Category: Elections


PASS Board Elections: The Results Are In!

September 24, 2015 — The 2015 PASS Elections ended yesterday, and the results have been totaled. Before I announce the results, I want to thank all of the candidates that chose to run in this year’s election. Your commitment to the PASS community is important in ensuring a healthy future for PASS.

Congratulations to Jen Stirrup, Tim Ford, and Ryan Adams on their election to the Board of Directors. Jen was re-elected to the EMEA regional seat and Tim was re-elected to the US/Canada regional seat. Our newest director, Ryan Adams, was elected to the open seat.

A total of 2,997 votes were cast by 1,285 voters this year:

Jen Stirrup, 933 votes (EMEA Seat winner)

Tim Ford, 824 votes (US/Canada Seat winner)

Ryan Adams, 683 votes (Open Seat winner)

Argenis Fernandez, 557 votes

You can see how the seats were awarded by clicking here. Newly elected directors will begin serving their term on January 1, 2016 and continue through the end of 2017.

Thanks to all who participated in the candidate forums and Town Hall meetings, including those who blogged and tweeted about the elections, as well as those who made their voices heard by voting. I would like to give special thanks to all the candidates on a passionate race that covered many issues and ideas that will shape the future of PASS.

Don’t let this election be the end of your involvement with PASS. We need your continued involvement throughout the year. There are volunteer opportunities with your local PASS Chapter or favorite Virtual Chapter. You can read more about volunteering for PASS here. If you take on a leadership role as a volunteer, you might find yourself taking that next step toward serving on the PASS Board someday.

Congratulations again to the newly elected directors!

Thomas LaRock
PASS President

NomCom official response regarding 2015 PASS Board Elections Campaign

September 18, 2015 - The 2015 PASS Nominations Committee has issued the following statement in relation the use of Chapter mailing lists during the 2015 PASS Board of Directors Election:

“The PASS Nominations Committee has reviewed an issue related to an email being sent from a PASS VC mailing list where a candidate is a leader.  The campaign rules section of our election overview contains the following: “Candidates who are Chapter leaders can use the Chapter email list for campaigning if they also provide list access to all other candidates.”  As there is no evidence that any other candidate was denied access to the email list the current policies haven’t been violated.  The Nominations Committee will review the policy following the elections.”

The full 2015 Elections Policies can be found at 2015 PASS Board of Directors Election Overview. Specifically, campaign rules (#3, #4 and #5) applicable to the above noted statement can be found below:

3. The candidate may ask a Chapter leader to send their candidate information to the Chapter’s email list. Doing so is at the discretion of the Chapter leader. The Chapter leader must accept responsibility for member feedback if they choose to send the information.

4. Candidates who hold leadership positions within PASS (Board members, Chapter leaders, etc.) may not use the email lists held by PASS for personal campaigning. This allows all candidates equal ground by eliminating such an advantage that those in a leadership position would have over other candidates. Rule 5 below provides an exception for candidates who are also Chapter leaders.
5. In order to not penalize candidates who are Chapter leaders, the exception for using email lists held by PASS are as follows: Candidates who are Chapter leaders can use the Chapter email list for campaigning if they also provide list access to all other candidates. Each Chapter leader understands their chapter’s tolerance for email, and it is up to their discretion as to how to implement this access. The PASS NomCom believes that the candidates who hold leadership positions within PASS have achieved this position by serving the community. We expect they will honor the spirit of this rule. 

Bill Graziano
2015 PASS Nominations Committee Chair

FY2016: Investing in Community Growth

August 4, 2015 — As PASS moves into the next year, I'm happy to announce that the Board of Directors has voted to approve our Fiscal Year 2016 budget. We’re excited about the upcoming year and opportunities to continue building this amazing community.

Last year, our goals for FY2015 were to focus on support for SQLSaturday and chapter growth, as well as for our two major conferences: PASS Summit and PASS Business Analytics Conference (BAC). We also prioritized strategic planning for the business analytics (BA) community and focus for our Global Alliance Program and global growth. We committed to investing in the necessary IT to modernize our platforms to enable a stronger community. Over the past year, PASS has made solid progress on many of these fronts:

· We announced our strides and strategies for building and supporting the BA community.

· PASS Summit 2014 saw our highest attendance to date, and we successfully established our venue through 2019, for significant savings.

· We reestablished the strategic focus and community for the PASS BAC 2015, resulting in positive responses from the community and renewed commitment from the industry.

· We added two regional Board advisors to support our Latin America (LATAM) community.

· We relaunched our SQLSaturday website with expanded support for speakers and leaders.

