Posts tagged chapters

PASS Chapters Update Q4 2012

Welcome New Chapters

This past quarter several new Chapters have joined the PASS community:

Astrakhan .NET & SQL User Group, Russia, led by Yana Kuranova

SQL Professionals of Northwest Nevada, US, led by Christopher Sherrill

Taiwan SQL Server User Group, China, led by Byron Hu and Pohan Chen

Codificando .NET, Sao Paulo, Brazil, led by Erickson Ricci

PASS Beijing, China, led by Quan Zhang

BIDN, Johannesburg, South Africa, led by Mark Stacey

BITUGA, Portugal led by Paulo Matos

New Zealand BI User Group, led by Reza Rad

We also have had a lot of new Chapter Leaders join us in existing Chapters as well as rebooting some inactive Chapters and we look forward to helping them keep their Chapters thriving.  Be sure to reach out to your Regional Mentors and the PASS Community Evangelists for any questions you have, they are here to help you.

Regional Mentor Updates

It has been great to see more and more Chapter Leaders utilizing the great resources we have in Regional Mentors. We have some Regional Mentor changes to announce for January 2013.

Leaving the role of RM for the UK is Chris Testa O’Neill. Chris has done a tremendous job in helping with the awareness and growth of PASS in the UK the past couple of years and we are thankful for his efforts. Taking the reins in the UK and working along with Jonathan Allen in 2013 will be Mark Broadbent. Mark has been a great supporter of PASS as well as a strong Chapter leader and presenter, and most recently hosted his first SQLSaturday in Cambridge. His experiences in these areas will be a great benefit to helping others in his region.

Alexandro Prado is leaving his role as RM for Brazil after much success in spreading PASS communities in that region.  Due to the tremendous size and growth potential Brazil, we decided to appoint two RMs to cover that region. Luciano Moreira, of the Chapter in Brasilia, will work along-side with Laerte Junior out of Sao Paulo. Laerte was co-leader of SQLSaturday #100, the first PASS SQL Saturday event in Brazil. We are confident that Luciano and Laerte will make a dynamo team for that country, and we look forward to seeing what will come in 2013.

I’d like to once again thank Alexandro and Chris for their volunteer time commitment as well as their service to PASS in this key role for Chapters. Their efforts in their local regions will be recognized as the foundation that we will build on for years to come.

Updated Chapters Toolset

Chapter leaders have hopefully already heard about improvements we are making in the tools PASS has for Chapters.  We are continually rolling out new improvements so be sure to check in often for updates.  To see what we’ve been up to, if you are a PASS Chapter leader and have a PASS hosted DNN site, log into your admin page.  If you don’t have a PASS Hosted DNN site, head to the dashboard at http://www.sqlpass.org/PASSChapters/ChapterDashboard.aspx. There you can see:

 

Profile/Addresses

We are displaying most of the information we have about your chapter within the dashboard.  I would like to request that every chapter leader log in to the dashboard and make sure the information is up-to-date.  Some fields are intentionally not user updateable so if a field cannot be updated, and needs to be corrected please send an email to with the update you’d like to make.  Please pay particular attention to the “Chapter Leaders” tab when making sure the information is correct.  In the future we will be relying on this information being up-to-date when making key decisions about Chapters.

Events/Meetings

For Chapters using a PASS hosted website, you can now benefit from the Events module integration.  With this new tool you can enter your event/meeting details in one place and it will auto update those details to the Events page of the SQLPASS website, as well as to your home page of your own Chapter website and your event will also show up on myPASS for members associated with your Chapter.  Other events module features include local timezone/ical support, prescheduling future meetings, uploading of meeting presentations/resources, auto archiving old events and more.  For instructions on how to setup & publish an event, check out our handy guide listed on the Chapter Resources page.  We will continue to update this module with more features in the coming months.  Future plans include linking to many other sites/marketing avenues as well as better support for RSVP’s and more.

