The CalConnect Distinguished Service Award

The CalConnect Distinguished Service Award was created by the Board of Directors in 2011 to recognize individuals who have given extraordinary and/or exemplary service to CalConnect and to interoperable calendaring more generally. Any participant from a member organization in good standing is eligible to be nominated and receive the Distinguished Service Award. The Executive Director nominates a candidate to the Board of Directors based on the following criteria:

  1. Conference Attendance
  2. Conference Participation
  3. Interoperabilty Test Event (IOP) Attendance
  4. Interoperability Test Event Participation
  5. Service
  6. Technical Committee Participation
  7. Steering committee Participation
  8. Leadership
  9. Collegiality/Professionalism/Code of Conduct
  10. Promotion of CalConnect
  11. Length of Service
  12. Other service activities
  13. Overall Contribution furthering CalConnect's goals, objectives, and activities

The Board of Directors votes upon the candidate; if the nominee receives a majority of yes votes and agreement from non-voting Ex Officio members, the recipient of the CalConnect Distinguished Service Award is honored at the next Conference. A representative of the Board of Directors, or the Executive Director when no Board members are present, presents the award unless the nominee is unable to be present. If the nominee cannot be present the award is announced at the next conference, and the nominee is informed by the President and the award shipped to her or him. The recipient receives a single Conference fee waiver, and the event is recognized by notification to CalConnect, a posting in the CalConnect blog, and a report in the subsequent CalConnect event report.

Bernard Desruisseaux - Roundtable XXIII, February 2012

Bernard Desruisseaux of Oracle was the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Bernard has been active in CalConnect since its founding in 2004: he was one of the original Oracle team at the very first IOP test event, and helped to host the original CalConnect Roundtable in Montreal in 2004. He has chaired TC CalDAV and TC iSCHEDULE since their inception. In addition, he served on ad hoc committees and was most recently Oracle's representative to the Steering Committee. Bernard has authored, edited, and contributed to numerous IETF and CalConnect specifications. He has recommended possible new members to us and us to them. Bernard has attended almost every Roundtable, and most of the interoperability test events, up to this year, when his job responsibilities have drawn him away from direct involvement in CalConnect.

In doing so, Bernard always displayed both great integrity and great collegiality and comradeship. He masterfully has balanced the interests and obligations of his employer with that of the greater good of the IT community and interoperable calendaring. As a Chair and contributor in Technical Committees, Bernard has always been able to express his opinions and positions strongly, but willing to adjust those positions and be convinced of other approaches when appropriate.

Bernard's duties have drawn him away from calendaring and from CalConnect, but we are much richer for his contributions and his presence, and hope that some day we may see him active once again.

Patricia Egen - Roundtable XXIV, May 2012

Pat has been involved with calendaring and scheduling for many years, and was responsible for a mainframe calendaring system, yes — such things really existed, some years ago. She became a champion for users and interoperability long ago, leading to her involvement in calendaring and scheduling standards in the IETF, which took over the original calendaring specification and established the CALSCH Working Group to move forward with calendaring standards. Pat became co-chair of CALSCH in 1999, and she organized the initial interoperability testing efforts.

When work on calendaring standards, CAP, iCalendar, iTIP and iMIP, stalled in the IETF in the early 2000s, Pat realized the need for a separate organization or entity to somehow "jump start" the calendaring effort, and set out to find other like-minded individuals to work on, and establish, what would later become CalConnect, starting with the first CalConnect Roundtable in Montreal in 2004, hosted by Oracle. Pat became the Interoperability Test Manager for CalConnect for the inaugural CalConnect event in January of 2005, and managed every interoperability test event until late 2011, when the press of business and schedule necessitated passing that responsibility on.

During the nearly seven years that Pat served in this position, in addition to running the interoperability test event, she compiled and published the post-event reports. Pat has served as a Director of CalConnect since its inception, most recently as Chair of the Board of Directors. Pat has also served on the Steering Committee since its inception. Pat was the chair of TC IOPTEST since its inception, and has participated when her schedule permitted in the work of other technical committees.

As Pat's own business grows and prospers, she has less time to be actively involved with CalConnect, but she has always had, and retains, a strong interest in the purpose, the work, and goals of CalConnect, and remains a passionate supporter of CalConnect and of interoperable calendaring and scheduling. With this award, we recognize Pat for the seminal role she played in the creation of CalConnect, and for service in many different roles over the last eight years. However, the Patricia Egen story has another aspect, that of a tireless advocate of the customer's and user's needs in calendaring and scheduling, who unceasingly supported that perspective in discussions with vendors and customer members of CalConnect, reminding all of us of the many ways we can contribute with the unique skills and perspectives each of us has. Perhaps this thought, attributed to Margaret Mead, sums it up best, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Thank you Pat, for your commitment to changing the calendaring world.