· We made the difficult but necessary decision to retire the SQLRally brand and reinvest those resources into other portfolios.

This year, our budget’s primary purposes are to continue to strengthen our PASS communities. Some key areas of focus in the FY2016 budget include:

· Add a specific BA portfolio, to maintain consistency in the budgeting for our BA efforts, with the aim of continuing growth in both our BA community and PASS BAC event.

· Refocus our SQLRally investments to our SQLSaturday portfolio.

· Increase our global growth through support for our Global Growth Program.

· Add a Sales portfolio, to diversify revenue streams to help ensure the continued success of the PASS community.

· Add resources and staff to support further technology improvements, including a redesign of the website for better usability and functionality.

You can see this focus in action starting with PASS Summit 2015, October 27–30 in Seattle. With an all-star lineup of expert speakers and can’t-miss sessions, this event represents one of our primary revenue streams as well as offering a wealth of opportunities for community engagement and networking. If you haven’t already registered, contact one of our Local or Virtual Chapters for a discount code.

Next year, don’t miss PASS BAC 2016, May 2–4, 2016 in San Jose. Join influencers in this rapidly expanding industry, to share knowledge and take part in this incredible community.

As far as governance goes, keep an eye out for the PASS Board of Directors elections. Following a successful Nomination Committee (NomCom) election in July, Board applications open August 5. Take advantage of this opportunity to help shape the future of PASS.

As in former years, this year's budget process was successful in large part thanks to our many PASS community volunteers, Directors, HQ staff, portfolio owners, and Finance team. All worked long and hard to assemble the necessary research and crunch the numbers to help us in this important endeavor. Many thanks to you all!

This is a wonderful time to be a part of PASS. I hope that you’re as excited as I am for the future of this community. We often emphasize that “PASS is your organization”—and it’s true. We want to hear your ambitions for PASS; contact us with feedback any time. And thank you for another great year.

Adam Jorgensen
PASS EVP, Finance and Governance

Elections Update

August 4, 2015 — The PASS Board of Directors recently completed Executive Committee (ExecCo) elections. When the current ExecCo completes their terms on December 31, 2015, the new ExecCo will be introduced on January 1, 2016. At that time, James Rowland-Jones will assume the role of Executive Vice President (EVP), Finance & Governance; therefore, his director-at-large seat will be left open for one year—the remainder of his elected two-year term.

According to the PASS Bylaws, when a seat becomes vacant outside of a standard election cycle, the Board of Directors will appoint, by a majority vote, to fill the unexpired term. The initial intention of the Board in writing and passing this particular Bylaw (as shared with the community in 2013) was to add any known vacant seats to the upcoming general election. However, this is the first time since the Bylaw took effect in 2013 that a director-at-large seat will become vacant prior to a full term being filled. In our efforts to follow the Bylaws appropriately, the current Board sought legal advice for clarity around the wording in the Bylaws regarding appointing versus electing a candidate for the unexpired term.

As I said earlier, the EVP elect director-at-large seat will not officially be vacant until January 1, 2016. As this date is nearly six months away, the future vacancy of the EVP elect director-at-large seat cannot be guaranteed to actually occur. We have no reason to think otherwise, but as we cannot predict the future with absolutely accuracy, an unexpected illness, disaster, or other unforeseen event must be considered as a possibility, no matter how slight. Therefore, the vacancy does not exist at the time of the 2015 election. (The full term director-at-large seats that are up for election are known vacancies, as the reason for the vacancies is that the term for those seats expires as of December 31, 2015.)

After legal consultation and discussion, the Board has reached the understanding that to adhere to the letter of the PASS Bylaws, we will need to vote to appoint the unexpired term rather than include it as part of the upcoming PASS Board of Directors election. Still, we realize that the Bylaws likely do not accomplish their intended goal. We are working with our legal team to make sure that going forward, the Bylaws match our intentions.

The PASS Board will announce the appointment of the unexpired one-year term seat in January of 2016 when the EVP elect fills his new role on the PASS Executive Committee. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Adam Jorgensen
PASS EVP, Finance and Governance

Recap: Inside the PASS Board's June 2015 Meeting

July 30, 2015 — Our Board of Directors June 2015 meeting was held in Vancouver, Canada. Most of our meetings occur via conference call every month, but we try to meet in-face at least three times a year. At this two-day meeting we had a lot of topics to discuss and meeting in-person leads to better conversations than a phone call could ever provide.

You’ve already heard much of the news from that meeting from previous posts on the PASS blog and various articles in our newsletters, but here are the highlights.

