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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: Allen Kinsel

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.
Allen Kinsel is up next:
Interview WIth Allen Kinsel
1. What's your day job?
I am currently the lead database analyst for a fortune 1000 multiple line insurance company, I lead a small team of DBA’s that are responsible for all of our companies database infrastructure on the SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, and DB2 (LUW) platforms


2. What motivated you to run for the PASS Board of Directors?
I have been involved with PASS for many years, I attended my first Summit in 2004 and volunteered shortly thereafter, since that time I have served in quite a few different positions.  I started in the Sigs (precursor to today’s VC's), I also served on the volunteer committee and the Nominations committee as well. Somewhere in the midst of those other committee's I started my current stint on the program committee, beginning with 2 years on the program committee abstract selection team, 1 of which as the leader of the DBA track.  More recently though in the last 2 years I have taken on the leadership role in the program committee, which makes me responsible for organizing all of the educational content at the North American Summit.  I have always enjoyed volunteering with PASS, making tactical decisions and changes that have helped us get better.  However, I felt it was time to offer my hand at making more strategic decisions for PASS.


3. What is PASS's largest challenge right now? 
PASS’s greatest challenge right now is finding itself as more than a Conference, as more than a small community, and even more than a leader in supplying SQL Server education.  It’s time for PASS to become a better rounded professional organization, and start by providing more benefits to its members in line with what other professional organizations have.  That’s not to say that community, or a conference (education) isn’t a part of that offering but, it can’t be the only thing that PASS provides its membership.  PASS can build these additional benefits by doing better focused user surveys, to help define trends in the industry, instead of the current focus of surveying membership on "PASS issues".  Additionally PASS should resurrect the "standard" but not in the manner it has been previously, more along the lines of a professional technical journal, similar to other science journals.  PASS should gather best practices and guidance for DBA's and developers alike into a centralized knowledge portal.  These are some of the types of benefits that PASS could provide that would enhance its value proposition to prospective (and current) members


4. What is PASS's greatest opportunity right now?
PASS has a huge opportunity in SQL Saturday, we can reach out to thousands of new members who are not from the historically core group of PASS members (DBA’s).  The future of PASS’s growth will come from two areas, one is internationally and the other is “every SQL user who is not a DBA”.  There are tens(hundreds) of thousands of people who fall into both of those groups, and the SQL Saturday brand will be core to driving growth in both of those areas.  PASS needs to start providing additional benefits to those perspective members to give them a better reason to join than the benefits they are getting by attending these events anyway.


5. Complete this sentence: "If I only get one new thing accomplished while serving on the PASS Board of Directors, I want to..."
I want to advance the PASS organization to the point where we can start providing additional real benefits other than education to our membership


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..."
I would like to see the North American PASS Summit move locations, at least occasionally, I think it’s a relatively simple thing to change and I would work towards doing that


7. Share something interesting about yourself!
I keep a large collection of palm trees, about 100 different species.  It can be a challenge to keep them alive if we get a really cold winter (like last year) but, they usually survive.

:{> Andy

Published Tuesday, August 3, 2010 8:00 AM by andyleonard

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