Category: PASS Chapters

The Changing Face of PASS

[cross-posted from Bill Graziano's blog at]

I’m starting my sixth year on the PASS Board.  I served two years as the Program Director, two years as the Vice-President of Marketing and I’m starting my second year as the Executive Vice-President of Finance.  There’s a pretty good chance that if PASS has done something you don’t like or is doing something you don’t like, that I’m involved in one way or another.

Andy Leonard asked in a comment on his blog if the Board had ever reversed itself based on community input.  He asserted that it hadn’t.  I disagree.  I’m not going to try and list all the changes we make inside portfolios based on feedback from and meetings with the community.  I’m going to focus on major governance issues since I was elected to the Board.

Management Company

The first big change was our management company.  Our old management company had a standard approach to running a non-profit.  It worked well when PASS was launched.  Having a ready-made structure and process to run the organization enabled the organization to grow quickly.  As time went on we were limited in some of the things we wanted to do.  The more involved you were with PASS, the more you saw these limitations.  Key volunteers were regularly providing feedback that they wanted certain changes that were difficult for us to accomplish.  The Board at that time wanted changes that were difficult or impossible to accomplish under that structure.

This was not a simple change.  Imagine a $2.5 million dollar company letting all its employees go on a Friday and starting with a new staff on Monday.  We also had a very narrow window to accomplish that so that we wouldn’t affect the Summit – our only source of revenue.  We spent the year after the change rebuilding processes and putting on the Summit in Denver. 

That’s a concrete example of a huge change that PASS made to better serve its members.  And it was a change that many in the community were telling us we needed to make.


We heard regularly from our members that they wanted our financials posted.  Today on our web site you can find audited financials going back to 2004.  We publish our budget at the start of each year.  If you ask a question about the financials on the PASS site I do my best to answer it.  I’m also trying to do a better job answering financial questions posted in other locations.  (And yes, I know I owe a few of you some blog posts.)

That’s another concrete example of a change that our members asked for that the Board agreed was a good decision.


When I started on the Board the meeting minutes were very limited.  The minutes from a two day Board meeting might fit on one page.  I think we did the bare minimum we were legally required to do.  Today Board meeting minutes run from 5 to 12 pages and go into incredible detail on what we talk about.  There are certain topics that are NDA but where possible we try to list the topic we discussed but that the actual discussion was under NDA.  We also publish the agenda of Board meetings ahead of time.

This is another specific example where input from the community influenced the decision.  It was certainly easier to have limited minutes but I think the extra effort helps our members understand what’s going on.

Board Q&A

At the 2009 Summit the Board held its first public Q&A with our members.  We’d always been available individually to answer questions.  There’s a benefit to getting us all in one room and asking the really hard questions to watch us squirm.  We learn what questions we don’t have good answers for.  We get to see how many people in the crowd look interested in the various questions and answers.

I don’t recall the genesis of how this came about.  I’m fairly certain there was some community pressure though.

Board Votes

Until last November, the Board only reported the vote totals and not how individual Board members voted.  That was one of the topics at a great lunch I had with Tim Mitchell and Kendal van Dyke at the Summit.  That was also the topic of the first question asked at the Board Q&A by Kendal.  Kendal expressed his opposition to to anonymous votes clearly and passionately and without trying to paint anyone into a corner.  Less than 24 hours later the PASS Board voted to make individual votes public unless the topic was under NDA.  That’s another area where the Board decided to change based on feedback from our members.

Summit Location

While this isn’t actually a governance issue it is one of the more public decisions we make that has taken some public criticism.  There is a significant portion of our members that want the Summit near them.  There is a significant portion of our members that like the Summit in Seattle.  There is a significant portion of our members that think it should move around the country.  I was one that felt strongly that there were significant, tangible benefits to our attendees to being in Seattle every year.  I’m also one that has been swayed by some very compelling arguments that we need to have at least one outside Seattle and then revisit the decision.  I can’t tell you how the Board will vote but I know the opinion of our members weighs heavily on the decision.


And that brings us to the grand-daddy of all governance issues.  My thesis for this blog post is that the PASS Board has implemented policy changes in response to member feedback.  It isn’t to defend or criticize our election process.  It’s just to say that is has been under going continuous change since I’ve been on the Board. 

