Contributions to the Speaker Contract

I would like to thank every member of our community that took the time to share with us their thoughts and feedback on the Speaker Contract. Over a period of three weeks, you provided valuable feedback on two previous versions. We have now finalized both the Summit Speaker Contract and Summit Pre-Conference Contract.

This is when the PASS Community is at its best, contributing to the continued success of the organization, its community, our events, and our speakers. We will continue to review and improve the contract for 2017 and will welcome your feedback at that time.

Thanks again for your help, folks.

Adam Jorgensen
PASS President

Improving the Speaker Contract

Two weeks ago I invited each member of our community to share their thoughts on the Summit Speaker Contract with us. We received valuable feedback and comments on the process and the Speaker Contract. 

I want you to know that we listened to your feedback. We have now produced a revised version of the contract and wanted to make it available for review before the 2016 PASS Summit Speakers are announced later this month.

While we received feedback encompassing the entire contract, we have focused our efforts in the immediate on clauses 14, 15, and 16, which are the sections of the contract that have been modified. Please read the Speaker Contract now. Please provide your feedback by 9 AM PDT next Monday, 13 June, to ensure that any comments and concerns are addressed and incorporated into the final version. You can email or leave your comments at the end of this post.

I thank you for your patience and also your continued involvement in this important element of Summit planning.

Adam Jorgensen
President, PASS

Getting the Speaker Contract Right

As President of PASS, I would like to address the recent communications surrounding the PASS Summit speaker contract. While the contract is written for selected speakers, the intent is to ensure that every person attending Summit, whether a speaker, vendor/partner, or attendee, has the best possible experience at our event and is able to connect, share, and learn.

Every person that attends a PASS event is critical in ensuring that we deliver an excellent event and fulfill our educational delivery goals. This means we have to get the balance between our community and our partners right. The creation of paragraph 16 in this year’s speaker contract was designed to address and help balance this concern. However, in this instance, the Board is aware that we got it wrong.

In changing the speaker contract, our intent was to ensure that attendees receive an exclusive focus on quality training. I think we can all agree that sessions should not be marketing-driven. We want PASS Summit to continue delivering quality education and networking opportunities.

We have a unique presence in the industry, delivering events that are practical and training-focused. That is what the community wants. But to keep offering the conference, we need to also ensure that the conference and PASS as an organization remain financially stable.

We recognize that we didn’t quite get it right and many of you have had very strong opinions on this. The Board and I have all been monitoring our social media channels, listening to your feedback and comments. This blog is the beginning of our response to your concerns.

We are all trying to do what is best for our global PASS Community, which is why we are not going to rush a response to this issue. Instead, I am encouraging further open and professional dialogue to help us reach the goal of an effective speaker contract. We want to consider all of your feedback and comments before formulating any contract revisions. Please provide your feedback in the comments below, or email

I look forward to your hearing from you.

Adam Jorgensen
PASS President

PASS January Board Meeting Recap

We recently completed our first in-person board meeting for 2016, and I am extremely excited about what's coming! The Board and members of HQ met for two days and worked through a series of community initiatives and strategic planning priorities for our PASS community. The minutes will explain these in further detail when they are released, but I wanted to share with you a few items now. 

We started off day one with the appointment of our newest Board member to PASS, Allen White. With three new members joining the Board, we spent the first part of the morning on leadership development using the Insights program. Insights improves self-awareness on communication styles and interpersonal strengths and challenges. We then focused on some of the big project updates; including the Business Analytics Conference and Community Plan, strategy discussions in support of our Marketing, Sales and IT departments and planning for the year. Later in the day portfolio directors had an opportunity to share an update against their goals and priorities for the balance of the year. We spent time discussing the membership of our organization and new initiatives that will be underway later this year to support the growth of our community in the coming years. 

