Why I’m Running
Over the past few years, I’ve been considering running for the PASS Board of Directors and this year appears to be the right year to do this. I’m running now because when I look at what PASS needs and where it is going, I feel I have the right ideas, skills, and vision to help move PASS forward.
Rather than restate in other words my ideas and vision for PASS, I’m sharing my campaign platform from my PASS candidate page below:
Connect. We need to better work on connecting different types of members and the PASS leadership together. Building bridges between developers and administrators and consultants and FTEs helps each grow off the other’s strengths. As we’ve seen, even the PASS leadership can benefit from better connecting to the community. PASS is good at resolving communication issues with the community, now it needs to move those skills to the initial conversation.
Additionally, we need to better help vendors to connect to the community. There needs to be both a low barrier to entry for vendors testing out our community and quality interaction for those that financially sponsor the community.
Share. PASS has hours and hours of content, but it’s in difficult to search event directories. We need a way to search and view content making it more accessible to community members. We need the ability to share and promote content to empower people new to the community or topic to discover meaningful content with minimal effort.
Learn. PASS is a large community that has experiences with the data platforms from small to large environments. We seem to know little about the community and have few tools to help members to better understand our community. A regular cadence of survey requests in areas from how data platforms are being used to what types of training is needed would help both vendors, presenters, and authors better prepare materials that can help the community learn what they need when they need it.
The campaign platform pretty much covers the ideas and vision of what I want to see from PASS organzation. But what about skills for the PASS board? Communication is probably the most important skill to bring to the PASS Board of Directors. As the support statements below will help demonstrate, I’ve been in a lot of situations where listening and demonstrating that I understand the needs and concerns have been key. This is key along with ensuring that the decisions made by the PASS Board are communicated to the community correctly and match the discussions in the Board of Directors meeting minutes.
Words of Support
I reached out to some members of the PASS community to get their opinions on my running and whether they support the effort. Here are some of the comments that I got back:
Mark Vaillancourt (@MarkVSQL)
I think Jason Strate would make an excellent board member of PASS. From involvement with local PASS chapters, SQL Saturdays, and the Cloud Virtual Chapter, Jason has shown not only his own passion for what PASS has to offer, but a willingness and ability to inspire others to share that passion. I learned early in my career the value PASS can have; I learned that largely by watching Jason Strate. He doesn’t just talk a good game when it comes to this organization, he leads by example. A seat on the Board of Directors would allow Jason to spread his passion for PASS even further.
Jes Borland (@grrl_geek)
I’m writing to support Jason Strate for the PASS Board of Directors. Jason is a long-time, dedicated PASS volunteer, and I feel he knows the community well enough to represent us.
Jason’s strengths include great communication skills, a willingness to work hard to get tasks done, and a history of leadership. Communication is necessary – both as a member of a board, and in communicating to the members he would represent. Jason communicates in a clear and understandable fashion. Jason is a hard worker – I’ve seen him work on his full-time job, run a SQLSaturday, and write a book. He isn’t afraid to put in the effort to get the job done. Jason’s experience in leading PASS chapters, regions, and SQLSaturdays speak to his leadership skills. He’s familiar with managing other volunteers, budgets, and timelines – all necessary as a member of a board of directors.
Dan English (@denglishbi)
To PASS and fellow SQL Family Community,
I would like to strongly endorse fellow colleague, SQL family, and Microsoft Data Platform MVP Jason Strate to the PASS BoD. I have known Jason going on close to 10 years now and have worked with him as a local PASS MN SQL Chapter member, organizing local SQLSaturday events, organizing SQL launch events, and presenting at numerous other events. Jason is a very dedicated, energetic, and passionate individual and represents our SQL community extremely well. I am very glad and proud that I have Jason in my local community to support and encourage others and to make strong relationships and SQL family contributions. I definitely support and will gladly promote Jason as a member of the PASS community and to be a member of the BoD.
Jason Horner (@jasonhorner)
I have known Jason Strate since attending my first sql saturday #52 in Denver in September of 2010. At that time Jason was the president of the mnpass chapter and one of the first speakers to begin the trend of traveling to Sql Saturdays to speak.