I ran for the Board in the fall of 2005.  I don’t know much about what happened before then.  I was actively volunteering for PASS for four years prior to that as a chapter leader and on the program committee.  I don’t recall any complaints about elections but that doesn’t mean they didn’t occur.  The questions from the Nominating Committee (NomCom) were trivial and the selection process rudimentary (For example, “Tell us about your accomplishments”).  I don’t even remember who I ran against or how many other people ran. 

I ran for the VP of Marketing in the fall of 2007.  I don’t recall any significant changes the Board made in the election process for that election.  I think a lot of the changes in 2007 came from us asking the management company to work on the election process.  I was expecting a similar set of puff ball questions from my previous election.  Boy, was I in for a shock.  The NomCom had found a much better set of questions and really made the interview portion difficult.  The questions were much more behavioral in nature.  I’d already written about my vision for PASS and my goals.  They wanted to know how I handled adversity, how I handled criticism, how I handled conflict, how I handled troublesome volunteers, how I motivated people and how I responded to motivation. And many, many other things.

They grilled me for over an hour.  I’ve done a fair bit of technical sales in my time.  I feel I speak well under pressure addressing pointed questions.  This interview intentionally put me under pressure.  In addition to wanting to know about my interpersonal skills, my work experience, my volunteer experience and my supervisory experience they wanted to see how I’d do under pressure.  They wanted to see who would respond under pressure and who wouldn’t.  It was a bit of a shock.

That was the first big change I remember in the election process.  I know there were other improvements around the process but none of them stick in my mind quite like the unexpected hour-long grilling.

The next big change I remember was after the 2009 elections.  Andy Warren was unhappy with the election process and wanted to make some changes.  He worked with Hannes at HQ and they came up with a better set of processes.  I think Andy moved PASS in the right direction.  Nonetheless, after the 2010 election even more people were very publicly clamoring for changes to our election process. 

In August of 2010 we had a choice to make.  There were numerous bloggers criticizing the Board and our upcoming election.  The easy change would be to announce that we were changing the process in a way that would satisfy our critics.  I believe that a knee-jerk response to criticism is seldom correct.

Instead the Board spent August and September and October and November listening to the community.  I visited two SQLSaturdays and asked questions of everyone I could.  I attended chapter meetings and asked questions of as many people as they’d let me.  At Summit I made it a point to introduce myself to strangers and ask them about the election.  At every breakfast I’d sit down at a table full of strangers and ask about the election.  I’m happy to say that I left most tables arguing about the election.  Most days I managed to get 2 or 3 breakfasts in.

I spent less time talking to people that had already written about the election.  They were already expressing their opinion.  I wanted to talk to people that hadn’t spoken up.  I wanted to know what the silent majority thought.  The Board all attended the Q&A session where our members expressed their concerns about a variety of issues including the election.

The PASS Board also chose to create the Election Review Committee.  We wanted people from the community that had been involved with PASS to look at our election process with fresh eyes while listening to what the community had to say and give us some advice on how we could improve the process.  I’m a part of this as is Andy Warren.  None of the other members are on the Board.  I’ve sat in numerous calls and interviews with this group and attended an open meeting at the Summit.  We asked anyone that wanted to discuss the election to come speak with us.  The ERC held an open meeting at the Summit and invited anyone to attend.  There are forums on the ERC web site where we’ve invited people to participate.  The ERC has reached to key people involved in recent elections. 

The years that I haven’t mentioned also saw minor improvements in the election process.  Off the top of my head I don’t recall what exact changes were made each year.  Specifically since the 2010 election we’ve gone out of our way to seek input from the community about the process.  I’m not sure what more we could have done to invite feedback from the community.

I think to say that we haven’t “fixed” the election process isn’t a fair criticism at this time.  We haven’t rushed any changes through the process.  If you don’t see any changes in our election process in July or August then I think it’s fair to criticize us for ignoring the community or ask for an explanation for what we’ve done.

In Summary

Andy’s main point was that the PASS Board hasn’t changed in response to our members wishes.  I think I’ve shown that time and time again the PASS Board has changed in response to what our members want.  There are only two outstanding issues: Summit location and elections.  The 2013 Summit location hasn’t been decided yet.  Our work on the elections is also in progress.  And at every step in the election review we’ve gone out of our way to listen to the community and incorporate their feedback on the process.

I also hope I’m not encouraging everyone that wants some change in the organization to organize a “blog rush” against the Board.  We take public suggestions very seriously but we also take the time to evaluate those suggestions and learn what the rest of our members think and make a measured decision.

