Congratulations to the following Outstanding Volunteers, and thanks for all you do for PASS and the SQL Server community.
Know someone in the PASS community who deserves special recognition for their volunteering efforts? Nominate your favorite volunteer for "Outstanding Volunteer of the Month." Simply provide the volunteer's contact details, years in the community, a list of their volunteer accomplishments, and why you think they should be recognized.
- Michael Burek - Michael is a hugely supportive volunteer who is willing to help in whatever capacity he can. He provides support for the CACTUSS North Chapter and played a big role in organizing SQLSaturday Austin and went above and beyond in his efforts and support of the event. His involvement ensured that the first SQLSaturday for Austin in three years was a success.
- Jim Murphy - Jim is a community member who is always ready and willing to step up to support a community event. Jim has volunteered at Summit, is part of the CACTUSS North Chapter team, leader of the CACTUSS Central Chapter, and played an integral role in the success of the January SQLSaturday Austin. His involvement and hard work helped the team have a hugely successful event.
- John Sterrett - John is a long-time community member and his volunteer efforts span many areas. He is the Chapter Leader for CACTUSS North, Regional Mentor for US South Central, Leader of the HA/DR Virtual Chapter and has spoken at and helped organize many SQLSaturday events over the years. Most recently, he led the charge for SQLSaturday Austin, and helped the event reach a record for sponsorship.
- Mike Donnelly - Mike Donnelly has been a large part of PASSMN’s success over the past two years. He was the Director of Program Development in 2013, and the Chair in 2014. Mike was also instrumental to the success of SQLSaturday MN in 2014; responsible for Marketing, coordinating food & beverages for 400 guests, and assisting Jennifer McConnell with the Women In Technology program. Mike also represented PASSMN internationally, speaking at six SQLSaturdays (one in Canada) and his first Summit in 2014. His dedication didn’t end there though; he’s mentoring a new Chair in 2015, and will be giving his Summit session (Twice in a Lifetime: T-SQL Refactoring 101) at February's PASSMN meeting.
- Dev Nambi - Dev Nambi has been an extremely valuable member of the Program Committee this year. His input has not only had a positive impact for this year’s program, but his efforts and analysis of the Summit evaluation and session data will be a great asset to the Program Committee as they prepare for next year’s Call for Speakers. The data was also released to the speakers and attendees, an achievement that would have been very difficult had it not been for Dev’s help. He exemplifies the behind-the-scenes hard work of the community volunteers that strive to make Summit the best ever each year.
- Joseph Barth - Joseph is a dedicated volunteer who goes the extra mile when it comes to the community. Joseph co-founded the Albany, NY Chapter (CASSUG), and started helping out at the Arizona Users Group about two years ago. Since then, he has helped to make the Arizona Users Group more of a community event by starting the recurring “after-party” where the member could really get to know each other better. Now, as leader of the user group, he has worked hard to update the website, be proactive in gathering speakers for 2015, and encouraging new speakers for the group. He is the first to volunteer for anything and is absolutely reliable when it comes to a commitment – he still helped out with the local SQLSaturday event last year even with the unexpected early arrival of his new baby. Joseph can always be counted on for the little things too, including clean-up duty at the end of the day – the value of which organizers will fully understand.
- John Morehouse - John is the co-leader of the Omaha SQL/BI User Group as well as being an active Regional Mentor for the US North Central area. John is a volunteer that truly goes above and beyond in his duties as is demonstrated with this being his second time winning an Outstanding Volunteer Award. While John has a strong regional presence, he is always willing and able to offer advice and support for the community as a whole. He is an active blogger and fittingly, describes himself a jack-of-all trades.
- Leigh Freijo - Leigh’s dedication and volunteer efforts have had a direct and positive impact on his local PASS community. Leader of the Pinellas PASS User Group, Leigh has made it his personal responsibility to make Pinellas PASS User Group the best and largest in Florida. In the last year alone he has more than doubled regular attendance at meetings. With his constant communication and outreach, old members are attending regularly and new members are joining. Along with the User Group, Leigh has been an integral part of the successful Tampa SQL Saturday, as well as contributing to several other events. Leigh presented his first session ever at SQL Saturday Orlando this year, followed by a second presentation at SQLSaturday Tampa BA.
