It was with surprise and disappointment that I learned this week that Ryan Ozimek has retired from his post as President of Open Source Matters - the not-for-profit organisation behind the Joomla project that provide guidance, governance, leadership and financial support.
I've had the pleasure of meeting Ryan on several occasions and have always been impressed by his incredible positivity and enthusiasm for all things Joomla! Ryan provided great leadership for a number of years, clocking up an unbelievable amount of Air Miles in the process. Not only did Ryan do this with such energy and grace, but he also managed to do it whilst juggling his time between his Joomla commitments and those of his own business - PicNet.
Ryan also brought a wicked sense of humour (English spelling - sorry) to his role, in particular I'm reminded of his keynote speech at the 2009 Chicago CMS. At the time the Joomla project seemed to have stalled somewhat due to the severe delays of the Joomla 1.6 release. Most of the delegates had the same question "when will it be released" and all wanted answers. With perfectly pitched judgement Ryan arrived at the conference to the sound of "Rocky" and dressed in a boxer's robe, complete with boxing gloves and ready to go the distance with the audience. It goes without saying that he won us all over and left without any cuts or bruises!
In fact Ryan did go the distance. His tenure saw the release of Joomla 1.6, 1.7 and now 2.5. Most impressively, thanks to his vision and leadership we now have an agile development programme that sees timed releases every six months and a clear path for when the community can expect future releases. He galvanised the community and rallied the troops.
He leaves the project in a stronger position than ever as the recent award of "Best Open Souce CMS" by Packt Publishing testifies. Joomla goes from strength to strength.
I'm sure Ryan will stay close to the project and I hope we get to see him at many more Joomla events in the years to come.
On behalf of the many thousands of developers, designs and end users I want to publicly thank Ryan for his amazing efforts and wish him all the best for the future.