Farewell to Director Christoph Stotz

Dear PASS Members,

It is with great sadness that the PASS Board must bid farewell to Christoph Stotz. Christoph has been with the organization since its infancy, and throughout has been a passionate advocate for its cause. 

He helped launch PASS Germany in the early 2000s, a Chapter which is currently over 2000 members strong and a major hub for all things SQL Server in Europe. Christoph was also a foundational driving force behind the PASS European Conference, his tireless efforts instrumental in the event's growth and success. The Board of Directors recognized his skills and verve, and in 2005 he was appointed to the Board as an advisor on European matters. In time, his role encompassed a wider scope, and he became a champion for the global cause.

Christoph is stepping down to concentrate on a number of personal goals. He leaves a legacy that will be incredibly difficult to match by any successor to the role. In all his dealings with PASS, whether as Chapter leader, event organizer, or regional Director, Christoph was known for providing thoughtful analysis and sage advice at just the right time. His combination of wisdom and experience will not be easy to replace.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end. We wish Christoph all the best of luck in his future endeavors and have no doubt that success will continue to follow him wherever he goes. He will be missed!

PASS SQLRally 2012 - Selection Process for Host City Now Underway!

Hello Chapter Leaders!

As you may know, we will be having our first PASS SQLRally in Orlando on May 11-13. This event is PASS' new regional event that fills the gap between the PASS SQLSaturday 1-day training events and the week-long PASS Summit.

We have recently begun the planning process for the 2012 event and are reaching out to the Chapters in the US to see who would be interested in hosting the event in May 2012.

If you are interested, please inform Anika at PASSHQ of your Expression of Interest before February 14th. Please include the following information in your submission: 

  • Geographical Location (Note: Preferred locations will be in the Central and Mountain time zones, along with locations in the North Eastern US)
  • Chapter Size as determined by number of members
  • Proven history of managing events (ie. SQLSaturdays)

The SQLRally Selection Committee will review all submissions. The Committee is made up of volunteers and PASS HQ event and logistics specialists. All submitters will be advised by February 17th if they meet the primary requirements. 

For Chapters that meet the requirements for the 2012 Host City, the next steps will be:

  • Chapter to submit the completed application (attached) by Feb. 20.
  • PASS HQ to summarize all applications and provide to the SQLRally Selection Committee.
  • Selection Committee to choose the top 5 likely candidates.
  • Anika to contact venues in the chosen cities for RFPs.
  • Review and analysis of RFPs; Selection Committee to select the top 3 potential candidate cities.
  • Community vote to select the 2012 location.
  • Winner will be announced at the Orlando SQLRally on May 13.

If you have any questions or to submit your Expression of Interest, please email Anika at PASSHQ at Anika will be available to assist at any step along the way so please don’t hesitate to contact her at 604-899-6009 x118.

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to the selection process!


PASS Summit Location

[cross-posted from Geoff Hiten's blog at]

Both Tom LaRock and Andy Warren recently posted blogs on PASS Summit 2013 locations. As was announced at the 2010 Summit, we have a contract that keeps the Summit in Seattle for 2011 and 2012. 2013 is the next "unhomed" Summit.

One of the largest areas of contention during the recent PASS Board of Directors elections was the location of the Summit. I am surprised the keynote sessions didn't erupt into a Lite-beer-esque "More Locations" vs. "Seattle is Great" chant this year.

We had a similar issue in the Atlanta user group a few years back. We started moving the location around and taking straw polls on where we should meet. Not surprisingly, every location was the favorite, at least for the crowd AT that location. We also had issues with people finding the venue when we moved it. Finally, there were some venues that were just impossible to deal with from a business perspective. One particular place kept sending bills to the wrong sponsors based on old paperwork.

My Key Take-Aways:

  • Moving venues is a risk, sometimes in ways you cannot see at first.
  • Moving venues adds some new attendees and loses some attendees.
  • Constantly moving venues gradually lowers attendance.
  • Having a regular home for an event is important.
  • Visiting away from home is important too.

What I would like to see is the Summit stay in Seattle most of the time. Ideally, the CTP through RTM years for a major SQL Server version release should stay in Seattle. Those are the years where the Microsoft presence will be most valuable.  During the "quiet year" when Microsoft is heads-down focusing on the next release the Summit could be somewhere else. It is during that time that I see community contributors such as MVPs having the most valuable presentations. Microsoft may build SQL Server, but we have to earn a living using it.

