About a year ago, I became aware of an organization called the Professional Association for SQL Server. This organization has as its mission to “Empower data professionals who leverage Microsoft technologies to connect, share, and learn through networking, knowledge sharing, and peer-based learning.” As the year progressed, I became involved with our local PASS chapter and started meeting members online through Twitter and attending Virtual Chapter webinars on a variety of topics. I truly feel that I would not have advanced as far as I have today were it not for the influence of PASS and the SQL Server community – and unlike some other associations or technology groups, it truly is a community.
During this time, I have had the privilege and honor of working with Allen Kinsel. He is the head DBA for the company I work for, and I work in the data warehouse so we do run into one another occasionally. In my position as a developer, I’ve had somewhat less contact with Allen than some of my coworkers, but every interaction we have had has been top-notch. It’s easy to tell that Allen has earned his status as an MVP by both his technical knowledge and strong analytical skills, and his passion for bringing up the general skill level of the SQL Server community.
Imagine my pleasure, then, when I discovered that Allen was running for the PASS Board of Directors. I have been watching the Twitter chats, and attended at least part of both online town hall chats today. I am very impressed with the whole pool of candidates for the Board of Directors, and I believe that no matter the outcome of the upcoming election, the PASS community will only benefit from choosing any of them. However, my professional admiration for Allen in particular has greatly increased after reviewing his platform, his experience, and most of all his vision for where PASS should go next. He has a quiet but consistent vision for how to better serve the PASS membership by removing technical barriers for PASS Chapter Leaders and members, and also for harnessing the IT infrastructure to enable PASS to do more with what it has.
In this world, there are those who bring progress in the spotlight and those who quietly but effectively move behind the scenes. This is the kind of candidate and volunteer I believe Allen to be. He does not seek to be on the Board of Directors for personal gain, but instead so that he may serve his fellow SQL Server community members more thoroughly. This is why I will be casting my vote for Allen Kinsel for the PASS Board of Directors, and why you should as well.