Chapter Emailer

In addition to contacting those members who’ve registered with PASS and are associated with your Chapter, you can now upload your own mailing lists and email those specific lists about your Chapter.  Thank you for the great feedback about the Emailer during the Chapter Leader Meeting at Summit. We’re working to ensure many of your concerns will be addressed in future versions of the tool.  As myPASS use increases we are seeing more and more PASS members associate themselves with local Chapters so don’t miss out on this opportunity to reach a great pool of potential new members.

myPASS

MyPASS is the new default homepage for all PASS members who are logged in to the main SQLPASS.org site.  We designed this page to bring all of the Chapter and Virtual Chapter meeting information into one easy to use interface for your members.  While looking at myPASS please check your profile and make sure it is up to date as well.  Early in the new year, the Chapter dashboard will be getting the myPASS look and feel. It will show up on the left side as a tab that is visible only to Chapter Leaders

Summit Downloads for Chapter Leaders

Finally some news I know Chapter leaders have been patiently waiting for!  Chapter Leaders should now have access to download the Summit 2012 sessions.  The following should enable you to begin downloading/streaming the sessions immediately:

  • Go to the Summit 2012 Session listings (you will need to login, or be currently logged in with your PASS Chapter leader Account)

http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2012/Sessions/BuildSchedule.aspx

  • Click on the “session recording” link next to the session name
  • From there you should see a DOWNLOAD button below the streaming player
  • Note that in order to play this file you may need to update codecs in your media player

If you are unable to download the sessions, please contact the helpdesk

Introducing Wendy Pastrick

As you may know by now, Wendy Pastrick was elected to the PASS Board of Directors during the last election, and will begin her term on the Board January 1, 2013 by leading the Global Chapters portfolio. PASS’s support of local Chapters through Regional Mentors, Community Evangelists, tools, best practices, and more has grown tremendously over the last few years, but there’s still much to do. I hope you will all welcome Wendy and continue to provide her the same great feedback you always have with me.  Wendy can be reached on .

Goodbye for now or until we meet again

As my year as Director of Global Chapters is coming to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity thank each of you for helping Chapters as well as recognize the progress we made together this year in helping PASS communities grow stronger.  We were able to make some very visible progress during the last year to better support PASS Chapters and their members and with the team we have in place I expect we will maintain that momentum going forward.

I’ll be staying involved with the PASS Community going forward and for now I’ll be focusing on wrapping up some of the Chapter tools changes and working towards a successful handoff of that project.  It has been my privilege to work with y’all and I look forward to seeing each of you in the future.

Quick PASS Chapters update

PASS Chapters Update

As PASS Director of Chapters, I had my first set of meetings a few weeks ago where every Chapter Leader worldwide was invited and thought I’d write a quick post about it.

Getting up to speed in a new PASS portfolio and having something good to talk about takes time so this meeting took a lot longer to materialize than I’d originally hoped.  The primary delay was it took quite a while to get enough good content that I felt comfortable inviting 300+ chapter leaders to give an extra an hour of their lives to PASS.  Now that the initial break in time is handled and I know we’re making solid progress towards improving PASS’s support of Chapters (I’ll have stuff to talk about that matters) We’ve agreed to schedule these update meetings quarterly.  This is in addition to the update meetings we’ve already been having bi-monthly with Regional mentors and the Bi-Monthly(ish) Chapter update emails/blog posts Ive already been doing.

Global Organizations = Follow the sun = Hard

Trying to find a time (or 2) that accomidates 300 different people is extremely challenging, In the past we’ve held Regional Mentor meetings at 9AM CST and 9PM CST in an effort to allow as many RM’s as possible to participate.  We’ve had varrying degrees of success and quite a few requests to have a time that better fits those in the EMEA region.  So we decided to move the initial time of the Chapter leader meeting to 6AM CST leaving the 9PM CST meeting in place.  This seemed to work out OK but, being ready to present at 6AM local time was tougher than I expected, combine that with a PASS site that wasnt working properly and the first meeting went less than spectacularly.  In the future we’ll probably move the morning meeting back to 9AM CST and offer a third meeting option in the middle of the day that better supports those in EMEA.  The meetings are recorded and posted online for all to chapter leaders so theres always that option as well.  Im open to other ideas about timings of these meetings so If your a RM or a Chapter leader and have an opinion feel free to contact me to share it.