Unfortunately, we do not have insight into Microsoft's future release schedule other than its published roadmaps. Certainly not enough to plan an event 2-3 years out. Maybe we get partnerships that deep? Maybe Microsoft doesn't have things firmed up that far out?

Meanwhile, we do the best we can in listening to the community and making decisions on where to have the Summit in the future. Tell me what is important to YOU regarding Summit location. This is definitely going to be an imperfect solution, but together we can make it less imperfect.

SQLSaturday Round-Up (Jan. 27-Feb. 2)

(This is Round 10 of PASS's weekly round-up of SQLSaturday recaps. PASS community bloggers love their SQLSaturdays, and they love to tell everyone about their experiences, so who are we not to share that love?)

PASS SQLSaturdays are appearing like clockwork - there's one for every weekend through to Apr. 9 (except there's still no event on Mar. 12 - anyone want to grab that spot before time runs out? No pressure!).

Last weekend it was Houston's turn to bring together SQL devotees for a day's worth of free training and networking. Not surprisingly, those folks in Texas did not disappoint - SQLSaturday #57 was a rocking success!

Houston didn't have any problems!

(We'd like to add that we're very proud of ourselves for not using the phrase, "Houston, we have a problem!" anywhere in that introduction.)

For those of you on Twitter, follow @sqlpass and make sure to check out the #sqlsat and #sqlsaturday hashtags to stay up to date. Besides attendance at free learning events, there are many speaking and sponsorship opportunities available.


Nancy Hidy helped organize SQLSaturday #57, Houston

Eric Humphrey presented at SQLSaturday #57, Houston

+ Jen McCown presented at SQLSaturday #57, Houston

+ John Sterrett presented at SQLSaturday #57, Houston

The mysterious SQL Avenger attended SQLSaturday #57, Houston

+ Sri Sridharan attended SQLSaturday #57, Houston


Like we said, there are still lots of SQLSaturdays to look forward to in February. On Feb. 5, there's a SQLSaturday in Cleveland, on Feb. 12 it's being held in Colorado Springs, on Feb. 19 you can attend the event in Phoenix, and on Feb. 26 it stops near PASS management HQ in Vancouver, Canada.


The PASS Board's January in-face meeting concluded in Dallas on Jan. 21. SQLSaturday was on the agenda - PASS Director Andy Warren ruminates about the meeting on his blog.

And finally, we'd like to remind everyone just how excited we are about what SQLSaturday has in store for the rest of 2011. There are fantastic events all over North America to look forward to - you should check the schedule and make sure you register in a city near you. After all, it's free!

Want to attend a SQLSaturday? Check out the SQLSaturday website or "Upcoming In-Person Events" on the PASS Home page for upcoming dates near you.

Want to put on your own SQLSaturday? Click here to get started.

PASS Update #50-January 2010 Board Meeting

[cross-posted from Andy Warren's blog at]

This post is my thoughts on the Board meeting, and my views on related topics. I encourage you to read the minutes (not yet published) as the official documentation.

I flew into Dallas around noon on Wed, catching an early flight so I could get to The Joule hotel and spend a quiet few hours doing some prep for the meeting before the scheduled dinner with the Board. Cold when I arrived, maybe 45-50, enough to discourage me from much in the way of exploring beyond the Starbucks around the corner. Got a few things done, caught up on email and did some meeting preparation, and then back to the hotel to put stuff away prior to dinner. The hotel is one of those boutique type hotels, not the standard drywall and concrete, and with the one attribute I appreciate during travel, a great shower. Looking at lists prices it’s not cheap, but we ended up paying $169/night, a little higher than I’d like but in the range of acceptable for business travel.

Dinner was at the Iron Cactus immediately next door, fairly reasonably priced (my fajitas were $15) and where we had the strange experience of the waiter telling Tom LaRock to not to get the meatloaf. Good meal all in all. I spent some good time chatting with new Board members Allen Kinsel and Mark Ginnebaugh, and then Sri Sridharan from the North Dallas SQL Server User Group (NTSSUG)  joined as the end as well.

We spent a good chunk of Thursday looking at our global strategy, thinking about how we will grow and support SQLSaturday and SQLRally so that we can do some early sizing on the FY 2012 budget. Global growth brings complexity. An example is the SQLSaturday site is set up to manage money in dollars. Another is that if we move money across borders there may be tax implications on both sides. The next step is to learn some lessons by doing one or two, with our next step a SQLSaturday in Portugal, and then potentially a SQLRally in Sweden by the end of the year. We’ve also identified what we would like to have in time and resources, HQ will take that back and start looking at how to re-slice our current resource allocation to see if we want to do is possible.

