UniForum Picks New Director

Tom Mace to lead Association at a time of opportunities

"My role is to see the organization through this evolution and expand its ability to serve its membership."

Tom Mace is the UniForum Association's new executive director, replacing Richard Jaross who is returning to the private sector. He comes to us with nearly 20 years' experience in the computer industry at both large and small companies. His accomplishments include leading the Convergent Technologies Unix effort and the presidency of both the 88Open and PowerOpen industry consortia.

Tom shared his vision and strong opinions about the Association and the industry at large with UniNews. He is definitely bullish about UniForum. "UniForum has a strong and growing conference and corporate training program for solutions for IT, as well as the annual trade show and exposition which has been the focal point for the open systems industry for a dozen years," he asserts. "As the concept of open systems changes and evolves with new players and new needs from IT organizations and from our members, UniForum needs to change with that. My role is to see the organization through this evolution and expand UniForum's ability to serve its membership."

He offers a definition of what an open system is and what it really means. "An open system is one in which the interfaces are readily available to the computer industry as a whole so that a large and vibrant third-party community can bring enterprise solutions in a truly comprehensive manner to users. It also means that there are choices available to buyers among the base technologies. We started out with Unix being the 'textbook' definition of an open system; now, Unix, Windows NT and Novell NetWare each offer a viable choice to the marketplace for network open systems. This represents an unprecedented level of 'openness,' regardless of anyone's individual feelings about individual companies or players."

Going forward, Tom sees a crucial role for UniForum. "We must remember that UniForum is an individual member- and user-focused organization, making it unique in the open systems arena today. Our role is not to promote a particular technology or solution, but rather to educate users and buyers on the choices available to them and how those choices may best be used to everyone's advantage."

UniForum president Mike Tilson says that in view of the many transition issues involved in Jaross' leaving his post, "we have been extremely fortunate to have the luxury of an overlap period, with both Tom and Richard Jaross on board working to ensure that everything goes smoothly during the change in leadership." Commenting on the choice of Mace as the new executive director, Tilson expresses his enthusiasm. "We are glad that we've been able to retain Tom for this crucial time at UniForum. We will all benefit from his background and experience as a longtime and respected executive in the open systems community. Let's all welcome Tom to the UniForum family and join in thanking Richard for his contributions to UniForum and wishing him the very best on his return to industry."

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