Denise McInerney Blog

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Probation is Over: PASS Board Year 1, Q2

Though it's not always official every job begins with a probation period. You start out with lots of questions and every day you find out how much more you have to learn. Usually after a few months you discover that you can actually answer some questions and have at least an idea of what you are supposed to be doing. Now at the end of my second quarter on the "job" of serving on the PASS Board I have reached that point. My probation period is over.

The last three months were busy for the entire Board with the budget process, an in-person meeting and moving forward with PASS Global Growth plans.

I had also set a specific goal for myself for my 2nd quarter: to see the Board to adopt a Code of Conduct for the PASS Summit.

Code of Conduct
When I ran for the Board I included my desire to see PASS establish a code of conduct in my
campaign platform.  I was motivated to do this for a few reasons.

  • Other technical conferences have had incidents of harassment. Most of these did not have a policy in place prior to having a problem, though several conference organizers have since adopted anti-harassment policies or codes of conduct. I felt it would be in PASS' interest to establish a policy so we would be prepared should there be an incident. 
  •  "This is Community" Adopting a code of conduct would reinforce our community orientation and send a message about the positive character of the Summit.
  • PASS is a leader among technical organizations for its promotion and support of women. Adopting a code of conduct would further demonstrate our leadership in this area.

After researching similar polices from other organizations I published a first draft in April. I solicited feedback from the Board, HQ staff and some PASS members. Incorporating that feedback I presented version 4 at the May Board meeting, where we had a good discussion. You can read the meeting minutes for details. I incorporated points from  the Board discussion as well as feedback from a legal review to produce a final version which has been submitted to the Board. It will be discussed at the Board meeting July 12. You can read the full text at the end of this post.

Virtual Chapters
In the first quarter we started ramping up marketing support for the Virtual Chapters. Since then each edition of the
Connector has highlighted a different VC to help get out the message about the variety of eductional opporutnities that are offered. These VC profiles will continue in the coming months.

I was very pleased to welcome the new DBA Fundamentals VC which is geared toward new DBAs, people who are considering entering the field and those transitioning from a different IT role.

Thanks to the contributions of Erin Stellato, Michelle Nalliah and Karla Landrum we published a "Virtual Chapter Guidebook". This document includes great advice on how to build and promote a VC. It's also a reference for how things work, from budgets to webinar hosting. I think this document will be extremely valuable to all our VC leaders and am grateful to those who put it together.

Board Meeting/SQL Rally
The Board met in May in Dallas. Among the items discussed were Global Growth, the budget, future events and the upcoming elections. We covered a lot of ground in two days and I will again refer you to the
meeting minutes for details.
The meeting schedule allowed us to participate in the SQL Rally networking events and one full day of the conference. I enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and talk with many PASS members. And my hat is off to the SQL Rally organizers who put on an outstanding event.

Global Growth
PASS has undertaken a major intitiative to reach and engage SQL Server professionals around the world. This
Global Growth plan is ambitious and will have a significant impact on the strategic direction of the organization. We have been reaching out to the community for feedback, including hosting Twitter chats and live Town Hall meetings. I co-hosted two of these events and appreciated hearing the different perspectives of the people who participated

If you have not done so I encourage you to read about the Global Growth vision and proposed governance changes  and submit your feedback.

FY13 Budget
July 1 is the beginning of PASS' fiscal year, which makes the end of June the deadline for approving a budget. Each director submits a budget for his or her portfolio. For the Virtual Chapter portfolio I focused on how we can allocate resources to grow the VCs. Budgeting is a give-and-take process, and while I didn't get everything I asked for I'm pleased the FY13 budget includes a significant increase in financial support for the Virtual Chapters.

Many people put a lot of work into the budget, but no two people deserve credit more than VP of Finance Douglas McDowell and Accounting Manager Sandy Cherry. Thanks to both of them for getting us across the goal line on time.

SQL Saturday
I attended SQL Saturdays in Orange Co. CA and Phoenix. It's always inspiring to see the enthusiasm in the community for learning and networking. These events are successful due to the hard work of many volunteers. Thanks to the organizers in both cities for all your efforts.

Next Up
This quarter we'll be gearing up plans for the VCs at the Summit and exploring ways the VCs can best support PASS' Global Growth work. I'll also be wrapping up work on the Code of Conduct and attending a Board meeting in September. And I will be at
SQL Saturday #144 in Sacramento later this month.

Here is the language of the Code of Conduct I have submitted to the Board for consideration:

PASS Code of Conduct

The PASS Summit provides database professionals from a variety of backgrounds with an opportunity to connect, share and learn.  We value the strong sense of community that characterizes this event and we seek to foster an inclusive, professional atmosphere.

We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion or any other protected classification. 

Everyone at the Summit is expected to follow the Code of Conduct. This includes but is not limited to: PASS Staff, Exhibitors, Speakers, Attendees and anyone affiliated with the event. Participants are expected to follow the Code of Conduct at all Summit events, including PASS-sponsored social events.

Participant behavior

Harassment includes, but is not limited to, offensive verbal comments related to gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion, or any other protected classification.  Intimidation, threats, stalking, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome attention will also be considered harassment. Similarly, sexual, racist, derogatory, threatening or other inappropriate language and imagery are not appropriate for any conference venue, including sessions. 


If a participant engages in any conduct that is prohibited under this Code of Conduct, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expelling the offender from the conference. No refunds will be granted to attendees expelled from the Summit due to violations of the Code of Conduct.

If you are being harassed, witness harassment, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff immediately. Conference staff can be identified by their “Headquarters/Staff” shirts and are trained to handle the situation appropriately.

A Code of Conduct Committee (CCC) made up of the Executive Manager and three members of the Board of Directors designated by the President will be authorized to take action in response to an incident or behavior that violates the Code of Conduct.


Legacy Comments

Wayne Snyder
re: Probation is Over: PASS Board Year 1, Q2
Thanks for your work Denise. It is good to hear the Board is moving forward, and I appreciate your contributions, both past and future.