IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2015 - (Page 40)

STOP RUN PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARK SIMMONDS Mark Simmonds, right, volunteers his free time helping people in his community with computer issues and educating people about malaria. Solving Global Issues Locally IBMer volunteers time to educate people about malaria and technology Alessandria Rhines is a former intern with IBM Systems Magazine. t only takes two hours a week for Mark Simmonds to create effective change globally, ignite conversation and promote education. Even more impressive, he achieves it all within the comfort of his home state of Colorado. One day "I saw a poignant presentation about how malaria was killing children in Sub-Saharan Africa every 30 seconds. It grabbed me," he says. The eye-opening presentation was created by Imagine No Malaria, a campaign supported by the United Methodist Church and dedicated to eradicating the deadly blood disease. It did more than just alert Simmonds to the facts of the disease. "The story really touched my heart," he says. The presentation marked the beginning of spare weekends and I evenings dedicated to Simmonds' volunteering crusade as an ambassador for the organization. Already a prolific presenter and traveler as senior product marketing manager and architect with IBM, Simmonds began traveling to organizations around Colorado for the cause. He tells others how malaria is treatable, curable and, most importantly, preventable in hopes that they will spread the message, volunteer and donate money to the campaign. Regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa lack the latest medical treatments made possible by technological advancements. Proper education on the disease is important for everyone-especially those in regions where misinformation can spread the myth that those with the disease are inhabited by an "evil spirit" instead of suffering from illness, Simmonds explains. "With the technology we have today there's no need for anybody to die." Examples of technological inequalities are not limited to developing countries. On a less severe scale, Simmonds recognized a technology gap between the generations in his own community and volunteers his computer skills on a best-can-do basis in his free time. He offers free computer services, problem determination and repair, a service given specifically to any member of the community who may not be tech-savvy, he notes. When Simmonds and his spouse are offered compensation for their work, they respectfully decline. "We are doing this as part of our giveback to the community," he responds. The only request he asks in return is for the community members to lend a helping hand when others are in need. Even though Simmonds' work with Imagine No Malaria and his community may elicit appreciation, the service to the human race is what he cherishes most. The act of volunteering is not exclusive of those without the means of travel or an infinite amount of free time. Whether it's speaking on a community's behalf or giving two hours to the people in need, the ability to "build such strong bridges" is what matters most to Simmonds. He says he "kind of fell into" volunteering, yet Simmonds loves it all the same: "To me, giving is the most satisfying, rewarding thing that you can do. It just puts your whole life in perspective." WANT TO BE FEATURED IN STOP RUN? Send an email to Valerie Dennis at 40 // NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2015

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2015
Table of Contents
IBM Perspective: Opening new options for real-time analytics
Editor's Desk: Predictive analytics enhances purchases
Infographic: Breaking down the mainframe skills gap
Partner PoV: IBM z Systems clients must manage existing and emerging assets together to get the most value
Focus on Storage: The IBM Spectrum Storage family of software-defined solutions simplifies storage management
Currents: Architect real-time analytics into operational systems for competitive advantage
Cover Story: Dynamic Spark: IBM brings the Apache project's analytics power to Linux and z Systems servers
Feature: Personal Shopper: Retailer optimizes analytics to drive a more customized client experience
Tech Showcase: In a roundtable, distributors discuss how IBM LinuxONE enables flexibility for users
Tech Corner: Runtime Diagnostics and Predictive Failure Analysis V2.2 improve z/OS availability
Solutions: Strobe 5.2
Stop Run: IBMer volunteers time to educate people about malaria and technology
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
2016 Mainframe Solutions Edition Product Index

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - November/December 2015