Discussions on the second day turned to recapping where we are at in this fiscal year and how we can finish it in a strong position. We discussed initial planning and prioritization for FY2017, and I’m excited for the new board to help us to continue to move the community forward. We also discussed elections, significant improvements to the PASS website , the Anti-Harassment Policy, potential future event locations for the PASS Summit and annual communications planning

The Executive Committee also had some meetings with Microsoft executives to discuss new ways to create remarkable opportunities for the community in the next 12 months. The support and passion that the entire Microsoft organization has for our community is inspiring! I’m looking forward to sharing more details with you over the course of the year. 

I’d like to finish by saying: keep helping each other. That’s what makes this community great! We should never stop redefining ourselves. I know that’s what motivates so many of you. Tell me one thing you need help with on your journey by leaving a comment below, or email me your suggestions. 

Thanks and see you out there! 

Adam Jorgensen 
PASS President 

Conselho anuncia cadeira para região da América Latina

Na reunião do conselho de hoje, foi votada a proposta para “converter um do Director-at-Large aberto assentos, o que é acima para a eleição em 2016 conselho eleitoral, a um assento regionais LATAM”. Isso foi feito para apoiar o foco que temos no crescimento da comunidade global e em reconhecimento do enorme crescimento que acontece na região LATAM.

Em 2013 o estatuto do PASS foi alterado para permitir estas cadeiras regionais. Benchmarks foram estabelecidos com intuito de fornecer ao conselho uma medida de quanto a região LATAM está pronta para ter uma cadeira no comitê – medidas de saúde e estabilidade das atividades da comunidade na região. A primeira cadeira regional criada foi para Europa, Oriente Médio e África (EMEA), que foi convertida em 2013 para um mandato a partir de 1/Jan/2014. Esta cadeira atualmente é ocupada por Jen Stirrup.

Estou muito feliz em anunciar que os benchmarks de crescimento da comunidade LATAM excederam as referências e o comitê determinou que a região é robusta o suficiente para justificar uma cadeira no conselho do PASS. Isso significa que nas eleições de 2016 haverá uma cadeira para LATAM, e outra para Estados Unidos e Canadá, além de uma cadeira vaga de célula. Os eleitos começarão suas atividades a partir de 01/Jan/2017. Os nossos conselheiros para região LATAM, Diego Nogare do Brasil e Eduardo Castro da Costa Rica continuarão conosco até 02/Jun/2016.

A posição para LATAM vai suportar nosso contínuo esforço de desenvolvimento da comunidade na região, garantindo uma perspectiva global do conselho do PASS. O ocupante da cadeira vai trabalhar junto com todo o comitê para atingir as estratégias e prioridades a longo prazo definida para a comunidade do PASS, reconhecer e abraçar nossas oportunidades únicas de aprendizagem para a região. Já que esta cadeira trás uma perspectiva importante para aumentar nossa abordagem global, esse representante não estará sozinho nessa demanda. Assim como o titular da cadeira EMEA, ele possuirá um programa (portfolio) do PASS como todos os outros membros do conselho (por exemplo Global Chapters ou SQLSaturdays) e irá trabalhar com o resto do conselho para endereçar a saúde da organização ao redor do mundo.

Isso é uma incrível mudança para o PASS e abre uma oportunidade de ajuda para melhor servir nosso crescrimento da comunidade global.

Adam Jorgensen
Vice-Presidente Executivo, Finanças e Governança

La Junta Directiva de PASS anuncia el Puesto Regional para LATAM

En la reunión del PASS Board de diciembre del día de hoy, la Junta Directiva votó la moción, " Para convertir una de la Directora-at-Large abierta asientos, que es para la elección de la Junta Electoral de 2016, a un asiento regional LATAM". Esta acción apoya nuestro enfoque de crecimiento de la comunidad mundial y es un reconocimiento al enorme crecimiento que se ha llevado a cabo en la Región de LATAM.

En el año 2013, los estatutos de PASS fueron modificados para permitir la inclusión de puestos regionales. Se establecieron metas de cumplimiento para proporcionar a la Junta Directiva con un instrumento que pudiese medir cuando la región LATAM estaría lista para que la Junta considerase agregar un puesto para la región - la medición incluye estado de la salud y la estabilidad de las actividades de la comunidad en toda la región. El primer puesto regional se estableció en el año 2013 y fue para Europa, Oriente Medio y África (EMEA), el puesto surgió de la conversión de puesto abierto que existía en la Junta Directiva y se estableció por un periodo a partir 01 de enero del 2014. El puesto regional de EMEA está actualmente en manos de Jen Stirrup.

