• August 12, 2020

Celebrating Our 2020 IBM Champions

It is one thing to recognize your colleagues and their contributions internally, but it is quite another when the recognition comes from the broader technical community out there. I’m especially proud this year, as 13 of our Rocketeers were named to IBM’s 2020 Class of Champions—the most to be named from a single company! This is a significant achievement, as IBM’s Champions are nominated by peers and chosen for consistent and exceptional contributions outside of their jobs to the IBM community. Selected from a pool of nearly 1,400 candidates across 10 categories including IBM Z, Data and AI, and Cloud, this year’s 604 IBM Champions are non-IBM employees composed of 188 new individuals or returning alumni, 399 renewals and 17 lifetime Champions.

It has been amazing to learn from the members of this elite group. Many of these Champions have been named in previous years as well, which is a wonderful affirmation of the skills and knowledge that Rocketeers bring to our clients and partners in the IBM world. In addition to invitations to and perks at IBM conferences and events like IBM Think and SHARE, IBM Champions receive direct connections to IBM product development teams and have the opportunity to participate in the Community Day at IBM Think.

IBM Champions demonstrate expertise, extraordinary support and advocacy for IBM technology, communities and solutions. Their work in the IBM sphere goes above and beyond, sharing knowledge, evangelizing solutions and extending the reach of IBM through innovation.

Congratulations to these 13 Rocketeers:

  • Saghi Amirsoleymani, Vice President, WW Analytics, United States
  • Doug Anderson, Senior Solutions Advisor, United States
  • Paul Bartak, Principal Solutions Advisor, United States
  • Patric Becker, Managing Director, Germany
  • Julie Bergh, Senior Solutions Advisor, WW Security, United States
  • Bob Bersano, Senior Solutions Advisor, United States
  • Ron Bisceglia, Distinguished Engineer, United States
  • Ezriel Gross, Principal Solutions Advisor, United States
  • Norbert Jenninger, Principal Solutions Advisor, Germany
  • Andy Steeds, Senior Solutions Advisor, United Kingdom
  • Shawn Sullivan, Senior Solutions Advisor, United States
  • Jørn Thyssen, Senior Solutions Advisor, Denmark
  • Tim Willging, Distinguished Engineer, Z Systems Architect, United States

Their dedication to supporting legacy technologies has carried throughout Rocket, from the exceptional leadership they provide to the solutions that they’ve built. I have no doubt that these 13 Rocketeers have touched the lives of everyone at Rocket in some way.

Innovation requires a community to support it, and I’m proud of the community we’ve built here at Rocket. But we would not be here if it weren’t for our Rocketeers, who have shaped the company and have helped it become globally recognized. Our team members are the definition of legendary, as they constantly strive for excellence. The 13 Rocketeers who were selected as part of this year’s IBM Champions are the most recent examples of our consistent commitment to and achievements in sharing knowledge and support for legacy technologies. We are so much more than our skills; we are teachers, experts and innovators. We are truly a community.

Andy Youniss

Andy Youniss 64 Posts

Andy Youniss co-founded Rocket Software in 1990 and continues to be the company's main driving force. Andy successfully established and actively manages Rocket's largest OEM partnerships and is guiding the company's growth through technology investments, acquisitions, new product lines, and strategic partnerships. Prior to founding Rocket Software, Andy was the development manager for DB View Inc., a software company specializing in DB2 database tools. Previously, he was a programmer/analyst at American Management Systems, and was also a project development consultant. Andy holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

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