The PASS call for nominations to the Board of Directors will be ending soon at noon PT, September 3rd. If you have not yet taken the time to fill out your application, do not wait until the last minute. If you are looking for someone to make you feel loved, then this is the blog post for you.
Of the top of my head I can think of no less than six people I want to see on the board, even if it means that I will not get elected myself. I have already written about my intentions to run despite having lost the previous two elections. I have not checked to see how many people have applied yet, but I am fairly certain that the people on my short list have yet to file their papers, and that is why I am going to take a few minutes to call them out and explain why I feel they are well suited to serve PASS at the board level.
And yes, I understand that some people on my list have already politely said “no” to the idea of running. To them I would ask that they allow me the courtesy to Skype them later this week and give me just ten minutes of their time to convince them to change their minds.
Chuck Boyce, Jr.
I first met Chuck in Denver at the end of the PASS Summit in 2007. We were with a group having dinner at the Wynkoop with a handful of others listed below. I had never met Chuck before then, but I knew his name. See, Chuck has been involved with PASS for many years. He brings to the table a solid corporate background. He is not afraid to take chances, but I would also not say he is a risk taker. I would, however, say that he is a very responsible individual and is someone who can have a vision and lead people to help him create his vision. I believe that about Chuck so much in fact that I just hired him to help my company succeed in our server consolidation project. I am certain he would succeed as a board member.
Louis has been around, well, a while now. I am not certain there is anyone involved with PASS or even MSSQL that would not know who Louis is and his wonderful work with database design theory. I know Louis ran last year and is on the fence again this year. I have worked with Louis as a PASS volunteer for a handful of years now and I know that his presence on the Board would be a valued asset. Louis brings a wealth of experience and is someone that can understand both sides to any issue which is key in any executive discussion. I still recall listening to an interview with Louis by Greg Low on my iPod while jogging and being star struck when I saw him a few short months later. While I am no longer star struck I am always in awe of what he accomplishes for the community and I think it is about time he gets himself elected.
I have known Grant now for over three years as a volunteer for PASS. In that time I have seen just how well organized he is, the wonderful quality of his volunteer work, and how we could use someone with his skills on the Board. Grant is an excellent communicator and helped to start a local user group. He knows how difficult it is to run something that is staffed by volunteers and in turn how difficult it can be as a volunteer yourself. He tried to say that he can barely keep that group afloat and use that as an excuse for not running this year. Grant, buddy, you are ready. Trust me on this one. Grant has a skill set that would complement the current board members quite nicely, both right now and for the next two years.
What more could I say about Tim that you would not already know. First off, he handed me a 30Gb iPod on the day we first met in Grapevine. So, yeah, I have always liked him. Over the past four years we have spent a lot of time at the Summit together. Tim has told me he is on the fence for applying this year and I am here to tell him to get off the fence and just do it. Tim has organized the Quiz Bowl along with Louis for as long as I can remember and I am always amazed at how well they are able to make that event happen. You don’t get to see it, but I know that after each event Tim will immediately be thinking “how can we make it better next time”. That is a wonderful quality in a Board member; someone that recognizes there is always room for improvement.
I know, I know, Steve already said “no, thanks.” Well I am not giving up that easily. Of course, if Andy Warren cannot convince him, I doubt I have much of a chance. But that will not stop me from trying. As we continue to look for new ways to drive membership for PASS the idea that we could have both Andy and Steve on the board for the next year would seem to me to be a wonderful way to get started. I cannot think of two guys that could help PASS attract the most new members over the next few years. These are the guys that built SQL Server Central, a community of users and some of the best (if not the best) SQL forums in the world. I can certainly understand Steve’s concerns about the time commitment and I will respect that, but like I said earlier I had to try.
I have known Allen since 2004. We attended our first Summit that year and met during a pre-con seminar taught by KLT. Before the week was over we had both signed up to volunteer for PASS. Since that time I have always known Allen to deliver high quality work as a volunteer. This past year Allen was heading up the Program Committee and helping to put together the sessions for this year’s Summit. There is no doubt in my mind that Allen would be a successful Board member, he has many of the qualities that are attributed to successful Board members. He has valuable corporate experience, strong organizational skills, and has always had an eye for the future.
I do not remember the first time I met Denise, but I believe it was at the Summit in Seattle in 2006. Denise was involved in the Program Committee that year and sat down with myself, Kathi Kellenberger, and Bill Graziano on Sunday night before the Summit had started. I knew right away that Denise was someone who could take charge and lead people to whatever vision she possessed. Over the years I have worked with Denise as a volunteer and time after time she continues to produce high quality work. If you need an example of her efforts then check out the Women In Technology luncheon at the Summit this year. I also enjoy working with Denise because she always follows up. If you promise her a deliverable by a certain date, she will hold you to that date and ask for an update. It is that tenacity that many people, including myself, sometimes lack and is a wonderful quality to have when you are tasked to lead a group of volunteers.
I have known of Brad for years as the guy who started SQL Server Performance. I also remember the time I was sitting next to him and I thought “wow, that’s Brad McGehee right next to me.” Over the years I have had the opportunity to interact with Brad on a more frequent basis. If you want to build a community of users then there is no question Brad can help PASS get that job done. He has the business knowledge, the corporate experience…hell, the guy works remotely for a UK company from Hawaii! He must have done something right along the way! Brad would serve the PASS community well as a Board member.
Last, but not least, is Brent. When it comes to build an online presence in today’s Web 2.0 world, Brent does it better than anyone else I know. He is always in tune with how to engage and energize readers of his content. He constantly strives to make thing better. And he is always willing to help others. In fact, right now, the guy has seven proteges. That’s right, Brent Ozar is a mentor to seven other people, helping them with a variety of technical and professional issues. While he says he has no desire to serve at the Board level, I suspect it is because he thinks the Board level is just nothing but corporate politics magnified many times over. I hope Brent allows me ten minutes on the phone so I can help him (or anyone else) understand what life on the Board has really been like this past year.
There you have it, nine people that I feel would serve the PASS community quite well if they were to be elected to the Board. My question to the three people reading this blog: how many people do you know that you feel are qualified? The deadline is approaching fast. Get in touch with them now and tell them to apply. If you want/need/desire help in completing the application, let me know and I will help you get it completed (I am expert now, having done it three straight years).
I have no inside knowledge of other candidates, despite my serving on the Board (trust me, Kevin Kline is a stickler for stuff like that). As of my typing these words what I do know is that there are four (4) seats available and one (1) person has applied (me) because I have not had anyone else tell me that they have applied (only that they are thinking of applying). As much as I would love to finally win an election in my life, I would love it even more if there was someone running against me. If you know of someone that has applied, let me know, so I won’t feel so alone anymore.
And I am serious about those ten minutes. Just give me a chance to talk with you, that’s all I ask.