This past weekend I was speaking at SQLSaturday #90 in Oklahoma City. During the event I had the pleasure of sitting down and getting to know Karla Landrum (PASS Community Evangelist). We met each other at a SQLSaturday in Houston earlier this year, but we didn’t have much time to chat. We had a great conversation about PASS and community.
I knew she had been a regional mentor prior to taking the new job at PASS as community evangelist, so I asked her what being a regional mentor was about. I already knew what the overall goal of the program was and I was curious about the specifics. She explained the program and the changes it has been going through. At this point you may be asking the same thing. What does a regional mentor do for PASS? Allow me to give you an overview with a technical twist.
RMs are endpoints. They are the communication channels between local chapters, PASS, and other local chapters. It’s a mesh topology of endpoints! We have a lot of chapters in the PASS organization and this gives us a way to remain connected and help each other out. RMs are ambassadors for PASS to the community. They gather information from the chapters about their pains, so that PASS understands the challenges and can help out.
RMs are also advocates for the local chapter leaders. The idea is to make sure that chapter leaders have the resources and tools they need to be successful. This can encompass a lot of things, like how a chapter can market itself, how they get sponsorship, how they get items for raffles, and how they get speakers. It also provides a way for chapters that are geographically close to share resources like speakers and sponsors.
Let’s flashback to Saturday. During my conversation with Karla, she mentioned a need for another regional mentor. I let her know that I would be happy to help out. We finished our conversation and I went back to attend some more sessions. About an hour later I was called out of the session and Karla let me know that I would be the new regional mentor for the US South Central region. She had already contacted Mark Ginnebaugh on the PASS board of directors, who approved it. Thanks Mark!
It was already an amazing day simply because I was at a SQLSaturday, the Oklahoma City User Group had become an official chapter, and now this!
I am very honored to have been chosen for this position, but I’m even more excited. In fact, I already have an idea for growing local speakers.