We also talked about site selection for 2013. As I ‘m sure you know we’ve been in Seattle for a while and will be through 2012. Typically we sign contracts for space 2-3 years in advance, it’s the only way to be sure the space will be available within the date range we use for the Summit. Several months ago we built a list of around a dozen candidate cities. HQ has since done some research to help us understand what is available and the rough prices. At this meeting our task was to narrow the list to 3-4 cities. HQ will then send a formal RFP to those and we’ll start into the bake-off that should end with a site and a contract in March/April this year.

The list of cities is something we don’t publish in the minutes, and while we will announce when we sign the contract, we most likely will follow our previous pattern of not announcing the location until the end of the 2012 Summit. The rationale for this is that if people thinking about attending 2012 see that 2013 will be closer or in a more interesting location that they will defer attending for a year. From a pure business perspective maybe that makes sense, but I think it serves our members poorly. I see nothing wrong with letting them know 1-2 years out our plans. If they prefer to wait a year to save on travel, or to travel to a city they would like to visit, that’s good for them and ultimately good for PASS. I think it evens out year over year. More on this in a post later this week.

At 4:45 we started the journey across town to the monthly meeting of NTSSUG at the Microsoft office. Tom LaRock and I rode with Mark Sousa, Mark driving an F-150 he rented (only in Texas, right?), I was the navigator and Tom did the color commentary. We were worried about traffic and being late, but we arrived early and had a chance to mingle with the chapter members. We did a quick introduction of the Board, and then settled in to watch Sean McCown do a very nice hour class (part 1 of 6) on backup and restore strategy. That opening class has become part of their strategy to draw people in and it’s been effective. That was followed by Tom doing his presentation on wait states and queues.

After that we went to Red, Hot, and Blue for some ok barbecue, with a good handful of the chapter members joining us for discussion. It was cold out, had me wishing for home! We finished dinner about 10 pm and I called it a day when we got back to the hotel.

Friday morning we worked on our business plan and a “who we are” document, both are things I expect to see published in the next 30 days. The business plan was something that was largely done a year ago, but it didn’t quite make it out the door. Who we are, you might think, is something we should already know. 2 years ago PASS was the Summit and Chapters, today it’s the Summit, Chapters, Virtual Chapters (though to be fair we had them as SIG’s, but not very successful in my view), 24 Hours of PASS, SQLSaturday, and SQLRally (a work in progress to be fair, but still a big growth item). That’s a lot of change to absorb, and we’ve done it unevenly in places. That’s not unexpected or bad, it just means that we need to step back from growth mode and make sure we’re doing a good job and allocating appropriate time and resources to each area (which could mean adding more, or reducing).

We also need to make sure that you know what we see as our mission and where we’re spending time and money. My view is that we’re on step two of three or four on the path to being a “true” professional association. I don’t say that to dismiss our accomplishments or the work of our staff or volunteers. We’ve grown and matured, perhaps in more ways that we communicate. Yet many wish for PASS to be more. The hard part is that a full shared vision of “more” hasn’t evolved yet. At the heart of it is what we might do for members directly. Right now we have a strategy that is largely indirect – we build events, we facilitate, we connect, but we don’t a lot in the way of things that you can point to and say “my PASS membership means this and from I receive this and this and this”. I like our current strategy, I think it’s realistic, it’s functional, but it’s not sexy, and it’s still hard to explain to what I call the DBA in the back of the room, who says “why should I join?”. We can do more, I think a lot more, but the first step is to consolidate and make sure we do the things we do well. While we’re doing that we can be talking about what that next phase looks like that we might start 12-18 months from now.

On the time and money, Bill Graziano will be publishing more on that soon. We publish our budget, which has both too much and too little detail at times. We want to do more to show you how we apply resources to our various goals, and we want to make very clear what we contribute to things outside the Summit. I’ll write more in the next couple months to dig into what I get for resources for SQLRally and SQLSaturday.

We’ve been working on some revisions to the by-laws for several months and those should be published for review in the next week or so. Some of it is clean up and clarifying, making it very clear on things like term limits. We’ve removed the officer nomination committee which in the past nominated a “slate” that the Board would vote up or down, and instead it will be direct selection by the Board. We debated extensively moving to one year terms for officers. Not a one year limit, but a one year term. This is something I really believe in, I think it allows our Directors to step into a role and apply max energy. We’ll be publishing them for comment shortly, and I may add additional comments when we do.

