I have been appointed as PASS Regional Mentor for the Greater Southeast by PASS (http://www.sqlpass.org). I am truly honored to volunteer for this position to help improve our PASS community. These are BIG shoes to fill.
I will be joining my good friend Tim Radney (Twitter | Blog) oversee 28 chapters across 6 US states (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, and SC) as well as the Netherlands Antilles. The complete list of chapters that make up the Greater Southeast can be found at: http://www.sqlpass.org/PASSChapters/USGreaterSoutheast.aspx.
What is a Regional Mentor? What do Regional Mentors do?
In general, a PASS Regional Mentor can be defined as the following:
Passionate community volunteer
- Dedicated to PASS and the SQL Server community
- Understands the value of giving his/her time and talents to helping others increase their knowledge and skills and improving the overall community
- Understands PASS and its mission and represents the best of PASS to Chapters in his/her area
- Works to keep PASS accountable, on track, and meeting the needs of its members
Primary point of contact for Chapters
- RM facilitates 2-way communications: resources, benefits, and news from PASS to Chapters and Chapter needs and feedback back to PASS
- RM knows who to contact at PASS, at the local/regional Microsoft office, area sponsors, etc. if Chapters need something or have questions
The full blog post of Karla Landrum on “What is a Regional Mentor” can be found at: http://karlalandrum.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/what-is-a-pass-regional-mentor/
What does being a Regional Mentor means to me?
My personal view is that a Regional Mentor is a facilitator and nothing else. This position is not a bureaucratic layer on top of PASS Chapters. I’m not a Regional Mentor to supervise, police, decide, or interfere with day-to-day activities of PASS Chapters. It is meant to be the first level of contact, but it does not mean Chapters can’t talk directly to PASS staff and leadership.
Regional Mentors can help PASS Chapters acquire swag, books and even speakers for their Chapter meetings. Regional Mentors can also open doors from personal contacts, contacts established by PASS or even contacts that other Chapters have already established.
Regional Mentors can also help by providing best practices and guidelines on how to run a succesful Chapter or event from past personal experiences as well as experiences from other Chapter leaders and PASS management.
Regional Mentors can also help Chapters leverage as a group on common challenges and issues, for example: incorporating as a non-for profit, learning how to deal with taxes, managing finances, structuring the chapter leadership, obtaining legal representation, obtaining special discounts, sharing of event materials and equipment, coordinating events and speakers, etc. These are just examples of some of the ideas and initiatives for the Southeast Chapters, so be in the lookout for some discussions around them.
What do I have to offer?
As President for the past 3+ years of the Tampa Bay Business Intelligence PASS Chapter (http://tampabaybi.sqlpass.org), organizer/co-organizer of 3 SQL Saturdays, and speaker at more than 35 events like SQLSaturdays, I understand the challenges and time committment of PASS Chapter leaders.
Throughout my community involvement, I have created a good network of SQL Server and Business Intelligence professionals, Chapter leaders and community rockstars. In addition, I have established great relationships with “blue badges” (Microsoft employees), PASS leadership and staff and have direct points of contact at many companies that offer products and services related to SQL Server and other Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies.
It is my desire to help Chapters that need from my past experience, network, ideas and initiatives, and role as a facilitator . It is my intention to let Chapter leaders continue to keep doing their invaluable jobs and not interfere or serve as a barrier to their activities.
I’m here to facilitate!