Chapter Leader Resources

Karla (Blog|Twitter) has been working incredibly hard to update the Chapter Leaders resources page.  She has made many updates and changes to this Chapter leader only page, one of the largest changes mentioned is related to the new process that book publishers are asking PASS Chapters to use.  Im optimistic that the new process will help Chapters get a better selection of books in a shorter amount of time.  Karla also added a new Chapter logo  as a resource on this page.

Chapter Tools Project

A good portion of time was spent going over the changes in tools that have been rolled out for chapters.

The aim of this project is for PASS to provide effective tools to minimize the marketing work Chapter Leaders have to perform and increase reliability of records all while creating a one-stop shop of resources to efficiently promote and run a PASS Chapter.

To date, weve completed updates to the chapter newsletter emailer, created a chapter dashboard and created an events framework for chapters to use in displaying their meetings.  The events framework is the latest update, it is currently used on the chapters portal, and although its currently a v1 release it handles many things chapter leaders let us know they wanted like Auto archiving of meeting details, Auto populating Speaker info, timezone display differences, uploads and more.  There are several other hooks planned in the future for this events framework but this should provide a good starting infrastructure as we build more on to it.

Community Meetings at the Summit

Also covered were the community meetings at the summit.  If you’re a PASS community leader one or more of these is likely for you!

VIRTUAL CHAPTER LEADERS

Tuesday, November 6

8:00 am – 9:00 am

Led by Denise McInerney

SQLSATURDAY LEADERS

Tuesday, November 6

9:30 am – 12: 30 pm

Led by Kendal Van Dyke

REGIONAL MENTORS

Tuesday, November 6

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Led by Allen Kinsel

CHAPTER LEADERS

Tuesday, November 6

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Led by Allen Kinsel and Regional Mentors

PASS Chapters Update 2

Welcome New Chapters & Regional Mentors

In June & July we had 2 new chapters join the PASS Community

Appleton, Wisconsin Led By Jes Borland

Northern Colorado Led by Erik Disparti

We also have had a lot of new Chapter Leaders join us in existing Chapters and we look forward to helping them keep their chapters thriving.

I’d also like to announce a few new Regional Mentor changes. Please welcome Andrey Korshikov, the new Regional Mentor for Central Eastern Europe. Many of you will know Andrey from his work on the Russian edition of 24 Hours of PASS.   Joey D’Antoni will be stepping into a new role as the Regional Mentor for the US Mid-Atlantic region. Joey has been a Chapter Leader in Philadelphia, a SQLSaturday organizer and recently participated in the SQL Server 2012 Special Ops Tour.

Regional Mentors give so much to the PASS Community and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Andre Kamman and John Welch for all their hard work in the role. Andre was busy filling in for Central Eastern Europe on top of his duties as Regional Mentor for Western Europe while we looked for a great candidate. Johns dedication this past year to his role as Regional Mentor for the US Mid-Atlantic was also appreciated.

Chapter Tools

Chapter leaders may have noticed the new chapter tools are starting to be rolled out. If you are a PASS Chapter leader and have a PASS hosted DNN site, log into your admin page to see the changes, If you don’t have a PASS hosted DNN site, head to the dashboard at http://www.sqlpass.org/PASSChapters/ChapterDashboard.aspx .  There you can see the changes including:

 

Chapter Profile

Check out the chapter profile page and make sure we have your address correct. We’ll be using this address for the mailings we have planned, including your chapters copy of the Summit 2012 DVD’s

Chapter Emailer

In addition to contacting those members who’ve registered with PASS for your chapter information, you can now upload your own mailing lists and email specific lists about your Chapter.  This is version one of the tool and a great way to reach PASS members interested in your group.

Chapter Kits

The Chapter Kits have now been mailed. Please keep an eye on the post for your package. Thank you to everyone who took the time to update their address in the mailing survey. The logistics of mailing packages to 250+ chapters around the world were enormous. If you have any feedback on the kits or suggestions for the next mailing please contact us

 

Summit

PASS Summit 2012 will be November 7-9 in Seattle, WA, USA.

Chapter leaders, check with your Regional Mentor for this year’s Chapter Leader comp code. Chapter Members can also recieve a 200$ discount for the Summit, check with your local Chapter leader for the discount code

The Chapter Leaders meeting at Summit will be on Tuesday November 6 in the afternoon. We’re looking for a few good volunteers to help us set up the structure and agenda for the that meeting. If you are interested please let me know. 

