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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: Mark Ginnebaugh

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.
Mark Ginnebaugh is up next:
Interview With Mark Ginnebaugh

1. What's your day job?
I am president of DesignMind, a custom software and database development firm in the San Francisco Bay Area.  We are a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in Custom Development Solutions, Data Management Solutions, and Business Intelligence.  Our main tools are .NET, Java, SharePoint, and SQL Server.  The common denominator across our offerings is that we love data.


Our SQL Server practice provides Development and DBA Services,  and our Business Intelligence team develops Data Marts and Data Warehouses built on SQL Server and SharePoint.


My responsibilities within the organization are largely on the business side of the house.  I oversee sales and marketing, vendor and strategic partner relationships, and building a continuously improving team of technology professionals.  I am fortunate to be doing work that I truly enjoy.



2. What motivated you to run for the PASS Board of Directors?
The current PASS board is packed with SQL Server experts.  The board needs more depth in business and organizational leadership in order to flourish as our community grows and our industry matures.


I lead three PASS Chapters, the San Francisco and Silicon Valley SQL Server User Groups, and the Bay Area Microsoft Business Intelligence User Group.  I founded two of these groups, and have managed every aspect of these local Chapters.  Each group meets monthly, with 60 - 80 attendees.


I want to provide the PASS board and community the wealth of knowledge I have gained by promoting the organization at the local level, and my business experience leading DesignMind.



3. What is PASS's largest challenge right now?
The challenge faced by PASS is largely the same as the individuals in our community face.  Technology is changing at a rapid pace.  On top of that, SQL Server has grown in scope.  We had developers and DBAs.  Now we have to add BI to the mix, ETL specialists, report developers, and so forth.


The "edges" of our scope have expanded and become blurred.  SQL Server professionals often need to know more about networking and infrastructure, security, SharePoint, .Net, and other technologies, along with associated best practices.


Just as individuals face these tectonic shifts, PASS does as well.  How do we best serve our community as its need for knowledge rapidly expands?  I'd like to help PASS evaluate our boundaries, and explore possible alliances with INETA and other groups.



4. What is PASS's greatest opportunity right now?
We can grow the organization significantly.  PASS Membership is free, yet the majority of SQL Server professionals have not yet joined.  We can do a better job reaching this growing group of professionals through more effective outreach and marketing.


There is tremendous opportunity for starting many more local Chapters, as well as to make existing Chapters more successful.  We need to identify potential Chapter Leaders, recruit them with a compelling value proposition, and then make it easy for them to get their chapters started. 


We also need to work much more closely with Microsoft and the various tool vendors.  Improved alliances can help promote PASS.  For instance, information about PASS could be included with every copy of SQL Server shipped.



5. Complete this sentence: "If I only get one new thing accomplished while serving on the PASS Board of Directors, I want to..."
If I only get one new thing accomplished while serving on the PASS Board of Directors, I want to help PASS add 150 new Chapters, and 100,000 new members.



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..."
If I only get to change one existing thing about PASS while serving on the PASS Board of Directors, I want to improve the services and support provided to our local Chapters.


7. Share something interesting about yourself!
I love cycling, and follow the major stage races, such as the Tour de France.  However, my own cycling these days often consists of getting out on a local bike path with my 5 year old twin boys, repeating "Keep to the right! Keep to the right!" the whole way.


:{> Andy

Published Wednesday, August 4, 2010 8:00 AM by andyleonard

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NULLgarity said:

Great answers!  Also I am relieved to know that I'm not the only maniac constantly hollering at my kid to "Keep to the right!" on bike rides.

August 4, 2010 10:25 AM

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