Here's a quick intro to the regional leaders for the future SUGUK events:
London - Matt Taylor:
My name is Matt Taylor and I’m an independent SharePoint consultant based in Maidstone. My wife and I have two young boys who keep us very busy but when I do make a little time I like nothing more than a round of golf with friends. I started my career training to be an accountant but got sidetracked by automating Excel spreadsheets which turned me towards a much more interesting career in IT. Once I discovered SharePoint there was no looking back and it’s all I have done for the last 4 years. Through my work I get involved in all areas of SharePoint projects from planning and designing through to development, customisation and implementation. I love discussing and sharing ideas and experiences with fellow SharePoint professionals and so I am really excited about getting more hands on with the group.
South England - Ian Woodgate:
If you’re south of the M4 and not in London or Wales then welcome to our region! One of our core aims is to encourage participation and new local speakers, so if you’ve something to say then do get in touch with us, even if you’ve never presented at an event before. Also we’ll be having a range of presentations, so some evenings will focus on the basics and introduce people to SharePoint, and others will be more technical deep dives.
Your region coordinator is me, Ian Woodgate
I’ve been working with SharePoint since 2001. I’ve a development background and these days focus more on SharePoint strategy, planning, and architecture. I work for a Microsoft partner and live in Wimborne, Dorset.
Midlands - Mark Macrae + Steve Eyton-Jones:
Hi, I have been working with SharePoint Technologies as a developer/engineer since 2003 and currently co-direct a Microsoft Gold Partner which specialises in SharePoint, CRM and Business Intelligence. I have been attending SUGUK events since 2006 and I’m now very happy to be hosting the regional events for the East Midlands, based at our offices in Nottingham. We have run two very successful events in Nottingham so far, and look forward to discussing a wide spectrum of SharePoint 2007/2010 topics in the coming months. Our aim is to host a regular event approximately every 8 weeks, build up a regular audience and we will be encouraging the audience to drive the content and speak. In addition to the regular events we hope to run vendor nights and potentially some daytime/weekend workshops. As always with SUGUK , a warm reception and free food/drink are always part and parcel of our events, and we always host a SharePint event afterwards at the local alehouse. We will also be joining forces with Mark Stokes (SUGUK North West) to set up some Leeds based events, hoping to start early in the new year.
I’m a director at Novotronix Ltd – a Midlands based Microsoft Gold partner specialising in SharePoint solutions. I’ve been working on SharePoint projects now for around 8 years – amazing to think how the product has progressed! I’m responsible for taking over the organisation of events in the West Midlands which will normally be held in Birmingham although happy to move around the region as and when appropriate. I’m particularly interested in looking at what end users can get out of the technology and how it can be adapted to meet their needs, and intend to combine end user focussed presentations with other more technically focussed ones.
Our events will run approximately every 2 months to compliment those running in the East Midlands. The next event will be in Birmingham in early December – more details coming soon.
North West - Mark Stokes:
My name is Mark Stokes and I have been working in the SharePoint Arena as a consultant since the beta's of SharePoint 2003. After moving from London to Manchester I have felt that the North it not as well represented with community events as it could be. With a lot of major, high profile projects going on, on both sides of the Pennines, I felt it was a good idea to build up that community.
Representing all areas of SharePoint we are looking at putting together a diverse set of presentations over the coming months to satisfy as much of our community as possible, including the impending release of SharePoint 2010 public betas whilst keeping our feet firmly on the ground and covering MOSS 2007 as long as it is prevalent in the marketplace.
With our first meeting pencilled in for Tuesday November 11th in the centre of Manchester we are expecting a good turnout, and have a very high calibre of presenters in attendance including two people with Microsoft Certified Master credentials in SharePoint
Scotland - Chris Forbes:
Chris Forbes is a director of a Scottish based Gold Partner based through-out Scotland and has been a software developer for over 14 years. In more recent years has become entirely focused in MOSS07 and has been working with SharePoint since the tail end of SP2003. With a passion for SharePoint, .NET and best practices Chris is keen to grow the Scottish SharePoint community and share and learn real life experiences working with SharePoint. When he's not doing SharePoint you can usually find Chris mountain biking down one of Scotland's many hills, and with any luck appearing in the next series of BBC's Total Wipeout! (Doing his bit to dispel the myth that all IT people are geeks!)