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IBM Power Systems Champion Richie Palma Finds Passions Outdoors

Richie Palma

Name: Richie Palma
Title: IBM Power Systems Champion and tech solutions consultant for IBM Power Systems and storage for IBM i workloads
Company Name: iTech Solutions Group
Company’s Function: IBM i business partner
HQ: Danbury, Connecticut (I work out of Grand Rapids, Michigan)
IT Experience: 7 years

What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t in IT?
I’d love to play in the National Hockey League but they haven’t called me up yet. My second choice would be consulting for lean manufacturing and supply chain continuous improvement.

What’s the biggest challenge facing your company today?
Battling against the level of complacency plaguing IBM i shops that have lost their passion for innovation. When you sit still for too long, you become an easy target for even the slowest of predators.

What do you think “the next big thing” for your business will be?
I am hoping IBM i shops get to start taking advantage of those NVIDIA GPUs soon.

What’s been your biggest accomplishment?
Being named an IBM Power Systems* Champion. The access I have to some of the most talented people in infrastructure technology and high-performance computing has been unreal.

Who’s been your greatest mentor? What role has that person played in your life or career?
Larry Bolhuis, who’s taught me so much about IBM Power Systems and storage for IBM i workloads, and everything else, for that matter. His passion for the platform radiates off him in everything he does.

What’s your favorite part of your day and why?
I love walking into my house and seeing how excited the kids are to see me (mostly because I know it won’t be like that for much longer).

What’s the first thing you do when you get home from work each day?
Put my bag down and get my kids all wound up right before dinner. It makes family dinner more interesting.

What’s your favorite activity outside of work?
I love spending time with my wife and three kids. When I’m not with them, I enjoy playing ice hockey and golf, as well as camping and hanging out on a Lake Michigan beach.

What trends are affecting your work?
Retirement is bringing in new people and new ideas to IBM i shops. People are starting to ask, “Why not?” instead of “Why change?”

Claire Walling is the managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.

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