Category: Elections


PASS Board Candidates Finalized, Voting Opens Dec. 6

The PASS Board of Directors has approved the Nomination Committee’s slate of candidates for the 2011 Board elections. Congratulations and good luck to the candidates:

  • Adam Jorgensen
  • Rob Farley
  • Denise McInerney
  • Geoff Hiten
  • Kendal Van Dyke
  • Sri Sridharan

Three Board seats are up for election for the 2012-2013 term. Voting and candidate campaigning will kick off Dec. 6. The Candidate Campaign space will go live the same day, letting you compare the candidates' qualifications, application answers, and campaign platforms. All members in good standing as of June 1 will receive an email containing their secure voting link, and ballots must be submitted by Dec. 20.

In the meantime:

  • Learn more about the responsibilities of the PASS Board and what makes an ideal Director at the Elections website.
  • Think about what you want to see in PASS’s future and begin the conversation with the candidates and fellow PASS members in the Elections forums.
  • Watch the Discussion page for new election blogs.
  • Follow and join the discussion on Twitter (#passvotes).

PASS is your organization – don’t miss this opportunity to help shape its future through the elections process. Your vote is your voice. Let your future leaders know what’s important to you – vote!


PASS Board Election Interviews Set to Begin

The PASS Board of Directors elections season is ramping up, with the following six applicants chosen to move on to the next stage of the process – interviews with the NomCom:

Rob Farley
Geoff Hiten
Adam Jorgensen
Denise McInerney
Sri Sridharan
Kendal Van Dyke

Over the next 2 weeks, the applicants will participate in interviews that dive deeper into the qualifications they listed on their application form and that will help the NomCom determine the slate of candidates to put forward for the upcoming election. Campaigning and voting will begin December 6 after the final slate of candidates is approved.

The PASS Board has three slots open for election for the 2012/2013 term and one mid-term appointment to be made by the Board President. For more information about the elections process, see the 2011 PASS Elections website. And if you have questions of your own for the applicants or the NomCom, head to the Election Forums and twitter (#passvotes).

Thank you and good luck to all the applicants, and get ready to rock the vote!

PASS Board Applications Now Open!

Vision? Passion? Drive? Sounds like you’re ready for the PASS Board of Directors. Applications for the 2011 Board elections are now open, along with the interactive elections forums for community members to have their say... or start their campaigns.

The PASS Board has three seats up for election for the 2012/2013 term. A fourth seat – being vacated mid-term by Douglas McDowell, who is taking on the role of Executive Vice President, Finance – will be appointed for a 1-year term by the Board president, according to the PASS bylaws.

You can download the PASS Board application form at the PASS 2011 Elections site, and all applications must be submitted to PASS HQ no later than Oct. 19. To qualify as a candidate, at a minimum you must have direct volunteer experience with PASS, such as serving on a committee or as a Regional Mentor or Chapter leader, leading a SQLSaturday or other event, or volunteering in another capacity. Candidates must also currently work with SQL Server to some degree. For more about candidate requirements and to see what characteristics and abilities would make an ideal Board candidate, see the Candidates page.

Make sure you take advantage of the elections forums to ask about the elections process, get information about running for the Board, pose questions to the candidates, and discuss platforms and issues with fellow community members. Just log in with your PASS user information and post away! The PASS HQ team will also be providing links to community blog posts on the Discussion page to keep you up-to-date with all the elections news and commentary.

Good luck to everyone considering applying for this important role to help lead the world’s largest association dedicated to serving the SQL Server community. Apply today!

Election Forums Open Oct. 1

Grab your soap boxes and questions - the PASS Board of Directors election season kicks off tomorrow with the opening of the Election Forums.

The PASS Board has three seats up for election for the 2012/2013 term. A fourth seat – being vacated mid-term by Douglas McDowell, who will take on the role of Executive Vice President, Finance – will be appointed for a 1-year term by the Board president, according to the PASS Bylaws. You can learn more about your Board of Directors here.

The Elections Forums provide a great opportunity for members of the PASS Community to ask about the elections process, get information about running for the Board, pose questions to the candidates, and discuss platforms and issues with the community.  To participate, all you have to do is log in with your PASS user information and post away! We will also be providing links to community blog posts about the elections on the Discussion page to keep you up-to-date with all the news and commentary.

And of course, if you are interested in running for the PASS Board, keep in mind that applications open in just 6 days on Wednesday, Oct. 5, and must be submitted to PASS HQ by Oct. 19. You can start reviewing the PASS 2011 Elections site today for basic candidate qualifications and a full elections time line.

With your participation, it’s going to be an exciting, valuable elections season – let the  conversations begin!

PASS Board Applications Open October 5

Interested in joining the PASS Board of Directors? Your chance is just around the corner.

The Board of Directors is the executive body of PASS, setting the organization's vision and direction to ensure that PASS achieves its mission to help community members connect, share, and learn. You can find information about the current Board here.  

