4 min read

The election for the next PASS Board of Directors starts today, with a slate of 7 for three spots. I asked them for their vision last week, I’ve read the few statements published, and I attended the AMA on Twitter yesterday (Tuesday).  I wanted to see what the candidates had to say and then decide.

Tl;dr Here are my endorsements, reasoning to follow.

  • Steph Locke
  • Joey D’Antoni
  • Hamish Watson

I wrote the rest of this first, thinking through things and then provided my result above.

Things that Matter

There are some things that matter to me, and I’m voting for someone that represents me. So, these are the important items I look at.


I am big on communication and transparency. We’ve often had to write and disclose plans ro how we are changing SQLServerCentral over the years. I need to provide justification, even if it’s hard or I get criticism. I also believe that explaining yourself doesn’t mean people agree, but they can understand your rationale.

I see too little of that from the PASS org. The communications are also careful and couched to avoid commitments, limitations, or disclosure in advance. Not enough debate and discussion in the public sphere for things that aren’t secret/financial/HR related.

I have had discussions with Steph Locke, and I’ve seen her publish, blog, and debate specifics for events and business. I have seen that from Joey this year as well, with his posts on PASS. Like them or not, agree or not, I think this sort of public thought is important.

In the last year, I counted up blog posts on the PASS blog from others. I found

  • Lori – 5
  • Hamish – 1
  • Roberto – 1

Jose’s site is down, but I didn’t see a statement or other item. So, for that, Lori leads for communication.


I want diversity in a board, to present different views and help push others to make informed and thoughtful decisions. The current BoD is:

  • 4 women, 8 men
  • 6 US, 3 non-US
  • 4/11 non white

There is an open seat, but this is a fairly diverse group. However, I think more minorities help with different thoughts. I also think more variety of business experience matter, as well as different culture/geographies.

With that in mind, I like Lori as a women with a different perspective. I like Steph, Joey, Roberto, and Hamish as independent business owners. I like Roberto, Jose, and Hamish as non-US citizens.

Quite a toss up here for me. I lean towards non US people here. PASS needs to grow outside the US. Or, I think it should. Need is probably the wrong word.

Business Acumen

Pass is a not-for-profit business. Not a non-profit, but their aim isn’t money, or at least, not a lot. Here’s a definition I found

Not-for-profit organizations are types of organizations that do not earn profits for its owners. All of the money earned by or donated to a not-for-profit organization is used in pursuing the organization’s objectives and keeping it running. (emphasis mine)

I did see a definition that not-for-profits are run by volunteers, which would mean that PASS can’t hire someone. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that PASS tends to make money to keep PASS and the Summit going. Not a lot else.

Some other things, but really, it’s a bit of a treadmill. Is that the best use of money? Should 360Sales cost $400k to make $460 (round-ish numbers)? I don’t know, but I want more business savvy people, not corp employees thinking about this. There is a difference. I’ve worked for a lot of people and owned a business. You view things differently and it’s not an easy skill to acquire.

Steph is my top person here, though I also think Roberto, Hamish, and Joey are people I consider.


At the end, as I work through this, Steph and Joey check a lot of boxes for me. They were easy choices.

The last one is harder. Hamish is on the board, and has diversity of thought and business experience. However, I haven’t seen a lot from him this past year. Same for Roberto. I don’t know Jose, and honestly, am not sure Matt brings something different from Joey.

I like Lori, and I appreciate her comms. I also think a diversity of gender brings different thoughts.

In the end, Hamish has only had a partial term, and when I doubt, I tend to be a “vote them out” person. The diversity and passion he brings are outstanding. The communication and engagement less so, but he gets my vote and endorsement. I’m also going to be a thorn in his paw during the next year to engage more with the wider community.

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