I’m not a politically minded person and this is not the type of post I would normally write. However, I’m deeply involved with the PASS organization (read chronic volunteer) and I have a vested interest in it’s success. The reason I decided to write this is because I have very strong feelings about two of the candidates and the success they will bring to the organization.
I know what you’re thinking, “You guys both work together on the board for the North Texas SQL Server User Group, so that figures as much.” The fact that we help run a PASS user group with several others would never be reason enough for me to recommend someone on that premise alone. What it does do, however, is allow me to know someone’s character and motives far better than reading their campaign platform online. Sri is both a friend and colleage with impecable character.
Sri is an extremely dedicated person. When he finds a passion for something he follows it through to completion with an eye for perfection. Although he aims for perfection in everything he does, he understands compromise and that nothing is perfect. It’s those goals and that balance that give him the edge on other leaders. You can see this through his leadership of the North Texas SQL Server User Group, the three SQLSaturday events hosted within a 12 month period, and SQLRally 2012.
He has a drive and passion that is unparalleled. He has the distinct ability to not only see the whole picture, but the potential of that picture in the future. Many people with that vision tend to forget the small things along the way, but Sri also has the uncanny sense to see those things and work them into the overall vision.
There is no doubt in my mind that Sri would become a coveted asset to the PASS board and the entire SQL Community. The above abilities combined with his diverse educational background make him an ideal fit.
I have gotten to know Allen over the past 4 or 5 years and he is about as passionate as they come. This man bleeds and sweats PASS. Allen has served a two year term over the PASS Summit portfolio and I don’t think there is a question about how wildly popular and successful that event is. You might think to have that success he must have had his head down and just focused on that one thing, but you would be wrong. What really gives Allen that success is his ability to see the whole organization and how all the pieces play together. Did you know that letting the top rated speakers from SQLRally Orlando get guaranteed speaking spots at last year’s Summit was his idea? SQLRally was not his portfolio, but he saw how they could compliment each other to grow community speakers.
Right now he is on year one of the Chapter portfolio. Ask any current or past board member and they will tell you it takes a year to get your feet wet on a new portfolio. They will tell you it’s not until around the second year that you start to see the vision and how to enact good change. Allen, however, has managed to make actionable changes already within the first year of having this portfolio. He piloted an awesome program for Regional Mentors to travel to user groups to better understand their challenges and also give them the most requested thing for a chapter, speakers.
He has also been working tirelessly to enhance the http://www.sqlpass.org website for chapter leaders. A few of his changes have been released already and if you are a chapter leader you know how useful they are. He has a lot more new features planned and in the works and I’m hoping he gets to serve another term to finish out those visions. I do marketing/communications for a local chapter and also a virtual chapter, and I know the time commitment in advertising those meetings and events. It sounds like a quick copy/paste thing, but it’s not because every social media outlet has a different format. The tools Allen is working on will alleviate and even automate that.
Above all else, I would encourage everyone to vote. If you choose wisely to vote then I urge you to consider Allen and Sri as strong contenders to help usher in a new era for PASS.
By now you’re wondering why I have only talked about two of the candidates when you get to vote for three. I voted for a third (my wild card), but I felt strongly enough about these two people to make my vote and backing public. That’s a big deal for me and not something I take lightly.