This year, the PASS Board will have four open seats, three of which will be up for election. The fourth seat - being vacated mid-term by Douglas McDowell, who will take on the role of Executive Vice President, Finance – will be appointed by the Board president, according to the PASS bylaws.

Applications open Wednesday, October 5, and are due two weeks later, by October 19. To qualify as a candidate, at a minimum you must have direct volunteer experience with PASS - for example, by serving on a committee or as a Regional Mentor or Chapter leader, leading a SQLSaturday or other event, or volunteering in another capacity. Candidates must also currently work with SQL Server to some degree. 

For more about candidate requirements or the elections process, please see the PASS Elections 2011 website and feel free to contact PASS HQ Governance with any questions. Good luck to everyone who’s considering running for the Board, and get ready to rock the vote!

Call for NomCom Applications Kicks off Elections Season

The PASS 2011 elections season is officially upon us with today’s opening of the call for Nomination Committee (NomCom) applications.

The NomCom is at the heart of the elections process, ensuring that each applicant for the four open Board of Director seats in this year’s general election possesses the characteristics and attributes necessary to lead the world’s largest independent, user-led organization for SQL Server professionals. This year, the PASS community will select three of the NomCom members, who will join me 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 Leader, Virtual Chapter Leader, Program Committee member, or speaker (at PASS Summit, PASS SQLRally, SQLSaturday, or 24 Hours of PASS) or participating in other volunteer capacities.

If you meet the eligibility requirements and would like to serve on the NomCom, I encourage you to submit an application by August 19. NomCom voting will run from August 24 to September 9, with all PASS members as of June 1, 2011, eligible to vote. The top three vote-getters will be elected to the NomCom and immediately get down to the business of managing this year’s general election process.

Note that the NomCom is an essential part of the PASS Board of Directors 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 a lengthy applicant interview process currently set to start in late November or early December.

Serving on the NomCom, however, is also an extremely satisfying experience and one of the most important ways you can give back to the PASS community. If you’re interested in running for the NomCom or know someone who would make an ideal candidate, please review the details on the PASS Elections website, which includes a complete timeline for this year’s elections process. And make sure to follow and join in the discussion on twitter using the #passvotes hashtag.

Thanks for getting involved!
--Wayne Snyder



Growing Our Next Generation of Leaders

As I think about where we stand as a profession and as an organization I think we’re at a place where our various events are doing a great job of growing technical thought leaders. We’ve had an explosion in the number of active speakers in the last few years, and it’s having a real impact on our members. I believe that trend will continue and will have a tremendous impact on our profession over the next five to ten years.

As I think about growing leaders I don’t think we’re doing as good a job, and that is natural. We’ve been doing the nuts and bolts work of reaching our members and giving them reasons to meet and collaborate, the next step is to formalize and deepen our efforts to deliberately grow leaders. It’s not that we don’t have leaders, we do. More than 200 leaders head up PASS chapters, 30 or so leaders drive a SQLSaturday each year, and we have a dozen or so leaders on the Board of Directors. They all put in of effort and together make all the good stuff happen.

I don’t think that’s enough leaders for our profession or even for PASS, and I don’t think we’re doing nearly enough to train them, to find the next generation, or  to build a system that makes becoming a leader as cool as being a speaker.
So what do we need to do? I’ve got a few ideas:

•    Set term limits for chapter leaders, make sure that the next generation of leaders has a chance to get in the game
•    Move chapter leaders up to lead committees that report to the Board
•    Provide training for those that want to become leaders before they move up.

Leadership goes far beyond just positions with PASS. We can and should be growing our members to move up to lead roles within their organizations. Start thinking about what we can do to build an eco-system of leads as rich as the one we have for speakers and send us your ideas.

PASS Board Elects New Officers

The PASS Board of Directors held its 2012 Officer Elections last week, electing the following Officers to 2-year terms that begin on January 1, 2012:

President: Bill Graziano
Executive Vice President, Finance: Douglas McDowell
Vice President, Marketing: Thomas LaRock

Congratulations to all three new Officers.

The new PASS bylaws placed into effect last year helped guide this new election process, allowing any PASS Board member to stand for the Executive Vice President and Vice President, Marketing roles. The role of President must be filled by a Board member who has previously served one term as a PASS Board Officer.

Read on for more about the new PASS Board 2012 Officers:

President: Bill Graziano

Bill Graziano currently serves as the PASS Executive Vice President and previously held the Vice President, Marketing role. With 20 years of database experience under his belt, Bill co-founded and has upheld his SQL Server MVP designation since 2004. Based in Kansas, Bill is a partner in scaleSQL Consulting, which specializes in SQL Server database administration and application development.

Executive Vice President: Douglas McDowell
Douglas McDowell is CEO, North America, for SolidQ. He is a SQL Server MVP and currently serves on the PASS Board of Directors. He is an author and contributing editor for SQL Server Magazine. Douglas holds an MBA, a Masters of Information Technology, and a degree in Culinary Arts. Douglas is a passionate speaker about the value of Business Intelligence.