Community Evangelist

As announced in the July Connector, PASS is looking for an additional Community Evangelist. We’ve made great strides in the Community team but are looking to provide even more support to the growing number of PASS Chapters and SQLSaturday events.

 If you are interested or know someone who would be great for the job, don’t hesitate to reach out to Karla or myself. We are here to answer any questions you may have.

 Read more about the requirements to be a Community Evangelist here: http://www.sqlpass.org/Community/PASSBlog/entryid/447/Join-the-PASS-HQ-Team.aspx

Regional Mentor Travel

The Regional Mentor Travel program was a success with 11 RMs traveling to 9 chapter meetings and 6 SQLSaturday events. We’re in the process of revising the program for FY2013. The aim is to provide Chapters with speakers and connect RMs with Chapter Leaders. I welcome any ideas on how to best accomplish this.

Volunteer Appreciation Awards

PASS wouldn’t be what it is today without great volunteers like y’all. This year we’ve introduced a new program,  The Outstanding PASS Volunteer. This is awarded monthly to volunteers who deserve special recognition for their volunteer efforts. 

If you know someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty check out http://www.sqlpass.org/Community/Volunteers.aspx to nominate them. Chosen nominees will be announced on the PASS website and receive a Certificate of Appreciation signed by the PASS President.

Speaking of “Thank You’s”, I’d like to take an extra minute and say Thank you to every Regional Mentor and Chapter Leader. It’s been an active first half of 2012 and I look forward to where the second half of the year will take us.

PASS Chapter Update

Today I’m hosting the Bi-monthly PASS Regional Mentor meetings and I thought this was a good time to publish an update and get back to blogging about PASS on a more consistent basis.  Its been an interesting last 6 months leading the PASS Global Chapters portfolio and I expect it to be an interesting next 6 months as well!

RM Travel

Previously I wrote about getting a budget exception to provide funds for RM’s to attend PASS events and hopefully learn some lessons about how we can best implement a program like this.  With the end of PASS’s Fiscal year on June 30 we ended the RM travel program.  I believe we learned some very good lessons and provided some very valuable support for some PASS events.

Some basic statistics

11 RM’s were able to participate and they attended

  • 9 Chapter meetings
  • 6 SQL Saturdays

Overall I wish we would have had better participation (this is about 33% of RM’s) but, given the timelines we had because of the nature of the budget exception as well as the parameters we put on the allocations per RM for this trial this was about what I expected we’d have.  We got some great feedback from the RM’s on these trips and I was especially appreciative of the feedback from RM’s that wasn’t the kindest and was brutally honest.

Chapter Tools Redesign

Ill admit to finding it mildly ironic that for as long as I’ve been a member of PASS we’ve had what I’ve often chalked up as “Data” problems.  When building the blueprint for reworking the Chapter Tools my main goal was to provide great tools to better enable chapters to grow local communities & host great events.  My secondary hopes were that in creating these tools that many of these data problems would be resolved by the ability to have one version of the truth.

In some ways over the last 3 months I’ve been disappointed with the amount of “visible” work that has been available to chapter leaders in the tools.  But, since I’ve been having at least twice weekly meetings with PASS IT from the beginning I am confident that things are going as fast as they should be.  I think its worth going through some of the challenges weve run into thus far if for no other reason than to remind myself what happened later!

We’ve hit a couple of detours that I didn’t account for in my expectations for the tools.  PASS had several different DNN portals at several different versions.  This is the basic explanation for why some chapter sites werent in single sign on and had other assorted issues where some chapters had functionality that others didnt.  This Included one particularly interesting issue where some chapters had different lists of “members” because some members were in the chapters portal sign on and others were additionally in the main PASS sign on but the chapter leader couldn’t contact (or see) both lists!  With the varrying DNN modules in use on over 150+ chapter portals PASS hosts, to get this consolidated and upgraded was no small feat.  Today all of the groundwork has been completed and we now have a single DNN Portal with a single DNN version in use across all of the chapter sites.

