The PASS Board of Directors election starts on October 12th, and we’ve got four really well-qualified candidates to choose from:

You can read their bios at the PASS Candidate List, and they’re good, but I wanted more. I emailed each of them with a set of interview questions to satisfy my bizarre curiosity. Today’s response comes from Matt Morollo:

Brent: First, thanks for volunteering to dedicate your time to the community. What made you decide to run for the Board of Directors this year?

SQL PASS represents the type of Media organization that matches the type of vendor which aligns with my ideals of a highly reputable B2B Media porvider; one that would be a thrill to be a part of. Over the last 14 years my career has been committed to providing IT and App Dev professionals best-of-breed Media with integrity and enthusiasm.   As a veteran Media professional that has built successful contemporary IT focused B2B businesses, my hope is to add value to the future strategy of PASS and also come away with some great experience and new professional acquaintances – people that share my passion for this work.   PASS is a Media organization first and foremost and needs the next generation of Media professionals at the table to navigate through this very unique time in business Media.   My aspirations match their goals and objectives, and few are as uniquely qualified in Media; this is what I do and have done all my career.

Walk us through one of your typical workdays. What do you do?

The Media business is extremely deadline oriented, dynamic, and very competitive.   As many Media vendors, 1105 Media works in a virtual environment (7 offices in 10 states plus a large number of home office employees) so communication is critical to what we do each and every day; it is well orchestrated, disciplined, and highly complex.  Keeping up my meeting and publishing schedules is what my day initially revolves around.   When not traveling, my time is spent strategizing with sales, marketing, editorial, working on operational issues, meeting clients, developing partnerships, closing issues, forecasting, and working toward our revenue objectives.   All this requires a lot of teamwork/meetings and working through day-to-day challenges as they surface.  Organization and prioritization is critical in Media.

What parts of your day-to-day experience will make you a better Board of Directors candidate than the other candidates?

If this has not been stressed already; PASS is a Media organization serving a very influential community of SQL oriented professionals.  Nothing is more important than serving the audience/community and content environments with the right information and asset types.   My job is largely about keeping our business relevant and navigating through the murky waters of modern Media so the business is able to continue to sustain profitability and growth (my parent company, the Redmond Media Group now includes MSDN and TechNet in addition to all the Redmond branded assets in print, online plus Face-to-Face events and Virtual Conferences/Expos). Again, as someone with a track record of success, and someone who has been part of a team that has built Redmond Media Group, the most successful Media organization serving Microsoft- oriented IT and App Dev communities, no other candidate matches the experience required as the PASS BOD has outline to me.

I’ve heard that the PASS Board of Directors is a time-consuming hobby to say the least, and at this point in our careers, none of us have tons of extra time. What other projects or things do you expect to have to cut back in order to make time for the Board? (I’d just like to give the readers an idea of how tough it is to prioritize things.)

Having spent the last 14 years strapped to a PC, speaking with audiences, advertising partners, and traveling on airplanes, you cannot be successful in Media without a strong work ethic, and more importantly a passion for this business.   I’m not saying being a SQL Administrator is not a hard job, but the Media business is a much different occupation – in fact given the complexity and competitive nature of the business, there is a high attrition rate and very few people and companies have had the kind of success that 1105 Media continues to have (just last week Questex and recently Cygnus filed Chapter 11 for example – B2B Media woes are in the news daily – its no secret).   PASS can expect that kind of work ethic and enthusiasm from me.  This business excites me and I’ve always been able to ensure the business strives and is successful through good times and bad (my personal sense is this is one of the best times as change is the most constant variable in Media and now is the time to build off that momentum).   The reason why the BOD position is such a strong match is because hard work is what makes a Media business successful, and with a passion for serving Microsoft-oriented professionals, making time is something that the BOD can expect and is something that was expected upon my initial application.

I believe social networking and Web 2.0 tools like Twitter, Facebook, and StackOverflow are changing the way DBAs interact with each other, get training, and solve problems. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

(No answer)

Do you blog and use social networking tools? Where can DBAs find you online?

