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Information Technology Pioneers

Retirees and former employees of Unisys, Lockheed Martin, and their predecessor companies

On this Page

  1. Introduction [left]
  2. Interviewees - Jim Rapinac, Fred Hargesheimer, Marc Shoquist.
  3. Interview questions created/compiled by Ole
  4. ERA Old Timers


People Interviewed Chapter

1. Introduction

As part of the LMCO and VIP Club Legacy initiative, several retired employees have been interviewed. As these interviews are transcribed, they'll be posted hereunder. LABenson

  • If you are interested in the interview of a specific person, John Westergren has provided a list of those recorded to date and the media type.
  • The Charles Babbage Institute also has several oral interviews available.    

We are seeking persons who are willing to transcribe these 30+ interviews:
Clyde Allen, Manny Block, Bill Butler, Tom Delaney, Abe Franck, Bill Geiger, Jay Gildemeister, Jack Hill, Chuck Homan, Gale Jallen, Bernie Jansen, Frank Kline, Dave Kolling, Steve Koltes, Jim Kzaley, Myron Lecy, Don Mager, John Markfelder, Ed Nelson, Howard Nissen, Phil Phipps, Chuck Proshek, Jack Ross, Roy Valentini, and Don Vizanko as coordinated by John Westergren.

NOTE: Click on the section 2 name to read and or download the oral interview transcription.  Section 4 has links to videos of 13 ERA Old Timers.

2. Interviewees:

2.1 Jim 'Rapp' Rapinac

Jim's career spanned UNIVAC to UNISYS. He began as a manufacturing planner and retired as a Marketing Vice President. The Legacy committee is quite thankful to have 'Rapp' as the first completed oral interview and because he has made so many textual contributions to the various sections of our web site and history. Jim lived in a small town on the Minnesota Iron Range as a boy, moved with family to CA, played basketball, and was drafted into the Army. He wrote about his Military Service which was mostly about managing officers' clubs.

2.2 Fred Hargesheimer

Interview conducted in 2007. Fred's career spanned ERA to Sperry. He spent most of his 20+ year career in marketing, beginning by selling the ERA Automatic Antenna Coupler. His skills as a ham radio operator and a pilot made him an ideal customer contact person as he knew both the communication technology and aircraft characteristics. More about Fred on the Deceased page.

2.3  Marc Shoquist

Marc was an avid contributor to our Legacy anthology. His areas of expertise were the Antennae Couplers, Serial Interfaces, and Fiber Optic interfaces. After retirement, he was an avid promoter of the 4H. Others knew him as a multi-decade, astute leader in the Growth Stock Investment Club. He had both Navy and Army service records - survived by a daughter and granddaughter.

3. Interview questions: Contributed by Ole, et al.

Please give a brief biographical sketch of your life, beginning with your parents and your childhood, your education, military experience if any, and the general pattern of your career.
Would you try to answer some or all of the following about yourself and career?

  1. What are the three or four most significant events, undertakings, projects, etc. of an historical nature that you experienced during your career at ERA or UNIVAC or UNISYS or Lockheed Martin or sequences thereat?
  2. Are there specific documents, photographs or other materials that would be of interest for the historical project related to those significant events?
  3. Are you aware of other documents, materials of historical value that should be included in this project?
  4. Can you provide insight, details, etc. of any specific meeting you attended that could be of significance in our Legacy history?
  5. What were the major successful projects with which you were involved?
  6. And major unsuccessful projects?
  7. 8. What were most important company products and company sites you were associated with?
  8. What was impact of those major products/projects? On Lockheed Martin, customer, national defense, technology, other?
  9. What is your view of how the company dealt with major customers?
  10. What are your thoughts on how effective the company was in dealing with the Congress?
  11. What do you believe the greatest challenges were to your company or your team during your career?
  12. How did your team meet those challenges?
  13. What do you believe were the greatest obstacles to the company during your career?
  14. How did the company deal with those obstacles?
  15. In your opinion, which executives had the biggest impact on the corporation’s successes?
  16. Were there either challenges or obstacles that your team/company failed to overcome, and if so what were they and why were they so difficult to handle?
  17.  In the course of your career, you worked on many major programs. Of these, which did you find to be:
    • the most challenging
    • the most satisfying
    • the most frustrating
    • the most difficult
    • the most mistaken
    • the most important to Lockheed Martin
    • the most important to our nation
  18. Were there any programs that you wished to have seen come to fruition, but for whatever reason, were dropped? If so, can you enlarge on this, stating what the programs were, why they were dropped, and what you think they might have achieved had they been pursued?
  19. After your retirement, did you note any programs that occurred later that reflected actions and decisions made on earlier programs/products/issues?
  20. Speaking candidly, would you evaluate some of your predecessors, contemporary and successor colleagues in terms of their vision, achievements, mistakes, etc?
  21. In a similar way, speaking candidly, can you comment upon the relationship of Lockheed Martin with the U.S. Government from your observation point? And similarly, can you comment on relationships with suppliers, competitors, employees, unions, local and state governments and communities?
  22. What were there critical turning points for the company during your career?

4.0 ERA Old Timers

In the fall of 2007 John Westergren visited the First Friday luncheon with a video camera (also referred to as the Original Geek Squad.)  John video-taped 13 of the people there who spoke in response to to some of Ole's questions in section 3 above. A composite disc of the 13 interviews has been lanquishing in Lowell's files since then. As I've wanted to 'clean up' Legacy items before my 2020 sabatical, I sent a request to find someone who could convert the file into .mp4 video clips. Thanks to Keith Myhre who responded, he was able to convert .VOB continuous files to individual .mpeg files.  

The following are the resulting .mp4 video clips - your PC or IPAD or Smart Phone will need a video player to watch and listen to these. The sequence is as they were recorded on the disc.  An original of the disc is available for viewing at the Charles Babbage Institute and at the Lawshe Memorial Museum.  In the background of some of the videos, William 'Bill' Roos is seen - he is the current coordinator of the First Friday luncheons.  Also, Ole is seen as is Bob Pope although neither is interviewed.

  1. William 'Bill' Butler, 1948-58.  Bill also has some written notes at
  2. James 'Jim' Wright, Jim's widow Barbara Halverson donated Jim's 1102 artifacts to the Legacy committee, see page 4 right column of
  3. Gerald 'Gerry' Williams, Don Weidenbach identified Gerry as one of the four 'Ws', i.e. Wesslund, Weidenbach, Williams, and Wright - all working at ERA. 
  4. Edwin 'Ed' Nelson, 1951-86.  Ed also has some written notes at
  5. Jack Ross, his obit is on page 3 of
  6. Bernard 'Bernie' Jansen, his obit is on page 1 of
  7. Bob Wesslund, 1951-59.  Bob also has some written notes at .
  8. Leo Bock, his obit is on page 2 of
  9. Alden Allen, 1955-86.  Alden also has some written notes at
  10. Phil Phipps, 1955-89.  Phil also has some written notes at
  11. Charles 'Chuck' Homan, Chuck also has some written notes at
  12. Gale Jallen, and
  13. Warren Burrell, 1948-73.  Warren also has some written notes at

Disc conversion details, about 14 hours of work; thanks again to Keith Myhre.

  • Program Used:  Nero Video - Version 18 (part of Nero 2017 Platinum)
  • Input:  Three VOB format video files
  • Thirteen MPEG-4 files
  • 720 x 480 pixels
  • Frame rate:  29.97 fps
  • Bit Rate: 2,995 kbits/sec
  • Encoding Method:  High Quality (2-pass)

Audio:  2 channels