I really don't know what to tell you. What do you want to know? I'm Michelle Hall, I've been married to Michael Hall for a number of years now, we have two children. I am, as Amber would call me, a NTEU, non-technical end user. And by non-technical, I mean non-technical. I'm doing good to find my way around a keyboard. I'm a stay-at-home-mom by trade.
I argue that my contributions are minor, but my Loco team tells me otherwise, so here goes.
Mike and I together founded a small, locally run charity that recycles computers and gives them to children who have special needs, or are at risk. This was prompted in honor of our son, who has high functioning Autism. We, at the same time, and out of the same needs, put together our own distribution, Qimo 4 Kids, to go onto the computers we give out. There are a number of reasons we decided to make our own, and have been pleased by its success. We placed right at fifty computers with at risk children in our first year, and look to expand that number in our second. At our last count, we've got associates in 16 countries around the globe, setting up localized movements, and using Qimo, to give needy kids a chance. I got an email from the Czech Republic last week. It's amazing to how the global community has responded to Qimo.
Mike also suggested that I become a member of the Florida loco. I, at first, told him I thought he was crazy, and disregarded the suggestion. But fate intervened, and the loco had need of someone to organize one of the various release parties, and Mike saw an opportunity for my introduction into the community.
Several release parties & events later, I've made myself at home, and have been touched by how welcoming the team has been to me. Our last event, the Loco birthday bash, had 56 people attend the event. We ate a lot. We laughed ourselves silly. I think I can successfully say that the Loco has gone from a network of acquaintances to a close group of friends.
I've also attended, shown, and spoken at several conferences, including the Southern California Linux Expo 7x, which I'm very much looking forward to attending again this year, both Florida Linux Shows, the Atlanta Linux Fest, and the Southeast Linux Fest, and I'm making plans to be involved with them all, in some capacity, again this year.
My dreams and aspirations are to encourage more families to become involved with the Loco as a whole. I've been working with the spouses of the team members to set up a support network, and am very excited about our goals for support and encouragement. We are exploring ways in which we can contribute to the team, through avenues we enjoy. We've discussed, for instance, scrapbooking all of the team events. My goal is to make the Loco a place where families can come, be comfortable, and feel safe, to make events things the whole family can attend, and enjoy, without making anyone feel uncomfortable. We are making good progress toward this goal, and I was so proud to see how many families and children came to the birthday bash. Of our 56 attendees, 22 were what you might call "techies".
We're also working on networking a 20-seat computer lab for a transient boys' home in the next town over from us. We got the call that the Anchor House in K-ville, Florida needed some help, and we've jumped in with both feet. I went and met the boys yesterday, and they're very excited. One of the boys is already putting Ubuntu on the few (very, very old) computers they do have and he's super excited to be involved in the building and installation of the new computers. He's interested in programming, and wants to contribute to kernel code, so we hope to be able to introduce him to the community, and set him with a mentor. Hopefully, it will positively impact his future.
And because the recent past hasn't been crazy enough, we just took delivery of 50 refurbished 2.8 ghz Dell workstations, and we are going to sponsor local seniors in high school, who are going to college, and need help with computers for school. We will set them up with an Ubuntu-loaded workstation, to allow them the chance to go to college with the equipment they need.
I've also been kicking around the idea of doing an East Coast Womens Event. It's still in the very, very early stages, but it's at least on my horizon.
The full set can be found here.
I set out to bake Ubuntu cookies for FLS-October, and this was my trial run. It was a success, although approximately the size of a dinner plate. The dough failed, though, the day before FLS, so I had to just take Ubuntu-colored cookies with me. The leftover dough colors I mashed together, in a tie-dye looking fashion. I christened those "Ubuntu Remix Cookies." I've earned my nickname as Cookie Lady.
