PASS Elections 2014: my personal thoughts


  • I am not endorsing any particular candidate
  • I will not endorse any particular candidate
  • I’ve written this out in the order of the NomCom ranking
  • I wasn’t asked by anyone to write anything
  • I don’t represent PASS by writing this blog. Or any other blog, for that matter.
  • This is purely my personal opinion and you can take it or leave it, but thank you for reading anyway!
  • This is simply the world view from ‘Planet Jennifer’.


Firstly, I want to wholeheartedly thank all the candidates for standing. I think that you should, too. They are all incredibly talented people who want to give extra to their community.

Secondly, please use your vote. Be part of the community. As we saw last year, every vote counts and it doesn’t take much to make a difference.

Next, I’m writing this blog to draw attention to what I see as the most positive things about the candidates.

Each candidate has different viewpoints and emphases, but they all have the following characteristics: they are community-oriented, helpful, smart, and they all want to serve PASS. It is not an easy role and it is hard work. They are brave individuals who are putting themselves forward to do a hard role, and they should be thanked for that by everyone who makes use of the PASS offerings. Simply for taking the risk and putting themselves out there to help, they each deserve a pat on the back.

In the order of the NomCom rankings, here are some real positives about the individuals involved:

James Rowland-Jones – James has been the voice of the sponsor. To do this, he has successfully leveraged his insights from this role which he’s held at SQLBits for some time now, plus the financial responsibilities of running his own business. This is stuff that the community doesn’t see, and I’d like to highlight here that this is unseen work that is vital. I like the fact that James is willing to choose whatever he sees needs to be done, rather than selecting his input based on whether it is going to obtain visibility.

Sri Sridharan is the voice of the volunteer. Sri stands for volunteers taking a big role in shaping the organization. This means looking after existing volunteers, and growing the new generation of volunteers who want to adopt leadership roles in our community. This is across the community: SQLSaturday, SQLRally, Chapters and so on. The Volunteer portfolio is wide-reaching and touches many volunteers. Sri’s message is to transform the culture of the organization to be more feedback- and community-driven. He has a vision building on the work he’s done so far, focusing on the volunteers, who are the ‘lifeblood’ of the organization.

Wendy Pastrick is, for me, the voice of the DBA. She is an energetic volunteer who has done every single PASS Volunteer role I can think of! She was a past winner of the PASSion Award, and she is the current holder of the Chapter portfolio.  Wendy is very passionate about PASS’s core mission to “connect, share and learn.” Wendy wants to reach out to younger potential members of the community, for example, by building a bridge from higher education institutions to PASS. There is an untapped resource in bringing college and secondary education students into the PASS fold. It would be extremely beneficial for young WIT to be encouraged by being introduced to PASS community role models early in their career, since research has shown that young women can be encouraged by having older female mentors and role models. Wendy has also seen PASS grow to embrace Business Intelligence as part of its offering to help sqlfamily to connect, learn and share.

Like Wendy, Grant Fritchey is, for me, the voice of the DBA. I think Grant’s focus is on general growth across all portfolios; enabling existing portfolios to continue to focus on building the excellent education which PASS are renowned for. Grant has been a prolific and solid community contributor for almost a decade now and has been an MVP for six years. Grant has served in a lot of different PASS roles.

Truthfully, I would be eager and happy to serve my second year alongside all of these candidates. I can tell you that being on the Board is consuming of time, and energy. You end up doing a lot of unseen work that perhaps doesn’t come across that we do work incredibly hard. I’m not even sure how to explain a lot of this stuff to Microsoft team who work with the MVPs, and often I don’t even remember what I did, just that I was busy!

I’ve no doubt that  these individuals are solid and robust enough for the journey, and it is a journey to cherish and to be valued because you can really help people to ‘connect, learn and share’ and that is a responsibility. They all bring something different to the table for the community, and that’s something that uniquely reflects our diverse community that we hope to serve as well as we can.

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