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PASS Mission Statement
Last Post 30 Sep 2013 07:23 AM by Richard Douglas. 4 Replies.
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Thomas LaRock
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24 Sep 2013 08:01 AM  
I'd like to hear thoughts about the new PASS Mission statement and how each candidate expects to be able to contribute to the PASS mission during the next two years.
Amy Lewis
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25 Sep 2013 02:01 PM  
Hi Tom,

The new PASS mission statement is so encouraging to see. The PASS DW/BI Virtual chapter has been leading some of these same efforts the past 3-4 years, in particular the mission to "Expand our engagement and activity in regions outside the US".

How would I as a PASS BOD member contribute to the new PASS Mission?

Mission: Expanding our engagement and activity in regions outside the US
My Contribution and Objective:

1. Strengthen the Virtual Chapters to be more global reaching
A Virtual Chapter (VC) is able to reach many more professionals than a Summit, a SQLSaturday, or a local chapter. To help the VCs reach more professionals across the globe, I would work to strengthen the marketing of the events through various channels. I would also work with the VC leaders to grow their volunteer teams to include volunteers and leaders from other geographical regions. These leaders can then reach out to SQL Server professionals in their communities to connect, share, and learn with others in their field. This includes also reaching out to speakers in various global areas. The PASS DW/BI VC has shown this to be a huge success, by hosting sessions with speakers from EMAC, Brazil, and the US/CA.

Also, for those areas where the VCs can not reach, I would drive more partnership with universities or technology based schools in the area.

2. Work with IT to enable search capabilities for sessions across topics, discipline, and languages.
Under Denise's leadership, we have seen tremendous growth in our VCs, including many regional VCs (Russia, China, etc). The main element missing is the ability to search across all VC's, including regional, for topics that pertain to an individual. Example, SSIS topics span multiple VCs. By working with PASS IT and the community, I believe we can take the VCs to the next level with cabability and also promote sessions globally.

3. Partner with global STEM and WIT programs.
We have a fantastic WIT program. I would encourage an expansion of this program into the global STEM program and also as an outreach to high school girls' technology programs.


Mission: Establishing PASS as the community leader for Microsoft data technologies. and also Establishing strategic relationships with our partners

My Contribution and Objective:

1. Strengthen the BAC and Summit program selection process
I have had the honor of being a Program Manager for PASS Summit the past 2 years, as well as for the inaugural BA Conference. The program selection process has evolved into a structured and repeatable process. It would be my goal to continue to see this process evolve to be more fluid during the scheduling phases, as well as in the selection phase. To accomplish this, I would work closely with PASS HQ and IT to enhance the software and reports being used to be more aligned with the process flow and assist more in the scheduling aspects. This would benefit PASS by having a process and supporting software that can be leveraged by any size or type of conference, including SQLSaturday, SQLRally, BA Conference, and Summit.

2. Pilot a partnership program with our "sister and brother" Microsoft communities, including Excel, BAC, .NET, Sharepoint.This partnership can include more "super Saturday" models with a local .NET and SQL community event or a SQL, Sharepoint event, or, lets get crazy and say all three. :-) This will help expose PASS into more communities in a particular region.

3. Partner with Universities and new partners in the BAC arena.
I, along with PASS BA VC chair Melissa Demsak, had the honor of being the Program managers for the inaugural PASS BAC Conference. We spent many hours interfacing with Microsoft and our new partners in the BAC area to develop a great BAC schedule and program. I would work to continue to strengthen these strategic partnerships and also expand our partnerships into University programs with data science programs and advancements.

Lastly, for any of these efforts, I plan on building a global team to help brainstorm and drive the PASS missions in the areas I mention above. I tend to have a collaborative style of leadership in which all team members will have input and a stake in the success of any selected solution to a problem.

-Amy

Want to learn more about Amy? Please check out the below links:
Candidate Page: http://www.sqlpass.org/Elections/Ca...Lewis.aspx
Board Application: http://www.sqlpass.org/LinkClick.as...&mid=18041
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/amy-lew...9/47b/Edit
Jen Stirrup
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25 Sep 2013 04:24 PM  
Hi Tom,
Great question and thank you for asking.

PASS’s updated mission is to "empower data professionals who leverage Microsoft technologies to connect, share, and learn through networking, knowledge sharing, and peer-based learning.” Ultimately, PASS seeks to support data professionals throughout the world who use some, or all, of the Microsoft Data Platform. This breadth goes outside SQL Server to other technologies, particularly in the Business Intelligence and Business Analytics spheres. I would also argue that this breadth reaches out to emphasise the importance of diversity; more on this below.


A mission statement is a combination of an organisation's foundation, and its goal for the future. I'd like to see more emphasis of the 'Professional' in PASS. People often come to PASS events to grow their career, whether it is in networking, depth of technical expertise, or professional development. The word 'Education' comes from the Latin 'ducere', which means to lead: prefixing with an 'e' means that it literally means 'to lead out'. PASS can help people to be 'led out' to meet their personal goals, particularly where these include professional development. I occasionally attend non-PASS conferences, and it seems to me that companies do not always know what PASS is or does, and neither do potential community members. I think we need to go 'back to basics' a bit, and make sure that we evangelize, and keep evangelizing, about the Professional aspects of PASS. There are a number of areas that could be tackled, but one important one is social media and deploying its benefits to meet the mission statement and 'lead out'. Achievable ideas include:

- Empowering volunteers - I believe in empowering our volunteers so that they have better assets in order to achieve their ambitions for their User Group, SQLSaturday or other event. For example, there is no route for new volunteers to 'bed in' to becoming a PASS volunteer. MyPASS can be difficult to use, for example, unless you know the 'tips and tricks'. I'd like to see us empower and support volunteers in the same way that we do for the wider SQL community; through webinars, events, and a feeling of a 'volunteer community'. For example, if we had a Volunteer VC, we could have webinars with titles such as 'Thinking of planning a SQLSaturday? Here is how!' and this would allow more experienced PASS members to help the new volunteers to grow.

