PASS Board: Year-End Wrap-Up

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This month concludes my second full year on the PASS Board of Directors and my first full year on the Executive Committee. This year has been exciting, challenging, educational, and, I truly believe, useful to the organization. We’ve accomplished a lot. We will do more.

Year In Review

I have two primary responsibilities as the Executive Vice President – Finance and Governance. Firstly, I am responsible for PASS’ budget.  Secondly, I am responsible to oversee the governance of PASS. Here’s how the year went on these two topics.


At the beginning of the year, our primary focus is to ensure that the various directors in charge of different portfolios are getting ready for the annual budget. Our fiscal year runs from July to June. A significant amount of work is spent year round managing the budget.  Board members prepare their budget requests (with guidance from the Executive Committee) in order for us to create the budget for the next fiscal year in June. That preparation along with reviewing portfolio budget proposals takes up a considerable chunk of the first half of the year. That was true of my first year in this role. We passed the budget in June, and that took care of most of my work in that area.


Every year we also go through a financial audit. This takes place after we have worked through last year’s and next year’s budgets. I had to work with the auditors to assess how we’re spending the money and managing it in general. We passed our audit with a full set of sails this year (that means we looked good).


This is a pretty broad topic. I like to joke that it means I’m the bouncer, but that’s not true. Basically, I’m responsible for running our meetings, seeing that we’re reporting on everything appropriately, publishing the minutes, and abiding by our by-laws, etc. I work with the people at HQ to ensure there is an agenda for each of the monthly board meetings. I run those meetings.

All this was largely accomplished this year, although I wasn’t able to make the January meeting in person due to a conflict with work (I was in the UK during the meeting, I attended remotely in the evenings). Other than that, I did my job as defined.

Global Growth

Under the “shall also perform such duties as from time to time may be assigned to him/her by  the President” part of my job description in the by-laws, I was appointed to oversee the Global Growth Committee until June 2017 (actually, I practically begged for the job). We are a global organization with membership around the world. My goal was to ensure that every portfolio included our global growth priorities into their goals.  We’re about half way through the year, and many of the goals we set out to accomplish are in place. Others are in process.

Part of my responsibilities are to report to you, our members, on the financial health of the organization. While there are no specific methods required for that report, we do traditionally give a financial report at PASS Summit. I did that this year and shared how we are investing our money globally through the organization in support of all our global members. I was very excited about how much we actually had to report on this topic, all the growth we’ve had through all the different PASS events. We will absolutely do more in this area.

In part, this year has been about my own personal growth into this role. I wasn’t completely prepared for it going in. It’s actually kind of like being a parent. You think you’re prepared and then the rubber meets the road and you realize, ooh, this is harder than it looked. Same thing with the EVP role. Despite a couple of bumps though, I think I have a good handle on the role.

I’m Grateful For… 

We often talk about our #sqlfamily. I do love and appreciate mine. I want to call out a few of my #passfamily here and show some public appreciation for what they do to make this organization, and all that it does, possible.

It’s probably hard sometimes to see it, but Christianson & Company, the people who run PASS HQ, do a simply amazing job. I don’t think they get enough credit at all. In no particular order, and by naming names, I’m not excluding anyone, but there are few people that have done more for me personally so they deserve recognition, please don’t be upset if you don’t see your name here: Sandy, Janice, Georgia , Sonya, Simon, and especially Judy. I work with these people every week, sometimes every day, and I truly appreciate what they’ve added to this organization and my life.

I also want to thank Microsoft for all the support they’ve provided PASS. In fact, I truly appreciate all our various partners, especially the Global Alliance Partners. Without their support, the organization couldn’t supply all the service it provides to the community. Thank you. You make a difference.

My fellow Board members. You all rock. Period. Full stop.

The Exec. What can I say? I appreciate the faith you put in me. I hope you’re not disappointed.

I want to thank all the members of PASS. Most of all, I want to thank the critics. Those who have called us out, privately and publicly, thank you. You challenge us to be better and do more. I appreciate it. Keep it coming.

That’s it. Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Happy Yule!

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