Events & Symposium - Symposium - 2016 - Speakers



Speaker Gil Barmwater - <vicepresident (at) rexxla (dot) org>
Credentials Gil Barmwater is an independent computer consultant who has been using Rexx since it first became available within IBM more than 25 years ago. In addition to programming Rexx in the mainframe environment, he has been developing Rexx solutions on OS/2 and multiple versions of Windows for the past ten years.
He is the Vice President of the Rexx Language Association and is a member of the Symposium Planning Committee.

Speaker Michael Cowlishaw - <mfc (at) speleotrove (dot) com>
Credentials Mike Cowlishaw has worked in both hardware and software design and was leader of the IBM decimal arithmetic initiative. He has long been interested in the human aspects of computing, including the Rexx programming language, color and language perception, text processing, cognition, and decimal arithmetic. He is a retired IBM Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Warwick. For more detail, google 'mike cowlishaw'.

Speaker Rony Flatscher - <rony.flatscher (at)>
Credentials Rony works as a professor for Business informatics ("Wirtschaftsinformatik") at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien) and uses Open Object Rexx for teaching Business Administration and MIS students the object-oriented paradigm, as well as remote-controlling (automating) Windows and Windows end-user applications (e.g. MS Office, Open Office) as well as Java and Java applications.

Speaker Terry Fuller - <taf (at)>
Credentials Terry has used Rexx since its release as part of IBM's VM, when he was a VM systems programmer at Teradata. Subsequently he used Rexx both as a VM and an MVS sytems programmer. Since 1997 he has been an independent consultant. Terry is currently occupied with developing a manufacturing management system entirely in ooRexx and making use of ooDialog.

Speaker Virgil Hein - <vhein (at)>
Credentials Virgil has been with IBM for 38+ years working in software development. In his current position as an IBM Business Manager he is responsible for all facets of a set of mature technology products. This includes responsibility for strategy, business management, development, marketing, sales, service, and support. Main products include Office Vision products, BookManager, REXX, and OS/2. In this position the main goals are focused on maintaining/increasing customer satisfaction, supporting customer efforts to migrate to follow-on solutions, and finding creative means of increasing mature/growth product revenue. As the product owner for the IBM REXX Compiler, Virgil is closely involved with a variety of REXX activities both inside and outside of IBM.

Speaker René Vincent Jansen - <rvjansen (at)>
Credentials René has used Rexx since it appeared in TSO Extensions in the second half of the eighties when he was a systems programmer at the Central Bank of The Netherlands. He is an independent consultant since the turn of the century, specializing in models and meta models in order to rationalize data governance and model driven development. He likes to program in any language as long as it's Rexx.
He currently is the President of the Rexx Language Association and is a member of the Symposium Planning Committee.

Speaker Les Koehler - <vmrexx (at) tampabay (dot) rr (dot) com>
Credentials About the speaker: Les has been involved with Rexx since he received the initial distribution of Mike Cowlishaw's first Specification on 1 May 1979 at the IBM Research Triangle Park Lab just outside Raleigh NC, where they had a VM/370 mainframe and Les developed VM tools and applications.

Mike sent the first distribution of Rexx outside of the U.K. to Les on 21 May 1979. After overcoming some down-level programs, he had it installed and running from his Tools disk for evaluation by himself and his closest associates in RAS Engineering on 23 May 1979.

Les quickly realized that Rexx was the future language for VM users and started converting all his EXEC and EXEC2 programs to Rexx. A key component of the conversion, and all future Rexx code, was the collecting of usage data for further analysis.

By the time Mike released the first formal version of Rexx to the IBM internal network on 21 Aug 1979, he had implemented Les' suggestions for hex constants and subroutines.

In 1983 Les' prediction about Rexx came true when IBM included Rexx in VM/SP.

Les completed his 37+ year career as an Advisory Engineer with IBM after being recruited from Research Triangle Park, NC by the "Special Planned Products" group that was developing time-sharing computing for VM, DOS and OS from new facilities in Tampa FL after the IBM/Justice Department Consent Decree expired.

Les has presented at previous Symposiums many times. He is our RexxLA Secretary/Treasurer and uses his Rexx code to process RexxLA Membership Applications and Payments.

Gil Barmwater and Walter Pachl contributed to this project.

Speaker Pedro Vera - <pedro (at)>
Credentials Pedro is a long time IBMer, with 30 years of working with TSO REXX. After creating the REXX SPOC API for IMS and getting great customer feedback, he convinced IBM colleagues to provide: System REXX, the SDSF REXX API, the REXX interface for RACF, inline REXX for ISPF panels, and inline REXX for ISPF skeletons. Pedro is currently a developer for IBM's DB2 Administration Tool, utilizing REXX and ISPF dialog services. In his spare time, Pedro enjoys hiking, photography, and three grand-children.