Over the last 6 years Jason’s passion and dedication to the PASS community is unparalleled, he has run local chapters, organized large Sql Saturdays, and currently runs the Cloud VC. It is this breadth, depth, and length of perspective at all levels that would be one of his strongest assets as a pass board member
I also had the pleasure of working with Jason at pragmatic works during this time Jason showed a high level of organization, vision, and leadership to both myself and others. His work ethic and ability to see things through to completion was legendary throughout pragmatic works. I believe this makes him uniquely qualified to serve on the pass board.
finally Jason has shown a tremendous amount of innovation around blogging and social media. I have no doubt that this would work tirelessly to improve PASS’s transparency and reach to a more global audience via these channels.
I would recommend him enthusiastically without hesitation.
Mickey Stuewe (@SQLMickey)
Jason State is a staple in our SQL Community. His charismatic and patient personality puts people at easy and encourages them to find out more about our community. Jason not only puts thought into the content of his presentations, but he also puts thought into how the audience will react to his presentations. These qualities provide him the ability to pay attention to how the community is responding to events that occur and they help the community members feel that he is approachable to ask questions and address concerns. I feel that these qualities make him an ideal candidate for the PASS Board of Directors.
Bradley Ball (@SQLBalls)
To the Attention of Nomination Committee Members, PASS Board of Directors, and PASS Community Members at Large
I am writing to encourage, endorse, and support Jason Strate in his bid for a seat on the PASS Board of Directors. I have known Jason for years in the SQL Community, personally, and professionally. During my time working with Jason professionally I interviewed, recommended for hiring, worked with, and managed Jason. From a professional perspective Jason is an extremely talented expert in SQL Server, core DBA skills, Big Data, MPP Appliances, ETL & ELT processes¸ Cloud/Hybrid Architectures, and different data visualization technologies. I list this not to demonstrate his technical depth but to demonstrate his depth in multiple technical areas. Jason is best known as a DBA. Jason has presented at many conferences and written to great acclaim on Indexing, SSIS, and general performance tuning. Jason also understands how to examine the data world from multiple points of view. This is one thing that makes him a fantastic candidate, the other is his ability to communicate.
I have watched Jason tackle difficult assignments with hostile audiences. Though listening to concerns, being open and agile in consideration, and sincere in his intent he has been able to turn those difficult audiences and build long term relationships. As technically diverse as Jason is his ability to communicate is his greatest skill.
The SQL Community is not easy. To anyone who has ever served on the Board of Directors this may seem to be an understatement. As a body you must have coordinated communication and diverse viewpoints when considering that communication. Jason wil be an asset in communicating with the SQL Community as well as leveraging personal and professional relationships when helping PASS achieve strategic objectives.
From a personal perspective I think Jason is a fantastic friend, husband, and father and someone of the utmost integrity, who also knows how not to take himself too seriously. These are key attributes when looking to build a team. Jason is an integral player who makes the team better just by being in the room.
It is with great pleasure that I endorse Jason Strate for the PASS Board of Directors.
Jody Roberts (@Jody_WP)
To Whom it may Concern,
I have known Jason Strate for a few years now and I am one of the few people that has had the privilege of working with him both in the work place and as a PASS Volunteer.
I would like to support Jason’s nomination for the PASS Board of Directors. I believe Jason will bring much insight, experience, leadership and value to the BoD. Jason is a great servant of the SQL community and has served PASS as a Regional Mentor/Board member of PASS MN User group and as co-CL of the PASS Cloud VC. As a leader Jason works for the people and growth of the chapters he is involved in Jason has helped grow the Cloud VC from next 0 to a steady following over the last 3 years.
Rob Farley (@rob_farley)
I wholeheartedly support Jason’s application to be a PASS Director. I’ve known Jason for many years now, and quickly recognised him to be an excellent member of the SQL community. This was why I nominated him to be a SQL MVP, and why I continue to support him in his community involvement. I find him to be trustworthy, enthusiastic, unafraid to stand up for what is right, and even to say No to things when it’s appropriate. I think he would be an excellent addition to the PASS Board, and wish him a ton of luck in getting elected.