Yes: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.   I am also a member of the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Executive Council on Sales and that community puts out a lot of community based information via SmartBrief.  Social Networking represent great marketing assets in my opinion.  They are also great tools for communicating, and guiding participating communities to key areas of the web.   For Media organizations specifically, they help keep the community up to date with information they might not otherwise find as well as sharing ideas and other information resources.   Again, as a BOD member, any DBA can certainly reach me, but my role would be mostly transparent to them; the PASS board is not a platform for me (that is a key distinction as a candidate) to be a key figure in the community of SQL professionals, but rather a role where it is possible for me to ensure the PASS community gets the best information assets in the market.   The goal is to help guide the PASS strategy and make it the most relevant Media vendor and community for SQL professionals.   Just as a publisher, the audiences don’t know me, our editors on the other hand they are intimately familiar with.  They are out there in the “mosh pit” mixing with audiences.  The role of a business professional in Media like myself, is to put the best content makers on a pedestal, keep them visible and available to the core community and audiences served.

Do you have any conflicts of interest that may pose a challenge?

None; the opportunity dovetails with my ambitions, aspirations, and more importantly my ability.  My track record demonstrates this as do my prior statements.

If PASS put you in charge of increasing new memberships, what specific steps would you take?

New membership is critical to all Media organizations; maintaining a qualified membership community and providing best-of-breed content are essentially, or to net down, one the core objectives of any company in the business of niche B2B Media.    As a publisher who has spent years and years building communities, I’m familiar with all models including qualified, paid, SEO/M, social networking, alliances, and contemporary Audience Development (AD) practices.   There is no silver bullet here and there are a number of methods in order to accomplish this key objective.  I can’t sit here and tell you what exactly I can do; no one can unless they are familiar with the resources and budgets that PASS has.   What I can tell you, is that I will, and am extremely qualified in the practice of Audience Development and that PASS can expect that my skills will be applied along with my experience to the best of my ability.  The best and most modern AD practices will be applied with creativity and enthusiasm.  My experience also involves global expansion and my understanding is that is a core PASS objective (my BA from GWU in International Communications is also relevant).

What do you think PASS is doing right to improve the day-to-day lives of database administrators?

This BOD work is a great example.   The team is looking for the best from  a strategic business perspective.   What I can tell you, is that each nominee, unless they have a decade plus experience in building, growing, and leading B2B organizations has really has no idea what kind of challenges and how hard the work is involved in growing a Media organization like PASS.   Everyone I’ve seen on the ballot may make a great speaker, writer, or be a world-class SQL DBA, but aren’t experienced in the business of Media to the extent that I am.   With respect to all of the nominees, they are highly skilled SQL technicians.  That’s great, but PASS is Media company serving communities with information resources that keep them captive  In my opinion, based on what I know, the PASS BOD needs a MEDIA PROFESSIONAL experienced with Microsoft and IT publishing/events.  The reason PASS appeals to me, and to answer the question more directly, is that PASS has a strong reputation as a provider of best-of-breed information assets with integrity, and has access to the most innovative community of SQL based content providers.   The challenge is the web has  opened up a whole new set of opportunities for communities to find information.  The Redmond Media Group for example references SQL and supports every key vendor in this market, employs some of the best contributors who produce articles, white papers, webcasts, speak at our events on the subject, but it is much broader and focused on providing information to the MCP, Developer, IT, & Partner communities across all Microsoft disciplines.   Again, let me stress that PASS is in an extremely competitive marketplace, needs to remain relevant as a key information provider, and has to work on building the communities in the midst of a highly competitive and complex environment.  PASS has two key competitive advantages; a) the organization is recognized globally as the most targeted and credible community reaching top SQL Professionals b) SQL is poised to grow as the information boom continues to accelerate at a pace that is almost impossible to describe; SQL is, and will remain fundamental to the data revolution.   This excites me and is why I’m so keen to be a part of PASS.

What do you think PASS could do better, and how?

This is a question for the community and one that is mission-critical as PASS evolves and grows as an organization.  B2B Media organizations rely on the communities they serve to provide this kind of feedback on a regular basis via show evaluation forms, surveys, and other research.   Dialogue is also important and to borrow a phrase, the community and vendor partners must be treated “like family”.   They are vital in providing this kind of information and shaping the organization.   The first thing I’d hope to do as a Board member, is to dive into the community surveys, research, and other data (even if its verbatim) and  speak with key members in person (via email, phone, in person at local chapters).  Knowing and listening to the community is the most important thing the Board and team at PASS can engage in.  The community represents the future, and the work that needs to be done revolves around them.   Finally, to borrow another phrase in Media “content is king”.  As long as PASS remains committed to providing the best and most relevant content, PASS will continue to be successful and have the communities” attention.

