Denise McInerney Blog

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Whoosh: PASS Board Year 1, Q4

"Whoosh". That's the sound the last quarter of 2012 made as it rushed by. My first year on the PASS Board is complete, and the last three months of it were probably the busiest.

PASS Summit 2012
Much of October was devoted to preparing for Summit. Every Board  member, HQ staffer and dozens of volunteers were busy in the run-up to our flagship event. It takes a lot of work to put on the Summit. The community meetings,  first-timers program, keynotes, sessions and that fabulous Community Appreciation party are the result of many hours of preparation.

Virtual Chapters at the Summit
With a lot of help from Karla Landrum, Michelle Nalliah, Lana Montgomery and others at HQ the VCs had a good presence at Summit. We started the week with a VC leaders meeting. I shared some information about the activities and growth during the first part of the year.  

From January - September 2012:

  • The number of VCs increased from 14 to 20
  • VC membership  grew from 55,200 to 80,100
  • Total attendance at VC meetings increased from 1,480 to 2,198
  • Been part of PASS Global Growth with language-based VC- including Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese.

We also heard from some VC leaders and volunteers. Ryan Adams (Performance VC) shared his tips for successful marketing of VC events. Amy Lewis (Business Intelligence VC) described how the BI chapter has expanded to support PASS' global growth by finding volunteers to organize events at times that are convenient for people in Europe and Australia. Felipe Ferreira (Portuguese language VC) described the experience of building a user group first in Brazil, then expanding to work with Portuguese-speaking data professionals around the world.

Virtual Chapter leaders and volunteers were in evidence throughout Summit, beginning with the Welcome Reception. For the past several years VCs have had an organized presence at this event, signing up new members and advertising their meetings. Many VC leaders also spent time at the Community Zone. This new addition to the Summit proved to be a vibrant spot were new members and volunteers could network with others and find out how to start a chapter or host a SQL Saturday.

Women In Technology
2012 was the 10th WIT Luncheon to be held at Summit. I was honored to be asked to be on the panel to discuss the topic "Where Have We Been and Where are We Going?" The PASS community has come a long way in our understanding of issues facing women in tech and our support of women in the organization. It was great to hear from panelists Stefanie Higgins and Kevin Kline who were there at the beginning as well as Kendra Little and Jen Stirrup who are part of the progress being made by women in our community today.

Bylaw Changes
The Board spent a good deal of time in 2012 discussing how to move our global growth initiatives forward. An important component of this is a proposed change to how the Board is elected with some seats representing geographic regions. At the end of December we voted on these proposed bylaw changes which have been published for review. The member review and feedback is open until February 8. I encourage all members to review these changes and send any feedback to  In addition to reading the bylaws, I recommend reading Bill Graziano's blog post on the subject.

Business Analytics Conference
At Summit we announced a new event: the PASS Business Analytics Conference. The inaugural event will be April 10-12, 2013 in Chicago. The world of data is changing rapidly. More and more businesses want to extract value and insight from their data. Data professionals who provide these insights or enable others to do so are in demand. The BA Conference offers expert content on predictive analytics, data exploration and visualization, content delivery strategies and more. By holding this new event PASS is participating in important discussions happening in our industry, offering our members more educational value and reaching out to data professionals who are not currently part of our organization.

New Year, New Portfolio
In addition to my work with the Virtual Chapters I am also now responsible for the 24 Hours of PASS portfolio. Since the first 24HOP of 2013 is scheduled for January 30 we started the transition of the portfolio work from Rob Farley to me right after Summit. Work immediately started to secure speakers for the January event. We have also been evaluating webinar platforms that can be used for 24HOP as well as the Virtual Chapters.

Next Up
24 Hours of PASS: Business Analytics Edition will be held on January 30. I'll be there and will moderate one or two sessions. The 24HOP topics are a sneak peek into the type of content that will be offered at the Business Analytics Conference. I hope to see some of you there.

The Virtual Chapters have hit the ground running in 2013; many of them have events scheduled. The Application Development VC is getting restarted  and a new Business Analytics VC will be starting soon. Check out the lineup and join the VCs that interest you. And watch the Events page and Connector for announcements of upcoming meetings.

At the end of January I will be attending a Board meeting in Seattle, and February 23 I will be at SQL Saturday #177 in Silicon Valley.