Friday night I was lucky enough to have Tim Mitchell and Ryan Adams join me for dinner. Tim and I go back to SQLSaturday #3 and we just didn’t get much time to talk on Thursday, so it was nice to find some time in the week to talk more. Allen Kinsel was there, along with Mark Ginnebaugh and Bill Graziano. I was a spectator for part of it, listening to Bill chat with Tim and Ryan about chapters, and not for the first time wished we all talked more and more often.

Saturday morning I was up at 5 am for the taxi ride to the airport and the morning flight to Orlando, glad to be home.


SQLSaturday Round-Up (Jan. 20-26)

(This is Round 9 of PASS's weekly round-up of SQLSaturday recaps. PASS community bloggers love their SQLSaturdays, and they love to tell everyone about their experiences, so who are we not to share that love?)

PASS SQLSaturday really hits its stride in the next few weeks. There's an event planned for every weekend through to Apr. 9 (except there's no event on Mar. 12 - anyone want to grab that spot?).

This past weekend SQLSaturday swung by Louisville. Early reports indicate the event organizers smacked a sweet SQL home run! 

For those of you on Twitter, follow @sqlpass and make sure to check out the #sqlsat and #sqlsaturday hashtags to stay up to date. Besides attendance at free learning events, there are many speaking and sponsorship opportunities available.


+ Kathi Kellenberger attended SQLSaturday #45, Louisville

+ Pam Shaw tried out a new registration process at SQLSaturday #62, Tampa

+ Brian K. McDonald presented at SQLSaturday #62, Tampa 

+ Julie Smith attended SQLSaturday #62, Tampa


As we mentioned earlier, there are lots of SQLSaturdays happening all over North America in the next few months. We don't want you to miss any of them.

Next Saturday, Houston hosts the event. On Feb. 5, there's a SQLSaturday in Cleveland, on Feb. 12 it's being held in Colorado Springs, on Feb. 19 you can attend the event in Phoenix, and on Feb. 26 it stops near PASS management HQ in Vancouver, Canada.


The PASS Board holds 2-4 in-face Board meetings per year. Since they usually coincide with a weekend, Director Thomas LaRock thought it would be a great idea if the Board held its meeting to coincide with a SQLSaturday, so let him know if you're interested!

Finally, few things can be a bigger boost to organizing your event than hearing what other successful SQLSaturday hosts have done (yes, the good and the bad) to make sure their events went off smoothly. Pam Shaw is a wily veteran, having already helped organize four SQLSaturdays, and she shares her thoughts on the process as a response to a wonderful blog post by another SQLSaturday veteran, Karla Landrum. Dig in!

Want to attend a SQLSaturday? Check out the SQLSaturday website or "Upcoming In-Person Events" on the PASS Home page for upcoming dates near you.

Want to put on your own SQLSaturday? Click here to get started.



SQLSaturday Round-Up (Jan. 13-19)

(This is Round 8 of PASS's weekly round-up of SQLSaturday recaps. PASS community bloggers love their SQLSaturdays, and they love to tell everyone about their experiences, so who are we not to share that love?)

We took a bit of a hiatus over the holidays. Why? Because PASS SQLSaturday took a hiatus over the holidays. But that doesn't mean there wasn't feverish planning afoot, the most obvious example being SQLSaturday #62, held in Tampa on Jan. 15. This was the first SQLSaturday of 2011, but hold onto your hats, folks, because there are many more to come!

For those of you on Twitter, follow @sqlpass and make sure to check out the #sqlsat and #sqlsaturday hashtags to stay up to date. Besides attendance at free learning events, there are many speaking and sponsorship opportunities available.


+ Jose Chinchilla helped plan and host SQLSaturday #62, Tampa

+ Pam Shaw helped plan and host SQLSaturday #62, Tampa

+ Bradley Ball presented at SQLSaturday #62, Tampa

+ Denny Cherry presented at SQLSaturday #62, Tampa

+ Ronald Dameron presented at SQLSaturday #62, Tampa (and he has some important tips for newbie presenters)

+ Mike Davis presented at SQLSaturday #62, Tampa

+ Devin Knight presented at SQLSaturday #62, Tampa

+ Tim Radney presented at SQLSaturday #62, Tampa

+ Jason Bacani attended SQLSaturday #62, Tampa

+ Andy Warren attended SQLSaturday #62, Tampa


It's a brand new year which deserves great news about a brand new venue. Sure enough, Karla Landrum is overjoyed to announce that there will (at last) be a SQLSaturday in Hawaii! SQLSaturday #72 will take place in Honolulu on April 1. And there was much rejoicing!

