Category: Elections

Elections

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.

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

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 governance@sqlpass.org.

Adam Jorgensen
PASS EVP, Finance and Governance
@Wadamj

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 sqlpass.org 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
@Wadamj

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

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

Changes to the NomCom Process


Hi, it’s Tom, and I’m here today to tell you about some proposed changes regarding the Elections process. We have used a Nominations Committee (NomCom) election process since 2011 and in the past four years have lengthened the amount of time for the overall election cycle, added additional “noise” in the form of emails asking our members to cast votes, and seen a decline in the overall number of ballots cast in elections.

As Immediate Past President (IPP) I have one assigned duty: to chair the NomCom. As Chair, I want to share with you some important changes to the Elections process that the Board is considering which aim to:

1. Improve the Nominations Committee process.
2. Increase the number of qualified Board candidates.
3. Increase the number of ballots cast in our elections.
4. Decrease the election process timeline.

To this end, the Board is preparing to vote on and approve an important change to the current NomCom process. This change does not require amendments to the by-laws.

In lieu of an election for the NomCom, we will ask for members interested in serving on the NomCom to complete a short one-page letter of interest outlining why they feel they are qualified to set election processes and screen candidates. Letters will be listed publicly on the Elections webpage so that the candidate pool will be known. The names of the proposed committee members will then be submitted to the Board for review and a vote of approval.

The final NomCom composition will aim to represent the seats coming up for election (i.e. a LATAM NomCom member during a year when there is a LATAM seat).

The biggest challenge with having appointments versus an election is the perception that the NomCom is seen as a private club. To help alleviate that concern, we propose the following guidelines for NomCom composition:

• the IPP serves as chair
• one sitting/former Board member
• two former NomCom members
• two new NomCom members

Lastly, no NomCom member will be allowed to serve more than three consecutive years. It is important that we make room for new voices, but it is equally important that the NomCom maintain a level of quality achieved by those persons who have served on the NomCom previously. We are looking to balance those two ideals.

What I’ve outlined here is the result of many conversations, over many years, with our members—including former NomCom members, former Elections Review Committee participants, and of course, Board members. I will be asking the Board of Directors to approve these changes during the March 10 meeting.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns about these proposed changes, please leave them in the comments or email governance@sqlpass.org. Following this vote we will be having a dedicated Town Hall meeting on March 17 to talk about this change and other important priorities for the 2016 election cycle. I hope to see you there.

Thanks.

Thomas LaRock
Immediate Past President

New Nominations Committee Process Approved


At the March 10 Board Meeting, the Board voted to approve the proposed process to select the Nominations Committee (NomCom). For further details on what these changes involve, please read my blog post.

This is a significant change from the current process as there will no longer be an election to select the NomCom. Instead, community members who are interested will submit a brief one-page letter of interest (using this template), outlining their experience relevant to holding a position on the NomCom.

The PASS Board is looking to produce a practiced body (NomCom) to qualify Board applicants. Letters will be reviewed by the NomCom chair (that’s me) as well as the PASS Executive. We will then put forth a recommendation of NomCom members to the Board for approval. The criteria we will consider favorable in applications are as follows:

  • · must be a current voting member of PASS (required);
  • · have served on the board of a previous professional association/organization (preferred);
  • · have previous experience (either as a candidate or as a committee member) with the PASS NomCom (preferred);
  • · have experience in a leadership position (chapter leader, regional mentors, SQL Saturday organizers, etc.) within PASS (preferred).

Applications open today, Monday 14 March and will close Wednesday 23 March. To be considered, please email your letter of interest to PASS Governance.

A Town Hall Q&A with the ExecCo will also be held at 8:30–10:00 AM PST on 17 March to discuss this process and other election items for 2016. You can register for the Town Hall here.

Thank you.

Thomas LaRock
Immediate Past President

PASS Board Election Candidate Scoring

In February of this year the PASS Board announced that the Nominations Committee (NomCom) election would be replaced by a new process where community members submit a letter of interest that would be published for the community to review. You can read about the changes here. These changes were made in an effort to produce a practiced NomCom to qualify Board applicants.

