Category: PASS General

It’s a Team Sport: PASS Board Year 2, Q3

Cross-posted from my blog

October 14, 2013 – As I type this, I’m on an airplane en route to my 12th PASS Summit. It’s been a very busy 3.5 months since my last post on my work as a Board member. Nearing the end of my 2-year term, I am struck by how much has happened, and yet how fast the time has gone.

But I’ll save the retrospective post for next time and today focus on what happened in Q3. In the last three months, we made progress on several fronts, thanks to the contributions of many volunteers and HQ staff members. They deserve our appreciation for their dedication to delivering for the membership week after week.

Virtual Chapters
The Virtual Chapters continue to provide many PASS members with valuable free training. Between July and September of 2013, VCs hosted over 50 webinars with a total of 4300 attendees.

This quarter also saw the launch of the Security and Global Russian VCs. Both are off to a strong start, and I welcome these additions to the Virtual Chapter portfolio.

At the beginning of 2012, we had 14 Virtual Chapters. Today we have 22. This growth has been exciting to see. It has also created a need to have more volunteers help manage the work of the VCs year-round. We have renewed focus on having Virtual Chapter Mentors work with the VC Leaders and other volunteers. I am grateful to volunteers Julie Koesmarno, Thomas LeBlanc, and Marcus Bittencourt, who join original VC Mentor Steve Simon on this team.Thank you for stepping up to help.

Many improvements to the VC websites have been rolling out over the past few weeks. Our marketing and IT teams have been busy working a new look and feel, features, and a logo for each VC. They have given the VCs a fresh, professional look consistent with the rest of the PASS branding, and all VCs now have a logo that connects to PASS and the particular focus of the chapter.

24 Hours of PASS
The Summit Preview edition  of 24HOP was held on July 31 and by all accounts was a success. Our first use of the GoToWebinar platform for this event went extremely well. Thanks to our speakers, moderators, and sponsors for making this event possible. Special thanks to HQ staffers Vicki Van Damme and Jane Duffy for a smoothly run event.

Coming up: The 24HOP Portuguese Edition will be held November 13-14, followed December 12-13 by the Spanish Edition. Thanks to the Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking community volunteers who are organizing these events.

July Board Meeting
The Board met July 18-19 in Kansas City. The first order of business was the election of the Executive Committee who will take office January 1. I was elected Vice President of Marketing and will join incoming President Thomas LaRock, incoming Executive Vice President of Finance Adam Jorgensen ,and Immediate Past President Bill Graziano on the ExeCo. I am honored that my fellow Board members elected me to this position and look forward to serving the organization in this role.

Visit to PASS HQ
In late September, I traveled to Vancouver for my first visit to PASS HQ, where I joined Tom LaRock and Adam Jorgensen to make plans for 2014. Our visit was just a few weeks before PASS Summit and coincided with the Board election, and the office was humming with activity. I saw first-hand the enthusiasm and dedication of everyone there. In each interaction I observed a focus on what is best for PASS and our members. Our partners at HQ are key to the organization’s success. This week at PASS Summit is a great opportunity for all of us to remember that, and say “thanks.”

Next Up
PASS Summit—of course! I’ll be around all week and look forward to connecting with many of our members over meals, at the Community Zone, and between sessions.

In the evenings, you can find me at the Welcome Reception, Exhibitor’s Reception, and Community Appreciation Party. And I will be at the Board Q&A session  Friday at 12:45pm.

Transitions
The newly elected ExeCo and Board members take office January 1, and the Virtual Chapter portfolio is transitioning to a new director. I’m thrilled that Jen Stirrup will be taking over. Jen has experience as a volunteer and co-leader of the Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter and was a key contributor to the BI VC's expansion to serving our members in the EMEA region. I’ll be working closely with Jen over the next couple of months to ensure a smooth transition.
 

Announcing PASS Board Portfolios for 2014

October 11, 2013 – With the PASS Board of Directors elections completed and thousands of community members and volunteers gathering at PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte next week, it’s time to meet your Board portfolio leaders for the coming year. It’s been a pleasure, as one of my first tasks as incoming PASS President, to match up Directors with the project portfolios where they can put their skills, experience, passions, and energy to best use.