Sum up your goals for PASS in 140 characters or less:

Understand key objectives, challenges, and work to assimilate myself with the board, staff, and community.  Help support PASS and ensure the organization remains relevant,  poised for growth, and stands alone as THE SQL Media vendor in a landscape that is complex, and dynamic.


Brent Ozar
I make Microsoft SQL Server faster and more reliable. I love teaching, travel, and laughing.

I’m mostly a figurehead here at Brent Ozar Unlimited. My true skills are menu advice, interpretive dance, and reading Wikipedia.
Brent Ozar on sabtwitterBrent Ozar on sablinkedinBrent Ozar on sabinstagramBrent Ozar on sabgoogleBrent Ozar on sabfacebook
↑ Back to top
  1. After reading this interview, I found myself asking the question “Is Matt a SQL Server Professional or a Media Professional?” I went to the PASS site to read his bio and I still don’t know the answer to my question. Does anyone know if Matt is a SQL Server Professional? (That would be my expectation to be selected to run on the slate for the Board of the “Professional Association for SQL Server”. Maybe I missed something?)


  2. Chuck, Good question. No, I am not a SQL technician but work on building media organizations, growing businesses, and ensuring their success. Now Brent, hopefully my interview got this point across; my career has been spent serving audiences with IT and App Dev related media assets SQL oriented information (Redmond Media also now run MSDN and TechNet – SQL is at least a top 3 subject or underlying theme. PASS doesnt’ just happen’ as you know. It is a business, requires investment, has budgets, and needs to allocate them effectively and poise for growth. Also, as mentioned my, career revolves around supporting the business objectives of most SQL oriented vendors (Dell, Quest, MS etc.). My sense is PASS has all the SQL rockstars that can build sessions and help you and the community be a better SQL Professional. But IMO, thats not the role of BOD member. 3 of the 4 candidates are all world class SQL technicians, but do they understand the business of Media and can they help the PASS business objectives? The only thing that I ask the community, is if you want PASS grow as a media organizations, wouldn’t you rather have a marketing and media professional working behind the scenes ensuring that PASS evolves and remains the most successful Media Organization serving this community? Would a SQL technician fit the bill in this capacity? You are missing nothing. I am a media professional with a track record of growing businesses like PASS that serve IT professionals. You have 3 votes. Make a different choice. Thanks.


    feel free to call me at 508 294 8183 if you want to discuss. My only goal is to help PASS evolve as a best-of-breed media organization.

  3. Brent, Thank you for the interview. It’s important that the community sees why the PASS Executive team nominated me and this interview, represents everything that has driven me to be on the BOD and why I made the ballot. So far, this blog represents my greatest campaign asset. It would be my pleasure to speak with any eligible voter and in fact would welcome it. As a non-technical, but successful media pro, there are few outlets for me to penetrate the community with my message. I’m driving everyone to this thoughtful interview. Thanks again. -Matt

  4. Hi Matt,

    The Professional Association for SQL Server can benefit from hiring media people to assist our association (as we’ve done in the past and continue to do), but I don’t think our Board is an appropriate place for someone that is not a SQL professional. I’m frankly surprised that a non SQL professional was selected for the slate over recognized SQL Server experts (like SQL MVP Tim Ford). I don’t mean to be harsh – I’m sure you’re a great media pro, but by my way of thinking you’d be more appropriate as a Board member for a Media Professional’s association.


    • I echo Chuck’s sentiments. PASS needs accountants, marketers, graphic design pros, etc, and we hire them or contract them out as part of PASS HQ’s services. I don’t understand why media is different, especially these days.

      Media is dying. I keep seeing one media company after another go down in the flames of bankruptcy. Why on earth would we want to push PASS towards the media business? We’re a nonprofit, so we have even less of a financial stream to handle the ups and downs and downs and downs of the media business.

      I could almost vaguely understand if an events-organizer ran for the Board, or if a grassroots-organizer ran for the Board, but this one doesn’t feel right to me. This is nothing personal whatsoever – Matt, I apologize, because it sounds like you’re a great guy (apart from not understanding the difference between 140 characters and 140 words, which really pains me.)