We also had an outbreak of data issues (remember where I mentioned this earlier!) What we found was we had quite a lot of outdated data about chapters, including which ones are active and what their actual leader contact info is.  This problem is a product of growth over the years and not having a system like the one we’re building to house all of the relevant data… This problem has been handled in some ways but, is still ongoing and PASSHQ is working on identifying the problems so we can fix them once and for all.

We also made a decision to build some webservices infrastructure now vs building it later in the project in order to have that infrastructure upfront instead of waiting till later to build it and retrofitting things at that point.

In addition to all of this we also had a couple of false starts with the outside web designer and the design of the public facing sqlpass.org changes that the chapter tools will be feeding in to.  I’m optimistic that these have been resolved as we’re currently seeing good progress from that perspective

All in all these problems havent been huge but, they have impacted how long I expected it to take us to start making changes that would be visible to not only the chapter leaders but the PASS community at large

Chapter tools Beta

If you’re a chapter leader, today the beta of the chapter tools changes can be seen if you log into the PASS website and click on the “Chapter Dashboard” menu under chapters.  The basic idea has been to replace all of the current CMM module features and enhance them as we move them over to a dashboard type interface.  Today there is basic chapter profile editing, Chapter mailing list uploads/updates. As well as a new chapter bulk emailer to send messages to the entire list of your chapter members.  If you have any comments or questions about these changes feel free to contact me.

In a (near) future post Ill outline a list of expected features that I’ve been compiling for this tools project.

PASS Chapters Update

 

Mission Statement

I was asked by someone to write a mission statement for chapters. I don’t know if this qualifies in the truest definition of a mission statement or not but, I partially stole this from a friend and I hope he doesn’t mind: 2012 is going to be the year of the chapter.

Its been a busy quarter since I took over responsibility for chapters and there have many changes, hopefully this post can summarize the highpoints.

New Faces

During the past quarter we’ve seen exceptional growth of chapters, including seeing 12 new chapters formed across the globe!

A BI Chapter in Wisconsin, USA led by Farouq Abukhamireh

Algeria led by Badrou Zeggar

Bangkok, Thailand led by Fukiat Julnual

Ekatrinburg, Russia led by Evgeny Fedyakov

Kharkiv Ukraine led by Denis Reznik

Kyiv Ukraine led by by Konstantin Kosinsky

Las Cruces, New Mexico USA led by Colleen Barnitz and Russ Burns

Leicester, UK led by Gavin Campbell

Los Angeles, California USA led by Kim Schmidt

Maidenhead, UK led by Richard Douglas

Stavropol, Russia led by Maksim Lemeshko

Santa Catarina, Brazil led by Rodrigo Dornel

Budget Exceptions

Last month I put forward some recommendations to the board of directors for increased spending for the Fiscal year 2012 (ends 6/30/2012) two of those proposals were accepted and funded.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to lead 2 separate meetings with our Regional Mentors in order to bring them up to speed on what those proposals are funding.

The first thing this is going to allow us to do is send a “Chapter Kit” or mailing to every PASS Chapter around the globe!  I’m not going to spoil the surprise about what’s going to be inside but, we hope that Chapter leaders will find the contents valuable and can put them to good use.

The second program we’re going to implement is to fund some regional mentor travel to PASS chapter meetings and SQLSaturdays.  The basics are that we’ve given each regional mentor a funding allocation and asked them to attempt to visit as many chapter meetings in their region as they can, with the primary focus being on chapters especially those that need help with speakers, or are otherwise struggling.  We are attempting to fill a gap in speakers at local UG’s and allow the Regional Mentors to get out in the community and evangelize for PASS.

Both of these programs are new, and both are things that we’ve talked about trying for a good while.  I’m expecting to see both of these have a positive impact on the community and I’m expecting to get lots of feedback during the process and learn some lessons while we see exactly how this is going to work and what impact its going to have.

Tools improvements

Since I started with chapters I’ve been pushing forward with a plan to revamp the existing tools our Chapter leaders use to manage chapters and I’m happy to say I’m starting to see some real movement towards helping with our needs in this area!  I expect the first round of changes to start being rolled out within the next 45 days.  As this project continues ill continue to write about the new and exciting changes we’re making.

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