· On Day 1 we welcomed two recent additions to the PASS HQ team: Georgia Dahle as director of Marketing and Charlie Yates-Bishop as director of Sales. As part of our regular review of internal PASS HQ processes, we also reviewed current IT priorities.

· We revisited a discussion from our January 2015 meeting regarding the introduction of Latin America (LATAM) regional Board advisors. Read more about that discussion here (in English), here (Spanish), or here (Portuguese). After reviewing candidates we voted to approve Eduardo Castro of Costa Rica and Diego Nogare of Brazil as our new regional advisors.

· We reviewed the 2016 budget and set a date (June 24) to vote on it.

· Jennifer Moser introduced guest James Phillips, Microsoft corporate VP of Power BI, who was there to give a presentation on Microsoft’s Power BI roadmap. After the presentation there was a healthy discussion about the PASS BA Community, the BAC, and Microsoft’s role in supporting our PASS family. (Read more about this topic here.)

· Day 2 opened with the PASS ExecCo elections. You can read about the results and your 2016 ExecCo here.

· We made a definitive decision about the 2016 BAC, which will be held May 2-4, 2016, in Santa Clara, California.

· The Board evaluated an offer to extend the PASS Summit Seattle venue for an additional year (2019).

· We made the difficult but necessary decision to retire the SQLRally event model. We explain this decision and what it means for PASS members here.

As you can see, it was a busy two days. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding any of these topics please don’t hesitate to contact us.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at Summit in just a few months!

Thomas LaRock
PASS President

Announcing the 2015 PASS Nomination Committee

July 22, 2015 – Thank you to all PASS members who participated in this year’s Nomination Committee (NomCom) elections. Congratulations to Lori Edwards, Robert L. Davis, and Bob Pusateri, the community representatives whom you have elected to join NomCom Chair Bill Graziano and Board-appointed representative Grant Fritchey on the 2015 NomCom.

A total of 540 voters cast 1229 votes in the NomCom elections. To be eligible to vote in this year’s NomCom and Board elections, PASS members needed to update their PASS profile by June 1, 2015. PASS’ secure online voting system, Simply Voting, doesn’t hold any PASS member email addresses or passwords and helped us to ensure that only eligible voters were able to cast ballots and were able to vote only once (with up to three ballots cast).

The NomCom community seats reflect the three seats up for election on the PASS Board this year: one US/Canada and Open, one EMEA and Open and one Open seat. The five-member NomCom will manage the Board elections process, qualifying, interviewing, and ranking potential candidates. A final slate will then be submitted to the current Board for approval. In addition, this year’s NomCom is charged with streamlining the process for involving and evaluating candidates and with enhancing opportunities for community engagement in the elections.

Applications for the three PASS Board seats up for election open August 5. To learn more about the 2015 NomCom election results and preview the upcoming Board of Directors elections, please see the Elections site. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact PASS Governance.

Congratulations again to Lori, Robert, and Bob. And a special thank you to all the candidates for their dedicated volunteer efforts on behalf of the PASS community and their enthusiastic and professional candidacies in this year’s NomCom elections.

PASS NomCom Elections

This past Thursday, July 16, 2015, PASS opened voting for the 2015 Nomination Committee (NomCom). Voting is open through noon PDT July 21. PASS members who are eligible to vote will each have received an email with a Vote Now button that enables them to cast their ballot for this NomCom election. 

In preparation for this voting period, PASS has sent multiple communications and ran multiple deduplication procedures to meet our Governance standards and ensure the following:
• We confirmed with each PASS member with a completed profile as of June 1, 2015, their eligibility to vote. 
• Each eligible voter may only cast one ballot.

As you might be aware, on the first day of our NomCom elections we had some communication and technical difficulties with our third party email software. Firstly we want to assure you that the election is not compromised by these matters. Only eligible voters will be able to cast a ballot, and they won’t be able to vote a second time with identified duplicate profiles. 

Having said that, in all matters within PASS, full transparency is one of our core tenets. Therefore, we want to update you on the timeline of events:

• One hour before the ballot was scheduled to open, we learned that a scheduling glitch in our communications software had resulted in ballot emails being sent one hour earlier than expected. As soon as we were made aware of this, we opened the NomCom ballot so that members could vote. Opening the NomCom ballot early did not compromise the validity or security of the vote. Some members who tried to vote prior to the ballot opening may have experienced some confusion during that short period of time. Where possible, we reached out to these members via email or social media to let them know that the ballot was now open. We also posted a notice on social media that balloting was indeed open and that anyone who had not been granted voting access should try again. At no time did this result in individuals being able to vote more than once.