Here are the portfolios for 2014:

  • James Rowland-Jones led our Global Growth portfolio over the past year, helping us gather feedback and lay the groundwork for better supporting the global community, including converting two seats on the PASS Board to regional seats. JRJ will remain with Global Growth and also lead Special Projects.
  • Sri Sridharan began his term on the Board last year with the reinstated Volunteers portfolio and will continue the important tasks of growing PASS’s volunteer pool, better organizing volunteer efforts, and recognizing volunteers’ valuable contributions.
  • Wendy Pastrick will continue leading our Global Chapters portfolio, working to grow and support local user groups with a great team of Community Evangelists and Chapter Leaders and Regional Mentors throughout the world.
  • Amy Lewis, newly elected to the Board, will begin her term heading up the Programs portfolio. Working with Director Adam Jorgensen, Amy has served as co-manager of PASS Programs for 2 years, helping improve processes and lead the team that selects sessions for PASS Summit and the PASS Business Analytics Conference.
  • Jen Stirrup, elected to the new EMEA regional seat on the Board, will put her experience as PASS BI Virtual Chapter co-leader to valuable use in guiding the Virtual Chapters portfolio.
  • Tim Ford, elected to the new US/Canada regional seat, will take over the SQLSaturday portfolio. A passionate SQLSaturday supporter, Tim organized Kalamazoo, MI’s first SQLSaturday. Over 80 SQLSaturdays were held throughout the world in FY2013, and we’re expecting continued growth of these popular free, 1-day training events as we focus on meeting the needs of even more data professionals around the globe.

The 2014 PASS Board also includes the PASS Executive Committee – consisting of myself; Executive VP, Finance, Adam Jorgensen; VP, Marketing, Denise McInerney; and Past President Bill Graziano – and Founding Partner Board members from CA and Microsoft.

The transition to new assignments is underway, and new portfolio leaders will be meeting with community leaders and volunteers at Summit to get a jump-start on their projects. Make sure you say “Hi” at Summit, join us at the Board Q&A on Friday, Oct. 18, and volunteer to pitch in on your favorite projects. We can’t wait to get down to business!
– Thomas LaRock


 

PASS Summit 2013: An Anti-Harrassment Zone

October 4, 2013 – The PASS Anti-Harassment Policy (AHP), adopted in 2012, continues to be in effect this year at PASS Summit 2013, helping ensure that all attendees feel welcome and safe at the conference.

One of the cornerstones of PASS is our sense of community, and the AHP furthers our goal of inclusion, standing behind the right of all who come to our event to experience a harassment-free Summit.

PASS is a leader among technical organizations for its promotion and support of women. Our AHP further demonstrates our leadership in this area.

Other technical conferences have had incidents of harassment and inappropriate behavior. Most of these did not have a policy in place prior to having a problem. In addition to making all attendees aware of our policy and what is appropriate behavior at Summit and other events, having the AHP means PASS will be prepared should there be an incident.

Alleged violations of the AHP should be reported to any member of the conference staff, who will then contact the Duty Officer, a designated member of the staff responsible for taking a full report. The Duty Officer will notify the Anti-Harassment Review Committee (AHRC) of the complaint.

The AHRC is the body authorized by the PASS Board of Directors to take action in response to a violation of the AHP. The process document provides guidelines for how the AHRC will conduct its inquiries.

PASS members can be confident that all parties will be treated fairly and with sensitivity. All AHRC activities will be conducted with the utmost discretion.

Having an anti-harassment policy demonstrates our commitment to providing a professional, positive atmosphere at Summit. Everyone at Summit is expected to follow the policy. We ask that any attendee who experiences or witnesses harassment contact a member of staff so that any issues can be addressed.

PASS Elections Follow-Up

October 3, 2013 – PASS is aware of the issue around duplicate ballots in the most recent election. After voting closed, PASS reviewed and analyzed all submitted ballots, and we confidently stand behind the final election result. We are also actively discussing ways we can improve the process prior to the next election cycle. Please bring your questions and ideas to the Board Q&A on Friday, Oct. 18, at PASS Summit. If you can’t attend, feel free to submit your questions the week of Summit (Oct. 15-18) via Twitter using #passvotes or email us at AskBoD@sqlpass.org.
 

PASS Board of Directors Applications

By Erin Stellato
Cross-posted from Erin's The SQL Sequel blog

August 8, 2013 – Yesterday, August 7, was the last day to submit applications for the PASS Board of Directors election. I have the honor of serving on the Nomination Committee this year, and while there is very little I can disclose, I do want to take a moment to extend a heartfelt thank you to those that submitted an application for a Board of Directors position.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the application, I know it can be daunting.

Thank you for taking the time to think through what you want to see happen as a Board member. Whether you are elected or not, I hope that you will still endeavor to make those things happen.

Thank you for talking to your friends and colleagues and asking them to be references for you (and thank you to those that agreed to do so).

And thank you, in advance, for committing additional time to meet with the NomCom to share your story and your goals.

When you run for any office, or any board, in any arena, you take a risk. You become vulnerable, and you put your own name out there for discussion. That takes courage, and I applaud all of you for stepping forward and taking a risk so that you may serve the SQL Server community as a member of the PASS Board. I wish all of you the best, and I am confident that three very qualified individuals will fill the Board positions this year. Good luck!
 

