Last night the 2016 class of IBM Champions was announced and both myself (Paul Withers) and Tim Malone were re-selected as returning champions. The number of champions has increased again and there are 39 new champions.

Not surprisingly, a large number of the champions are involved in some capacity in user group events, both organising (thank you for the huge amount of work involved) and speaking (thank you for sharing your expertise). Both take a lot of time and it’s rightly rewarded. Many of the champions also work for companies who sponsor the user groups as well, another crucial element in keeping the community infrastructure going.

As an OpenNTF board member, it’s also great to see eight board members in the list of champions.

The IBM Champion community is a useful group to be involved with, but it’s really an extension of the ICS / ESS community as a whole. Those involved will often espouse the positivity of the community and how collaboration and helping one another is at the core. I’ve been fortunate enough to witness and benefit from that over the years, both in chats, comments on my blog posts, and feedback in community projects. Here’s looking forward to another good year for us all.

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