This past weekend I got to attend the annual IOUG Summer Board meeting. It is at these meetings where we plan the strategy for the user group in the near and long term. This meeting was no different and some great work happened. I believe that the IOUG is the place you need to be if you use Oracle technology; it is one place where you can create an life-long environment for professional and personal success. What was also important was that Andy Flower, led the group for the first time as our new incoming President. This was a role I had filled for the past two years and Andy now was filling and doing a great job. So I decided why not Blog about the IOUG Presidents that I knew and show how each one helped the user group at various times and remember those that helped build what we now enjoy in the changing user community.
If we look back the first President of the IOUG was Michael Corey, a big man, with a big voice and a personality that drew people in. He was one of the founding members of the community when Oracle did not understand how this group of independent user, customers and consultants could help make the product better, but that’s what he and the other Oracle users who put together a group which found Oracle’s ear and helped us start this road that is the user community
After the bravado of Mike Corey came the calm and diplomatic Merrilee Nohr, a true professional who brought a calmness and a direction which turned this group into a more professional organization. Merrilee struggled to build a solid relationship at a time when Oracle was starting to evolve into what it is today and in many ways Merrilee educated Oracle on the value that the community brought and how important it was for Oracle to support us.
After Merrilee I recall Rich Niemiec. There are few people like Rich, for those of you how know of him, know he is a great technical genius who taught us lots about performance and leadership. He led as any good Ex-Marine would and helped to motivation the Board and the community onto better things. As Rich once said to me “Leaders are chosen when they are needed and ready to take on the challenge,'” and Rich was there to help stabilize the IOUG during some rough times in working with Oracle.
After Rich, came Kim Floss, a customer of Oracle’s, which is always a good thing, as Oracle likes their customers and when one came to lead the user group like Kim, it was a great for our relations with Oracle as the relationship evolved.
Following Kim, was Ari Caplan. Another one of a kind leader. He brought a quiet calm and a strong leadership. He knew about a lot of cool stuff and was a business leader in the Oracle community. He also had a skill for baseball and analytics and today he works for the Chicago Cubs, maybe Larry can use him one day if he buys a team. And of course it was during his watch when we launched the first COLLABORATE conference and a new era in user group events was born.
Then came me. I am proud of what I did to help the user community and Oracle during my two year tenure. It was exciting and evolving as Oracle continued to expand while the user group continued to focus on the networking, advocacy and education. And together with the Board we all did a good job.
Which leads me to the current President. Andy Flower, who is a great, engaging and strong leader who is focused on continuing to grow the community. It will be under Andy’s leadership when we will welcome one of the newest communities to the IOUG; that of the MySQL community. After our meeting I am confident that Andy will help us move the community to a period growth while still keeping us focused on our core community.
Plus he looks a lot like Bobby Flay, so we can get good tables in restaurants and bars.
The IOUG has come a long way in the past years and will continue to evolve and change just as our great leadership has done over the years,