Archive for February, 2012

PASS Volunteer Appreciation

Do you know someone in the PASS Community who is a hidden hero?  Perhaps a chapter leader who is doing terrific work to help the SQL community.  Maybe its a member who is putting in 110% to organize a SQL Rally.  A virtual chapter leader who is organizing great sessions or perhaps its a speaker you’ve seen go above and beyond and speak at multiple chapters/virtual chapter events this month.   There are so many people who contribute and make the SQL community so vibrant that finding those who stand out is tougher than ever!

 

These people are the lifeblood of the SQL Server community, they freely give of their time to make PASS the premiere SQL Server association and its about time we start recognizing them!

Since Ive been volunteering with PASS one thing that has always struck me is how rare it is that PASS actually recognizes outstanding volunteers.  When I first joined, we only had the PASSion award which is awarded yearly at the Summit to the single volunteer who had the “most” outstanding contributions.  In more recent years we’ve done a better job of recognizing additional people who are outstanding volunteers through the outstanding volunteers presentation at the Summit however, these volunteers all come from the passion award nominations and those nominations are only open just prior to the summit.

 

I’ve always thought that we should recognize volunteers across the organization in a more consistent way, and not revolve that recognition around the Summit.  Luckily, the opportunity to do something about this lack of recognition knocked earlier this year and we’ve made progress.  In last weeks connector there was an announcement about nominating volunteers to be recognized as outstanding volunteers of the month.  The initial intent is that we’ll accept email nominations during every month for any volunteer who has made outstanding contributions to the community.  Those submissions will be reviewed on the last day of the month and recognition will follow the next month.   Initially, we are planning to recognize these outstanding volunteers with a nice certificate and highlight them in the connector newsletter.  Its not much compared to what these people do day in and day out but with success over time, hopefully we can expand this a bit more.  For a start though, I think this is a good first step down the right road.

 

We intend to have the first recognition cycle start in March so that means that submissions are due by 2/29 (tomorrow!)  Please, take a moment and send us an email with as many details as possible about the contributions of an outstanding volunteer who has made an impact in the SQL community.  As always with these types of things, the more details the better!

 

New PASS Chapters Leader on the PASS BOD

This is a blog post that should have been published about 3 weeks ago.  Better late than never I suppose….

With all endings there is a beginning.  I’ve written previously about deciding to take on a different role within the PASS organization in 2012.  I’m excited to say that I convinced the leaders within the BOD to let me have a chance at leading the Global Chapters portfolio.  What does this mean to the two of you reading this?  Likely not much but, to myself and a few hundred chapter leaders and regional mentors I’m hoping it means the beginning of a great run of imrovements to the Chapters program within PASS.  For the past weeks I’ve been working very closely with our wonderful Community Evangelist Karla Landrum (Blog|Twitter) and her counterparts within PASHQ to learn everything that I possibly can about what our chapters are doing, and what they need to grow and thrive.  What I’ve learned is somewhat what I already knew and can be summed up in 4 words!

We have unmet needs!!

After staffing the Community Evangelist role last year it appears as though some of the pain points with running a chapter have been alleviated however, it seems as though there are still plenty of places that could use some improvement.  One of the first things I have attempted to do is to get approval to spend PASS IT time on improving the suite of tools we provide to make managing a chapter easier.  While I have a list of things I’d like to see these tools become based on feedback I’ve personally received from my friends in the community, I would like to encourage all PASS RM’s & CL’s to get in contact with me though any means available.  I’d like for every PASS Chapter Leader/Regional Mentor to list the top 2-3 things they’d like the chapter tools to do that would make running their chapter easier and send those to me.  I obviously cant say we’ll address everything but, this year I intend to see to it that we address as many as possible.

Connect Share Learn

While this is the simplified version of the overall PASS mission statement, it is applicable here as well. I want to encourage you to reach out to me and connect, in order to share your successes and pain points in leading a PASS chapter so that hopefully we can each learn from it.  My contact info is at the top right of this page, connect with me on linked in and drop me an email to bend my ear if you’d like to talk about anything remotely related to SQL Server, PASS Chapters or the SQL Server Community at large.  Ill be “the guy” trying to keep the ship on course for at least the next calendar year and I plan to make the best of it.

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