      • This just crossed my mind a few minutes ago after a convo with my boss; our own board of directors met yesterday, and looking a their profiles, they know little about media, marketing, community, and social networking, but gosh darn if they don’t know finance, investment banking, and venture capitalism. This post is only for you to consider what a BoD represents to any organization, they are in the backdrop, working with company execs to ensure the business remains sound. If you work for a company, consider your own board. Who are they, what are their backgrounds; are’nt they a diverse set of professionals? Its been hard to convey this point and I’ll try one last time; I’ve spent my career working with Microsoft-oriented IT pros – large audiences, providing a multitude of information resources. As a business leader, my job is to ensure the integrity and profitability of the business and that is something I’ve done year after year. My job is also to launch new businesses and bring new ideas, creativity to the company. PASS is by no means a stretch in terms of being a close match to the kind of businesses we’ve lauched and successfully run. They are very similar, but different in many ways. I wouldnt question anyone in terms of have you been to MIXX (the IAB annual summit) attended ABM meeting (American Business Publishers) or have you sat in a Council meeting at the WPA (Western Publishers Association). Why on earth would you? My point is that my goal is to align with PASS, the community, and transfer my knowledge, share information with like-minded individuals, and work to achieve to the boards’ objectives. I know PASS better than you may realize, but clearly need to get to know the community a little better. Glad to do it. We’ve partnered w PASS, send a representative to the Summit in 08, and the 09 event (as will I attend), and work with most of the vendors who exhibit there. Im asking for your votes; my platform is diversifity, and business leadership in B2B organizations who’s lifeblood is dependent on sponsor, exhibit, and online advertising revenue from Microsoft oriented businesses. What I’d give to have people on our own board that specialize in B2B and are willing to volunteer their time to further our cause. Why not break the mould, think outside the box? Why put 3 candidate (with respect – all outstanding individuals) w essentially the same qualifications in all the positions. You guys are SQL Pros and the goal is to make PASS a better organization for you. Think about why the Exec BoD put me on the ballot; to bring in fresh thinking in a murky climate for B2B organizations like PASS? Whether you want to embrace me or not, PASS needs people like me. Now more than ever. Change is hard, it is never easy to be the new guy, and hopefully you all see that I’m human, committed, sincere, and qualifed. Thanks for your attention, and this tremendous opportunity. Regards, -Matt

        • Matt,

          I appreciate your commitment to what is truly an unprecedented conversation in our technical community.

          I have to take issue with a couple of things you just said:

          “Think about why the Exec BoD put me on the ballot; to bring in fresh thinking in a murky climate for B2B organizations like PASS?”

          1. I was under the impression that it was the Nominating committee that put you on the slate, not the Exec BoD

          2. PASS is not a B2B organization


          • Thanks Chuck. As always, your feedback and clarification is appreciated. Your recognition is also appreciated. Some might not agree w point #2, but it has not served me well to present a counter position. As for point #1 – my recollection was the Executive Board Members were among the party present in the interview lead by Kevin Kline. Perhaps I should have worded it differently. I stand corrected.

            All the very best,


            PS Did you get my email?

          • Hi Matt,

            I can’t reply to your thread so I figured I’d reply to my own post directly above it. A member of the Board was concerned that I incorrectly communicated that the Board selected the slate so I figured if it’s important enough for them to seek clarification on it, I may as well share their concern on:


            As far as your response to my stating PASS is not a B2B organization:

            “Some might not agree w point #2, but it has not served me well to present a counter position.”

            I gotta be honest with you and say that I just don’t know what you mean.

            PASS is a technical community. We have Chapters, a Conference, and Virtual Conferences.

            I don’t know what email address you used but I wasn’t in work today due to a nasty sinus headache. I’ll check my work BB. It’s probably best just to DM me on twitter. I and the rest of the SQL community are always there.

            Take care,


          • Chuck, Hope you are feeling better. My goal has been to answer everyones questions and would hope that you had some input on the broader themes brought up in the post above regarding BoD’s. Your attentiveness is appreciated, but the important themes brought to light seem to get lost when the smaller details are referenced rather than the bigger themes and points my hope was to convey. Again, I stand corrected, glad you point out Greg’s tweet, however respectfully have a different opinion in the other area. But the real question is; looking at the landscape of BoD’s aren’t they all from different backgrounds – in most cases? If that’s OK, but the theme of the post seems to get lost in the detail (again, I stand corrected on your point). As always Mr. Bryce, thanks for your participation in this dialogue. It’s important, and very helpful.



