Although I (Thomas La Rock) have been on the PASS Board of Directors since January, for some reason I have not blogged much about the experience to date. No, I do not know why, but I hope to change that, starting now. In addition to having some type of regular posting giving updates on some of the behind the scenes activities, I want to start including some interviews with members of the Board and PASS HQ.
And…for my first act…we have the wonderful Blythe Morrow. Blythe works for Christianson & Company Event Management Ltd. in Vancouver, BC. C&C is the management company that helps to run PASS, and is what is meant whenever you hear someone say “PASS HQ”. I thought it would be great for people to understand more about all the work that happens behind the scenes every day, and Blythe was happy to participate in an email exchange that I could post in an interview style.
SB: You work for PASS HQ in Vancouver, what is your role there?
BM: My current title is PASS Community Coordinator, I would like to tell you about a day in the life for me (on a Monday). I get into the office a little bit before 9:00am PST. Keep in mind that it’s lunch time on the East Coast, so my mailbox is normally teeming with messages from chapter leaders who are requesting eblasts or who are telling me great events they are putting on in their area. I reply to any chapter requests, process all chapter agreements and then have my lunch while I read the many SQL Community blogs I follow.
In the afternoon I touch base with any committees we have developing resources for the community, whether it be Speaker Resources, Chapter Kits, Online Maintenance, or SIG Live Meeting support. I write processes, help Board members, and connect the right people together within our community.
Mondays are my favourite days because the entire C&C team makes time to sit together and give updates on all of the aspects of PASS. I hear about the Summit logistics from Judy and Kate, Advertising from Craig, Program from Marcella, IT from David, and Marketing from Sanj.
SB: Wow, that is a lot of activity, especially for a Monday. How many people are involved in working for PASS HQ from C&C?
BM: That is definitely an interesting question. We have 10 full time individuals fully committed to the PASS organization with additional consultants who fill the management requirements throughout the year for Marketing, Sponsor & Expo Sales, Registration and on-site Summit Operations – the consultant roles are fully supported from an operational aspect by our fulltime employees - it is this grouping that makes up the team called PASS HQ.
SB: How long have you been with C&C?
BM: It will be my one year anniversary on July 21st.
SB: What do you like most about working with the PASS Community?
BM: I really like the often virtual aspect to this community. The longer I work in the field, the more I realize that this community makes friends regardless of geographic location. We Tweet, we Facebook, we connect on Linkedin, we read and comment on blogs, and join webinars; then we all come together once a year at the Summit and get that very precious face time. It’s a beautiful thing.
SB: Have you ever worked with a similar community before, in either size or in terms of technical focus?
BM: Before I came to PASS I did work in Community Relations for a large retail outlet. I wouldn’t say they were the same size, but they were expanding at a very fast rate similar to PASS. I am happy to be working in Community Relations for a technical community. It definitely seems much more suited to me, and allows me to keep my finger on the pulse of a larger industry.
SB: Where do you think PASS needs the most help?
BM: This is a tough question. I would like us to be a little bit more creative in reaching and professionally developing our members. Over the summer, PASS members should see some great speaker developer resources and technical articles. I think that is a step in the right direction, and PASS’ global community will benefit from that.
SB: If someone reading this wanted to get started helping out with PASS, what would be their first step? Should we tell them to contact you?
BM: Yes! All volunteer and chapter requests come through me. Depending on what you would like to do (start a Special Interest Group, Affiliate your User Group as a chapter, volunteer on a Committee) the process might be different, but I can help you every step of the way.
If you want to know more about PASS in general, you can visit the website at http://sqlpass.org.