Thursday, October 11, 2012

2012 PASS Elections Letter Of Recommendation From Ed Watson

I'm a candidate in the 2012 PASS Board of Directors elections and believe that an important part of what makes a good candidate is support from the community that they wish to represent. During the last 5 years I have connected with people in PASS community from chapter members to speakers and from SQLSaturday volunteers to Directors. I've been fortunate this year to receive several letters of recommendation in support of my desire to continue serving on the Board. In this post I'm sharing the letter I received from Ed Watson (Blog | Twitter).

I met Ed for the first time at SQLSaturday  #110 in Tampa earlier this year and again at the Tampa Bay SQL User Group in March. Ed is the perfect embodiment of someone who jumped straight into the deep end of the PASS community - he regularly attends chapter meetings, is active on Twitter, started blogging, presented at his first SQLSaturday a few weeks ago, and in November will be joining us for the first time at the Summit. It's been fun to watch Ed's upward trajectory in the SQL community and I have no doubt that we'll be seeing more of him around PASS for a few years. Here's what Ed had to say about me:

To Whom It May Concern:

I have only had the privilege of knowing Kendal Van Dyke for a little over a year which is about the same amount of time that I have been involved with PASS. In that time frame and beyond, Kendal has been an ever present force in the Central Florida area for PASS. I live closer to the Tampa user group; however Kendal has continually invited me to the MagicPASS meetings. He has presented for our Tampa group as well as presenting at all of the local SQL Saturdays that I have attended.

Kendal has never ceased being an ambassador for PASS, in my opinion. I have never seen dialog on twitter or blogs where he has been nothing but the consummate professional always raising the flag for PASS and always looking to help users in the SQL Server community.

He has also encouraged me to do more in the PASS community and I have now presented a session to my user group as well as at a SQL Saturday. He has continued the cycle of mentoring new presenters. After several conversations, I feel that he has a great passion for the SQL Server community as well as some great ideas for the PASS community globally.

I fully recommend Kendal for the PASS Board of Directors without any hesitation.

Sincerely,

Ed Watson

For those of your who have already cast your vote - thank you for helping to decide who you want to lead PASS forward. And for everyone else yet to fill out their ballot, please take the time to visit the elections website, read about each candidate, and exercise your right to vote. (And of course I hope that you'll consider voting for me!)

2012 PASS Elections Letter Of Recommendation From Stacia Misner

I'm a candidate in the 2012 PASS Board of Directors elections and believe that an important part of what makes a good candidate is support from the community that they wish to represent. During the last 5 years I have connected with people in PASS community from chapter members to speakers and from SQLSaturday volunteers to Directors. I've been fortunate this year to receive several letters of recommendation in support of my desire to continue serving on the Board. In this post I'm sharing the letter I received from Stacia Misner (Blog | Twitter).

I met Stacia for the first time in person in 2011 at SQLRally in Orlando - which is slightly humorous given that we had both been to the PASS Summit since 2009 but never crossed paths. Stacia has become a trusted friend as we've gotten to know each other better. I value her experience and always look forward to conversing with her about SQL Server and her adventures living in Alaska. Here's what Stacia had to say about me:

I don't remember exactly when I first became aware of Kendal Van Dyke's presence in the SQL Server community, but I do recall that it was on Twitter. His sense of humor and his active involvement with community were the first things that I noticed about him. Those are two qualities that I think are important for anyone seeking a board position at PASS.

Over time, I got to know Kendal in other ways. As a speaker at SQLRally in Orlando, I benefited from his hospitality during a time when he was pulled in multiple directions at once. I observed his graciousness under pressure throughout the event, and appreciated his willingness to participate in after-hours activities when I'm sure he was very tired. I also have been a panel speaker with Kendal, participating in a session at PASS that he moderated. The purpose of that session was to help people learn to blog. It was evident to me from that interaction that Kendal feels strongly, as do I, that we all benefit through shared knowledge. He is encouraging to everyone, even if they feel they have very little to contribute. Again, Kendal's concern for community and passion for helping others stretch their skills was a stand-out quality and his willingness to invest personal time in these efforts is commendable.

Kendal has hands-on experience with many of the activities associated with PASS, which has given him a wealth of insight into the needs of the membership. His roles as a chapter leader, event organizer both small and large, and as a speaker, demonstrate his commitment to serving the community in whatever way he can. Furthermore, he's had the opportunity to serve on the PASS Board in an appointed seat, and has had the opportunity to be involved in initiatives to make things even better. Therefore, he can hit the ground running as an elected Board member. I think our SQL Server community will benefit greatly from Kendal's passion, commitment, and service, and heartily recommend him.

