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Quick Takes From IBM i Administator Mark S. Rinehart

The IBM i administrator talks hobbies, IT and more.

Photograph of Mark S. Rinehart

Image by Ackerman + Gruber

Name: Mark S. Rinehart
Title: Senior IBM i engineer
Company Name: Preferred Credit Inc.
Company’s Function: Finance
Headquarters: St. Cloud, Minnesota
IT Experience: 40 years

What’s the biggest challenge facing your company today? Migration of our finance and banking legacy applications to .Net languages and distributed hardware. In all of this, our biggest challenge is finding a server that can handle the workloads and be as reliable as IBM i has been for us for decades.

What business skill would you most like to acquire or improve? Listening. Our younger folks in IT have great ideas to share, but we need to listen.

What trends are affecting your work? Data privacy and availability. We want it and need it now, but it needs to be safe guarded.

Who’s been your greatest mentor? What role has that person played in your life or career? My father, who was a WWII, Korea and Vietnam Army veteran. He was in the service for over 24 years and retired a Command Sergeant Major. My dad opened his own insurance agency, sold it, then worked for a large insurance company, retiring after 20 years as executive vice president of sales. He did all of this all with a high school diploma.

What’s been your biggest accomplishment? When I arrived here at PCI, our systems were at IBM i 7.1 running on flex-chassis hardware and we were nine months away from IBM ending support for 7.1. In that period, I brought us up to date on PTFs, installed 7.3, migrated to IBM POWER8®, configured new HMCs and utilized IBM’s VIOS to support six LPARs, four of which were new. IBM PowerHA® and disaster recovery were also implemented in my first year.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home from work each day? Hug my dog Max, get his kisses, then we go for our walk on the wooded trails on our 15 acres.

What superpower do you wish you had? I would be a healer.

If money were no object, what would you purchase and why? Lots of land to build shelters for our homeless vets.

What’s your favorite sound? The wind blowing through the trees.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you? I worked for the Minnesota Twin’s Baseball Club back in 1988-1990. I set up Major League Baseball’s first IBM AS/400 for the Minnesota Twins to run a baseball ticketing application on.  I got to play morning basketball with Tom Kelly, Billy Smith and Terry Ryan, not to mention the daily elevator rides with Kirby Puckett, Dan Gladden and Kent Hrbek!  


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