- Allen Kinsel - Allen is dedicated to the PASS community and is always looking for new ways to contribute. A former Board member, Allen continues to stay fully involved with the workings of PASS and in helping members Connect, Share and Learn through various volunteer opportunities. He has run for re-election for the Board, been involved with the Volunteer Committee, and Program Committee. This year Allen was on the Nomination Committee and spent hours participating in meetings, interviewing and ranking candidates.
- David MacLean - Working behind the scenes, David goes above and beyond to support the PASS Community. He has served on the Program Committee for the past several years. Both this year and last year, specifically, he went above and beyond what was expected of him as part of the PowerPoint Review team. He is diligent and cares about the work he produces. It’s not easy to notify people of changes that need to be made and David does it very well and diplomatically. He worked very hard and was a great asset to the team.
- Mike Hillwig - Mike is an exemplary volunteer who is willing to step up and go the extra mile when called upon. Mike is the co-leader for the New England SSUG, a PASS Regional Mentor for the US North-East and also runs the Boston SQLSaturday event. This year, Mike also took on the extra challenge of running the Boston BI SQLSaturday event when the call was put out for support. Running two SQLSaturday events in one year is extremely hard work, and not commonly encouraged. Mike proved he was up to the challenge and pulled through with two successful SQLSaturday events. Mike has also recently been award MVP.
- Cathrine Wilhelmsen - Cathrine is a truly dedicated PASS volunteer, giving her time to the community across a spectrum of activities. She serves as Chapter Admin for SQL Server Group Norway, and is a volunteer speaker at a local event aimed at the BI Community in Oslo where she works to recruit new members into the local PASS chapter as well as to the PASS Community at large! She is a frequent SQLSaturday speaker, co-organized SQLSaturday Oslo and volunteers for numerous regional SQLSaturday events throughout Europe and as far away as Tampa Bay, USA.
- Paul te Braak - Paul worked hard to put on the SQLSaturday Brisbane event this year, and had to overcome a few challenges in the process. Despite the challenges, and the need to think outside the box for scheduling and managing the event, his dedication to the cause saw the successful execution of the event. Paul also commits his time to the community through frequent speaking engagements at local user groups, regional and international SQLSaturday’s and has also presented at SQlRallys in the past.
- Joaquin Zuñiga - Joaquin is a passionate volunteer, dedicating hours to SQLSaturday events in the LATAM region. He believes the organization of SQLSaturdays in LATAM has allowed chapters and communities in different countries to be more united, and to share experiences about what they are doing in their country, while growing the presence of PASS in Latin America. Joaquin has been a key force in growing this presence and nurturing these shared experiences, volunteering for all three SQLSaturday events in Costa Rica as well as community events, and attending almost all the SQLSaturday events in the LATAM Region. As he puts it, “it is very important to have volunteers who are willing to contribute to their communities. It also allows you to make new friends in this family called PASS."
- Martin Cairney - Martin is an excellent supporter of the PASS community. He has worked to develop the Melbourne community by putting on pub-based events and enhance the Melbourne User Group, SQL Social, with this new angle. He has been an organizer for the largest SQLSaturday in the ANZ region, SQLSaturday Melbourne and is organizing the event again this year. Martin has supported 24 Hours of PASS as a moderator and presents for several PASS Chapters, being conscious to support those that have difficulty finding speakers.
- David Joubert - David joined the France Chapter three years ago and has worked hard for the community ever since. Within the last 12 months, David has strived to enhance the Chapter’s profile and professional standing in the community. He not only manages many of the day to day tasks associated with Chapters, but also takes on bigger projects with a long term view toward the future. His recent MVP award has made him even more dedicated to the community and he is increasingly reaching out to the wider European community, having recently attended SQLSaturday Koln and SQLBits.
- Dan English and Paras Doshi - Dan and Paras are model Virtual Chapter leaders. They have taken the BA VC to a new level in terms of activity and audience and have done wonderful, innovative work when it comes to posting session recordings on YouTube. Through their efforts they promote growth for PASS in terms of audience and the range of content offered – not just SQL server, but the holistic data platform. They have gone from being completely new VC leaders to innovative trailblazers in a short period of time and are shining examples of what is possible for VC leadership.
- Annette Allen - Annette is a dedicated member of the PASS community, working to support multiple community initiatives in the UK and abroad. She is a leader in the organisation of SQLSaturday Exeter, runs all of the helper programs and registration for SQLBits and also runs the local Chapter SQL South West. She is a great supporter of events in the community, and can often be found at the registration desk of various events, most recently including SQLSaturday Dublin.
