Awards and Recognition

Each year, Connect recognizes community members for various achievements.  Annual awards include:

  • Connect Volunteer of the Year - Presented to a Connect member who has gone above and beyond in sharing their time and talents to advance Connect's mission of delivering education, networking opportunities and advocacy to its global members.
  • HPE Recognition Award - Like the Member of the Year award, the HPE Recognition Award acknowledges outstanding contribution.  This award is presented to an HPE employee who is passionate about Connect and goes beyond or even outside of their responsibilities to support the community.
  • NonStop Availability Award - This international award recognizes companies that keep high standards to meet customer expectations of availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  


Award Recipients


Connect Volunteer of the Year:  Dr. Michael Rossbach

Dr. Michael Rossbach began his long career in the software business in 1973. Back in 1979, he laid the foundations of comForte when he started his business providing consulting and development services for Tandem systems (HPE NonStop today) in Germany. He has been the CEO of comForte since its foundation in 1998. Building a highly skilled and motivated team, which worked together successfully for many years, has been key to the development of strategic software solutions fueling comForte’s growth.


HPE Employee Recognition Award: Chris Purcell

Chris has 28+ years of experience working with technology within the datacenter. Chris is a long-time advocate of the HPE user community and has always worked tirelessly and passionately to promote the shared vision of HPE and Connect Worldwide. He also serves on the internal HPE/Connect advisory board. We thank Chris Purcell for his continued engagement and for all he has done and continues to do for Connect.



 Connect Volunteer of the Year: Dr. Heinz-Hermann Adam

Dr. Heinz-Hermann Adam has been a longtime volunteer for Connect. He is the Technical Director of the Natural Sciences Department at Muenster University - one of the largest Universities in Germany. He started is volunteer career with DECUS and then continued with Encompass, and Connect. Dr. Adam, has been a member of the Connect Worldwide Board of Directors from 2009 through 2013 and served as Secretary/Treasurer for two consecutive terms. He is always engaged - in Leadership positions or as part of the community - on various topics from Cloud to BigData, Enterprise Networking and Storage to Security, NonStop, UNIX to OpenVMS. He is regularly invited to join HP Customer Advisory Boards and user communities and is the current President of Connect Germany. With Heinz-Hermann, or H2 as we fondly call him, you don’t have to ask, he just knows what’s needed and the right time to volunteer. Thank you H2 for giving of your time, heart, knowledge, and spirit for the success of Connect.


HPE Employee Recognition Award:  Vicky Brooks

Vicky is the Worldwide Installed Base program manager. Vicky has been a longtime advocate for Connect. She has helped with every Boot Camp including NonStop, OpenVMS, and our new 2016 HP-UX Boot Camp. She works within HP to garner support for the organization and our signature events. Vicky also serves on the internal HPE/Connect advisory board. Thank you Vicky for all you have done and continue to do for Connect.



Connect Volunteer of the Year: Bill Pedersen

HPE Employee Recognition Award: Joe Androwlowicz

NonStop Availability Award: MasterCard Worldwide



Connect Volunteer of the Year:  Greg Guthman

Greg Guthman has a long history of being a community volunteer.  He has been a vocal force for the OpenVMS community; but his efforts have also reached across all HP enterprise technologies. Greg also held a seat on the Connect board of directors in 2009-2011. In 2013, Greg served as OpenVMS SIG co-chair and as the master of ceremonies for the Connect OpenVMS Boot Camp held in Boston earlier this year.  His knowledge, passion and witty personality made this year’s OpenVMS Boot Camp one of the best ever. He happily shares his expertise with those who need it and was instrumental in raising thousands of dollars for the Future Leaders in Technology scholarship fund. Greg is a model volunteer and truly deserving of Connect’s highest honor, Volunteer of the Year.

HP Recognition Award: The HP Networking Team

Under the excellent leadership of Bethany Mayer, the HP Networking Team that supports Connect: Mike Banic, Alicia Moody, Mary Gabra-Tanious, Diane Fukuda and Erik Papir is a force to reckon with!  The team has provided unparalleled support to Connect to help us build the Enterprise Networking Special Interest Group (SIG) by providing education, influence and peer-to-peer best practice sharing opportunities for our members.  The HP Networking team clearly understands the value of community and how important it is to give HP customers an opportunity to help each other and to help HP continue to improve their product and service offerings. And by connecting members to subject matter experts, solutions, and peers, the HP customer/Connect member will naturally get the greatest return on their HP networking investments.  Connect is appreciative of its relationships with HP and all enterprise business units. This year it salutes the HP Networking Team and honors them with the 2013 Connect HP Recognition Award.

Supplier of the Year: Hilton Worldwide

Congratulations to Hilton Worldwide, the Connect Worldwide Supplier of the Year. We are especially grateful for our Hilton Global Account Manager, Rocco LaForgia. We met Rocco over a year ago in Dallas, Texas at the annual ASAE meeting. ASAE represents more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 organizations. We love working with Rocco and therefore we look to Hilton Worldwide first when we are planning our conferences and events. Rocco lives up to everything in the Hilton mission statement, and it is a pleasure to work and associate with him.



Connect Volunteer of the Year: Neil Barnes

This year’s Volunteer of the Year has been a member of ITUG and now Connect for many years. He has served as chapter leader for the active BITUG chapter and continues to serve BITUG in planning their chapter and annual events. He also serves on the Connect chapter committee bringing his great experience and expertise in chapter development to the entire Connect community. While he is very passionate about the NonStop community, he selflessly serves the entire Connect global community in this role. He recently wrote a paper on ‘How to run a successful chapter’ and rarely misses He holds many technology credentials including an HP Master ASE and manages a large data center for Lloyds Bank in London. Connect congratulates this year's winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award, Mr. Neil Barnes!

