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UniForum Board Elections--The Choice Is Yours

Once again, the UniForum board elections give a voice to our members in the running of the association.

Seven candidates--including three incumbents--are running this year for four open seats on the nine-member UniForum Association board of directors. The new board members' two-year terms will begin with the next board meeting, scheduled for Jul. 20 in Toronto. The candidates this year are:

Jeanne Baccash (incumbent)
Assistant Vice President for Enterprise Network and Systems Management

Rob Gingell
Vice President and Sun Fellow
Sun Microsystems

Don Harbert
Vice President of the Unix Business Segment
Digital Equipment Corp.

Randall Howard (incumbent)
Chairman and CEO
Mortice Kern Systems

Fred Luiz
General Manager of the Open Systems
Software Division, Hewlett-Packard

Jerry Popek
Chief Technical Officer
Platinum Technologies

Mike Prince (incumbent)
Director of Information Services
Burlington Coat Factory

An incumbent who has decided not to run for reelection is Jim Bell, currently CEO of The Open Group. Jim is the immediate past president of the UniForum board and is completing an outstanding tenure of service to the organization. In noting Jim's retirement from the board, Richard Jaross, UniForum executive director, says,

Under Jim Bell's leadership, UniForum is today a stronger organization, widely respected for role it plays in providing education for end users of open technologies. Moreover, his contributions to our industry through his work with X/Open, OSF and now The Open Group are unparalleled. I am comforted to note that Jim will remain an active UniForum participant through his work on the UniForum '97 Conference Planning Committee. I am sure everyone in UniForum will want to thank Jim for his dedication to the association.

What It's All About

The UniForum board of directors is elected by a vote of the general membership and is responsible for charting the strategic direction of the association. In this role, the board plays a critical role in determining how UniForum positions itself in regard to emerging open technologies. The board considers how the association can best contribute to the changing needs of its membership and advises the UniForum staff on executing the plans it has laid out for them. In recent years, the board completed a new strategic mission document that calls for the organization to be more active in representing the benefits of truly open standards-based technologies and to keep its major programs--such as the annual conference and trade show--vital and responsive to member needs.

Each year the members elect four or five seats, assuring that about half of the board has continuity from year to year. Nominees for the board, who must be general members of the association, are chosen by the UniForum nominating committee, which is appointed by the board. This year's committee included Jim Bell; Rebel Brown, president of Cognoscenti; Wayne Fowler, vice president of information technology at the Toronto Stock Exchange; and Richard Jaross. Ballots and board candidate position statements were mailed on May 31 to all general members of UniForum. The results will be tabulated on June 28 by UniForum's independent auditing firm, Coopers & Lybrand.

Michael Tilson, CIO of the Santa Cruz Operation and current president of the UniForum board, recently praised the 1996 slate of candidates and urged the participation of UniForum's members:

I am extremely pleased by the quality of the outstanding slate of candidates running in this year's election. UniForum must continue to change as the industry changes, and we'll need the best talent we can get on our board to be successful. The association has been fortunate that its directors have been so committed to our goals and have given so generously of their time.

As a member, you can influence the association's future directly in your vote for board candidates. When you receive your election materials, please take the time to make a careful choice of those candidates whom you feel are best suited to meet our challenges. The candidates are a superb group, and we'll be well served no matter whom you choose. But each candidate will have a different perspective, and we want the board's perspective to reflect that of the membership. So don't use the quality of the slate as an excuse for not voting. We need your participation.