- Shawn McGehee - Shawn is a committed and hardworking member of PASS, having given years of service to the community. Shawn has been the chapter leader for Orlando PASS (OPASS) for the past 3 years, and has been on the organizing team for SQLSaturday Orlando. Previous to moving to Orlando, Shawn was also on the Board for the Pensacola SQL Server User Group from its birth in 2008, and a part of the core team for all of the SQLSaturdays held in Pensacola. Shawn has presented at several user groups and SQLSaturday events over the years, and even won for the NW region of Florida MS Speaker Idol competition in 2010.
- Maria Isabel Vallenas Luna - Maria Isabel is a dedicated member of the PASS community who has put in extra time and effort this year. She helped extensively with the SQL User Group Ica and played an integral role in the operations of the SQL Server 2014 Launch event that took place in July. In charge of logistics, Maria coordinated admissions, registration and the participation certificates, as well as orchestrating the venue set up. Thanks in part to her time and effort, the SQL Server 2014 Launch event was a success
- Rosa Isabel Córdova Farfán - Rosa Isabel has worked hard to support the SQL User Group Ica. Her efforts were especially appreciated with regards to the SQL Server 2014 Launch event that the User Group hosted in July. Rosa Isabel was responsible for marketing the event and did an excellent job of getting the word out through various avenues, from fan pages, to Twitter, to hand delivered invitations to universities throughout the city. In addition to successfully marketing the event to the local community, Rosa Isabel was also responsible for wrangling the speakers once they arrived in town. Her efforts in contributing to the chapter and the event were a large reason for its success.
- Joe Fleming - Hard working and dedicated, Joe has been a Chapter Leader for many years as well as having been a Regional Mentor in the past. After volunteering at a SQLSaturday event, he decided to bring SQLSaturdays to Detroit. He has now overseen two successful SQLSaturday events in Detroit, working behind-the-scenes from planning through to execution.
- Raul Campos Rosas - Raul has been a pillar of support for the SQL User Group Ica as well as SQL PASS Peru. He has helped with logistics, publishing events, and design by creating a new logo for SQL PASS Peru. Through his help and support, SQL User Group Ica and SQL PASS Peru hosted a combined event around SQL Server 2014 and saw over 100 participants. Raul has dedicated much to his chapter, and encouraging young people to join and actively participate in the Chapter events.
- Melissa Connors - Melissa is a vibrant and hardworking contributor to the PASS community. She goes out of her way to support the community, as well as being very engaged via Twitter @melikanokaoi. She founded and manages the Portland Maine PASS User Group and did a fantastic job recently oorganizing the first ever Maine SQLSaturday.
- Jose R Guzman - Immediately after his first meeting with his local chapter, Puerto Rico PASS, Jose felt motivated and inspired to contribute to the community. Most recently, Jose put in an enormous effort as a volunteer for SQL Saturday Puerto Rico 2014 and was able to make the entire registration process seamless and problem-free.
- Louis Davidson - Louis has been an integral part of the SQL community with many contributions as a SQL Saturday speaker, author and blogger. However, it is his contributions on the AppDev Abstract Review Team that resulted in the nomination for Outstanding Volunteer. Louis was very thorough in his assessments and went above and beyond in providing his very significant and useful feedback to submitters, enabling them to improve the quality of their submissions.
- Bradley Ball - Bradley Ball, aka SQLBalls, is very involved in the SQL Server community. He is active in his local SSUG in Orlando FL, MagicPASS, and has been part of the planning committee for SQL Saturday Orlando for the last 3 years, and has spoken or volunteered at many SQL Saturday’s, some of which involving grueling cross-country travel. Brad actively blogs, is a past member of the Nomcom, and has been known to participate in virtual chapters, #SQLHelp, and other SQL Server forums.
- Tony Sebion - Tony began his PASS volunteering history as Director of Technology of the MADPASS chapter, where he took the speaker and attendee experience to a new level with live-streaming and answering real-time questions. Tony is now the President of the Chapter which has flourished under his leadership and direction. Tony has also assisted other Wisconsin Chapters with the same great technological support that he has provided MADPASS for these past years.
