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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

2011 PASS Board Applicants: Kendal Van Dyke


I am interviewing 2011 PASS Board Nominee Applicants. As listed on the PASS Board Elections site the applicants are:

  • Rob Farley
  • Geoff Hiten
  • Adam Jorgensen
  • Denise McInerney
  • Sri Sridharan
  • Kendal Van Dyke

I'm asking everyone the same questions and blogging the responses in the order received.

Kendal Van Dyke is next up:

Interview With Kendal Van Dyke

1. What's your day job?

I'm a Senior Technical Consultant with Insource Technologies ( in Houston, TX (but I work from my home office in Orlando). The title is a formality though - essentially I'm a production DBA. I help Insource's clients with installations, HA & DR assessments and implementations, performance evaluations, and anything else that will help keep their SQL Servers healthy and our clients happy.

My other job is as chapter leader for MagicPASS (, the PASS chapter for south Orlando.

2. What motivated you to run for the PASS Board of Directors?

I answered that in this blog post but here's the section that's most relevant to this question:

Going back about six years ago, I had no idea who or what PASS was except that their logo was on the SQL 2005 system views poster from SQL Server Magazine. In 2006 I moved to Orlando and a coworker introduced me to Andy Warren (Blog |Twitter). That introduction opened the door to start attending OPASS, speaking, and blogging. Between then and now I went from being a consumer - your everyday average DBA who gets the job done - to being a contributor by speaking at SQLSaturdays, User Groups, and the PASS Summit, starting a User Group (MagicPASS), helping plan a brand new conference (SQLRally) bearing the PASS brand, and most recently was recognized as a Microsoft MVP.

Along the way I've had the chance to open doors for people in the same way that Andy opened the door for me. There is an incredible sense of pride and fulfillment in seeing the same spark ignite in someone the way it did for me. PASS has been an enabler for me to get where I am today and I feel like I'm ready to pay it forward by helping to give as many other people those same opportunities as I can. So with that in mind I'm running to help carry the torch forward - to help PASS do what it does even better.

3. What is PASS's largest challenge right now?

PASS is experiencing rapid growth in many areas: membership, conference attendance, new chapters, number of speakers, and expectations. At the same time there is a publicly recognized effort to expand globally. Growing is hard because no matter how much you may not want to you must change how you do things and that change can be simultaneously exciting and painful. There's also an element of risk in growth; too slow and you don't gain or build on any existing momentum, too fast and you risk burning out both people and resources.

The challenge for PASS is to manage it's growth at a pace best benefits everybody in the organization - members, sponsors, speakers, etc. I've personally been through it at three companies and it's not easy.

4. What is PASS's greatest opportunity right now?

I believe the potential for growth is also PASS's greatest opportunity. Thanks to SQLSaturday and social media like Twitter more people than ever are discovering the value in participating in PASS in some capacity. I routinely meet other database professionals who aren't aware that there's a user group nearby or, like me not too long ago, who PASS is. PASS could easily double its membership base in the US alone if we can figure out how to reach out to more people and convince them there's value in becoming a member.

5. Complete this sentence: "If I only get one new thing accomplished while serving on the PASS Board of Directors, I want to..."

...establish a speaker bureau. With so many people who want to speak and so many events to participate we need a good tool to keep track of it all. It's long overdue.

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..."

This question makes me feel like I should be searching for something that needs to be fixed, but in reality I'm pretty happy with the direction that PASS is headed and I honestly can't think of any glaring issues that I want to make it my mission to tackle. The organization has momentum and I'm looking to build on it, not change it.

7. Share something interesting about yourself!

Something PASS related - I'm one of a handful of people who can say they were at both the first ever SQLSaturday and SQLRally.

Something personal - I had my pilot's license before I had a driver's license. It was fun to tell people that I could take them up for a flight but I needed a ride to the airport first.

Published Wednesday, November 9, 2011 8:00 AM by andyleonard

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