Logo: TUG TORONTO USERS GROUP for Midrange Systems
e -server magazine

May 1996: Volume 11, Number 5

Presidentís Corner

By Linda Johnstone

s you may have noticed if you were at the March meeting of members, it is election time again at TUG. Six board members will have reached the end of their two-year term in June, and nominations were called for at the March meeting. All six retiring board members were nominated for re-election, and as no other nominations were received, the composition of the board will not change this year.

Obviously despite the nature of the business that we are all in, change at TUG takes place slowly. Last year saw two new board members, and this year none. Some renewal is taking place, but the continuity that is sometimes lacking in elected groups is certainly not missing on the TUG board. The special skills that members of the board brought to the table, or developed at the table are much in demand as TUG continues to thrive and offer increasing educational value to the membership. As my term as president comes to a close, I would like to pay tribute to the board members and give you some insight into at least some of the work that each of them has been doing.

First the new members: Darcy Forde showed his metal at last year's TEC conference. Another board member had made all of the facility arrangements with the hotel and organised the audio-visual requirements. Then having switched employment, he found that he could not actually attend the conference. Darcy stepped in at a moment's notice and took on the task of eliminating the inevitable glitches. He performed this task so well that when he offered to organise the audio-visual requirements for the 1996 TEC, everyone was delighted.

The most recent new member is Richard Dolewski. Somehow Richard has been fitting in board work between trips flying down to Mexico every month. Richard's current project is the TUG Golf tournament on June 21. This promises to be a little different in that it will be a "best ball" tournament. I am reliably informed that this means that anyone like myself who has never played before, can play and not fall embarrassingly far behind. I've promised to "play", but we'll see about the embarrassment later.

From the newest to the "oldest": Neil Andrus has I believe been on the board for its entire ten-year existence. I'm not sure whether he is unique in that respect, but he certainly brings some "corporate" history to the table. With his responsibility for membership and his marketing flair, he can graph the growth of TUG from six to three hundred organisations. But his most recent visible efforts are of course the various flyers that he has designed for the TEC conferences. Those conferences are made a reality by the board members who also serve on the TEC committee headed by Ken Sadler. Ken, a long-time attendee at Common conferences has been determined for some time to bring comparable education to Toronto at a reasonable price. With some trepidation on my part (I was then the treasurer) the first TEC conference took place in 1994. After that success, a second was organised a year later, and now this year's will be bigger and even better.

Although everyone suggests speakers for TEC and for meetings of members, Bev Russell takes the responsibility for ensuring that topical subjects by excellent speakers are the order of the day for meetings of members. Bev seems to have a special touch and can persuade some of the most sought-after speakers to address us, occasionally at very little notice when a speaker must cancel. Bev also wins the prize for most travelling to meetings since she journeys through all weathers from Winona (near St Catharines) to various board meeting locations in Metro. The meetings of members of course, require more than speakers. Facilities have to be arranged with the hotel, audio-visual requirements taken care of, and food organised. Ron Campitelli negotiates these deals, and ensures that everything goes smoothly. Those of us who have tried to dim the right lights, and "kill" the piped music on occasion, usually turn to Ron. Ron also volunteered to be responsible for advertising in the newsletter. This year he has exceeded his target for advertising revenue, and this enables us to produce twenty-page newsletters.

"Us" is perhaps an exaggeration. Although a number of people help with the proofing and editorial duties, Vaughn Dragland puts the newsletter together. He also gently reminds some of us about promised articles, and somehow achieves a very professional looking newsletter on time every two months. One of the helpers is Dan Duffy. As a supplier rather than a user of midrange equipment, Dan frequently brings a different perspective to the table. When we are looking for sponsors or in the case of the product showcase accompanying TEC, exhibitors, Dan brings our expectations a little closer to reality. Jim Vanderburgt has been working on other expectations recently. For the past two years, Jim has undertaken to hone, distribute, and most importantly, analyse the results of, the annual salary survey. This survey has grown considerably, and the results are anxiously awaited by managers eager to have such a location-specific and technology-specific salary report.

TUG's finances are currently in the hands of Ed Jowett. Having filled the treasurers' portfolio myself, I know just how time consuming the task can be, especially just before TEC. Having made the deposits, written expense cheques, and entered the transactions into the system, the bank reconciliations can still take more time than is available. But timely financial information is crucial to a volunteer organisation, and ensuring that sufficient cash is on hand to float TEC is a challenge. As important of course, is ensuring that minutes are accurately taken at meetings. Leo Lefebvre undertakes this task with dedication. In addition to taking notes, he tapes the discussions, thereby providing himself with a complete record of the meeting to assist his transcribing. He took primary responsibility for organising last year's 10th anniversary celebration, and also keeps me on track by compiling and faxing agendas, reminders and minutes to all board members.

Next, we have our non-voting IBM liaison, Lisa Jobson. Lisa has come to the task fairly recently, but with great enthusiasm. She has been an invaluable resource, especially with regard to speakers. She was also well prepared to conduct the board elections which proved to be unnecessary this year. Although not on the board, few board or member meetings take place without our association manager, Wende Boddy being present. She works a five-day week in her home office, but always puts in the extra time at meetings, especially with those little extra touches that most of us find little time for. So in addition to her duties, Wende organises speaker presents, flower arrangements, photograph albums and much else.

Along with Loretta Flebus and Inass Moussa, our registration volunteers, these are the people that are making TUG a success, along of course with all of our members. My very heartfelt thanks to everyone. T < G