Stacia Misner
DataInspirations.com
Inspiring Intelligence from Information

For those of your who have already cast your vote - thank you for helping to decide who you want to lead PASS forward. And for everyone else yet to fill out their ballot, please take the time to visit the elections website, read about each candidate, and exercise your right to vote. (And of course I hope that you'll consider voting for me!)

2012 PASS Elections Letter Of Recommendation From Jes Borland

I'm a candidate in the 2012 PASS Board of Directors elections and believe that an important part of what makes a good candidate is support from the community that they wish to represent. During the last 5 years I have connected with people in PASS community from chapter members to speakers and from SQLSaturday volunteers to Directors. I've been fortunate this year to receive several letters of recommendation in support of my desire to continue serving on the Board. In this post I'm sharing the letter I received from Jes Borland (Blog | Twitter).

Like many people in the PASS Community I first "met" Jes on Twitter about two years ago. Over time we tweeted and emailed back and forth, and at the 2011 PASS Summit we met in person for the first time. Jes is even more energetic in person than she is online!  Throughout the last year she and I have had some great conversations about volunteering, careers, and life in general, and I'm fortunate to be able to include her in my network of SQL peers. Here's what Jes had to say about me:

I finally met Kendal Van Dyke in person at PASS Summit 2011, after “meeting” him through Twitter and talking to him virtually for a couple years. Kendal has given me guidance on consulting, and answered questions about SQL Server, user groups and SQL Saturdays. Anytime I’ve had a question, he’s been willing to take time out of his day to answer me. He’s reached out to me when he’s wanted an opinion or needed a volunteer for PASS tasks.

Kendal is passionate about growing the PASS community in a truly grassroots way. He wants to focus on growing members, but not just in numbers. He wants community members to connect with each other, and wants individuals to grow through opportunities such as speaking and volunteering. He has ideas on how to do this, and the drive to accomplish them.

I fully support Kendal running for the PASS Board of Directors, and think he will guide and grow the PASS community with passion and integrity.

Jes Borland

For those of your who have already cast your vote - thank you for helping to decide who you want to lead PASS forward. And for everyone else yet to fill out their ballot, please take the time to visit the elections website, read about each candidate, and exercise your right to vote. (And of course I hope that you'll consider voting for me!)

Friday, October 5, 2012

2012 PASS Elections Letter Of Recommendation From Karen Lopez

I'm a candidate in the 2012 PASS Board of Directors elections and believe that an important part of what makes a good candidate is support from the community that they wish to represent. I've worked hard to connect with people in PASS community from chapter members to speakers and from SQLSaturday volunteers to Directors. I've been fortunate to receive several letters of recommendation in support of my desire to continue serving on the Board. In this post I'm sharing the letter I received from Karen Lopez (Blog | Twitter).

I met Karen several years ago through Twitter and then in person at SQLSaturday. We've crossed paths at PASS events many times since then, and more recently I've had the chance to work with Karen on PASS's Global Growth initiatives where she's served as an advisor to the Board. Over the years as I've gotten to know her I have come to respect Karen for her professional opinions, advice as a consultant, and insight from her time as a member of other Boards. Here's what Karen had to say about me:

Dear PASS Nomination Committee:

I’m recommending Kendal Van Dyke for a continued PASS Board position. My primary reason for supporting him is his willingness to listen to feedback and take actions that he believes are in the best interest of PASS members and the community as a whole.

In my discussions with Kendal about SQL Saturdays, PASS events and PASS communications, Kendal has always been willing to hear what I had to say and shown that he is genuinely interested in the feedback I have. Even at times where he didn’t agree with my recommendations, he treated my ideas with respect and attention. He carried my feedback to the Board and followed up with me about the outcomes.

My interactions with Kendal have always been engaging, fun, and professional, something I think are key to balancing the needs of managing an association and meeting the needs of individual members. I’ve also had the benefit of seeing the outcomes of his efforts as programs are improved. He sets a high standard for leadership and professionalism when interacting with other volunteers and the community. I couldn’t ask for more from a Board member.

 

Sincerely,

Karen Lopez
Senior Project Manager and Architect
InfoAdvisors

For those of your who have already cast your vote - thank you for helping to decide who you want to lead PASS forward. And for everyone else yet to fill out their ballot, I hope that you'll consider voting for me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2012 PASS Board of Directors Elections - It's Time To Vote!

It's time once again to vote for the 3 candidates we feel will best represent the SQL Server community with a 2 year term on the PASS Board of Directors. Voting is open until Oct. 11 and if you were a PASS member prior to June 1, 2012 you should have received an email with your personalized ballot URL by now. (If you haven't, you might want to check your spam folder and\or contact Michelle Nalliah at PASS).

