Lets Hear it for the Board (T-SQL Tuesday #59)

This month’s host for T-SQL Tuesday is the Real SQL Guy, Tracy McKibben (blog|twitter). In honor of Ada Lovelace Day Tracy has asked us to write about our heroes. I think Ada Lovelace is a great example of a hero and an inspiration as the first computer programmer, but I’ve decided to make my focus a little more local.

A little over two years ago I was starting to get more involved in PASSMN. The people on the PASSMN Board inspired me with their commitment and willingness to donate their time and knowledge to the Minnesota SQL Server community. At the time I didn’t know the board members as people. I viewed them with a certain amount of awe and nervously volunteered to speak and to help with events like SQL Saturday. It was easy to see them as heroes and they inspired me to push myself.

Maybe it is all of the activity these days around planning the current SQL Saturday, but I realized that I am now working side by side with some of these amazing people. My heroes are my fellow board PASSMN board members. They all do work that no one ever knows about and put in hours of volunteer time to help create the great SQL Server community we have here in Minnesota. I can’t begin to list all of the work these people do, but I want everyone to know how great they are. In no particular order here are the PASSMN Board heroes:

  • Tracy McKibben, The Real SQL Guy (twitter) – The only person on the board to acknowledge his super powers, Tracy has booked the presenters for every PASSMN meeting this year. I think people who know Tracy are surprised this is his first official year on the board. He is deeply connected to the SQL Server community at large and shares his SQL wisdom in person, on his blog, and through webinars. He will always be my hero for single handedly organizing the first PASSMN game night.
  • Will Weber (twitter) – Last year Will made sure we had corporate sponsors for every PASSMN meeting. We can’t keep PASSMN running without sponsors and without Will in 2013 we would not have had sponsors. If you had a free dinner last year at a PASSMN meeting you should thank Will. This year Will has taken on the role of Treasurer and dealt with all of the fun paperwork for things like non-profit status and bank accounts. If that isn’t heroic I don’t know what is.
  • Jennifer McConnell (twitter) – The person to thank this year for all of those free dinners is Jennifer. She has made sure we have had a sponsor for our meeting each month. In addition she has facilitated a unique project this year with Kroll Ontrack to allow our members to help shape their new rapid table restore product for SQL Server.  If that isn’t enough she has taken complete charge of all the corporate sponsors for SQL Saturday #332 and created a unique format for this year’s Women in Technology panel discussion.
  • Shirley Morillo  (twitter) – For the past two years if you received an email newsletter from PASSMN it is because Shirley made it happen. We are a non-profit so believe me when I tell you the tools for this could be better. Shirley is one of only a few people know how to connect all the dots and get the newsletter out the door each month.
  • Rick Krueger, The Data Ogre (twitter) – Each year we appoint someone on the PASSMN Board to be in charge of SQL Saturday. This year it’s Rick. A lot of jokes get made about the amount of work it takes to put on a SQL Saturday and they are funny because they are true. Over time I have become more and more involved in SQL Saturday here in MN and every year I get a better picture of the amount of work involved. For the last two months Rick has had to venture out of his Ogre swamp and work on planning SQL Saturday #332. I can only imagine the amount of hours he has put into working on this event. Rick’s attention to detail and passion for making sure things are done right means that this is shaping up to be one of the best SQL Saturdays yet. In addition to his work on SQL Saturday Rick always makes a point to give constructive feedback to all of our presenters and he is an incredible sounding board for ideas on how to make PASSMN even better.

I’ve reread this post several times and it doesn’t come across quite the way I hoped. If you read this and it feels insincere please blame my words not the accomplishments of the board members. In addition to their time volunteering they all have full-time jobs as SQL Server professionals and real lives with families and friends and probably some non-SQL related hobbies. They all continue to inspire me and push me to be better.


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