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Notes from the December 2010 OPASS Meeting

Our December meeting was a time for a lot of changes:

  • New location, the Hampton Inn in Lake Mary. It’s further north in a good tech area, great access, decent parking, decent room.
  • New leaders. Well, sort of. Jack Corbett had been co-President for a year, but now he’s the sole big dog, and has Karla Landrum working with him on sponsorship and speakers
  • The first real ‘social’ event, spouses invited to a dinner and gift only meeting, no technical stuff
  • The first time in 3-1/2 years that I wasn’t involved, just a plain attendee!

The meeting format was a light dinner, salad and ziti at round tables, probably about 50 total in attendance. Nice to sit and just chat, only negative was the room was a bit cramped, hard to move around once it filled up. Jack, Karla, and Kendal Van Dyke ran through some quick slides, reviewing upcoming meetings (I’ll let Jack share that) and some stuff on sponsors and then SQLRally. We took a break, then did a gift exchange, with all the gifts provided by sponsors and/or oPASS. The meeting ran until about 8:15, ending with the big raffle for an Xbox.

As I watched it struck me that change is good. Not always comfortable. I miss being involved, worry that some of the changes won’t be for the better, feel like I’m slacking for not doing more. All selfish, all human! But as an attendee I think the change is good. Time to try some new things that would be out of my comfort zone, bring a different flavor to the meetings via Jack’s leadership style, and time for me to watch and learn, both technology and what works or doesn’t work as they try new things.

As an side, one of the things I think PASS doesn’t do enough is drive more leader change at the local level. Running a chapter is fun and rewarding, but it’s also a grind. For all that, I suspect it’s common to have ‘leaders for life’ because of a combination of no one stepping up and not wanting to step down. I don’t know that change should be mandatory, but maybe it should be encouraged. Nothing says a leader can’t take a break and then loop back for another term, rested and enthused.

A good meeting, and I’m looking forward to the 2011 version of oPASS.


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


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