• Soon afterward, we became aware that the address list that had been used to send the ballot notifications was not the correct, finalized list.  Approximately 1,800 community members received emails to their non-voting, duplicate member profiles indicating that they could now vote. In this case, we want to reassure our community members that even though emails were sent to these duplicate profiles, they are still ineligible to vote.  Our voting system, Simply Voting, will not recognize them as eligible. Again, this issue did not compromise the election but might have caused some confusion for those members who received the emails. We have sent follow-up communications to all members who were affected by this issue.

In response to these events, we have taken several steps to further ensure the integrity of the elections and to prevent such issues with the upcoming Board of Directors elections:

• In both situations, we have communicated with the affected PASS members to confirm that those who are eligible to vote have received the necessary link and can access their ballot.

• We have confirmed that the integrity of the voting process is intact and that only eligible members can vote and that they can vote only once.

• We are taking steps to address both the software and human causes of these issues, to ensure that future communication scheduling is error-free. 

I want to thank you all for your patience and encourage those of you who are eligible, to vote in the 2015 NomCom election. Voting is open through noon PDT, July 21. We thank those who submitted an application to serve on the NomCom, as well as those who participate in this election. If you have any further feedback or questions, please email us.

Denise McInerney
VP of Marketing, PASS Board of Directors 


Changes to the 2015 PASS Board Elections

June 24, 2015--The 2014 NomCom was tasked to streamline the process for evaluating candidates as well as to enhance community engagement.

The 2015 elections cycle will highlight those changes.

We’ve expanded the minimum criteria for candidates to identify the skills, experience, and qualifications needed to help set the strategic direction for PASS. Here are the minimum criteria needed for candidates to be considered to move to the interview round:
• Be a current eligible voting member of PASS
• Have direct volunteer experience with PASS
• Work with one of the Microsoft data technologies
• Be free of conflict of interest that would affect eligibility
• Be fluent in written and spoken English
• Agree to the time and travel commitments required to serve on the PASS Board of Directors
• Submit three references with a statement of support

In addition, to enhance community engagement and give voters an opportunity to make a more educated vote, the NomCom has made a change to the way candidates will be weighted and publication of that weighting. If an applicant meets the outlined minimum criteria, they will move to the interview round. Each applicant will then be interviewed based on categories to measure the strength of their candidacy. No overall ranking will be published; instead an aggregate score for each category will be published. This will give the community transparency on the strength of each applicant in each category and will provide more information for members to make an educated vote. Look for the 2015 PASS Board of Directors application August 5 on the PASS Elections page, which will outline all the minimum criteria in more detail. See the full details of the 2014 NomCom changes to the 2015 PASS Board elections here.

2015 NomCom

The NomCom is a five-member committee that manages the PASS Board of Directors elections process, qualifying, interviewing and weighting potential candidates. A final slate is then submitted to the Board for approval.

Immediate Past President Bill Graziano will chair this year’s NomCom, which will include three elected representatives reflecting the three seats up for the PASS Board this year: one EMEA seat, one US/Canada seat, and one open seat. A representative appointed by the PASS Board will round up the committee.

Who’s Eligible to Run?

To be eligible to run for the NomCom, candidates must have a demonstrable track record of volunteering with PASS – such as serving as a Regional Mentor, Chapter or Virtual Chapter Leader, or Program Committee member – and participating in other volunteer endeavors. Note that as an essential part of the PASS Board elections process, the NomCom requires significant time and effort. By applying for the NomCom, applicants agree to the time commitments of the entire general elections process, including Board applicant interviews.

PASS Executive Board Elections

June 16, 2015--The PASS Board of Directors meeting in Vancouver June 2 and 3 was the site of the 2016 PASS Executive Committee elections. We’re happy to announce your ExecCo, who will take their seats in January 2016: Thomas LaRock as Immediate Past President; Adam Jorgensen as President; James Rowland-Jones as Executive Vice President, Finance & Governance; and Denise McInerney as Vice President, Marketing.

Bill Graziano, current Immediate Past President, will conclude his term in December 2015. Bill has been an active member of the PASS community since 2001, having served five terms on the Board, including Director at Large in 2006/2007. Since 2008, he has sat on the Executive and has served in all four positions within the ExecCo. The PASS Board acknowledges and thanks Bill for his commitment and unwavering support to the PASS organization.

2016-2017 Immediate Past President: Thomas LaRock

PASS President Thomas LaRock will complete his current term (through the end of this year) and then assume the role of Immediate Past President. 