          • Matt,

            The correction actually came from PASS Board member Greg Low.


            Greg and I agree that it is minor, but I think it is significant nonetheless.

            Here are some excerpted comments I’ve shared elsewhere in the community and they are partly the main concern about your candidacy. I’ll reprint my remarks below. Thanks for your well wishes. It’s that time of year where people get sick. Yuck.

            Here is the thing that I cannot understand and I have seen this question posed to you before and you haven’t answered it sufficiently in my opinion:

            WHY does someone who is a Publishing VP and not a technologist with no prior history of PASS community involvement (please note that I said “community”) want to be on the Board of our technical community?

            Two questions that good friend and PASS Board member Joe Webb have asked us to take into consideration when we vote are:

            “Has the person served as a volunteer with PASS?”
            “Has he demonstrated a love for the SQL Community?”

            You have not served as a volunteer with PASS and as of two days ago you were publicly stating that PASS was a Media organization.

            I just don’t get why you want to be on our board?

            If you could answer that to our satisfaction it might help us to consider you as a viable candidate to lead our database professionals community.

          • Mr Chuck Bryce,

            There is a chance you would consider me a viable candidate? Well, that is great news, and glad that the effort was made maintain the dialogue! (got your tweet and will respond to that asap)! It would be great to get your feedback on my BoD comments/analogy above as well.

            In the meantime, Marlon Ribunal expressed some concern about the process and my candidacy via linkedIn. Here is my response; Hopefully this answers your question to a high degree of satisfaction.

            I also opened up a thread to the LinkedIn group, but no one has commented as of yet.

            Thanks Chuck,


          • Matt,

            I have already asked friends to do an intervention on me if I commented any more about your candidacy, so I guess I’ll be the first episode of #SQL interventions. As I replied to you via twitter, you’re very welcome for my engagement in this process.

            I guess I’m wondering why you don’t want to tell us here on this Moby Dick of a conversational thread why you want the job?

            It seems to me that you subjected yourself to this interview to get the job of PASS Board member. Wouldn’t the simplest question of any job interview be: why do you want this job?

            If you’re willing to tell us here on this conversation thread why you want this job, I’m sure many of us would be grateful as I know I would.

            Warm Regards,


          • Hi Chuck,

            Well, I can’t sum it up any better that what was stated on LinkedIn via Marlon’s dicussion thread. The answers are all in there – and in the words on this blog.

            But I will try to summarize; I have a passion for Microsoft IT, I have a passion for working to provide MS IT Pro’s best-of-breed information resouces, PASS has an exceptional reputation for integrity, innovation, and my ambitions include working with smart people who share my passion and aspirations. Nothing is more rewarding to me than good teamwork, volunteerism, and bottom line, as a member of a team of world-class professionals, we get to make a difference and serve you. That’s what I do, this is all I know how to do. Its my career and a way to give back to the community that has served me so well.

            Now, that intervention comment was pretty funny, but also a cue that I may have overstayed my welcome on Mr Ozar’s blog as the questions have stopped (it is the w/e – if I’m wrong, happy to answer more questions). I am available via,, m: 508 294 8183, and LinkedIn (if you want to FB me – one can never have enough friends!).

            Again, my gratitude to you and everyone who has helped me, and challenged me along the way. It has been a pleasure.

            Thanks Chuck and Thank You All!


          • Traffic usually drops around 75-80% over the weekends. People only read my blog on company time. 😉

          • Just realized my lack of response about wearing out your welcome could be misconstrued! You’re totally welcome to keep the discussion going here, by all means! I really appreciate how much work you’ve put into staying involved. I’ve been trying to sit back to let everybody else have their say, and I think it’s gone really well. Everybody’s been forthcoming and done a great job of opening up some cool debates that have moved PASS forward just by talking.