Our Vision for PASS

by Thomas LaRock

July 26, 2013 – Last week’s Executive Committee election saw myself (Thomas LaRock), Adam Jorgensen, and Denise McInerney join the 2014 PASS ExecCo team as President, Executive Vice President Finance, and Vice President Marketing, respectively. Along with Bill Graziano as Immediate Past President, we will serve the community for 2 years beginning January 1, 2014.

As part of the ExecCo elections process, we were asked to outline and discuss our vision for PASS for the next 2 years and beyond. When the elections were over we compared notes on the handful of items we feel are most important. The ones we believe deserve the most attention include:

  • Establishing PASS as the community leader for Microsoft data technologies. The Business Analytics Conference was a great first touch into the BA/BI/IT-Pro markets. We plan to continue our efforts to serve this new audience with BA-related Virtual Chapters, the onboarding of new chapters, and a confirmed second Business Analytics Conference in the Silicon Valley next May. We’re proud of our efforts over the last 10 years to help the SQL Server community connect, share, and learn, and we’re looking forward to broadening our reach to all database professionals.
  • Expanding our engagement and activity in regions outside the US. The EMEA region continues to grow within PASS, and everyone is excited about the EMEA Board of Directors seat up for election in September. More emphasis on LATAM in the coming year will be necessary to build an equally strong community in that region for eventual representation on the PASS Board. We’re also continuing our APAC efforts, although establishing more engagement and activity will require a longer time frame for success. The Global Growth Board portfolio is likely to dissolve as international effort and activity continue to permeate all Board portfolios.
  • Establishing strategic relationships with our partners. We all recognize the need to institute a simplified engagement model for vendor participation within the PASS community. Merging our sponsorship and marketing efforts into one unified team is the first step to achieving this vision.

Thoughtful comments and questions in a recent blog post by Kevin Kline spurred this post. Kevin mentions two additional initiatives he’d like to see the new ExecCo focus on: a better volunteer structure and process and improved utilization of social media.

A PASS Volunteers portfolio was established at the start of the year, headed by PASS Board Director Sri Sridharan. Efforts are underway to better help PASS identify active volunteers and to provide a mechanism for PASS HQ and community leaders to publish volunteer opportunities. Look for updates on this project during PASS Summit 2013.

Kevin’s comments about PASS’s use of social media have not gone unnoticed, and the marketing team is looking at ways to take better advantage of all social media opportunities. You can expect to see more of PASS through various social media channels over the next 2 years.

So what are your thoughts about the direction we’re working on for PASS? Have feedback or suggestions? Drop the 2014 ExecCo Elect a note with your comments or post a response below.

PASS Board Elects New Executive Committee

July 18, 2013 – The PASS Board of Directors elected a new Executive Committee today at the in-person Board meeting in Kansas City. The following officers were elected to a 2-year term that begins on January 1, 2014. Congratulations to:

  • President: Thomas LaRock
  • Executive Vice President, Finance: Adam Jorgensen
  • Vice President, Marketing: Denise McInerney

Current PASS President Bill Graziano will remain on the ExecCo as Immediate Past President.

According to the PASS bylaws, any PASS Board member can 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.

A reminder that applications for three seats on the PASS Board open next week – watch for the announcement on July 24. If you have a passion for the PASS community and desire to serve our members, we encourage you to apply. To learn more about why you should run for the PASS Board, check out these sound bites from current and former directors.

In the meantime, read on for more about the new ExecCo members:

President: Thomas LaRock
Thomas LaRock is a seasoned IT professional with over a decade of technical and management experience. Currently serving as a Technical Evangelist for Confio Software, he has progressed through several roles in his career, including programmer, analyst, and DBA. A PASS member for 10 years, Thomas has been on the PASS Board of Directors since 2009, serving as VP, Marketing, for the past 2 years. Thomas holds a MS degree in Mathematics from Washington State University and is a SQL Server MCM, a SQL Server MVP, a Microsoft Certified Trainer, and a VMWare vExpert. He can be found blogging at http://thomaslarock.com and is the author of DBA Survivor: Become a Rock Star DBA (http://dbasurvivor.com).

Executive Vice President, Finance: Adam Jorgensen
After 8 years of service to PASS, Adam Jorgensen joined the PASS Board in 2012. Adam is a SQL Server MVP and the President of Pragmatic Works consulting. He has been leading  innovative SQL Server and Business Intelligence organizations for over a decade, and his passion is finding new and creative avenues for clients and the community to embrace innovation and lower barriers to implementation. Adam holds MBAs in Finance and strategy, and he has authored a variety of articles and books on SQL Server, SharePoint, and analytics. Adam’s previous PASS service includes serving as a PASS Regional Mentor, a member of the Regional Mentor Committee, and co-chair of the PASS BI Virtual Chapter. Adam blogs regularly at adamjorgensen.com. You can follow him on twitter at @AJBigData.

