Some of you may know that I am pretty passionate about the PASS community. The community has had its up’s and down’s over the last few years, maybe this is why I have become fascinated with who is severing on the Board Of Directors (BOD). I have considered running for the board a couple times in the past, I have determined that as much as I think I would enjoy serving on the BOD, I just don’t think I am the right person. For me to make the determination that I would not make a good BOD member I had to do a lot of soul searching. I had a lot of fears such as the unknown if I could even get past the vetting stage. Many of my fears I believe are based in the reality of it just isn’t good timing for me. However this post isn’t about me, the reason I tell you about my path of self-review in considering running for the BOD, is so that you might consider a few things before you cast your vote. During my time of self-consideration I determined that certain traits should be considered:
- A BOD member needs to be a person that instills trust. There are a lot of items that are discussed in the Board Room. Sometimes we may or may not know all the facts around what was discussed. The Board is asked to vote on many items during the year, and it is important to me that the people we have in office are those that I know will consider all the facts, review the positives and negatives of each decision and then they will cast a vote in the direction that is best for the health of the PASS organization as a whole. I don’t want a board member that is out for their own gain.
- A BOD member is NOT a lemming. Each one of our Board members need to make a decision on their own. Voting because that is the way everyone else is going to vote does not make the vote right nor does it make it wrong. A BOD member is someone who determines what is best for the community and uses that as the driving factor on who they vote.
- A BOD member knows how to listen, if you watch them and watch them closely the board members are talking to the PASS members, they want to know what issues are important to us. They may not always be able to comment on different topics but that should never discourage you from telling them what is important to you as a member of PASS.
- A BOD member is in it for the long haul. If you look into the history of what they have done you should see many interactions with the community. The people that have been vetted have a lot of experience with PASS and the SQL Community.
I am sure there are a number of other traits that I could add to this list, I am sure that you have a few of your own that you might add. The important thing is that you take the time to identify what those traits are and what it means to you. When I see the list, I know almost all the names a couple of them jump off the page at me at who I think would be a great Board Member…
Allen Kinsel –
When I first started working with the Colorado Springs SQL Server users group, our relationship with PASS was a little unknown, we were not sure how this relationship worked. After a lot of growing, not only by PASS but our local users group I had the opportunity to work with Allen. He was the board member who was responsible for working with the chapters. I can tell you personally I never saw as much growth with the way PASS works with the local PASS chapters as I did when Allen was working with local chapters on the board. Granted he had a lot of help from Karla Landrum (one of my favorite people involved with PASS) and a number of other people as well. It was under Allen’s watch when I have seen the most progress. When I heard Allen was not going to be back working with the chapters, I can tell you it felt like a body punch being delivered by Tyson himself. Now this has a happy ending because the next board member to work with the chapters is a good friend Wendy Pastrick, and I believe she carried the torch well. When I look at what Allen has done, and I watched as Allen walked away with his head held high I knew that if his name ever came on the ballot again, I was going to do everything I could to support him. I can tell you without hesitation that Allen meets all the criteria and expectations I have for a Board Member. Allen you got my vote, you earned it.
Amy Lewis –
When I saw Amy on the ballot I was thinking about all the interactions that I have had with her. I tried and tried to come up with some catchy way that I can tell you how she has influenced the community, and has motivated me. Every time I keep coming back to the same thing. When I look at how I have organized user group meetings, or SQL Saturdays I always feel like there is something else I should have done. Things like making sure the speakers know how much they are appreciated, or the consistent communication with the chapter. Amy does that, she has some of the best follow through that I have ever seen. Then I look at how she is involved. Her dedication to Women in Technology (WIT), or the PASS Summit serving as a committee chair. She just doesn’t stop. There are a number of what I would call example chapters around the world. Chapters that are strong, chapters that are growing, chapters that if you can use as an example to make things better in your chapter. I can say without a doubt that the Phoenix chapter is one of those, and I believe a lot of it has to do with Amy. When she is involved in something, no matter what it is I think that something just got a whole lot better. I would be proud to have her as part of any event that I worked on.
It is important to me that I say I support each of the candidates that are running. I applaud the Nomination Committee for providing us with such qualified candidates. This is going to be a very difficult decision, and I don’t want to take away from anyone who is on the ballot. To all the candidates, I wish you good luck, I know you will do well. We have had many great leaders in the past, and we have great leadership on the board now. I am excited to see what the coming years have in store for us.