Joe Webb Blog

Musing and observations about SQL Server, other technogies, and sometimes just life in general

PASSing the torch

As many of you may know, for the past six years I've volunteered my time and energy to an organization called PASS - the Professional Association for SQL Server. It's a wonderful organization of highly dedicated, talented, and personable SQL Server professionals from around the world.

My time on the PASS board began in January of 2002 when I was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board created when a director resigned mid-term. I really enjoyed working with such a dedicated and enthusiastic group of people and I sought re-election at the end of my first year.

Now, three elections and six years later, I've just completed my final term on the PASS board. I've served in variety of capacities over the years including Director of Community Development, Director of Logistics and Conference Operations, and Vice President of Marketing. My tenure culminated in the role that I just left, the Executive Vice President of Finance.

My good friend Kevin Kline, the immediate past-president of PASS, describes some of the accomplishments of the organization that we've all labored toward over these past years in a recent post on his personal blog site. I admire Kevin's skills as a leader, his knowledge as a SQL Server professional, and his strong convictions as a person of faith. It's been a real pleasure serving along him and the rest of the PASS board volunteers - far too many to name individually.

Serving on the board has been a lot of fun and very rewarding in many, many ways. It truly is one of those ventures where the more you put in, the more you seem to get out. It was also a lot of hard work. I routinely put 12 to 18 hours per week into PASS-related activities.

But I count all of those hours as being very worthwhile. In a small way, I helped to create a worldwide organization of more than 25,000 SQL Server professionals and foster a networking and knowledge-sharing environment from which we all can benefit. And the organization is poised to do even greater things under the new executive leadership of Wayne Snyder, Rushabh Mehta, and Bill Graziano.

So what will I do with all this new found free time? Well, I've found that the tasks I have to do are subject to physics laws concerning gases - the tasks tend to expand to fill the volume of free time available. I plan to get more involved with my local church, my kids scouting activities, and my local SQL Server user group again. I've also taken up another worthwhile volunteer role, one on the Auburn University MBA Advisory Board. And, of course, I'll still be involved with PASS in some way; I love the community too much to simply walk away completely.

But the thing I'm most looking forward to is spending more time at home with my family and working on our little hobby farm in middle Tennessee. If you're interested you can read of our adventure on our little slice of creation over on my personal blog.