Posts tagged Volunteer

Evolving PASS

I’m running for the PASS board of directors again this year

While everyone running for the open Board positions is certainly qualified, I believe I am the best candidate for two primary reasons.  First, I have a plan for how I want to evolve the organization.  Second, I have a long, well documented history of executing on those plans and delivering results for PASS.

Evolutionary Plans

 

  • Chapters – I’ve already documented many of the specific things Id like to see us change with how PASS supports local chapters including

Community evangelists are providing a great resource, I will continue to refine this roles responsibilities

Continue to refine tools & document PASS’s processes to provide a higher level of support

Plan to drive more value from Regional Mentors by honing their responsibilities into an interesting role for our community leaders

Finish a detailed plan for how PASS can facilitate sponsoring our chapters financially through different avenues

  • Maintain Transparency & Increase Communications

I will champion all board members communicating about their work for PASS to the membership regularly.

I plan to continue working for more transparency in all matters related to the board

  • Evolving the next generation of Leaders – Increasing Community Involvement

Enable board level involvement from volunteers who aren’t on the board through forming board level committees that include volunteers

Develop a board mentorship program where prospective board members are identified and paired up with existing and ex board members to expand their understanding of how the board functions

Further formalize and promote the process we use to recognize volunteer achievements at all levels in the PASS organization

  • Professionalism

I want to see PASS become more professional.  PASS should stop unnecessarily limiting our membership benefits to education and networking opportunities alone.

The board should be setting goals for defining how we can expand our member benefits beyond the current strategy of education/networking

 

The plans outlined above can impact every SQL Server Professionals career in a positive manner and take PASS to new heights.  I want the opportunity to deliver on these plans in the same way I have delivered on my past plans for PASS

 

If you believe in these changes and you like how I communicate them, consider voting for me. I’m running for the PASS Board of Directors, and I need your help to make a difference.  Click here to read about why I’m running.

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 Summit call for speakers reminder

At the begining of this year, I gave the reigns of the annual summit program committee to Adam Jorgensen (Blog|Twitter) and I havent looked back… Much!  Of course after being involved with a system for so many years its hard to completely let go (ok its not really hard to forget the work!)  but, aside from the occassional questions I havent really looked a lot at whats happening in the Program Committee this year.  Id like to congratulate those volunteers lucky enough to be chosen to help select abstracts for the summit and if I knew your names, Id call you out but it seems the public listing of volunteers has been removed.  You’ve got a daunting task to get through the 800 or so abstracts that im sure will be submitted but, without you, the summit would surely be a lot more bland!!  For those of us would be speakers in the SQL Server space, I also noticed something that unless youve been living under a rock youve probably already seen as well.  Abstract submissions need to be completed by Sunday May 13 AKA 5 days from NOW!.  Since no time is specified I’ll make a wild guess (yes its truly a guess) and say they close at Midnight Pacific time.  but why deopend on a guess, make sure to get those abstracts submitted sooner rather than later.  It appears as though the wait to get the results of the selection will be over before it really starts as they are due to be released on Jun 8

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!

 

PASS pass and more PASS

As I sit writing this post I realize that in a weeks time Ill be in Seattle at the 2011 PASS Summit.

Like most in the SQL community who are fortunate enough to attend the annual summit I am looking forward to next Sunday.  But, unlike most I am probably looking forward to this years summit for slightly different reasons. I’m definitely ready for the plethora of sessions, the great networking and all of the regular things everyone looks forward to (SQLKARAOKE!) but, when you are as heavily involved as I am in leading the Summit Program Committee, just getting it “started” is a huge relief.

For the last four years Ive looked forward to the Sunday before the Summit like ive looked forward to no other Sunday of the year.  However this year is going to be different!  This year will be my last year of leading the Summit “Program Committee”.  Its truly bittersweet for me as Ive really loved doing this but Its time for me to focus on doing other things for our great community.

I plan on handing the reigns of the summit over to _____ after the end of this years Summit.  I wish I knew who was taking over so I could tell you, but as it is no one has volunteered and PASS doesn’t exactly have a structure in place to allow for transnational hand off(more on this later).  I wish I could say it will be all Rainbows and Unicorns for the next person leading the program committee but, the reality is it is a lot of work.  The payoff is quite large though in knowing that you lead a group of 30ish volunteers to do a large portion of the work in making the summit a success but, even with a dedicated support staff (PASSHQ) its still a challenge.  After doing every job from the bottom to the top of this small piece of PASS I  feel like ive literally “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt”

I’d guess Ive spent at least 10 hours a week on average working on the Summit for the last several years and this year I added on regular PASS Board member tasks and am regularly exceeding those 10 hours a week, unfortunately, its just not sustainable for me any longer.  Im happy to spend the time for the community but, Its time for a new challenge and fortunately being on the PASS Board affords me all of the community challenges I could ever need (including figuring out to handle transition within PASS mentioned earlier). 

If you spot me at the Summit, feel free to stop over and introduce yourself, I promise not to try and convince you to volunteer to take my PASS job!

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