What song or album are you listening to most right now? Glass Houses
by Billy Joel KS: Hey Joe thank you, I really enjoyed this conversation. I admire your dedication to the Children’s Heart project and to the IBM Champions. If our readers want to connect with you online, where can they find you?
Joe in the IBM Community: IBM Community Profile
Joe on LinkedIn: LinkedIn
To learn more about the IBM Champions program, visit http://ibm.biz/champions#Spotlight#IBMChampion#publiccloud#ibmchampions-featured-library-home#ibmchampions-featured-library
To learn more about the IBM Public Cloud Community, visit http://community.ibm.com