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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

2010 PASS Board Applicants: Douglas McDowell

I am interviewing 2010 PASS Board Nominee Applicants. As listed on the PASS Board Elections site the applicants are:
  • Allen Kinsel
  • Andy Warren
  • Denny Cherry
  • Douglas McDowell
  • Geoff Hiten
  • Jack Corbett
  • Mark Ginnebaugh
  • Markus Sprenger
  • Steve Jones
I'm asking everyone the same questions and blogging the responses in the order received.
Douglas McDowell is first up:
Interview WIth Douglas McDowell
1. What's your day job?
Currently I am the CEO for North America for Solid Quality Mentors, which means I am responsible for our US and Canadian operations: oversight of services delivery, sales and the back office.   
2. What motivated you to run for the PASS Board of Directors?
I have enjoyed serving PASS in various capacities since 2001, I love the organization and what it does (and wants to do) for the technical community.  As a Chapter Leader and Regional Mentor I felt Chapters were often disconnected from PASS; so I thought the role where I could have more impact was as a director.  I have served on the board the last two years--my time has been both challenging and rewarding--but my work is not complete and I would like to continue, so I am running again.     
3. What is PASS's largest challenge right now?
Understanding that my answer is biased, PASS is not fully engaged with it current and potential membership.  A critical focus is to strengthen the engagement level and benefits to Chapters, my area of greatest passion.
4. What is PASS's greatest opportunity right now?
You may see a pattern forming... PASS has an incredible opportunity to increase the number of people it provides value to by better engaging Chapters.  Presently there is a disconnect between local Chapter membership and Global PASS membership, our greatest opportunity for community synergy, educational opportunity and growth can be realized if we can connect and align our membership for Chapters, Virtual Chapters, in-person events (SQLSaturday, SQLRally, European Conference, North American Summit), virtual events (24 Hours of PASS) and online (
5. Complete this sentence: "If I only get one new thing accomplished while serving on the PASS Board of Directors, I want to..." out a strong Regional Mentor program -- having a successful, well-structured RM program can provide a critical connection to our Global network of Chapters and their members: the SQL Server technical community at-large.
6. Complete this sentence: "If I only get to change one existing thing about PASS while serving on the PASS Board of Directors, I want to..."
...move the PASS board towards more strategic engagement -- where each portfolio has core sustainability (infrastructure, systems, processes, allocated resources) that enable directors to provide vision/direction while headquarters and organized volunteers are able to provide effective tactical execution.  Then we can truly leverage our board members with fewer bottlenecks/dependencies on them as key volunteers.   
7. Share something interesting about yourself!
A lot of folks know this already, but I am on my second career. I was a chef and restaurant manager for years before switching to SQL Server and BI... I still say my best business experience came from restaurants: leading people in a hectic environment, managing thin margins where everything is perishable...  There is still nothing more heart-racing than wok cooking and there is no better feeling than when folks appreciate your cooking. 
:{> Andy
Published Friday, July 23, 2010 1:00 PM by andyleonard

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Dave Schutz said:


Thanks for doing the interviews. It will be a big help in deciding who I'm going to vote for in the elections.

July 26, 2010 4:11 PM

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