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COMMON Americas Advisory Council

The COMMON Americas Advisory Council (CAAC) is a small, diverse group of individuals that represent IBM customers of varying sizes and industries. It was created to act as the liaison between IBM and COMMON in order to gauge the community reaction to strategic IBM decisions and future direction. CAAC members are encouraged to pool their expertise and know-how to gather requirements from the user community and pass them along to IBM

Current CAAC Members

Andy Buchholtz
Innovative Software Solutions inc

Karl Haggart
OneMain Financial

Vern Hamberg

Rachele Hockert
Birchwood Laboratories, LLC

Jasmine Kaczmarek
M.R. Williams

Pete Massiello
iTech Solutions Group a Service Express Company

Mike McArdle
Western Technical College

Richard McCarroll
Innovative Software Solutions inc

Carl Novit

Steve Pitcher
iTech Solutions Group a Service Express Company

Marina Schwenk
Everbrite LLC


As part of COMMON’s advocacy program, you have an opportunity to provide feedback to help IBM enhance its systems. After your requirement is accepted, it will be visible in the system for review.

Submit an IBM Idea

Current Openings

If you represent a company that uses IBM i as its primary computing platform and have interest in joining CAAC if an opening develops, please submit an application.

*Submit CAAC Application*

Organizational Structure

The maximum number of individuals on the CAAC is sixteen.

  • Up to four people on the CAAC can be business partners, ISVs or consultants.
    • Their role is to represent their clients, not their business
  • One person on the CAAC will represent the IT education community
  • Remaining CAAC members represent their own company
    • The individual’s company uses IBM i as its primary computing platform
    • This group should have a balance of business, management, hardware and software skills
  • A maximum of two members of the CAAC may also be on the COMMON Board of Directors

CAAC members serve a two-year term, which is renewable based upon active participation. All members are required to sign a confidential non-disclosure agreement and are expected to attend two face-to-face meetings per year and two conference calls per month.


When recruiting new members, the CAAC looks for individuals with the following characteristics:

  • General IT knowledge
  • General business knowledge
  • Leadership qualities
  • Vision for the future in IT terms
  • Vision for the future in business terms
  • Presentation qualities
  • Availability to be away from office/home for two days twice a year
The following are the list of CAAC membership requirements:
  • Be a member of COMMON and approved for membership in CAAC by the CAAC membership and the COMMON board
  • Sign a Feedback Program Agreement (FPA) between employer and IBM
  • Attend at least 1 of every 3 consecutive COMMON conferences
  • Participate in CAAC meetings, both Face-to-Face and conference calls
  • Attend at least 2 of every 3 consecutive CAAC Face-to-Face meetings with IBM – lately have been in Rochester, MN
  • Attend monthly CAAC business meetings – typically the first Tuesday of the month at 10am CST
  • Participate in at least one CAAC RFE Subgroup (AppDev, Db2IFS, SysAdmin) – these meet monthly, typically on a Tuesday at 10am CST
  • Be an active team member, willing to learn, ask questions, and give feedback to IBM
  • Represent and advocate for the IBM i SMB community in America

When the CAAC is in need of new members, it is COMMON’s discretion to interview candidates for a final choice or to judge them on the basis of their application. The list of selected candidates and their applications will be submitted to IBM for final approval.