Director: Thomas LaRock
Thomas LaRock is currently a Senior DBA for Confio Software. He holds a Masters degree in Mathematics and is a member of the Usability Professional’s Association. A seasoned IT professional, Thomas currently serves on the PASS Board of Directors and is a SQL Server MVP. Thomas can also be found blogging at and is the author of DBA Survivor: Become a Rock Star DBA.

PASS: The Legal Stuff

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

I wanted to give a little background on the legal status of PASS.  The Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) is an American corporation chartered in the state of Illinois.  In America a corporation has to be chartered in a particular state.  It has to abide by the laws of that state and potentially pay taxes to that state.  Our bylaws and actions have to comply with Illinois state law and United States law.  We maintain a mailing address in Chicago, Illinois but our headquarters is currently in Vancouver, Canada.

We have roughly a dozen people that work in our Vancouver headquarters and 4-5 more that work remotely on various projects.  These aren’t employees of PASS.  They are employed by a management company that we hire to run the day to day operations of the organization.  I’ll have more on this arrangement in a future post.

PASS is a non-profit corporation.  The term non-profit and not-for-profit are used interchangeably.  In a for-profit corporation (or LLC) there are owners that are entitled to the profits of a company.  In a non-profit there are no owners.  As a non-profit, all the money earned by the organization must be retained or spent.  There is no money that flows out to shareholders, owners or the board of directors.  Any money not spent in furtherance of our mission is retained as financial reserves.

Many non-profits apply for tax exempt status.  Being tax exempt means that an organization doesn’t pay taxes on its profits.  There are a variety of laws governing who can be tax exempt in the United States.  There are many professional associations that are tax exempt however PASS isn’t tax exempt.  Because our mission revolves around the software of a single company we aren’t eligible for tax exempt status.

PASS was founded in the late 1990’s by Microsoft and Platinum Technologies.  Platinum was later purchased by Computer Associates. As the founding partners Microsoft and CA each have two seats on the Board of Directors.  The other six directors and three officers are elected as specified in our bylaws.

As a non-profit, our bylaws layout our governing practices.  They must conform to Illinois and United States law.  These bylaws specify that PASS is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership with two members each from Microsoft and CA.  You can find our bylaws as well as a proposed update to them on the governance page of the PASS web site.

The last point that I’d like to make is that PASS is completely self-funded.  All of our $4 million in revenue comes from conference registrations, sponsorships and advertising.  We don’t receive any money from anyone outside those channels.  While we work closely with Microsoft we are independent of them and only derive a very small percentage of our revenue from them.

PASS Resources Revealed

[cross-posted from Allen Kinsel's blog at]

What has PASS been up to?

Ever find yourself with tons of extra time just looking for something to dig through?

yeah, me neither… But, I do make it a point to go out and read through lots of PASS documents regularly.  Sure, Some of those documents are not for public consumption but, a large portion of them are available for any PASS Member to view.  Almost all of them will require you to be logged in to the PASS site.

A good starting point is the PASS Governance Page <- lots of good stuff hides on this page, Im working on getting this page removed from behind the login wall

PASS BOD Meeting Minutes are posted on the left hand side

The Feb 2011 Minutes are here

  • Good discussions in here about Globalization of PASS, especially revolving around events

The Jan 2011 Minutes are here

  • This was an in-person meeting and there is a literal ton of info in here.  Highlights are  globalization, Summit 2011 Planning, Summit 2010 Post mortem, 5 Year plans, Bylaw Changes

PASS Monthly Reports are found in the middle on the left

These are gems that reveal the day to day inner workings of the BOD and HQ

The Feb report should be posted in the next day or 2

The Jan report however, is here

  • In here You’ll find things about Chapters, IT Projects, Marketing initiatives, ERC info, Sponsorship Sales, Summit Program, SQLRally, Gloablization, etc

The Dec report is here

  • This one contains things like Chapter info, HQ Finance, IT Projects, Marketing, Summit, Rally, 24hop, SQL Saturday,

The budget for PASS is included at the bottom of the governance page

2011 Budget is here

  • Wanna know where the money is supposed to be coming from, and where its supposed to be going?  this is where to look.
  • Side note: Im going to check into where the 2010 audited financials are, they should be available by now.

The SQL Rally has posted all of the planning meeting notes posted here

  • There is tons of good stuff in here, its especially interesting to me to watch the minutes back and forth dealing with very familiar problems as what I’ve seen in the Summit program group.
  • Wanna know how many attendees are registered so far for the Rally? yup its in there. Wanna know how many are in Precons?  yup its in there too

We (PASS Program) started posting meeting minutes near the lower left side of this page

  • I have written about these minutes before
  • Good information in here about many new changes that are being considered by the Program Committee
  • Essentially It says that I’m not getting nearly enough done for the program committee lately.  I need to work on that!


  • Im including this here because lost of good stuff gets posted here but, for me I can only find it since its in my RSS Reader.

In Summary, PASS releases a ton of information about what its doing.  The problem with this is two-fold, one its a ton of information.  Two, the information is spread out all over the place and is often difficult to find on the site using conventional browsing methods so I hope this helps