- Windy Martin - Windy’s tremendous dedication and effort has resulted in the founding of the first local Women in Technology Chapter. She is furthermore an integral part of the Denver SQL Server Group, serving as treasurer. And, to top it all off, Windy has helped organize and run the last two Denver SQL Saturdays.
- Julie Bloomquist - Julie has been at the helm of the very successful St. Louis SQL Server User Group. In addition to her work with the St. Louis SQL Server User Group, Julie is also a facilitator/moderator for the DBA Virtual Chapter.
- Andrey Korshikov - Andrey Korshikov has been a pillar in the SQL Community in Russia and abroad. Andrey not only dedicates his time to being a Chapter Leader and Regional Mentor, but has also found time to help with SQL Saturdays. Most recently, Andrey organized a highly successful 24 Hours of PASS: Russian, an event that doubled attendance from the previous year. There is no doubt that Andrey is an integral part of the PASS worldwide. We are honored to have him in our community.
- Glenn Burnett - Glenn has wholeheartedly embraced his new board member role with the Sacramento SQL Server User Group by taking the lead on revamping the website and keeping everyone up to date on the groups’ news and events. Glenn was a huge help in helping organize the group’s SQL Saturday event and has continued to demonstrated the same leadership and heart in all that he does. The Sacramento SSUG is very thankful for Glenn’s contributions and look forward to making big leaps with his continued assistance.
- Joshua Fennessy - Josh is a well-respected PASS Regional Mentor, leading the West MI SQL Server User Group. He is also the primary organizer of the Kalamazoo SQLSaturday and is a regular speaker at various PASS events and Virtual Chapter meetings. A long-time community member, Josh is also known for his genuine, good-natured spirit and an "AlwaysOn" willingness to help.
- Lance Harra - An integral part of the PASS Program Committee, Lance has served as a Program Manager for PASS Summit 2013 and PASS BA Conference 2014, demonstrating an invaluable attention to detail and a results-oriented approach. He has also provided insightful leadership and implemented many thoughtful and important changes as part of the Project Management team.
- Steve Wake - Steve is Chapter Leader for the Denver SQL Server User Group, which has seen significant and steady growth, and was instrumental in organizing a highly successful SQLSaturday, which boasted over 250 attendees. Steve is known for being very responsive, organized, and thoughtful in all his community interactions.
- Bill Preachuk - Bill has been instrumental in organizing PASS SQLSaturday Minnesota over the past several years and is one of the key reasons SQLSaturday events in the area have been so successful. He also consistently supports the PASS Minnesota Chapter as a Board member and volunteer.
- Dan Hess - Dan has been described as the glue of the Sacremento SQL Server User Group. He took the lead in planning the first-ever SQLSaturday in Sacramento, which was flawless. He also put together study groups for the user group to help members achieve their goals of becoming certified in SQL Server.
- John Morehouse - John is the co-leader of the Omaha SQL/BI User Group and the primary coordinator of both SQLSaturday events in Omaha. At the last SQLSaturday, one of the speakers commented how well the event was administered. This is solely due to John's involvement in making sure every detail was taken care of and accounted for well in advance of the event. John works tirelessly to ensure that content for the user group meetings is fresh and relevant. Attendance is consistently high, and the giveaways are great.
- Mark Stacey - Over the past few years, Mark has volunteered a lot of time to speaking at SQLSaturday events. He started the PASS Chapter BIDN in his home country of South Africa and has been organizing a SQLSaturday in Johannesburg.
- Julie Koesmarno - Julie is an active member of the PASS BI Virtual Chapter, helping find speakers and secure sessions. This can be a very time-consuming task, yet she has done a great job, and her enthusiasm has been inspirational. Julie started the SQLMalibu PASS Chapter this year and has volunteered at PASS SQLSaturday events in Southern California.
- John Flannery - John is the leader of the Hartford SQL Server User Group. Before this year, there had been no SQLSaturday event in Connecticut. But John organized a very successful SQLSaturday in North Haven, and the local SQL Server community is profoundly grateful for his efforts.
- Jody Roberts - Jody is a Chapter Leader and a Regional Mentor for Africa. He has been instrumental in helping develop several Chapters across Africa and the Middle East and in organizing their SQLSaturday events.
- Melissa Demcsak - Melissa is one of the Program Managers for the PASS Business Analytics Conference 2013. She has devoted many hours to assessing and reviewing speakers' abstracts. She is also the Chair of the PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter. Melissa is a pleasure to work with and a dedicated leader in the SQL Server community.