Vice President, Marketing: Denise McInerney
Denise McInerney, a DBA at Intuit and winner of the 2007 PASSion Award, was elected to the PASS Board in 2012 after years as an active PASS Volunteer. She served on the PASS Program Committee for 4 years, including 1 year as Committee Manager, and was chair or co-chair of the Women in Technology (WIT) Virtual Chapter for 5 years. She's also a frequent speaker at Chapter meetings, PASS SQLSaturdays, and PASS Summit. Denise began as a SQL Server DBA in 1998, working at several startups and as an independent consultant. Denise joined Intuit in 2004 where she currently works as a data analyst. She graduated from Boston University with a BA in Political Science. You can find Denise blogging at select*from denisemc.views.
 

Chapters, Chapters Everywhere!

By Wendy Pastrick

June 11, 2013 – PASS is growing every day across the globe. Since the first of the year, we have welcomed 18 physical chapters across Asia, Africa, Europe, and South and North America, bringing us to 306 total PASS Chapters. Local groups allowing SQL Server professionals and enthusiasts to meet face-to-face and talk about their favorite technology builds our community and makes each of us a better professional. When was the last time you attended your local chapter meeting? If you aren’t sure when it meets, find your chapter on the PASS website and check out its schedule.

If there isn’t a Chapter in your area, PASS has all the tools you need to start one. With the help of online tools - plus the expertise of our amazing Community Evangelists, Karla Landrum and Niko Neugebauer -  setting up a group and getting the word out for your first meeting should be a smooth process. You can reach out to Karla and Niko for all the details. Let’s continue the growth of our community and provide local networking in your city.

One of the things Chapters routinely need are people who will stand up in a room of their peers and share their knowledge. It doesn’t matter what your passion is, as long as it can teach at least one person one new thing, your willingness to share it will be appreciated. I hope that anyone who has attended one or two meetings can be encouraged to sign up with their Chapter Leader to speak at the next event!

You don’t have to be an MVP, or even someone with a special title at work. All you need is the desire to share with the community. Here are some questions to get you thinking about topics you could present:

•    Do you have a favorite feature, such as log shipping or Service Broker? Many people have very little knowledge in these areas and would welcome a short demonstration or case study about how to use them.
•    What kind of configurations do you use when you install your server? How about database settings that become part of the standard for your organization? Share them with your colleagues!
•    Have you solved a tricky problem? Describe it to the room, and let them know how you went about solving it. Your experience could benefit others.

Remember, keep up the great work and let people know how your local Chapter has helped you. Then, give back a little and volunteer to help your Chapter Leader or SQLSaturday event team, or sign up as a speaker! I’m looking forward to meeting all the Chapter Leaders, Regional Mentors, and community at large at PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte in just a few months.

It’s been a big year already, and I’m sure more great things are coming soon!
 

NomCom Applications Open June 12

May 28, 2013 – With the election season for the PASS Board of Directors fast approaching, there will be three seats up for grabs in September. These seats will represent US/Canada, EMEA, and one open seat. As such, the Nomination Committee (NomCom) will reflect the composition of the 2013 Board elections. The NomCom will be composed of five members and chaired by Immediate Past President, Rushabh Mehta. One of these positions will be filled by a member of the Board of Directors, and the final three members of the NomCom will be elected by the PASS community. 

Being a member of the NomCom is an exciting opportunity. Members of the NomCom get a behind-the-scene experience with the Board of Directors election process, using their knowledge and previous volunteer experience with PASS to review applications for candidacy of the Board according to process and criteria outlined by the Board of Directors. Once complete, the NomCom then presents a list of recommended candidates to the Board of Directors, which then approves the final slate.

Think you might be up for the job? The NomCom election process starts with an application, opening June 12 and closing June 19. Stay in the know and watch the next issue of the Connector for application information.


 

Free Training at Your Fingertips

May 13, 2013 – You’ve probably tapped into the gold mine of session recordings available to PASS members from events such as PASS Summit, PASS SQLRally, and 24 Hours of PASS. But did you know you also have access to hundreds of hours of free SQL Server training via PASS Virtual Chapter archives?

From the PASS Virtual Chapters page, simply click on the Virtual Chapter you’re interested in, and check out the group’s Archived Presentations page. If you miss a session or want to review a favorite, most VCs have recordings available for on-demand replay within a week of the live presentation.

To receive notifications of upcoming webcasts from the VCs of your choice, just click “Register to Join” for the VCs you want to hear from. You’ll be in good company, with more than 27,000 VC members from across 100+ countries taking advantage of the free training right at their fingertips.