Longtime HQ Staffer Jon Bloom, KE3Z, Leaves ARRL
May 31 marked the last day at ARRL HQ for ARRL Information Technology Manager Jon Bloom, KE3Z. Bloom -- an ARRL Life Member who had been with the League for 27 years -- resigned from the League to pursue other opportunities.
Bloom began his tenure at ARRL HQ in 1984 as an engineer in the ARRL Lab. He spent the next 15 years in the Lab, serving twice as Lab Supervisor. In 1999, he moved to head up the newly formed Electronic Publications Branch (EPB). As the scope and activities broadened in the EPB and more programmers came on board, the EPB evolved into the Web/Software Development Department (WSDD). In the beginning of 2009 -- in recognition of the degree to which their responsibilities were becoming codependent -- the WSDD merged with the Information Services Department (ISD), forming the IT Department, with Bloom as the IT Manager.
“I feel my 27 years at the League were productive ones,” Bloom said. “I was involved in a number of interesting projects and activities over the years, among them the growth of ARRL’s packet-radio activities in the 1980s, the Microsat project -- in which the ARRL Lab designed and constructed the battery-charge regulator (BCR) power modules for the four initial satellites, the 1995 launch and subsequent growth of the ARRL website, the foray of ARRL into electronic publications, the creation of the Logbook of The World System (LoTW), as well as the recent conversion of many of the League’s server systems to a virtualized environment. I hope that in my time there I helped in some small way to further the efforts of ARRL to serve Amateur Radio and Amateur Radio operators.”
Michael Keane, K1MK -- hired in 2009 as a programmer in the IT Department -- has been selected as the new Information Technology Manager. Keane, an ARRL Life Member, has been licensed since 1969 and comes to the ARRL with a diverse background. He received his PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of California Santa Cruz, after which he spent three years in La Serena, Chile as a staff astronomer with the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, one of two US National Observatories. Upon his return to the US, Keane -- a native of Charlestown, Massachusetts -- returned to New England and began working for Hughes (later Raytheon, and now Goodrich ISR Systems) as a Systems Engineer in its Optical Systems Division.
While at the ARRL, Keane was significantly involved in the online-store component of the new ARRL website. He also facilitated the incorporation of the VUCC award program into Logbook of The World. In 2001, Keane was one of the initial participants (as a volunteer) in the development of the client-side applications for LoTW (tCert/tQSL), including helping to define the TrustedQSL standard used by LoTW.
“Confucius said ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,’ Keane explained. “I’ve been quite fortunate that this has often proved to be the case during my career, as it is once again here at the ARRL. I look forward to serving in my new role within an organization that is ‘Of, By and For the Amateur’ and to providing the tools and infrastructure that enable the League to fulfill its mission and continuing to serve my fellow members. I appreciate the opportunity of now being able to give back to Amateur Radio, in some small way, for the great enjoyment that I have derived from it over the years.”
Keane -- who is married to ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA -- is active in many Amateur Radio contests each year as part of the K1TTT Multi/Multi Team and as WK1Q. While earning his SB in Electrical Engineering at MIT, he served as Station Manager for W1MX, MIT’s famed Amateur Radio Station. He wrote “’Rah for Technology: America’s Oldest College Radio Club Turns 100,” which appeared in the April 2009 issue of QST (you must be an ARRL member to view the link). Keane enjoys CW and VHF+ contesting. He has served as ARRL Connecticut Section Government Liaison since 2004. The Keanes have two sons, Lynn, 13, and Sean, 11, who have been told that they must earn their Amateur Extra licenses before getting a driver’s license.