FYI - Because I took a job with a vendor (FICO, the #1 Rulebase/BRMS in the world) as a Product Manager, Jason Morris of Morris Technical Services is now the Honcho of ORF. His # 2 guy (for now) is Mark Proctor and I think # 3 is either Rolando Hernandez or Jacob Feldman.
AND, the name might change - stay tuned for further developments. Film at 11. :-)
Seriously, Jason is going to need lots and lots of help; both time and money, from anyone who wants to be part of the group. Those of us who are vendors can help but I don't think that we should have an "official" position in the group. And, furthermore, if you want to be a REAL part of the group, then you will become a partner of the group, meaning that if the event loses money you lose money, if it makes money you make money. Vendor employees would be greatly encouraged to become partners. Perhaps there would be a partner list:
Diamond Partner: $10K / annum
Platinum Partner: $5K / annum
Gold Partner: $2K / annum
Partner: $1K / annum
And the partners could be listed on the web page itself. This would be similar to Art Groups where some of the more financially-gifted persons would be able to help in a more substantial way. Partners could be individuals or companies. There might even be certain benefits to being higher-level partners. That's for Jason to figure out, not me.
However, it has been a GREAT run for the past three years. Truly, I have enjoyed it and I would like to mention those who have made it possible - and I know I will leave someone out:
- Dr. Charles Forgy and Gary Riley: These two gave the conference the credibility that made everything else possible.
- Greg Barton (my strong right arm and without whom ORF would NOT have been possible.)
- Rolando Hernandez (2008 would not have happened without him and Ile doing the web pages and the brochures.)
- Pete Carapetyn for helping get the 2008 conference off the ground.
- Carole Ann Berlioz-Matignon, formerly of FICO / Fair Isaac and now an independent consultant. She devoted time and energy and, most importantly, lots and lots of money (Diamond Sponsor both years) to the event. Without her, well, we would have been way, WAY in the hole.
- Carlos Seranno-Morales, also formerly of FICO / Fair Isaac and now an independent consultant. His support came in the way of money (YES!) and a couple of really great presentations.
- David Kim of Visual Rules, 2008 Gold Sponsor.
- Mark Proctor, Edson Tirelli, Chris Verlaelen and others from Drools in both 2008 and 2009. Their Drools boot camps (both years) accounted for almost 25% of the attendees and almost all of the European attendees.
- Academic Speaker such as Dr. Leon Kappelman (University of North Texas), Dr. Gopal Gupta (University of Texas at Dallas) and Dr. Daniel Levine (University of Texas at Arlington). For the 2010 conference (by whatever name) I'm hoping that Jason will get them to play an even greater part in the conference but already they are the academic foundation of ORF.
- Larry Terrill who laid out the foundation of the Rete Algorithm for all beginners in a way that managers, students, academics, ANYONE could understand. Totally fantastic job!
- Daniel Selman of ILOG who gave a great presentation in 2008 and, even after the conference, helped financially to make up some of the losses. Who else would contribute to a conference as a sponsor AFTER the conference was over???? What a guy!!
- Dr. Rick Hicks (Texas A&M) who keeps reminding us of the Validation and Verification process for ANY rulebased process. I, for one, certainly hope that he returns every year to keep reminding us of the hazards and pitfalls of any technical project.
- Thomas Cooper (Distinguished Guest 2009) and one of the God Fathers of Rulebased Systems for his enlightening talks and insightful questions. His presence at the Pub Nights was a blessing as well.
- Paul Vincent (Tibco), Edson Tirelli (Drools), Charles Young (Solid Soft) and Adam Mollenkopf (FedEx) for their insights into Complex Event Processing. Hopefully 2010 will have even more on this subject.
- David Holtz and Luke Voss for reminding us of our AI heritage and bringing the conference back home whenever we tended to stray from our roots. Both guys are scary brilliant and I hope that they return each and every year.
- Finally, the ground rod of the group, Jason Morris, who started the Jess Boot Camp last year and has agreed to pick up the reins and make sure that ORF will always be the real conference BY developers and FOR developers.
Thanks to all of you and I know that I left someone out - probably several someones. :-) Regardless, it's been a great run, lots of fun, and I will be back next time as a speaker. So, if you can find it in your heart to contribute just $1K toward the next conference, I urge you to contact Jason and make your contribution. We, the developers, the geeks, the trolls under the bridge that keep the wheels of progress turning, should be able to make this happen each and every year. Please help Jason get this together and make 2010 even better and bigger than 2008 or 2009 ever dared to hope to be.