Category: Regional Mentor

PASS Summit 2013 Recap of Madness and Mayhem

Greetings! Another PASS Summit has come and gone. This was my third Summit and I have to say that I am truly hooked on this spectacular event. I had the privilege to be a bit more involved this year than in years past. I love when I can give some of my time and energy to help out an organization that has been hugely important for me in my career with SQL Server.

I spent much of Tuesday in meetings related to the PASS organization. There was the Regional Mentors meeting, the Chapter Leader meeting, and a chance to sit down with the Canadian Chapter Leaders. As a PASS Regional Mentor for Canada, that was great since I don’t often get the chance to see them in person.Summit 2013 Badge

Since it was already confirmed on Twitter, I would like to say that I will be working with SQL MVP and Winnipeg  SQL Server User Group chapter leader, Mike DeFehr (Blog|Twitter), on planning a SQL Saturday in his fine city. I am hoping I will get to go as well. I have never been involved in running a SQL Saturday and I thought helping Mike would be a great way to fulfill my role as a Regional Mentor and also give me the experience to better help others with their event planning in the future.

PASS invited me to be on the Blogger Core and have a seat at the Bloggers table for the keynotes this year. While it can be challenging to keep up with meaningful things to post while live blogging, I really enjoy it. I always get a lot out of it. You can read those posts at PASS Summit Keynote Live Blog – Day 1 and  PASS Summit Keynote Live Blog – Day 2 respectively.

When PASS invited me to serve on the Blogger Core, they also indicated I would have access to an Interview room. I had never interviewed anyone before, but it seemed like a great opportunity to capitalize on connections I had made at PASS BA Conference, Tech Ed North America, and past PASS events. I decided, with the fast pace of change occurring in Business Intelligence both at Microsoft and in the industry as a whole, that I should try to sit down with prominent Microsoft personnel to talk about their work and the future of Microsoft BI. Being a lowly blogger from Minneapolis, I didn’t expect to get very far, but I had to try. I was astonished at the access I was given. Listed in chronological order of when the interviews took place, I sat down with:

  • Matt Masson (Blog|Twitter), Senior Program Manager for SQL Server Integration Services
  • Kamal Hathi, Director of Program Management for Microsoft Business Intelligence
  • Kasper de Jonge (Blog|Twitter), Program Manager for SQL Server Analysis Services

I know! Right? For real.

Transcribing the audio from these interviews is taking a little time. Each interview will get its own blog post. I hope to have the first one released next week. I have to express my great appreciation to Matt, Kamal, and Kasper for giving of their valuable time to chat with me. I also need to say thanks to Microsoft’s Cindy Gross (Blog|Twitter) for helping with my connection to Kamal Hathi.

I also had the honor of wearing a SPEAKER ribbon on my Summit badge this year. It was my first time speaking at PASS Summit; a career milestone to be sure. I am happy to report my presentation, DANGER: The Art and Science of Presenting, went extremely well. And, despite presenting right after Dr. David DeWitt’s brilliant keynote and being on the other end of the Convention Center, there were very few empty chairs in my room. The feedback I have received so far is all very positive. Thanks to all who chose my session when there were so many great options to choose from.

While I ended up having to miss the public Q&A Session with the PASS Board of Directors, I do have some notes from the private Blogger Q&A with the executive committee. I will prep that for another post.

If you ever get the chance to go to PASS Summit, grab onto it with both hands. There’s nothing like connecting, sharing, and learning with a few thousand of your closest friends to get you jazzed about what you do.


PASS Regional Mentor–Canada

I had mentioned in my most recent PD post, Professional Development Plans: Turning Your Job Into a Career, Part 2, that I wanted to jump back into SQL Community involvement and let PASS know of my desire to become a PASS Regional Mentor (RM). I was on the Executive Board for the Minnesota chapter of PASS, PASSMN, for three years and had a great time. After taking a few years off, I am ready and anxious to get back into the game. The RM program is a huge asset to both PASS local chapters and the PASS community as a whole. The roles of an RM are, as PASS Community Evangelist Karl Landrum (b|t) noted in her post on the PASS Blog, the following:


I heard from PASS Director Allen Kinsel (b|t) that PASS would like to have me on board as a Regional Mentor. Hazzah!!!! It is now official.

I will be helping Chris Shaw (b|t) with the mighty Canada region. I am really excited to get this opportunity to work with Chris and serve this community I care so much about.

To my Canadian friends:

1. Having grown up in New Hampshire before moving to Minnesota, I have never lived in a US State that did not border Canada.

2. Canada happens to be the only country outside the US to which I have traveled.

3. When I was growing up, my Dad would often watch Les Habitants on the French language channel.

4. I think Mike Myers is hysterical.

5. I studied French in school for 12 years. It was mostly written, though, so my conversational French is pretty poor. But I can tell you all about pencils, pens, dogs, cats, cows, pigs, coats, boys, girls, and colors. Oh, and skirts. I don’t wear them, myself, but I remember how to say it in French. Boats, too.

6. I remember watching the Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, thinking it looked pretty cool. I was only thirteen at the time.

7. My wife and I watched a whole big lot of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and it was just amazing. When I told her that being a Regional Mentor for Canada was a possibility, she immediately told me, “If you end up going to Vancouver, I AM COMING. Period.” 🙂

8. Like The Kids in the Hall, I was in a TheatreSports improvised comedy troupe for three years.

Words can’t really explain how excited I am for this new role. I am constantly telling people about the vibrant, fantastic SQL Community. It’s going to be great to be an ambassador for PASS in a more formal capacity.