Also, Thomas LeBlanc reminds everyone that SQLSaturday #57 is coming up on Jan. 29 in Houston.


The PASS Board will be discussing its SQLSaturday strategies as part of the agenda at the January in-face Board meeting, including plans for how the event should branch into foreign (i.e. non-North American) markets.

And to end on a friendly note, Andy Warren would like to introduce Malathi Mahadevan, a new blogger but experienced SQLSaturday planner. Malathi will help head up her second event, SQLSaturday #45, coming up this weekend (Jan. 22) in Louisville. Hi, Malathi!

Want to attend a SQLSaturday? Check out the SQLSaturday website or "Upcoming In-Person Events" on the PASS Home page for upcoming dates near you.

Want to put on your own SQLSaturday? Click here to get started.


In-Face Board Meeting - Agenda

For those who don't know, the PASS Board of Directors is currently gathering at the Radiant Salon in Dallas, TX, for an in-face meeting of the Board. Items on the agenda include the organization's international event strategy, Summit planning for 2011 and 2013, a number of critical amendments to the Bylaws, and the vision, scope, and long-term goals of PASS. 

The itinerary is posted below - minutes from this meeting will be posted in early February. 


Thursday, January 20th, 2011 

8:15 am to 8:45 am Opening & Welcome – Bill
8:45 am to 10:15 am International Events - Bill
10:30 am to 12:00 pm International Events, Cont. - Bill
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Summit Planning 2011 – Rick H.
3:15 pm to 4:15 pm Site Planning for 2013 - Bill
4:15 pm to 4:45 pm Board Only Time - Bill







Friday, January 21st, 2011 

8:15 am to 9:15 am Bylaws - Bill & Hannes
9:15 am to 10:45 am Five Year Plan, Scope Document, Business Plan - Bill
11:00 am to 1:30 pm Five Year Plan, Scope Document, Business Plan, Cont. - Bill
2:30 pm to 2:15 pm Additional IT Proposal - Andy
2:15 pm to 3:00 pm Future Board Meeting Schedule - Bill

Feel free to leave comments here or on Twitter for any of the Directors or for the Board at large.



SQLSaturday Round-Up (Dec. 16-22)

(This is Round 7 of PASS's weekly round-up of SQLSaturday recaps. PASS community bloggers love their SQLSaturdays, and they love to tell everyone about their experiences, so who are we not to share that love?)

After the conclusion of SQLSaturday #61 in Washington DC, held on Dec. 4, there are no more PASS SQLSaturdays until 2011. There's lots of news and helpful information in this post, though, so read on -- we'll go back to the future for one more week! (Why? Because that DeLorean is amazing. That's why.)

For those of you on Twitter, follow @sqlpass and make sure to check out the #sqlsat and #sqlsaturday hashtags to stay up to date. Besides attendance at free learning events, there are many speaking and sponsorship opportunities available.


Matt Velic attended SQLSaturday #61 in Washington DC (okay, this was in the past, but it's a great recap of the day's events)

Adam Jorgensen is the BI Iron Chef at SQLSaturday #62 in Tampa

Brian K. McDonald is speaking at SQLSaturday #62 in Tampa


Contrary to our post from last week, there are actually three SQLSaturdays in January and four SQLSaturdays in February. We forgot to mention that SQLSaturday #65 swings by near PASS HQ in Vancouver, Canada, on February 26. (Cheers to Gail Shaw for reminding us!)


SQLSaturdays can be stressful to host for many reasons. Karla Landrum provides some tips on reducing the stresses and costs of hosting these events. One way of putting a few extra dollars in your event's coffers is to have blog sponsorships -- as Noel McKinney explains, this is great for events and for bloggers.

And finally, with the holidays approaching quickly, a timely and relevant message from Kendal Van Dyke about how SQLSaturdays and other local SQL community events can help those less fortunate than we are. Definitely worth a read.

Want to attend a SQLSaturday? Check out the SQLSaturday website or "Upcoming In-Person Events" on the PASS Home page for upcoming dates near you.

Want to put on your own SQLSaturday? Click here to get started.