The following was written by Bill Gillette to describe the man we would like the scholarship candidates to emulate. Bill went to work for Harold directly out of school in the fifties, was inspired by him, and they became close friends. Although retired, Bill is still active in AITP. Harold M. Pool was a lifelong teacher of the people who worked with him and for him. He worked very hard to master the technology he used in business and he shared this knowledge and experience freely with everyone. He was patient and forgiving of mistakes made by those in the learning process. After a person gained experience, Harold also had a way of letting that person know when he/she needed to make a change without destroying confidence. He was cool under every circumstance.
Harold was not a “techno geek” but he understood and mastered technology. However, he always explained the business reason for doing something technical before he talked about the technical details. That was so important in the development of younger people who had a tendency to become enamored with technology itself rather than achieving something in terms that top management could understand.
Harold continued to mentor others in both technology and business practices at every step of his career. The results of this are reflected in the many individuals he has mentored who have attained great professional success in information technology and business.
Harold also provided leadership in his professional organization, AITP (Association of Information Technology Professionals), successor to DPMA (Data Processing Management Association) and NMAA (National Machine Accountants Association). He co-founded the first NMAA chapter in Colorado in 1952 and served as its first President. His leadership and participation were key factors in the success of many AITP educational and professional development activities and programs throughout his nearly 50 years as a member. Every meeting and event became a learning opportunity for the attendees and reflected Harold’s desire to help everyone grow professionally and as human beings.
Over the years, our national organization has recognized the Mile High Chapter numerous times for our programs and chapter growth. In fact, Harold also had a great influence on growth at the national level through his participation and leadership. The success of many of our later national leaders can be traced back to Harold’s influence and mentoring.
Many of us who attribute our success to our bringing forth new and innovative ideas can trace those ideas back to a seed planted by Harold Pool as our mentor. He always gave us the credit, but we all know it started with Harold, who derived his satisfaction from the success of those around him.