Thoughts on the Nomination Committee Campaign 2014
Congratulations to Erin, Andy and Allen on making the
Nomination Committee for 2014. As Mark Broadbent (@retracement) stated in his
tweet, there’s a great set of individuals for the Nom Com, and I could not
agree more. I know Erin and Allen, and I know how much value they will bring to
the process. I don’t know Andy as well, but I am sure he will do a great job
and I hope I can meet him at PASS soon. The final candidate appointed by the
PASS board is Rick Bolesta, who brings a wealth of experience to the process.
I also want to take the opportunity to thank all who have
voted. Not just for me, but for all the candidates during the election. Your
contribution is greatly appreciated.
Would I apply for the Nom Com again? Yes I would. My first election experience has
been a learning experience in itself. So I accept the result and look forward to applying next
Moving on from this, I do want to express my opinion about
the lack of international representation in the election process.
One of the tweets that I saw after the result was from Adam
Machanic (@AdamMachanic) who commented on the lack of international members on
the Nom Com. If truth be told, I was disappointed – when the candidate list was
released -- that for the second time in recent elections there was a lack of
international candidates on the candidate list. It feels that only Brits and
Americans partake in such elections. This is a real shame, and I can’t help
thinking why this is the case. Hugo Kornelis (@Hugo_Kornelis) wrote a blog here
to express his thoughts. He did raise some valid points.
I don’t know why there is an absence of international candidates. I know that the team at PASS are
looking to improve the situation, so I do not want to give the impression that
PASS are doing nothing. For reference please see Bill Graziano’ s article here
to see how PASS are addressing the situation. There is a clear direction to
change the rules within PASS to give greater inclusion of international members.
In addition to this, I wanted to explore a couple of potential
approaches to address the situation. I am not saying that they are the right
answer, but when I see challenges, I like to bring potential solutions to the
PASS mission statement to define a tactical objective that engages community leaders
into the election process.
If you are not familiar with the PASS mission statement, let me provide it here
as laid out on the PASS website.
“Empower data professionals who leverage
Microsoft technologies to connect, share, and learn through networking,
knowledge sharing, and peer-based learning”
PASS fulfil this mission statement regularly. Whether you attend SQL Saturday,
SQLRally, SQLPASS and BA conference itself. The biggest value of PASS is the
ability to bring our profession together. And the 24 hour hop allows you to
learn from the comfort of your own office/home.
This mission should be extended to define a tactical objectives that bring
greater networking and knowledge sharing between PASS Chapter leaders/Regional
Mentors and PASS HQ. It should help educate the leaders about the opportunities
of elections and how leaders can become involved. I know PASS engage with
Chapter leaders on a regular basis to discuss community matters for the benefit
of PASS members.
How could this be achieved?
Perhaps PASS could perform a quarterly virtual meeting that specifically looks
at helping leaders become more involved with the election process
the Global Growth Strategy into a Global Engagement Strategy.
One of the remits of the PASS board over the last couple of years is the Global
Growth strategy. This has been very successful as we have seen the massive
growth of events across the world. For that, I congratulate the board for this
Perhaps the time is now right to look at solidifying this success, through a
Global Engagement Strategy that starts with the collaboration of Chapter Leaders,
Regional Mentors and Evangelists in their respective Countries or Regions. The engagement
strategy should look at increasing collaboration between community leaders for
the benefit of their respective communities. It should also provide a channel
for encouraging leaders to put themselves forward for the elections.
How could this be achieved?
In the UK, there has been a big growth in PASS Chapters and SQL Server Events
that was approaching saturation point. The introduction of the Community
Engagement Day -- channelled through the SQLBits conference -- has enabled
Chapter Leaders to collaborate, connect and share with PASS, Sponsors and
It also provides the ability for Chapter Leaders to speak directly to the PASS
representatives from PASSHQ. This brings with it the ability for PASS community
evangelists to communicate PASS objectives. It has also been the event where we
have found out; and/or encouraged, Chapter Leaders to put themselves forward
for elections. People like encouragement and validation when going for something
like an election, and being able to discuss this with peers at a dedicated
event provides a useful platform.
PASS has the people in place already to facilitate such an event. Regional
Mentors could potentially help organise such events on an annual basis, with
PASSHQ providing support in providing a room/Lync access for the event to take
place. It would be really good if a PASSHQ representative could attend in
person as well.
candidates to serve only a limited number of terms.
A frequent comment I saw on social networking was that the elections can be
seen by some as a popularity conference. Perhaps by limiting the number of terms
that an individual can serve on either the Nom Com or the BOD, other candidates
may be encouraged to be more actively involved within the PASS election process.
I don’t think that the current byelaws
deal with this particular suggestion.
I also saw a couple of tweets that stated that more active community members
did not apply for the Nom Com. I struggled to understand how the individuals of
the tweets measured “more active”. It just also further solidified the
subjective nature of elections. In the absence of how candidates are put
forward for the elections. Then a restriction of terms enables the opportunity
to be extended to others.
How could this be achieved?
Set a resolution that is put to a community vote as to the viability of such a
solution. For example, the questions for the vote could be:
Should individuals in the Nom Com and BoD be limited to a certain number of
What is the maximum number of terms a candidate could serve?
It would be simple to execute such a vote,
and the community will have an opportunity to have a say in an important aspect
of the PASS organisation. And is the change is successful, then add it as a
So there are some of my thoughts. I am not
saying they are right or wrong. But I do hope that there is a concerted effort
to encourage more candidates from other reaches of the Globe to become involved
with future elections.
It would be good to hear your thoughts