Several years ago, someone gave me some advice that changed my life. Now, I’d like to pass it on: “You should run for the Board.”
The year was 2006. I was at PASS Summit in Seattle, talking with someone about PASS when they made that comment. Until then, I had been involved with the PASS Special Interest Groups (SIGs, now called Virtual Chapters), but I wasn’t well known in the PASS community as a whole. I looked over the requirements for serving on the Board of Directors, talked a bit about it with then PASS President Kevin Kline, and in the summer of 2007, I submitted my first application for the PASS Board. (I wasn’t elected that year, but ran again and joined the Board in 2009.)
I can say with all sincerity that applying for (and ultimately serving on) the PASS Board has been one of the most rewarding things I have done as a database professional. I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much by serving the PASS community as a Board member, including leadership and presentation skills, budgets and finance, and communication and marketing strategies. Serving on the Board has made me a better person, and I hope along the way I’ve been able to help others improve their skills, careers, and overall well-being.
I believe SQL Server professionals have tremendous opportunities to grow themselves simply by being members of or volunteers with PASS. They can grow technically (such as learning more about SQL Server Reporting Services) and non-technically (by leading a Virtual Chapter, for example). It is important that we continue to offer such opportunities to develop leaders within the PASS community. Serving on the Board of Directors is one of those non-technical ways you can grow, and for some reason most folks are uncertain if they are right for the Board.
Today is the deadline for applying for 3 seats up for election on the Board. (You can see the complete 2012 elections timeline here.) If you are on the fence about applying, or are interested but aren’t sure if you are good enough, let me help you decide:
You should run for the Board.
Big thanks to the nearly 1,400 PASS members from 57 countries who made their voices heard in the 2012 Nomination Committee (NomCom) election. And congratulations to Stefanie Higgins, Angela Henry, and Jason Strate, who are joining NomCom Chair Rushabh Mehta and Board of Directors representative Thomas LaRock on the committee to manage this year’s PASS Board of Directors general election.
A total of 1,339 voters cast 3,603 votes in this year’s active NomCom election, featuring a slate of 12 incredible candidates. For comparison, 1,951 PASS members voted in the 2011 Board of Directors election.
The NomCom’s role includes finalizing the Board of Directors election application, interviewing and ranking candidates, and putting forward the final slate for Board approval and community vote. Applications for the three open PASS Board Director-at-Large seats will open July 25.
To learn more about the 2012 NomCom election results and preview the upcoming Board of Directors general election, see the PASS Elections page. The discussion forums will be closed until the Board elections open, but if you have any questions or concerns, please contact PASS HQ.
Congratulations again to Stephanie, Angela, and Jason. And a special thank you to Louis Davidson, Mark Ginnebaugh, Ryan Adams, Mark Broadbent, Dave Schutz, Neil Hambly, John Morehouse, Nicholas Cain, and Rick Heiges for their enthusiastic candidacies in this year’s NomCom election.
It’s your turn! Voting opens today for three community seats on the 2012 PASS Nomination Committee (NomCom), which will manage the Board of Directors general election. Thanks and good luck to all 12 candidates who applied for this important role.
All applicants have been vetted by NomCom Chair Rushabh Mehta, and in compliance with Election Review Committee recommendations, the slate is being put forward for community vote to decide who will join Rushabh and Board member Thomas LaRock on this year’s five-member NomCom.
The 2012 NomCom candidates are:
- Angela Henry
- Dave Schutz
- Jason Strate
- John Morehouse
- Louis Davidson
- Mark Broadbent
- Mark Ginnebaugh
- Neil Hambly
- Nic Cain
- Rick Heiges
- Ryan Adams
- Stefanie Higgins
Secure, individualized ballots are being emailed today to all PASS members in good standing as of June 1, 2012, and all ballots must be submitted by noon PT on June 22. The ballot allows you to choose up to three candidates you feel will best serve PASS as part of the NomCom.
