Leadership changes at VITA, Alderman semi-retiring

SCOTTSDALE, AZ. An era is coming to an end at the VITA Standards Organization (VSO) as its long-time Executive Director -- Ray Alderman -- is retiring from his everyday leadership role and becoming Chairman of the VITA Board of Directors. Jerry Gipper, VITA's current marketing director, will take over Ray's position effective January 1, 2014. John Rynearson, the Technical Director of VITA, also will be retiring from VITA early next year.

Ray has been a one man PR voice for VITA during his tenure, contributing to the growth of such VITA standards as , , and . He’s been the face of VITA for the nearly 20 years I’ve covered this market and also my favorite quote. Ray never shies away from controversy on military technology and policy issues nor when delivering a colorful remark about competing standards such as and the telecommunications market.

In his role as chairman, I’m confident the one-liners and analysis will still be coming, perhaps even more so with all his new free time. According to my colleague, Amanda Harvey, while making his semi-retirement announcement to the VSO membership yesterday in Scottsdale, Ray pulled off his t-shirt to only reveal another one underneath labeled with an Ultimate Cage Fighting logo, and said that was to be his new hobby now that he’ll have extra spare time.

While much more low-key than Ray, Jerry does bring a ton of embedded industry technical and marketing experience to the role. He spent many years at Motorola Computing Group and has worked with VITA on various initiatives dating back to the 1980s. In addition to his marketing duties at VITA, which began in 2005, Jerry also has worked as an industry consultant at Embedify, LLC. I should note that Jerry is also a colleague of mine at OpenSystems Media where he is the Editorial Director of magazine. Jerry will continue to lead the magazine after taking over his new position. He said he looks forward to carrying on the “open standards, open markets” tradition of VITA and to expanding the reach of the organization to such markets as telecommunications.

John Rynearson started with VITA in 1987 and became Technical Director in 1993. Prior to VITA he was a co-founder of Mizar in 1982 and took on the role of vice president of engineering. In his role as technical director John ran the VITA Standards Organization (VSO) meetings and was the quarterback of the study and working groups, shuttling VITA standards through the ANSI accreditation. He also maintained the VITA website and for several years authored the standards update columns in VME and Critical Systems magazine. “I have been truly blessed to have John as the technical director of VITA during my tenure,” Ray said. “It has been a privilege to work with John. I have great respect for his integrity and skills, I could not have asked for a better person to be the technical director of VITA.”

At this time John and Jerry are working together manage this transition and will make an announcement once that is finalized.

For more information, visit www.vita.com.

John Rynearson