Estoy muy feliz de anunciar que se han superado los parámetros de crecimiento establecidos para la comunidad de LATAM y la Junta Directiva ha determinado que la comunidad de LATAM es lo suficientemente robusta como para justificar un puesto específico en el PASS Board. Esto significa que en las elecciones del 2016, habrá un puesto para LATAM, así como lo hay para Estados Unidos / Canadá y habrá un puerto abierto en la boleta electoral. Los elegidos comenzarán su periodo el 1 de enero del 2017. Nuestros LATAM Board Advisors, Diego Nogare de Brasil y Eduardo Castro de Costa Rica continuarán en su puesto hasta 02 de junio del 2016.

El puesto de LATAM apoyará nuestros actuales esfuerzos de desarrollo comunitario a través de la región, garantizando una perspectiva global en el PASS Board. El puesto trabajará con todo el PASS Board para lograr las prioridades estratégicas a largo plazo fijadas para la comunidad PASS, de forma que se reconozca y abracen nuestras oportunidades de aprendizaje únicas e individuales para la región. El establecimiento de este puesto trae consigo un aumento importante a nuestra perspectiva global, sin embargo, la persona que ocupe dicho puesto no estará únicamente dedicado a la región de LATAM, sino que de la misma forma que el actual titular del puesto de EMEA, será responsable de un portafolio de proyectos igual que todos los demás miembros de la Junta (por ejemplo, los Capítulos Globales o SQLSaturday) y trabajará con el resto de la Junta Directiva para impulsar el crecimiento y la salud de la organización en todo el mundo.

Este es un cambio emocionante para PASS y ofrecerá oportunidades para ayudar a servir mejor a nuestra creciente comunidad global.

Adam Jorgensen
Vicepresidente Ejecutivo, Finanzas y Gobierno

2016 Executive Vice President Position Filled

Following the recent resignation and departure of James Rowland-Jones (JRJ) from the PASS Board, the Board met during the scheduled December Board meeting and voted on the appointment of Grant Fritchey to the position of Executive Vice President, Finance and Governance, starting 1 January 2016.

Grant’s appointment came by way of a unanimous vote by the Board during today’s Board meeting. Grant will be working closely with the current PASS Executive to get up to speed for his appointment starting at the beginning of the calendar year.

In addition to Grant’s appointment, JRJ’s Director at Large seat becomes vacant effective today (December 10, 2015). In this instance, the PASS Bylaws allow the vacancy to be filled by appointment through a majority vote of the Board for the unexpired term. Following the vote earlier today, I can now announce that the Board appointed Argenis Fernandez, who participated in the Board elections earlier in the fall. Argenis will assume the Director-at-Large seat effective today, December 10, 2015.

Please join me in congratulating Grant and Argenis on their appointments. I know they will work hard to deliver on the many great things the Board has planned.

In the New Year, the Board will seek to appoint a candidate to Grant’s Director-at-Large position and details will be provided on this as soon as they are available. These details will also include who will be leading the SQLSaturday and Chapter portfolio. In the meantime Tim Ford and Grant Fritchey will continue to support the strategic direction of these portfolio, respectively.

Adam Jorgensen
Executive Vice-President, Finance and Governance

Board Announces LATAM Regional Seat

At the December Board meeting earlier today, the Board voted on the motion, “To convert one of the open Director-at-Large seats, which is up for election in the 2016 Board Election, to a LATAM regional seat”. This was done to support our focus on growing the global community and in recognition of the tremendous growth that has occurred in the LATAM region.

In 2013, the PASS Bylaws were amended to allow for inclusion of regional seats. Regional seat benchmarks were established to provide the Board with a measure of when the LATAM region would be ready for the Board to consider adding a seat – measuring the health and stability of community activities across the region. The first regional seat was the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) seat, which was converted from an open seat in 2013 for a term starting Jan 1st, 2014. The EMEA seat is currently held by Jen Stirrup.