NomCom members will review applications for the 2012 PASS Board election, check references, and interview and rank the applicants who wish to run for the PASS Board. Volunteer experience and a good understanding of PASS as an organization are critical to success on the NomCom. Check out the Nomination Committee page to learn more about the candidates and the NomCom’s role in the PASS elections process. If you have any questions or concerns about the NomCom election, please contact PASSHQ.
Thanks in advance for taking time to participate in the NomCom election and the running of your organization – and good luck again to all NomCom candidates. Happy voting!
Are you a dedicated PASS volunteer with a passion for improving our community? Then you’re eligible to apply for three community positions on this year’s Nomination Committee (NomCom), which will oversee the 2012 PASS Board of Directors election.
The call for NomCom applications – open today through June 6 – kicks off the 2012 PASS elections process. The NomCom will manage the PASS Board of Directors general election, ensuring that each applicant for this year’s three open Board seats is qualified and suited to lead PASS as it continues to grow and reach out to all members of the SQL Server community. But first, the PASS community will elect the three community members who will join NomCom Chair/Immediate Past President Rushabh Mehta and another Board member on the 5-person committee.
To be eligible 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, Program Committee member, or frequent community speaker – and participating in other volunteer endeavors. Note that the NomCom is an essential part of the PASS Board elections process and requires a substantial commitment of time and effort. By applying for the NomCom, you are agreeing to the time commitments of the entire general election process, including the applicant interview process currently slated for late August.
If you meet the eligibility requirements and are interested in serving on the NomCom, please review the details and complete elections timeline on the PASS Elections page and download the application today. NomCom applications close June 6, and voting will run June 13-22, with all PASS members as of June 1, 2012, eligible to vote. The top three vote-getters will be elected to the NomCom and begin managing this year’s general election process.
The PASS elections season is almost here! PASS elections are an important annual event, letting members have their say about where they want PASS to go and who they want to guide the world’s largest independent, user-led organization for SQL Server professionals.
In my previous role as PASS President, I was proud to watch PASS’s impressive growth across the world, thanks to the efforts of our hardworking volunteers and leaders. Now as Immediate Past President, I’m excited to oversee the PASS elections and see a new generation of leaders steer PASS in this time of enormous change and opportunity to better serve the global SQL Server community.
The Nomination Committee (Nom Com) manages the entire election for Board of Directors – from qualifying and interviewing potential candidates to determining and ranking the final slate. Joining me on the NomCom will be a volunteer from the Board of Directors and three community members elected by the PASS membership.
The main qualification for serving as a community member on the NomCom is a demonstrable record of volunteering with PASS. Applications for the NomCom will be accepted May 30 to June 6. And all PASS members as of June 1, 2012, are eligible to vote in the NomCom election that will follow. The top three vote-getters will complete this year’s NomCom and will immediately begin preparations for the Board of Directors election.
I encourage you to get involved – whether you’re encouraging others to join PASS as voting members, talking about how to improve the organization, or running for office yourself. If you’re interested in applying for the NomCom or the Board of Directors, you can learn all about the process at the PASS Elections site. As community discussions gear up, let current leaders and candidates know what issues are important to you. And please vote. Support the candidates of your choice, and help shape tomorrow’s PASS!
PASS Immediate Past President/NomCom Chair
The PASS Board meeting wrapped up on Thursday in Seattle, and as promised, we discussed the Board appointment process for close to 90 minutes. We gave careful consideration to the membership feedback received over the last couple of weeks and reviewed all opinions. We understand and respect that certain of our members disagree with our decision. However, the Board members who voted in favor of the appointments of Kendal Van Dyke and James Rowland-Jones stand by their decision.
As PASS President, I erred in not clearly communicating how the appointment process would work. I should have been clear whether I would automatically recommend the runners up or choose from a broader pool for my recommendation to the Board. In the future, if we have known appointment openings prior to the start of the election process, I will clearly, and publicly, articulate how I plan to approach the appointment process.
In the next PASS Connector newsletter, we will provide a roundup of our latest Board meeting and will do so for every subsequent in-person meeting. I’m also encouraging PASS Board members to blog about their Board meeting experiences. We do publish the Board meeting minutes, but I recognize many of you do not have the time to review these lengthy public documents, so we’ll summarize as best as possible and publish the information in our bi-monthly newsletter. This will help us do a better job articulating and communicating PASS Board discussions and decisions.