As Immediate Past President I have one assigned duty: to chair the NomCom. Today I want to share some details about the role the NomCom plays in the PASS election. The NomCom spends many hours meeting, discussing, preparing documents, and outlining the processes candidates will use during their run for the PASS Board. The NomCom’s scoring of each candidate is based on the qualities outlined in the Ideal Candidate Description (see table below).

Ideal Candidate Description – Candidate Scores

Candidate Experience
with PASS
Strategic Vision
for PASS
Understanding
of PASS
Other
Board Experience
Written & Verbal Communication Skills Leadership / Management / Experience / Skills Financial / Budget Experience References Influence Time Management Skills
Wendy Pastrick
4
3 3.8 2.6 3 2.8 3 3.8 2.8 2.5
Ben Miller 3.6 3.2 3.3 2.5 3.8 3.8 3.5 3.3 3 3.8
Allen White 4 3.3 4 3.3 3.3 3.5 3.3 3.6 3.6 3.3
Eduardo Castro 3.5 2.8 3.5 3.2 2.6 3.5 3 3.3 3.6 3.2
Jason Strate 3.5 2.6 3.2 1.5 3.2 2.3 1.8 3.5 3.33 3.33
Paresh Motiwala 2.8 2.3 2.8 2.5 2.3 2.6 2.5 3.2 2.3 2.3


I encourage you to review the candidate’s application, bio, and campaign platform by visiting their campaign pages on the PASS website.

Finally, I would like to thank all candidates for their time and commitment to PASS and for running in the PASS Board election, and I wish all candidates the best of luck with their campaigns.

 

Thomas LaRock

Immediate Past President


 

Addressing Security Concerns around Election Voting


Taking part in a democratic process to elect leadership in our association is vital for making our voices heard and enacting positive change for PASS. The election process started months ago when the Nomination Committee was formed to review the voting process, vet candidates, and submit the final slate of candidates for approval to the Board of Directors. I had the honor to serve on the Nomination Committee as the Board representative. I'm also Director over both the Membership and the Information Technology portfolios. Both have impact on and from the election process. What benefits we can develop and provide for our members come from the visions and passions of those elected representatives of our association.  Information Technology builds the functional processes for the vote casting. It is as the Director of Information Technology that I come to you now via this blog post.

The security of our voting process was called into question by a concerned community member earlier today. This individual reached out to PASS with concerns about sharing of the voting link behind the "VOTE NOW" button created from a hash of their login and password from the MYPASS website. This link is unique to each member and was never intended for sharing. Though PASS is unable to see the votes cast by a member we do need to know that a member, should they vote, only votes once. This link takes you to the secure SimplyVoting site allowing you to cast your vote and take part in our democratic process. If a member were to take purposeful steps to share the unique URL exposed through the hover action on the button or by saving the URL associated with the button through a right click action their votes could be seen if the original member had voted already or could be cast as that original member if they had not yet voted.

As Data Professionals we advocate for proper security behavior as a core message of our roles. These concerns that were raised could be easily mitigated by simply not sharing personal information. However, our community was formed around the mission of connecting and sharing. Members may not be aware that this link is unique for each member. A member who is trying to help a fellow member by providing them with the URL to vote for the PASS Board would inadvertently provide insight into their voting activity.

Our IT staff, in addition to security-focused community members, looked into the matter independently of one another. They all concluded the concern over these issues came down to making mindful decisions about how you share personal information and not violating basic security principles.  While this means that using generally-accepted guidelines to avoid sharing personal information would prevent any intrusion we also understand our community's penchant for wanting to help one another. It's feasible that in doing so consideration about security could be overlooked.

Therefore, to prevent any unintentional sharing of personalized URLs for voting our IT staff took actions immediately to implement a change to hide the URL completely from the "Vote Now" button. The hover action on sqlpass.org will no longer display the personalized URL and the target address is obfuscated from the button all together. They have already successfully made the change in the staging site for testing and will be deploying the change to production by the end of the day. I've been assured there will be no downtime incurred or negative impact on the ability of our members to continue to vote.

Please do take the time to vote and also remember it's not too late to attend the PASS Summit this month!  It's also never too late to volunteer or consider running for the Board of Directors the next election cycle.

Thank you,

Tim Ford