Volunteerism and PASS

Most of you out there in the SQL community are aware that this week in the annual U.S. PASS Summit.  This year brings us back to Seattle and so far weather has cooperated.  However, weather has little bearing when we are at a technical summit such as PASS.

PASS is not just a technical summit – it is a user community that happens to present a technical summit, both in the U.S. and in Europe.  That is what differentiates us from the SQLConnections, TechEds, and DevTeaches of the world.  It also means that PASS relies heavily on its reserve of volunteers for everything from determining content at the annual Summits to Chapter Leaders for the 130+ local PASS chapters in the U.S. and abroad. 

The first day of PASS general sessions is preceded by a day devoted to developing the strengths of our Volunteers and informing them of the inner workings of PASS and its executive board over the past 12 months.  General volunteer information sharing occurs in the morning: review of the organizational chart, processes, and general procedures we are bound to and rely on in order to keep PASS functioning properly; that sort of thing.  This year Kevin Kline, the previous PASS President, also presented us with the (sometimes) sordid history of PASS.  This was not just of value to the new Volunteers, but some tidbits were of news to even us long-termers.  Of particular news: the attendee from the adult entertainment industry, and the attendee that was physically removed from the Summit one year for enjoying a technical session just a little too much in the back row of a conference room.  The afternoon brings with it breakout sessions for the individual volunteer areas-of-interest: Chapter Leadership, Programming, Editorial Committee, Special Interest Groups, Quizbowl, and the such. 

The day of volunteerism training is as valuable to the Volunteers as the Volunteers are to PASS.  The Executive Board is extremely open to its volunteers; transparent actually.  We are free to ask and get answers to our questions for budgeting, procedures, and direction.  As a Volunteer I can state with full confidence that the goals of our Leadership are in line with the goals of our members and that they put their 125% into keeping PASS the finest SQL Server community we could hope for.  The Board Members are Volunteers like the rest of us, with lives and careers outside of PASS, yet with an unbelievably enormous amount responsibility to PASS.

Reminder to Vote
Our Leaders are elected, and it is you as PASS members are responsible for selecting (collectively) our Board.  You currently have until Thursday morning to cast your votes for the future board.  I am choosing not to endorse a candidate or group of candidates.  I believe each individual that is running has his/her strengths.  I will task you to ask this question though: “What has this particular candidate done for PASS?”