Please join me in congratulating James Rowland Jones and Kendal Van Dyke on their appointments to the PASS Board.
James is a member of the SQLBits organizing committee, a very successful SQL Server event program based in the UK, and has been an international advisor to the PASS Board since August 2011. His approach to problem solving and well thought out ideas and discussions have been a valuable asset to the Board. Kendal is a passionate PASS volunteer and leader of the MagicPASS Chapter based in Orlando, FL. who has demonstrated thoughtful and persuasive arguments around PASS governance issues.
For those of you wondering how and why these two appointments were made to the PASS Board – read on!
PASS Board members that are elected to at-large positions serve two year terms. If they aren’t able to complete their term the bylaws state these seats are “filled, by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, for the unexpired term.” Prior to a June 2009 bylaw change these vacated seats with unexpired terms were filled by Presidential appointment.
The current process to fill vacated seats is simple and PASS Board Directors’ votes are publicly recorded. The Directors get to vote for the people who they feel will best serve the organization. It’s important to note that these appointments require a majority vote of the Board.
Board seats usually come available through resignation or a Board member moving to the Executive Committee. As of January 1st, Douglas McDowell moved to the Executive Vice-President of Finance role by Board election and Andy Warren resigned his seat. This means there were two Board seats to fill with terms expiring at the end of 2012.
While the President no longer appoints Directors, they do to put forward candidates. I did this in consultation with the Board in hopes of a smooth appointment process.
In this case, I focused on choosing the best individuals from among our membership to fill these slots. I based my decision on several factors: personal experience, whether the individuals stood for election, Nomination Committee rankings, and vote totals during the election. I also considered what they might be doing once on the Board. For example, we have an opening in the SQL Saturday portfolio that would be nice to fill without shuffling or doubling up. I also wanted to consider people from outside North America. Much of the growth for PASS over the next few years will be international and I wanted to see if we could find someone to help facilitate that growth.
I put forward James Rowland-Jones and Kendal Van Dyke as my recommended candidates. The Board discussed the appointment selections at length. We discussed a variety of potential candidates, including the two I put forward. We looked at several approaches for choosing candidates including appointing the two best people we knew, selecting the next highest vote getters in the recent election, choosing based on portfolio need and appointing based on geographic region. A portion of the discussion was placed under NDA in order to candidly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate and the Nominating Committee information. It didn’t seem appropriate to discuss individuals’ strengths and weaknesses in the public minutes– especially since some of those individuals may not have known they were even being considered. In the end the motion passed 11 to 1 to bring on James and Kendal.
I am confident that these individuals will serve PASS and its membership effectively. Our meeting minutes will be published in a week or two. Please feel free to drop me a line with any comments or feedback, or simply comment on this post.
For my first editorial as PASS President, I want to take a moment to thank all of you who voted in our Board elections in December and encourage you to get even more involved in your organization in this new year. It was awesome to see the excitement generated by a phenomenal slate of candidates and by wide-ranging community discussion about the biggest issues and opportunities facing our organization. I challenge all of us to translate that energy into creative solutions to help SQL Server professionals around the world connect, share, and learn. With your help, 2012 is going to be a great year for PASS!
One of the first tasks for the President each year is to assign Board members to portfolios, and I’m excited to announce this year’s portfolio leaders. The portfolios for members of the Executive Committee were determined when the Board elected them last June. Douglas McDowell will serve as Executive Vice President, Finance, and Thomas LaRock will serve as Vice President, Marketing. Rushabh Mehta moves to the role of Immediate Past President. These terms started Jan. 1 and run for 2 years.
Directors-At-Large are typically assigned a portfolio for a calendar year, although sometimes Board members will head the same portfolio for 2 years. This approach works best with the natural Board turnover and matching the desires of Board members with the needs of the organization.