I’m very pleased to announce that the community growth benchmarks set for LATAM have been exceeded and the Board has determined the LATAM community is robust enough to warrant a dedicated seat on the PASS Board. This means that in the 2016 election, there will be a LATAM seat as well as a US/Canada and an Open seat on the ballot. Those elected will begin their terms January 1, 2017. Our existing LATAM Regional Advisors, Diego Nogare from Brazil and Eduardo Castro from Costa Rica will continue until June 2, 2016.

The LATAM seat will support our ongoing community development efforts through the region by ensuring a global perspective on the PASS Board. The seat will work with the entire Board to satisfy the long-term strategic priorities set for the PASS community, recognizing and embracing our unique and individualistic learning opportunities for the region. While this seat brings an important perspective to augment our current global perspective, the successful incumbent will not be charged with representing that region alone. Much like the current incumbent of our EMEA seat, they will own a PASS portfolio like all other Board members (i.e. global chapters, or SQLSaturday) and will work with the rest of the Board to drive the growth and health of the organization worldwide.

This is an exciting change for PASS and will deliver opportunities to help us better serve our growing global community.

Adam Jorgensen
Executive Vice-President, Finance and Governance

PASS Financial Outlook

At our October Board meeting, the PASS Board of Directors had the opportunity to discuss the long-term vision of PASS and its ongoing financial well-being. My PASS Summit 2015 Keynote allowed me to share the great financial performance for FY2015, and to look ahead to our priorities for 2016 and beyond. One very important financial activity that came out of our October Board Meeting is our efforts to convert PASS from a not-for-profit organization to a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. While this is currently under consideration with our auditors, we are actively pursuing it to support our ongoing growth and revenue diversification.

In addition to pursuing this, PASS continues to operate in a strong financial position. I am pleased to announce that 78 cents of every dollar of PASS revenue is reinvested back into the community. This places us in the upper-range for community reinvestment/returns in similarly structured non-profit organizations.

Looking forward, we are going to continue to set goals and make investments to support growth. We increased our reserves by a total of 12% to $1.14M, which represents 14% of our FY2015 gross annual revenue of $8.6 million. This puts us in a very good position for the future.

This is all good news, and I am pleased to share the details of our financial journey with you. I will continue to keep you updated of our efforts to become a 501 (c) (3) organization, as well as our financial performance throughout the year. Thank you for your support of this great organization!

Adam Jorgensen
Executive Vice President, Finance & Governance

Filling vacant board seats

I wanted to share some upcoming changes to our Board composition. James Rowland-Jones (JRJ) will be resigning from his role as Director-at Large for the PASS Board and joining the Data Platform Program Management Team at Microsoft. JRJ’s resignation from the Board will be effective December 10, 2015.

With JRJ’s resignation from his current Board position, we will now look to fill three positions. The first being the remainder of the term of the Director-at Large seat which JRJ currently holds and the second will be the upcoming two-year Executive Vice President, Finance and Governance seat, which JRJ was elected to fill starting on January 1, 2016.

When a Director-at Large seat becomes vacant outside of a standard election cycle, the PASS Bylaws indicate that the Board of Directors may appoint a candidate, by a majority vote, to fill the remainder of the term, until it may be added to a general election.

The EVP role will be filled by appointment of one of the existing Directors-at-Large. Interviews with interested candidates have been held and the Board will vote on the appointment for this position at the December Board meeting. The appointment of the EVP will leave another Director-at Large seat vacant. The Board will fill this vacancy for up to one year through an appointment by a majority vote. The appointment for this seat will be completed as soon as possible and announced at that time.

On behalf of the PASS Board, I want to take this opportunity to personally thank JRJ, for his dedication and passion, particularly in his efforts in support of the Global Growth strategy and the Global Alliance Partner program, both of which have expanded and grown dramatically under his leadership and guidance. We wish him tremendous success in his new role.

Adam Jorgensen
Executive Vice President, Finance and Governance

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