- Mike Clark - Mike volunteers for the PASS DBA Virtual Chapter and, often under short notice, prepares its online events. He is always on time, prepared, and pleasant when interacting with participants and presenters. He is an excellent host and explains a lot about what PASS does and directs attendees to upcoming events. He is an enthusiastic cheerleader for PASS.
- Andrey Korshikov - Andrey organized 24 Hours of PASS: Russian Edition and the first PASS SQLSaturday events to take place in Russia and the Ukraine. He is a Chapter Leader and Regional Mentor for Eastern Europe.
- Mark Broadbent - Mark hosted the UK's first-ever SQLSaturday (in Cambridge) and has officially represented and promoted PASS at many conferences, including as TechED Europe, SQLSaturday events in Dublin, New York, and Portland. He is a Chapter Leader, PASS UK Regional Mentor, speaker, and community devotee.
- Sarah Strate - Sarah has volunteered at many SQLSaturday events, including Colorado Springs, Atlanta, Chicago, Kalamazoo, and Minnesota. She is part of the team putting together the first SQLSaturday in Fargo, ND, in 2013. Sarah has also volunteered at the 2011 and 2012 PASS Summits.
- Roger Noble - Roger has been a great help expanding the PASS DW/BI Virtual Chapter to Australia. He has lined up top Australian speakers each month and has improved the PASS DW/BI VC website with a new map graphic and link that lets attendees easily determine the time of the session in their time zone.
- Jen Stirrup - Jen is an avid champion of PASS and Women in Technology at events throughout Europe, the UK, and the US.
- Niko Neugebauer – Niko has been a Regional Mentor for PASS for several years, has hosted two SQLSaturday events in Portugal, and most recently represented PASS and was a speaker at the first SQLSaturday in Shanghai. Niko plans to continue mentoring and supporting the Chinese SQL Server community.
- Bill Lescher - Bill steps down from 10 years as the President of the Chicago SQL Server User Group in June 2012. His dedication to PASS and the user group has been consistently amazing.
- David Stein - David was a volunteer for SQLRally and went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the success of the event, even traveling from room to room throughout the sessions making sure the other speakers had everything they needed.
- Ryan Adams - Ryan started off as an attendee at North Texas SQL Server User Group meetings and has quickly grown to the ranks of a leader in the regional SQL Server community. Deeply involved in user group events, he has helped organize many SQLSaturday events and a SQLRally, with another SQLSaturday just a few months away.
- Jes Borland - Architect and committee chair for SQLSaturday #118, her vision and dedication made the first SQLSaturday in Wisconsin not only possible, but a huge success.
- Ross LoForte - Ross ran the Chicago SQL Server User Group in the late '90s, before moving away for a couple of years. In June 2002, he helped re-launch the group and has helped keep it going for the past decade. You would be hard pressed to find a more giving person with such a great, positive attitude.
- Sri Sridharan - SQLRally was a great event this year, and Sri put in many hours to make it happen.
- Gina Meronek - Gina is an active member of the MADPASS PASS Chapter and this year volunteered to help run SQLSaturday #118. She’s always willing to help, with a smile on her face.
- Alvin Ramard - In his work with the Memphis PASS Chapter, Alvin does a great job of getting speakers, facilitating meetings, and communicating to potential attendees. He really puts in a lot of time to make sure the local chapter is a success.
- Ted Krueger - As the North Central PASS Regional Mentor, Ted assists 10 Chapters with meetings, speakers, and advice. He is also a frequent speaker at user group meetings, a three-time SQLSaturday organizer, and frequent blogger.
- Amy Lewis - Amy works tirelessly to promote PASS through the Arizona SQL Server User Group and the PASS BI Virtual Chapter. She worked on the Phoenix SQLSaturday #131 event and has been a manager of the PASS BA Conference and PASS Summit Program selection committee.
- Tim Radney - Tim is a Regional Mentor for the Greater South East, a Chapter Leader for Columbus, GA, and is part of the organizing committee for the inaugural SQLSaturday #167. Tim was also recognized as an Outstanding Volunteer at PASS Summit 2011.
- Erin Welker - Erin is the Secretary and Past President of the North Texas SQL Server User Group, having run the NTSSUG for over a decade. Erin led the Program Committee for SQLRally Dallas in May 2012.