Board of Directors

2021-2022 IIUG Board of Directors

The operation of the International Informix Users Group (IIUG) is managed and directed by a President and Board of Directors. The current members of the IIUG Board of Directors are:



Gary Ben-Israel
Jerusalem, Israel
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Gary Ben-Israel has been working with Informix products since 1993 as a database administrator, database designer, application architect and application developer. Over the past 14 years, Gary has used 4GL, C and Java. Gary has been working with Informix Online 5, IDS 7, 9 and 10 and is on the closed Beta program for IDS 11. As a board member he served as editor of the IIUG Insider, took part in conference planning committees and is now in charge of the IIUG membership.

IIUG Insider Profile – 01 April 2004
Gary is an IBM Information Champion since 2010.


Rhonda Hackenburg
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA
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Rhonda is the Research and Development Manager for the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board and was instrumental in influencing her organization to continue supporting Informix for their programming goals after the IBM acquisition and again after the IBM/HCL partnership. She will extend this commitment to current and future clients supported by her organization.

Rhonda has served on IIUG Board of Directors for a combined six years and has been a member of the IIUG Conference Planning Committee since 2010. She is the current Vice-president for the Washington Area Informix Users Group (WAIUG). Rhonda is IBM Certified and has been an IBM Champion since 2013, an honor awarded to IT professionals who are leaders and supporters of IBM software and solutions. She has been working with Informix products for 35 years.

Rhonda is employed by a very small organization and wants to represent the needs and concerns of other small organizations as part of her personal mission as an IIUG board member. She will apply her enthusiasm and commitment to represent the entire Informix community to ensure Informix remains a viable product of the IBM portfolio.

Art Kagel
East Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
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Art Kagel has been working with Informix database and development products almost since the beginning. He is a frequent contributor to the IIUG Forums and the CDI Usenet group and a popular presenter at conferences. Art is founder and President of ASK Database Management working as a Principle Consultant providing services to IBM Informix users around the world. He is also a former winner of the IIUG Directors Award for his outstanding contributions to the Informix Community and an eight time IBM Champion for Information Management.

Lester Knutsen
Falls Church, Virginia, USA
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Hi, I am Lester Knutsen, and I have been developing database applications with Informix since 1983 as a developer, dba, and system administrator. I am the founder and president of Advanced DataTools, an IBM Informix Partner specializing in Informix development, database design, performance tuning, training, and support. I was born in Malaysia, grew up in Asia and now live in Virginia, USA.

I am the founder and past president of the Washington D.C. Area Informix Users Group in 1993. And in 1995, I was one of the five founding members of the International Informix Users Group. I served on the board of the IIUG for its first two years and have been active in Informix user groups ever since. I was awarded the IIUG Directors award in 2002. I have been a member of the IBM Gold Consultant program. I was honored to be awarded one of the Inaugural IBM Champion awards in 2008 and in 2020 became an IBM Lifetime Champion.

Now, I am semi-retired and would like to give more back to the Informix community that has given me so much. One of the first user groups I was active in had the motto “Users Helping Users.”

Lenexa, Kansas, USA
President – IIUG Board of Directors
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Cindy Lichtenauer has been working with Informix products since 1989. Twelve of those years were spent at the Informix Lenexa Kansas office, as a Systems Engineer. 

Cindy continually works to spread the word about the Informix product line, to provide knowledge to Informix users and to influence the future and direction of Informix products.

As a board member since 2004, Cindy has served as Treasurer, Local User Group Advocate and lead the Conference Planning Committee. In March 2019, she was elected President of the IIUG.

Cindy is an IBM Champion since 2010, and in 2019 was awarded the status of Lifetime IBM Champion.

Stuart Litel
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
IBM Representative
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Stuart Litel is an IT professional with eighteen years experience working with Informix products. His early days with Informix products included beta testing Informix 4GL and Informix SQL versions 1 as well as the first versions of Informix Rapid Development System and Turbo (now known as On-Line). He is one of the country’s longest time users and developers of Informix products, and considered an authority and vast resource of Informix database knowledge.

Stuart is also the founder of the New England Informix User Group and remains a very active participant as the group’s leader today. Some noteworthy activities within the Informix user community include his technical contributions to various books published on Informix products as well as to the Informix Certification Exams administered by Informix Corporation.

Stuart’s professional work experience includes positions as Analyst, Developer, Data Base Administrator, and Project Manager. His knowledge spans the Informix product line and includes the various database engines as well as development tools. He has been a freelance Informix Consultant for more than ten years, providing his expertise to large-scale OLTP, web based and data warehouse systems requiring optimal speed, performance, and precision.

IIUG Insider Profile – 26 November 2002

Ognjen Orel
Zagreb, Croatia
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Ognjen Orel has been working with Informix technologies since 1998. He worked as a developer using Informix, as an Informix DBA and a Project Manager on nation-wide information systems running on Informix. Designing and leading the development of national systems has taught him long-term strategic thinking and planning, quite often while negotiating the needs of various stakeholders.

Ognjen holds a PhD in computer science. Main fields of his research interests are system security, fraud detection, graph algorithms and data modeling. Ognjen holds several IBM Informix certifications and he is 7 times IBM Champion.

He is a strong believer in community, so he co-founded Adria IUG in 2009, where he serves as a board member. Also, he maintains his Informix blog and has written and open-sourced several Informix-related tools and scripts. In terms of sharing the knowledge and insights, he regularly speaks at various Informix events, mostly about new and different ways of using Informix.

Vicente Salvador
Barcelona, Spain
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Vicente has been working with Informix since 1988 when he started developing solutions with Informix 4GL.

He is a recognized Informix consultant and specialist in Spain and Latin-America. Currently, he is the president of the Spanish Informix User Group where he provides Informix knowledge in their blogs.

He’s a fan of Informix Technology and has a deep experience on IWA, Grid and replication technologies. He has developed a native IWA OLAP engine based on XML/A datamart definition, as well as a Java Framework for Informix Cloud applications. He has also been appointed as the architect of a Framework for developing Android mobile applications interacting with Informix servers.

His current job position, as Software Engineer, Informix Consultant and Project Manager, allows him to have precious knowledge on how Informix brings value to Project managers, technicians and most important, customers.

Bruce Simms
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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I have been working with the Informix products since the mid 80’s, this includes Turbo, Online5, V7, V9, V10, V11, V12 and V14 as well as development tools such as 4GL, ESQL/c, ESLQ/Cobol and other tool sets. I was involved in the St. Louis Informix User Group when it was active as well as member of the Leadership Council in the early years of the IIUG Founding.

I’m a recipient if the IIUG Director’s Award and multiple years as member of the IBM Champions group, member of the IIUG Conference Planning Committee working on the following areas (Session, Vendor, AV and other areas). I Have been on the IIUG Board of Directors multiple times/years and wish to continue working in this group for the advancement and growth of the Informix Products for the years to come as this is what I feel is one of the best relational databases available in the market today and want to see it continue to be around and supported as such.

I feel I have time to now to work with IBM and HCL in seeing this product grow and work with younger groups to learn what the products bring to market and to help growing users train/learn what the products can do for their employers and help employers find employees which know the Informix product and how to make them fit in.

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