Michelle has accomplished so much for our LoCo, even though she claims to be a NTEU and not having contributed much, I have witnessed her in action. She is savage when it comes to advocacy and Build-days! She is one of the best organizers I know, and is selfless when it comes to helping others. She speaks eloquently when doing presentations for Qimo and the charities that she is involved in. I have had the pleasure of witnessing her talks at Atlanta Linux Fest and South East Linux Fest. She was also interviewed at Florida Linux Show 2009 in Jacksonville by Smita Trevino and the UbuntuPodcast's Crew. Michelle shines when she is involved with volunteering, with the Ubuntu LoCo. During several meet-ups she helped brainstorm with several others, a concept of a Significant Others group (so that when families and friends come to meet-ups they too feel comfortable and also enjoy their time with the LoCo). I highly recommend her for Ubuntu Membership without reserve. I am looking forward to what Michelle will do for Ubuntu in the future, and appreciate all of her hardwork she has demonstrated within the Florida LoCo Team. -- itnet7 2009-12-06 23:55:36
Michelle really throws her whole self into the Florida LoCo. When the Jaunty Tampa Release Party was going to be canceled because of lack of organization, she stepped in to make not only make it happen, but make it great. Since then she has been the one organizing almost every LoCo event on the on the west coast, including our biggest community install fest and the state-wide birthday bash that was hosted at our house. She is also the reason we have so much family involvement in our LoCo, she makes sure that the famly of LoCo members feel not only welcome, but a natural part of our team. Not only has her contribution been a major benefit for our LoCo, she is also the reason I have been so personally involved. -- mhall119 2009-12-06 18:04:21
Michelle may be modest in her claim that "she doesn't contribute much", but to the contrary she jumped right in to help on organizing meetings for Tampa when I was over my head. Michelle is a driving force for everything she is involved. Michelle steps up when things are not going well and with her take charge attitude makes every event the best event ever. As a Ubuntu Community member, Michelle would be a HUGE asset in driving Ubuntu in every corner she touches. -- jpugh 2014-03-10 11:00:54
I met Michelle at ALF (Atlanta Linux Fest) and our brief conversation in person with many subsequent conversations in IRC have sparked all kinds of ideas. If you ask about the Florida LoCo team, chances are high you will hear about something she has organized or is in the process of organizing. Ask her about *her* Ubuntu Cookies! (She rocks). Her enthusiasm for contributing is contagious! If you know her then you can even sense her smile in her IRC conversations. She has future plans for events around getting more women involved in the Community (WIN!), and has never failed to say "Call me if there is anything I can help you with" - ALF, UW, or Ubuntu User Conference. Though she enjoys the term NTEU - she is a very much a contributing community member and at the end of the day the only reason I call her or myself an NTEU is - we just want our computer to work - but she is very willing to contribute where possible to make sure "IT JUST WORKS!". +1 for her becoming an Ubuntu Member as she would be welcomed asset to any organization. -- akgraner 2009-12-07 12:30:32
I'd "known of" Michelle within the community through presentations and work with other folks I know months before we actually met on IRC. Her work and enthusiasm with Qimo and every project she gets involved with is infectious and I look forward to working with her on projects in the future. I strongly support her for membership. -- lyz 2009-12-07 21:26:55
Michelle has been a tremendously positive force within the Florida LoCo community for as long as I've been there. She embodies the spirit of the Ubuntu community in almost everything she does, whether it's getting computers to at-risk and special-needs kids to help them grow and learn, hosting events for both Qimo and Florida LoCo, or participating in the FloridaTeam IRC channel. I wholeheartedly support her for Ubuntu membership. -- cary-haynie 2014-03-10 11:00:54
The first moment I met her at the Florida Linux Show, I felt very welcome. She has wonderful ideas which she puts into motion with fantastic energy. I appreciate the way that she includes everyone equally from the geeky type like me to the not-so-geeky. She's a great role model for women of all types. -- jledbetter 2009-12-08 01:03:56
If you know me and have something nice to say, please leave a comment here.