HP Recognition Award: Brad Harwell

Each year, Connect recognizes an HP employee who not only helps support Connect, but is also a passionate volunteer often going above and beyond their job description to give to our great community of HP business technology customers around the world. Due to our rule about not awarding volunteers currently serving on the board, this year’s recipient has never formally been recognized for all that he has done to serve, support and grow the user community.

Through the years he has not only helped us by championing Connect within HP, he also contributed his business acumen to the board of directors and staff. We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude for all that he has done and seen us through. Whether it was moving an entire trade show from New Orleans to Orlando in 30 days or a legal consolidation of three user communities in less than 9 months, this HP "super hero” was always by our side to save the day. For 9 years, he has given his blood, sweat and tears (yes tears) to the user communities. He stood for and continues to stand for the best interest of Connect and the HP customer. Above all, we are proud to call him friend. With sincere appreciation, Connect congratulates this year's winner for the HP Recognition Award, Brad Harwell!



Connect Volunteer of the Year: Clyde T. Poole

Clyde is fondly known as the ‘conscious of Connect’. He is passionate and giving of his time and expertise and is always there when you need him.  As a former board member of Encompass and DECUS, he is best known for being our resident parliamentarian – always following the letter of the ‘by’ law.

HP Recognition Award: Wendy Bartlett

Wendy is always available and willing to serve to ensure we provide the most relevant content and technology focused benefits to our members. She will roll up her sleeves and jump in to help when asked and has been steadfast in her support over the years. Her support of HP’s NonStop customers is not only recognized by the Connect board but also by its members and her HP peers.

NonStop Availability Award: MasterCard Worldwide

This year, entrants from around the world were judged on numerous criteria, including system and network availability, complexity of environment, quality of outage data, and best practices. Three finalists were honored in 2 categories: "Winner” and "Honorable Mention”.  Finalists honored in their respective categories were MasterCard Worldwide, BV Zahlungssysteme GmbH, and VocaLink



Connect Volunteer of the Year Award: Oliver Bach

Oliver is a volunteer taking the role of the Connect Community Manager in Germany. In that role he is working with Connect Worldwide to promote and support its online platform and the social media presence and using it as a means to grow membership. He is a student of Computer Science at a major technical university in Germany and volunteered to be the Chairperson of the OpenVMS 'Research and Teaching' Community in Germany.

In addition, Oliver has led the initiative to integrate Connect Germany with Connect Worldwide's YM/myCommunity, schedules and runs local webinars and supported Connect Germany's annual event. He is also very active in driving participation both at the member and leadership level.

HP Recognition Award: Dlaine Mattox

Dlaine Mattox knows no boundaries when it comes to supporting Connect. She is an incredible resource who has given her time so generously to the community to assist in meeting the needs of members. In her 'official' role with Connect, Dlaine serves as liaison to the Connect chapter leaders and supports Chapter activities. She also coordinates quarterly meetings with all HP staff who provide support to Connect to ensure that everyone is on the same page and aware of all of Connect's activities and opportunities to contribute.  When Connect needed a 'few' extra hands at HP Tech Forum, Dlaine rallied the troops to help ensure Connect's participation and support was world class...And she delivered.

NonStop Availability award: Bank-verlag



Connect Volunteer of the Year: Jill Bourman

Jill Bourman leads the Connect Minnesota Chapter. Currently, Jill works for the Anoka-Hennepin School District, the largest public school district in Minnesota. Jill and her technology staff assist the school techs in overseeing approximately 18,000 computers in 40 schools and 10 remote locations in 13 metro cities. Network staff manage the data networks at all schools/locations while providing support for local and wide area networks. In addition, they manage and support all the file and print services including 50 + Microsoft servers, IIS, SQL, Exchange, and numerous application servers all running on HP hardware. She has been with Anoka-Hennepin School District for 13 years. 

As a Connect member, she serves at Chair of the Minnesota Chapter. The Minnesota Chapter provides its members networking opportunities and promotes exchange of technical information. The group meets quarterly and has had meetings and speakers present on HP SAN Health Check and Best Practices, SAN Configuration Mgmt, HP Storage updates, What’s New/Blades, Virtual Connect, Server Virtualization, HP SIM, HP Education Classes and more. The Minnesota Chapter also fosters active dialogue between HP and the Connect community Minnesota. Connect programs and offering are often spoken of within the member community. Jill stated she would like to “work towards continuing growth and membership with the MN Chapter, promote more networking and an environment where participants can share their experiences and knowledge with each other. We strive to promote a learning environment where we can bring in more resources, training, speakers, and contacts to help the group. We would also like to learn who our local HP resources and contacts are within our region, they are here to help us out.”


HP Employee Recognition: Deborah Nelson

Deb is responsible for worldwide marketing of HP’s services, software, servers, storage, and networking. She leads marketing across five global business units to deliver technology solutions that help medium-size and enterprise organizations achieve better business outcomes. Deb has been a user group fan for years. She understands what happens when HP customers gather to get educated on technologies, become aware of new products and partner offerings, network with one another at local-regional-national events and in an online community, and when a customer’s positive influence helps drive positive change within HP. It’s not what you think. It’s not that they become more loyal HP customers. It’s because they become more successful at what they do. Deb gets it!


NonStop Availability Award: Visa
Joe Ramos, accepted this year’s coveted NonStop Availability Award on behalf of Visa. It was certainly an honor and privilege to present this award to Joe alongside Winston Prather. Joe has unparalleled NonStop expertise and he is one of the most compassionate people in Connect.