I ran for the Board last year and wasn't elected but was offered a one year appointment as Director for the SQLSaturday portfolio. I took advantage of the opportunity to do as much good as I could in the time and have so far I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Even though a lot has been accomplished it feels like there's much more to do and I've got the passion to do it so I made the decision to run again this year and am one of five candidates on the ballot.

So what would I like to do if I'm elected for a two year term? For starters, here's my official campaign platform as published on the elections website:

I believe that the heart of PASS and the key to our sustainability is the grassroots participation of our members. By continuing to establish and support new and existing local communities through Chapters and SQLSaturdays, PASS solidifies its relevance with data professionals through opportunities to connect with peers, advance their careers, and share their excitement and passion for working with SQL Server. Additionally, by offering a multitude of opportunities to speak, volunteer, and lead chapters and events, we are naturally developing the next generation of leaders who will inherit PASS.

I have been honored to serve as a Director and steward of the SQLSaturday portfolio this year, and if elected, I’d like to continue working on its success and growth. In fiscal year 2012, we held 61 SQLSaturdays with 12,000+ combined attendance, 1,675 sessions delivered by 1,320 speakers, and over 12,000 new PASS members. My goal is to continue that momentum by holding 80 SQLSaturdays in fiscal year 2013 and 100 SQLSaturdays in fiscal year 2014.

I believe it is vitally important to the health of PASS that our members know what their leaders are engaged in on their behalf. As a Board member, I will strive to build upon the culture of transparency that has been established by my predecessors through regular blogging about Board, HQ, and PASS activities and encouraging my counterparts to do the same.

I am passionate about helping guide and grow the PASS community and am looking forward to the opportunity to continue to do so if elected a member of the Board.

With that said, here are some of the specific things I'd like to do if elected:

Hold 100 SQLSaturdays in Fiscal Year 2014
We're on target to hold 80 this fiscal year; with the momentum we've gained and the enthusiasm of our passionate event leaders and PASS Community Evangelists I see no reason why we can't do 100 in a year.

Integrate Friday Precons\Seminars into the SQLSaturday toolset
Almost every SQLSaturday is holding a Friday precon\seminar these days. It's a great way to potentially earn extra money for a chapter and help grow the number of precon speakers in the community, but we've left organizers to use their own tools to manage registrations and money. It's time that we take a look at incorporating this into the SQLSaturday toolset.

Open Source SQLSaturday
For years we've had many members of the PASS community offer to help with development work on the SQLSaturday website and backend tools but we haven't had a good way to manage access. We've also had several Code Camps approach us and ask about using our tools (For reference, Code Camp isn't as organized as SQLSaturday - most write their own website and tools for managing their event). Couple that with the fledgling beginnings of PowerShell Saturday, IT Pro Camp, and even SharePoint Saturday, and it has become obvious to me that PASS has an opportunity to be a leader in the technical community space by open sourcing SQLSaturday. In doing so we'd be helping other communities grow while allowing them to contribute their expertise (and the expertise of our own members) to help our tools get better. I'd call that a win for everyone.

Speaker Bureau
I said last year when I ran that I'd like to see PASS implement a speaker bureau and I still believe it's a good idea. Working together with Allen Kinsel (Director of Chapters), money was budgeted to start this in this fiscal year. We've made a lot of progress to date, starting with the in-house development of an abstract submission system dating back to the original SQLRally Orlando in 2011. I'd like to help see it through to completion.

Cohesive Learning\Certification Plans and Study Groups
PASS has a lot of great learning resources available but I don't think we that we do a particularly good job of putting them together into a cohesive plan for someone to get from start to finish on a topic or certification exam. I'd like to work on getting learning plans in place and implement a certification study program at the chapter level to help everyone from beginners to pros reach their professional training goals.

SQLSaturday Video Contest
It's one thing to stand up in front of a group of people and tell them about a SQLSaturday and why they should attend - it's another to show them what a SQLSaturday is. As it turns out we've got some very creative people in the PASS community who have put together their own videos - see this video from SQLSaturday #104 in Colorado and this one from SQLSaturday #138 in Sydney (as in Australia!). I bet the talent and enthusiasm to make more of these is out there and I'd like to encourage it to happen with a contest. Run for one year, once per quarter, SQLSaturday events submit a 2-5 minute video from their event; the quarterly winner (decided by a community vote) gets a comp to the Summit and 15 minutes of fame when we show their video prior to each day's keynote. Chapter leaders and event organizers also gets a great set of videos that we can use to market SQLSaturday at chapter meetings, Code Camps, and other events where we're trying to reach potential attendees and sponsors to show them what SQLSaturday and our community are all about.

For those of your who have already cast your vote - thank you for helping to decide who you want to lead PASS forward. And for everyone else yet to fill out their ballot, I hope that my ideas resonate with you and that you'll consider voting for me.