This year, we have only one returning At-Large Director, Allen Kinsel, who is taking over the Chapters portfolio. Allen previously headed the Summit Program committee, and his experience leading a large volunteer team will be invaluable in the Chapters area.
Our three newly elected Board members – Adam Jorgensen, Denise McInerney, and Rob Farley – have also received their portfolio assignments. Adam will lead the Summit Program portfolio, putting his previous 2 years of experience on the Program Committee and service in two other portfolios to great use. Adam’s experience and combined technical and business skills will be central to the continued expansion of our Summit educational offerings.
Denise will take over the Virtual Chapters portfolio. Denise was instrumental in the creation and growth of the Women in Technology (WIT) Virtual Chapter and the growth of its leadership team, and I’m excited to bring her experience to all our Virtual Chapters.
And Rob will lead the 24 Hours of PASS portfolio, heading up our largest online events program and one of our greatest opportunities to reach more members. PASS has a tremendous opportunity to expand its offering of local-language events that can touch all parts of the globe. Rob’s drive and experience organizing events and volunteers will really shine in this portfolio.
Our last portfolio, the popular PASS SQLSaturday events program, will be filled when the Board appoints someone to fill one of two empty Board seats later this month.
I’m honored to be working with a Board that has more experience and depth than any I can remember. And I’m looking forward to this team and our army of volunteers accomplishing great things for PASS and the SQL Server community this year.
PASS is pleased to announce three new board members for the 2012/2013 term in what was a record-setting elections season. Adam Jorgensen of Pragmatic Works Consulting, Denise McInerney of Intuit, and Rob Farley of LobsterPot Solutions and a current International Advisor to the board were the top vote-getters in a competitive race for three open seats on the PASS Board of Directors.
The election proved that every vote counts, with only 68 votes separating the top three candidates and just 177 votes between third and fourth places:
1. Adam Jorgensen – 1,026
2. Denise McInerney – 990
3. Rob Farley – 958
4. Sri Sridharan – 781
5. Kendal Van Dyke – 762
6. Geoff Hiten – 526
A record 1,951 community members across 66 countries voted in the 2-week election, casting a total of 5,043 votes. That’s 867 more voters and 2,247 more votes than in 2010, and more than three times the number of voters who participated in 2009 (576). And for those who may think the election is decided in the first 2 days, 904 votes were cast in the first 2 days of voting and 832 in the last 2 days, with the candidate standings actually changing from the midpoint of the election to the final results.
Newly elected board members will officially begin serving their term on January 1, 2012. For more information about the candidates and the elections process, see the 2011 PASS Elections site.
Congratulations and thanks to all the candidates for an energetic and tightly fought race. And thanks to everyone who asked a question in the candidate forums, blogged and tweeted about the elections, and helped shape the future of PASS by voting.
As PASS continues to grow, it will need more and more great individuals to step up and lead. If you are interested in starting your own leadership journey, contact your local PASS Chapter or PASS HQ for opportunities to volunteer. After all, the 2012 elections will be here before you know it!
A week into campaigning and voting for three open seats on the PASS Board of Directors and PASS members are rocking the vote. It’s been great to see all the “I voted” messages on Twitter and the Elections Forums discussions on communications and transparency, PASS Summit locations, directors and pre-cons, and more. Thanks for getting involved!
Individual voting links have been emailed to all PASS members in good standing as of June 1, 2011. If you are eligible but did not receive a ballot, please contact PASS HQ.
Voting ends Dec. 20, so if you haven’t voted yet, there’s still time to learn more about the candidates and submit your choices. Visit the Candidate Campaign Space to learn more about the six candidates running for the 2-year Board terms:
- Adam Jorgensen
- Rob Farley
- Denise McInerney
- Geoff Hiten
- Kendal Van Dyke
- Sri Sridharan.
Even if you’re a more recent member of PASS, you too can have your say in this year’s elections. Go to the Candidate Forums to ask the candidates questions or simply have your say. Elections season is a great time for healthy debate on the future of PASS.
For more information about the elections, see the 2011 PASS Elections site. And watch the Dec. 28 Connector for elections results. Good luck to all the candidates, and happy voting!