- Empowering 'data professionals' - I would like to see more to 'empower' data professionals. I would work to see the BA Conference to become more established, and look to promote SQLSaturday events with a BA slant. BASaturday, anyone? I would look to work with Microsoft to ensure that the needs of the data professional are met. I'd like to see the ability for data professionals to sit exams at BAC, for example, so that the Conference has a feel of training as well as networking and sessions. This breadth could also include other technologies such as Hadoop, which sit beside the Microsoft ecosystem of data solutions.

- Empowering members, wherever they are in the world - I would like to see more 'lead out' by offering more local language Virtual Chapters: Denise McInerny has already done great work in this area. It would be good to work closely with Microsoft in the local areas, in order to produce local-language material. I would also like to see the production of a report that is transparent, and shows clearly the geography of the SQLSaturday events throughout the world. I would like to do 'Business Intelligence' on this data, for example: are there Microsoft offices that do not have a SQL user group nearby? What conferences and non-PASS events take place that could use support?

- Empowering those who would like to step into professional development and management - As someone who has organised Women in Technology events across Europe, I'm aware of the organisational difficulties that can take place when trying to organise an event remotely. I would like to see a process put in place whereby it is easier to work with Microsoft, for example, to make sure that the logistics are in place for Women in Technology events. This could be something as simple as helping with room booking, for example. Often the logistics mean that the Women in Technology events are put aside because of the logistics - no other reason, even if there is an appetite for the event itself, and it is a pity to miss it out. I believe that the 'Professional' part of PASS should have an element of professional development and learning, and the best managers will be aware of the importance of having diverse team members to build stronger, more profitable groups for the enterprise. To facilitate this, managers, and managers-in-training, need to have opportunities to learn about diversity and its importance in the success of organisations, problem solving and teamwork. In The Future of Diversity and the Work Ahead of Us, Harris Sussman says, "Diversity is about our relatedness, our connectedness, our interactions, where the lines cross. Diversity is many things - a bridge between organizational life and the reality of people’s lives, building corporate capability, the framework for interrelationships between people, a learning exchange, a strategic lens on the world." It is so much more complex than it initially seems, and I believe that Women in Technology is a key aspect of the 'Professional' aspect of PASS since the shrewest organisations place an emphasis on it; omitting Women in Technology from events purely due to logistics is a missed opportunity to allow PASS members to learn about the complexities, and I would like to see a more well-defined process put in place to Women in Technology event support and logistics in order to help make it happen.
- 'empower' the readers in the data community - I am interested in asking PASS community members to write downloadable free e-books in the same way that they produce webinars, like we see free books offered by Packt and RedGate. The books themselves would not have to be very long; chapter sized, even. I think that this could be an important tool we are missing when thinking about evangelising to the BA community for example, who might stumble across PASS ebooks on topics such as Excel and SSAS cubes, for example, or data visualisation. This would allow us opportunities to work with other disciplines, and would be an excellent 'take away' for promoting the Professional aspect of PASS. I do think that organisations would see books as a way of educating teams, and this may speak to companies and management too. Further, e-Books are translatable into local languages, and it is possible that there are volunteers who would enjoy the challenge of translating, for example.

It's late here in the UK so that's all for now! I hope that putting down some thoughts has helped.

Kind Regards,

Jen

Here is more about me:
Candidate Page: http://www.sqlpass.org/Elections/Ca...irrup.aspx
My Election Summary site: http://jenstirrupforsqlfamily.wordpress.com/
Blog: www.jenstirrup.com
Allen Kinsel
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30 Sep 2013 05:46 AM  
Hi Tom,

PASS's updated mission statement is a small but intentional change. I don’t have the exact original mission statement handy but, if I recall it was very close except it had the words Microsoft SQL Server embedded in it. The new mission statement better aligns with where Microsoft and PASS are headed. The reality is our "data" communities are becoming very blended and crossover is not just a "nice to have" anymore, it is becoming absolutely necessary.

As for your second question about how I expect to contribute to that mission for the next 2 years? I think my stated goals for the next 2 years align perfectly with the new PASS mission statement.

Our global membership needs to be able to get the most out of our public facing sites. PASS has an absolutely immense amount of content potential and no easy way for our members to unlock it. Investing in IT should help us better facilitate the core of our mission statement to "connect, share, and learn".

Secondly, without a good membership list how can we know who our members are, where they are located and what their particular data interests are? Having data about our membership is absolutely critical to being able to provide relevant opportunities for them to connect, share, and learn.

More information about me and my platform can be found on my site
http://www.allenkinsel.com/pass-election
Richard Douglas
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30 Sep 2013 07:23 AM  
Hi Tom,

I specifically wrote my application to show how my goals would adhere to the mission statement of PASS – and then you changed them 
Thankfully most of the things that I wrote still hold true as it was about empowering our members through reassessing and improving the capabilities of our IT infrastructure. To facilitate growth this area of PASS needs to be looked at as a priority.

The inclusion of a wider data platform could be a very good move from a revenue generating perspective. I am expecting big things from the BA Conference in terms of growth over the next few years as industries start in earnest to decipher data properly and make reasoned business decisions from them.

The wider reach will change everything from how our Regional Mentors operate to how we run at the local chapter level. We will need to ensure that we reach out to other communities to find experts in areas such as Azure on a more frequent basis. This can only be good for the networking aspect of the statement. Widening one’s exposure and reach in a professional can only ever be seen as a good thing and I am sure that our members will see that.

Regards,
Richard Douglas
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