It’s election season! No, I’m not talking about The Donald, The Clinton, The Neurosurgeon, The Veep, or any of those folks. It’s time for the annual SQL PASS board elections.
If you’re not familiar with the SQL PASS organization, I encourage you to check out what all they have to offer. This is an international organization that seeks to educate and help improve the careers of data professionals. PASS supports local user groups, regional events, virtual events, and most visibly, the annual SQL PASS Summit. PASS impacts tens of thousands of people per year across the world, and is a significant career and learning resource, particularly in the Microsoft SQL Server realm.
Because of its size and influence, having the right people in leadership is critical. PASS is governed by an elected board of directors, with annual elections to fill two-year terms. In this election cycle, there are three seats up for election, with four candidates campaigning to fill those spots. For those of you who will be voting in the election, I encourage you to get to know all of the candidates. Read their blogs, their election bio pages (linked below), and ask them any questions you may have.
This year’s election is difficult for me in that all of the candidates are friends of mine. I’ve known Argenis Fernandez for years, and I know him to be one of the most level-headed and honest people I know. I have known Tim Ford for almost as long as I’ve been involved in the SQL Server community, and he has earned my respect as a voice of reason and a no-nonsense guy who can get things done. I have not known Jen Stirrup quite as long, but I’ve found her to be one of the most polite and considerate people in the SQL Server community, and she quickly built a reputation for being a highly effective incumbent PASS board member. All three of these folks have demonstrated their dedication to the SQL Server community, and I believe any of them would be a strong asset on the PASS board.
However, there is one candidate that I know very well, and have firsthand experience seeing his dedication and aptitude put to work to help the community. I first met Ryan Adams through our mutual involvement in the Dallas-area North Texas SQL Server User Group, back when I was just a spectator in the SQL Server community. Even back then, Ryan was a frequent attendee and contributor to the local user group meetings. As he and I separately started to get more involved in community and user group matters, I was impressed with his organization and selflessness. Later, we spent nearly four years serving on the NTSSUG board together, organizing numerous SQL Saturdays, SQL Rally, and other user group events. During that time, Ryan also volunteered as regional mentor and virtual chapter leader, leading those areas through growth and improved processes and communication. He continually impressed me with his work ethic and his willingness and ability to give back to the community in tangible and helpful ways.
In working with Ryan, I can say without hesitation that he is the most organized person I know. He’s relentless at follow-up, and in short, is a guy who gets things done. He has served the community with great passion and selflessness, and I believe he will make an excellent board member for the PASS organization. I am happy to support his candidacy.