It's been ten days since our SQL Saturday, when I announced that I was stepping down from my position as President of the Ohio North SQL Server Users Group, and feel I should share some of my thoughts with you, the people that've made our group the envy of many in the worldwide SQL Server community.
Roughly ten years ago I started attending the user group meetings, and taking an active part. Over those ten years the group evolved into an organization independent of any one company, affiliated with the worldwide PASS organization, and one that has a large number of members who are willing, not only to share their knowledge and experience with SQL Server, but who are willing to help spread that knowledge and experience through events like the SQL Saturday we just held.
My appreciation for the efforts everyone invested is unbounded. You all are very much an active part of the wonderful organization we have.
Specifically, I have many people to thank. The people who've volunteered as officers of the group when we put formal words behind the group - Brian Davis, Erin Stellato and Tim Cepelnik - thank you for helping in so many ways, from taking responsibility for any number of tasks, to being my sounding boards and friends.
To the people who've volunteered in so many different ways to make this group function smoothly, including Paul Hiles, Adam Belebczuk, Craig Purnell, Colleen Morrow, Sam Nasr, Paul Popovitch, Jason Willis, Mike Rachocki, Steve Smith, Jeff Mlakar, Cory Stevenson, Dave Gabele, and many others over the years - thank you. We wouldn't be where we are today without you.
To the people who helped us organize the group legally (even though I didn't finish the task) - Michael Slade and Sarah Dutkiewicz - thank you so much. Your experience and guidance helped us get off on the right foot, and your volunteer efforts with our early events was invaluable!
To the people at Microsoft who supported us, gave us a space to meet, and provided the connection with Microsoft that helped legitimize the group - John Miller, Bruce Szabo and Lori Olson - thank you. It's been a real pleasure getting to know you, both personally and professionally.
To everyone who's stepped up to speak to our group, people like Mike Hays, Carlton Ramsey, Jim Arko and so many more, thank you. We are a better group because of your willingness to overcome that fear of speaking in public and share your knowledge with all of us.
To say that I'm proud of this group is indeed an understatement. Every year PASS makes a big deal about the user group sending the most members to the Summit (which, naturally, groups in the Pacific Northwest tend to dominate), but this past year we had FIVE members present at the Summit. I don't have any way to verify this, but I believe that no other group has had so many individual members present in a single year!
Now, I'm not going away. I'll be around, and will help in any way I can to keep this group moving forward. It's time, though, for others to grow in the SQL Server community in ways that I've been able to over the last ten years. You grow by challenging yourself to take on responsibilities you don't know you can achieve. The cool thing is that if you set a goal you have a pretty good chance of reaching it, so I'm stepping aside so others can achieve goals they've set.
And it's your job, individually, to help the group continue to grow, and in ways I can't possibly imagine. Please, step up and volunteer to help. Come to the meeting on March 3 and pick a new set of officers who'll set a new course for the group, to bring SQL Server to more people.
I'll bring an end to this long-winded ramble, but I'll do so by saying it once again.
Allen White is a consultant and mentor for Upsearch Technology Services in Northeast Ohio. He has worked as a Database Administrator, Architect and Developer for over 30 years, supporting both the Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server platforms over that period.