Cyrus Daboo - Roundtable XXVIII, September 2013

Cyrus earned his Doctorate in Physics from Cambridge University in the U.K.. and moved to the United States after working as a Research Associate at Cambridge in the mid-1990s. In the U.S. he founded his own firm and developed Mulberry, a calendaring and e-mail client adopted largely in the academic sector, which he eventually made an open source project.

Cyrus became involved with calendaring and scheduling in the process, and with the IETF. He was one of the original authors of the CalDAV standard, and was involved in the establishment of CalConnect, as he attended the original formation meeting in Montreal in 2004. His firm, Isamet, became one of the founding members of CalConnect and Cyrus has been at, and involved in, every CalConnect event.

In early 2006 Cyrus went to Apple, where he has been responsible for Apple's iCal Server and the open source Darwin Calendar Server. Cyrus has been extremely active in CalConnect since before he went to Apple, and has continued his activities as author and editor of many standards and specifications. He has served as Chair of TC CHAIRS for all but two years since 2006, and has served as Apple's Steering Committee representative since Apple became a member of the Steering Committee.

Cyrus has been active and effective not just in authoring and progressing specification and standards, but broader areas involving CalConnect, including identifying new work areas, conducting workshops and sessions, and helping to progress our work. He is an exemplar of collegiality, willing to work with and help anyone, and never condescending, but treating all as colleagues.

Cyrus is one of the few people who seem somehow to actually manage not just to be in multiple places at once, but to work effectively in those places, and has been one of the primary drivers of CalConnect's success, as well as of CalDAV, CardDAV, and the other standards he has been instrumental in authoring and progressing. Cyrus is one of the thought leaders of CalConnect, thinking about and speaking to what we can do better and how we can do it. If there are any close to indispensable people in the calendaring and scheduling world, Cyrus is certainly one of them, and he has remained a stalwart support of CalConnect from the beginning.

Thank you, Cyrus, for your long service and outstanding contributions to CalConnect and interoperable calendaring.

Mimi Mugler - Calconnect XXX, May 2014

Mimi became the University of California representative to CalConnect in early 2007, and the UC representative to the Steering Committee at the same time. She was our host for CalConnect XX in February of 2011, and she hosted the Board Strategic Planning meeting in October of 2012.

Mimi has attended every CalConnect event in North America since becoming the UC representative, and has been active on TC USECASE, and on the User SIG, which she was instrumental in starting and Chaired. She has twice served as Chair of the Steering Committee, from 2008-2010, and again from 2012-present. As Chair, she has led by building consensus in the Steering Committee, and she continuously has worked towards establishing, and furthering, a strategic direction for CalConnect and for the Steering Committee. Also as Chair of the Steering Committee, she has represented the Steering Committee to the Board of Directors, and participated at Board meetings, and at the Board Strategic Planning meeting. Mimi has been instrumental in realigning the Steering Committee structure, and working with the Steering Committee Ad Hoc on Restructuring in 2013-2014.

Mimi truly exemplifies the spirit of the award as we conceived it - commitment, collegiality, leadership and consensus building,representation of the calendaring community, and stewardship of CalConnect as an organization. We could not be more pleased to recognize and share Mimi's contributions and accomplishments in front of her peers at our 30th CalConnect conference.

Mimi's responsibilities within the University of California are changing, but we hope for, and look forward to, her continued involvement with CalConnect in the future.

Mike Douglass - Calconnect XXXI, October 2014

At CalConnect XXXI, hosted by in Bedford, United Kingdom, Mike Douglass of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was honored as our 5th recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.

Mike became active in CalConnect in 2005 when Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute joined CalConnect, and has remained intensely involved ever since. He is an engaged participant and presenter at CalConnect conferences. He has attended every event RPI joined CalConnect, save for one he reluctantly missed while recuperating from major surgery – but he did call in when he could!

Mike actively participates in nearly every Technical committee, chairing many of them - EVENTPUB, IOPTEST, TIMEZONE, XML, and co-chairing FREEBUSY. He has authored or co-authored several specifications and internet drafts, including CalWS-REST and CalWS-SOAP, Event Publication Extensions to iCalendar, Improved Support for iCalendar Relationships, Objectclass Property for vCard, Timezone Service Protocol, and working with the OASIS WS Calendar Committee, WS-Calendar.

Finally, Mike has been the Interoperability Test Event Manager since 2011, when the Board made it into a volunteer position, and oversees the test event while conducting his own testing and helping others.

Thank you, Mike, for your long and varied service to CalConnect and your many contributions to our success.

Pam Taylor - Calconnect XXXII, January 2015

At CalConnect XXXII, our Tenth Anniversary Meeting hosted by Kerio Technologies in San Jose, California, Pamela Taylor was honored as the 6th recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Unfortunately Pam was not able to be present at the event.

Pam Taylor was one of the original members of the CalConnect Board of Directors, and continued to be a Director from 2004 to 2014. Pam also served CalConnect as President, as Chair of the Board of Directors, and as Chief Financial Officer at various periods during her service on the Board.