Thomas first attended PASS Summit in Orlando in 2004, joining the PASS community at that time. He joined the Board in 2009 and served one term as a Director at Large. He joined the Executive in 2012 as Vice President, Marketing and became President in 2014.

Thomas will chair the Nominations Committee (NomCom) for the 2016 and 2017 elections cycle as Immediate Past President. He will remain a valuable member of the Executive managing special projects. 

2016-2017 President: Adam Jorgensen

By unanimous vote, current Executive VP, Finance & Governance Adam Jorgensen was elected as the next PASS President and will assume the role in January. 

Adam has been a member of PASS since 2004, he joined the Board in 2012 and served one term as a Director at Large. As a leader of SQL Server and business intelligence organizations for more than a decade, he is passionate about encouraging and supporting innovation and busting through obstacles to implementation. At the meeting, Adam spoke to the Board about the importance of getting community members involved with PASS—and with PASS leadership.

”We [the Board] have an opportunity to make sure that the PASS organization is sustainable for the long term,” said Adam. “I’m interested in identifying leaders within the community; developing those individuals to assume leadership opportunities and ensuring that they are ready to assume the responsibility that comes with the Board. I believe that we need to remove roadblocks, and improve and formalize our processes for getting the best possible people involved in PASS.” 

Adam aims to improve communication with the PASS community to encourage balance, diversity, and commitment. And he spoke to the ways that PASS can offer benefits that grow with the Microsoft data platform. 

“The point of the Board is to represent the community it serves,” he noted. “That includes all data professionals. We need a vision; we need to find opportunities to help the Virtual Chapter and Chapter Leaders grow membership, involvement, and leadership. And with regards to the business analytics community, we need to define and focus our support efforts.”

2016-2017 Executive Vice President, Finance & Governance: James Rowland-Jones

The Board voted unanimously to elect James Rowland-Jones as next term’s Executive VP, Finance & Governance. JRJ has served two terms on the Board, with his first term supporting Global Growth and most recently as the Director of Special Projects. He looks forward to enriching and standardizing the visibility of PASS’ governance policies and working to support and improve the organization’s financial stability. 

JRJ emphasized the importance of collaboration, partnership, and shared learning. In the role of Executive VP, Finance & Governance, he encouraged other Board members to join him in the opportunity to set the framework for the future of the organization and to gain exposure to the role and its responsibilities.

JRJ’s focus is on articulating the opportunities and benefits of being involved with PASS and with the PASS Board, as well as working with our Global Growth Initiatives to support data professionals worldwide. “It’s important for the health and value of the organization,” he pointed out. “We have to think about the community as a living, breathing thing, and it’s our job to support and enrich it.”

2016-2017 Vice President, Marketing: Denise McInerney

The Board voted unanimously to re-elect VP, Marketing Denise McInerney to her current position. After 10 years as an active PASS member, Denise joined the Board in 2012 and first served as Director of Virtual Chapters. In her first year as VP, Marketing, she also chaired the Business Analytics Planning Committee. She is excited about the opportunity to continue her work on PASS’ communication and event initiatives.

“We’ve begun to take steps to get out the PASS message in an accessible, consistent way,” Denise said. “We have begun to talk about the opportunities for and accessibility of professional development and leadership, and we want to continue to do that. The Board Q&A at Summit was a start; the community town halls, the blog posts … we will continue to develop these vehicles.”

Denise emphasized the importance of better understanding PASS resources and of tailoring them to the community as it stands today and as it grows with ever-evolving technology and business demands. “With the Business Analytics Conference, we are on the right track,” she said. “The data world is changing and Microsoft is signaling that to us through all the changes to the data platform. We owe some attention to that content, as we think about our core SQL Server community, where their careers are headed, and the educational content that we need to bring to them.”

PASS Voting Eligibility and Upcoming Elections

May 7, 2015 – During the 2014 election cycle, the PASS Board established specific eligibility requirements for voting in the PASS elections. These requirements are designed to help de-duplicate member data for eligible voters before ballot notifications are sent. Specific mandatory fields have been added to the myProfile section of to help us better serve the community.

To cast a ballot, members must complete all mandatory fields in their myPASS profile. PASS members who have not completed their profile will receive a reminder to update their myPASS profile to be eligible to vote. Your profile must be completed by 11:59 pm PDT June 1, 2015 to guarantee eligibility to cast ballots in the 2015 PASS elections.   

Don’t miss your chance to vote in the PASS elections! To confirm your eligibility, please log into your myPASS account to look for the follow eligibility stamp:

PASS is your organization. Thank you for helping to shape its future by participating in the elections process. 

–Bill Graziano
Immediate Past President