GemTalk Systems is lead by people with a strong and enduring commitment to — and passion for — Smalltalk and GemStone.


Dan Ware, President and CEO

Dan WareDan joined GemStone Systems in 1994 as Senior Vice President of worldwide operations. He has held several senior executive positions prior to becoming President and CEO, including general manager, where he was responsible for overseeing sales, product development, customer support, professional services and business development. He has been responsible for expanding GemStone Systems’s presence in both domestic and overseas markets.

Dan has more than 25 years in the computer industry, including an impressive track record at Unisys, where he rapidly advanced in sales and management assignments over a nine-year period. In 1989, he joined Mentor Graphics Corporation, a leader in electronic design automation, eventually serving as Director of Major Accounts with over $100 million in revenue responsibility. Before that, Dan was Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Logic Modeling, a provider of hardware and software simulation models for electronic design. Dan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon.

Norm Green, Senior Vice President and CTO

Norm GreenNorm Green started his career in 1989 at IBM in Toronto, Canada as a quality assurance engineer. In 1993, he moved to the DACS (Data Acquisition and Control System) team where he helped design and build site-wide data collection system in VisualWorks and GemStone/S .

In 1996, he joined GemStone Systems as a Senior Consultant and traveled the world helping GemStone/S customers be more successful.

Within GemStone Systems, Norm held several positions including Director of Professional Services and Director of Engineering.

James Foster, Vice President of Finance and Operations

James FOsterAs a junior-high student in 1971, James discovered the local university’s computer center and a life-long obsession with computers began. His first summer job was writing (in assembly) a multi-user database programming system (MUMPS). James dabbled in aviation (as a flight instructor and commercial pilot) and law (after obtaining a J.D. from UCLA he worked as an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission and in private practice), then returned to his first love, computers, and worked as architect or manager on various development teams (primarily in healthcare). He was introduced to Smalltalk/V for the Mac in the mid-90s, and became a Smalltalk enthusiast.

James joined GemStone Systems in 2005 and completed an M.S. in Computer Science the following year. James divides his time between technical and other activities; he enjoys training and consulting, and likes to help others experience “the joys of the craft.”

Principal Engineers

Allen Otis

Allen OtisAllen Otis was a founder of GemStone Systems in 1982. He has been responsible for many parts of the Smalltalk virtual machine, including redesign for 64bit memory, the in-memory garbage collector, native code generator, and support for Ruby execution in Maglev. He is a coinventor on 2 patents on GemStone/S OODBMS technology.

Prior to working at GemStone Systems, Allen worked at Tektronix doing firmware and hardware design. He received a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1977.

Bob Bretl

Bob BretlBob has worked on the GemStone/S products since 1982. He started his career at Tektronix in 1975 working in the SPS Engineering group.

Bob has developed many of the key components of the GemStone/S architecture. He managed the core engineering team for the GemStone/J development, developed and supported the Facets product, and provided the inspiration for and lead the development of the first release of the GemFire product. Currently Bob is working on multi-threading many of the core algorithms to provide added scalability for the GemStone/S product.

Bob is the co-author on several papers and the co-inventor of 3 patents on GemStone/S’s OODBMS technology and 5 of the patents in the GemFire technology. He earned his BS in Mathematics from Carroll College in Wisconsin and his MS in Computer Science from Iowa State University.

Dale Henrichs

Dale Henrichs Dale earned a BSIE in 1978 from Purdue University and then joined Tektronix. In 1985, he created a program using Smalltalk running on the Tektronix 4404. Dale was granted a patent on the program and it saw continuous use through 2005.

In 1997, Dale joined GemStone Systems and quickly worked his way onto the core Smalltalk team. He is responsible for the indexing subsystem in the 64-bit product and runs the Open Source GLASS and Seaside projects.

Dale is a regular speaker at ESUG, Smalltalks and STIC. He is the author of Metacello, a widely used package management system for Open Source Smalltalk. Most recently, he has been spearheading an effort (Cypress) to use git as a source code management system for the sharing of Smalltalk code amongst the various Smalltalk dialects.