Although Pam was never able to take an active role in the technical work of CalConnect, her broad experience in non-profit organizations at all levels of management, and her knowledge of non-profit boards and finances, were actively employed in the service of CalConnect, and she was instrumental in assisting the early development of the organization and in its continued success.

Other demands on Pam's time mean that she is no longer able to serve as a Director, but we hope that she might return at some point in the future.

Dave Thewlis - Calconnect XXXII, January 2015

At CalConnect XXXII, our Tenth Anniversary Meeting hosted by Kerio Technologies in San Jose, California, Dave Thewlis was honored as the 7th recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.

Dave was one of the original founders of CalConnect along with Patricia Egen, and served as the incorporater and on the initial Board of Directors along with Pat Egen and Pam Tayler. Dave initially served as President of CalConnect but relinquished that position early on to become Secretary.

Dave has served as Executive Director of CalConnect since its initial establishment and continues to serve CalConnect in that capacity and as Secretary of the corporation.

Gary Schwartz - CalConnect XXXVIII, February 2017

At CalConnect XXXVIII, hosted by the University of California, Irvine in Irvine, California, Gary Schwartz of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was honored as our 8th recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.

Gary became active in CalConnect in January 2005 when he and Mike Douglass stumbled across the very first CalConnect Roundtable (now Conference) at the University of Washington; RPI joined CalConnect before the end of the month.

Gary served as the Chair of TC-FREEBUSY when it was first created to address the the Open Group Federated Freebusy Challenge.  Subsequently Gary’s involvement has largely been on the organizational side.  He served CalConnect for 8 years as President, during which time CalConnect became a truly global organization and held its first European and first Asian events.

In addition Gary has served twice ad Chief Financial Officer (once before and once after his stint as president), and organized our Tenth Year Anniversary event in 2014 in San Jose.  He was instrumental in establishing the Board Strategic Planning process and led the two retreats the Boaard has held.

Gary’s excitement, interest, focus, and reasoning have done much to keep CalConnect growing and focused during its years of existence.  We look forward to Gary’s continued involvement with CalConnect.

Ken Murchison - CalConnect XLI, January-February 2018

Ken MurchisonAt CalConnect XLI, hosted by Oath in Sunnyvale, California, Ken Murchison of FastMail was honored as our 9th recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.

Ken has been active in CalConnect since the beginning of this decade, first representing Carnegie Mellon University and in the last year FastMail.  His first event was CalConnect XX in February of 2011 at UC Berkeley.  Ken has attended events in the U.S. but until moving to FastMail he was unable to attend international events; his first international event was the Cologne event this September.

Ken has been widely active on the technical side, participating in and chairing multiple Technical Committees, and now chairs TC CALENDAR.  He is the author of a number of RFCs and specifications, and is also the principal developer of the Cyrus Mail and Calendar server which is widely used.  For the last few two years he has also served as our primary liaison to the IETF he has been active in the IETF for a number of years.  As of earlier this year he has been invited to attend Board meetings and StratPlan calls and he will be presenting at the Board Retreat here in Sunnyvale on Saturday.

The CalConnect Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual for their extraordinary and/or exemplary service, but the DSA is awarded as much (or more) to establish and reinforce CalConnect’s cultural elements of myth and legend, heroes and heroines, prescriptions and preferences, and behavioral codes. The DSA does not have to inspire the recipient; it is intended to inspire the rest of us.

We are a member-driven organization – our agenda, our projects, our collaborations with other organizations, all result from the work of our TCs - technical committees, which are made up of ,and led by participants from our member organizations.

Like the 8 recipients who precede him, the CalConnect story and the Ken Murchison story are one and the same. Without Ken Murchison, and those with the dedication, and willingness to work on behalf of interoperable calendaring and scheduling, CalConnect could not be what it is today.

Thomas Schäfer - May 2020

Thomas SchäferThe Board of Directors has honored Thomas Schäfer as the recipient of our tenth Distinguished Service Award.

Thomas became active in CalConnect in 2014 when 1&1 joined, and has remained intensely involved ever since on both the technical and organizational sides. Thomas and 1&1 hosted two conferences, CalConnect XXXIII Bucharest in 2015 and CalConnect XLIII Karlsruhe in 2018.

Thomas established and chaired TC-CALSPAM to consider calendar spam, and initiated our liaison with M3WAAG to jointly work in this area. He initiated and chaired TC-DEVGUIDE, to create a Calendar Developer’s Guide, which continues to be developed. He served on the Event Planning committee, and initiated and completed a proposal to combine the testing and conference components of the CalConnect meetings into a single format. He served as Chair of the Technical Coordination Committee, and as such as a Board member.

When 1&1 chose to not renew their membership, Thomas joined CalConnect as an individual member, and continues to chair and participate in technical committees and event planning.

Thomas has always been present, always good humored, and with constructive contributions to calls and conferences. We look forward to Thomas’s continued involvement and participation in CalConnect in the future.