  5. Gents, Thanks for the candor and feedback. Your attention is appreciated. The only thing I’d ask is dont overlook the commitment Redmond Media Group has made to providing best-of breed media content – via events, pubs, webcasts, WP’s, newlsletters, websites, virtual conferences, custom media and more. As VP, Publishing of MSDN, having launched Redmond Media and many other media assets, the best SQL content is key to our business. We know content, and we know media. As PASS is not for profit, not an issue – great in fact. So if “media is dying”, is PASS at risk too? See all the banners and expo sponsors on the site and newlsetters? They are integral relationships and critical revenue streams for PASS. The vendors are the lifeblood of the organization. That is media being served by PASS You may disagree. That is your prerogative. As mentioned in an email to Brent this AM “in media, the core lesson learned is ‘you are what you is’. Call it what it is, stick w the core characteristics. If you change that, the community will vanish. Be what you set out to be, and don’t try to be something else. Maybe my challenge is that is something that was not stressed enough; its about staying relevant, and a successful media & marketing pro can help navigate through these murky waters, keep it relevant and poise for growth.” Don’t forget; I was nominated on the ballot; please don’t overlook that. The interview process was a good one and I made the cut. My goal is to help PASS – it is an organization that I have great respect for and would’nt want to associate if there was not a close fit, passion, and interest in further serving the community. You can expect that I’m not some egomaniacal publisher that is out to change PASS and push to deviate from what the organizations goals are. Hopefully the community can embrace this notion and me; someone who has been working transparently for years to improve the careers of Microsoft oriented IT pros. Recognize that PASS is a media company (for profit or not) in a climate that is dynamic and tough, and that my objectives are sincere. Why would I volunteer my time otherwise? Does that mean nothing? Like most Americans; I have a 12 hour a day job, a family, mortgage, soccer, baseball, games but more importantly have been serving this community and all Microsoft IT professionals all my career. With respect to all the candidates on the ballot can they say the same? We likely have worked with most of them at some point, and don’t expect that would change as they are the some of the best SQL technicians in the world. Hopefully you can see why my name is on the ballot. There is a reason and would respectfully ask for your vote. It’s not forever; embrace this opprtunity. You can expect that my goals are selfless, and my only objective is to support PASS and be a atrategic partner to the community. Open the doors. I know SQL and I know media (including conferences – well). There are 3 other great candidates, but you have a choice to make a real change by voting for me. Thanks again, and please email or call anytime. Hope to hear from you and welcome questions. Sincerely, -Matt

    PS Brent, you know that I am grateful to you and everything you have done. Sorry about the 140, but with all due respect; why on earth would PASS need a graphic designer on the BOD? Now, that is good feedback -noted! -and if that is what the community needs, you can expect the best in the business. If that is a goal the BOD sets for me, consider it done.

  6. First, I don’t think media, as a whole, is dying. Much like the IT biz, the media biz is undergoing a huge change, one that is is happening at a very, very quick pace.

    I also think that association board members can come from many different angles/career stages. What associations need is great leaders, albeit people who understand the profession enough to lead both the members and the members’ clients and employers.

    I’d prefer that these leaders not refer to members as “technicians”, since that is a downgrade from “professional” in most labour and professional frameworks.

    I’d much rather have a board member who can get stuff done that one who has a great resume but does not have will or time to make a real contribution to the association. I guess the real test at election time is does a candidate have enough knowledge about the profession to get real stuff done.

    • Karen – you’ve got great points there. You point out that the Board should be made up of leaders, not necessarily great DBAs, and I agree 100%. It also needs a mix of different skill sets – if everybody on the Board thought alike, there’d be no discussion, and no fresh ideas.

      I think there’s some skills that all Board members should have, though. In a perfect world, they’d all have experience organizing grass-roots campaigns, bringing together a disparate crew of volunteers to do great things. I think every Board member should have a basic grasp of a P&L statement, and understand the basics of ROI. (I’m not saying these in any relation to Matt’s spot on the ballot, just in general.)

      After all, what is a DBA if not a jack-of-all trades? We, of all people, should understand that getting to the peak of a particular profession can mean mixing a lot of skills together to get the big picture.

      Technician, yeah, ouch – reminds me of the “nail technicians” down at the mall.

  7. Karen, Brent, No disrespect intended. Just mixing up the language. You are all Pros of course – and as mentioned – World Class. The acronym PASS speaks for itself and the community. Gosh, it is a little like walking on eggshells, but that just indicates your passion for PASS. All the more reason it would be an honor to support you and the community of Professionals at SQL PASS. Change is tough – this is clear – it always is. Now, back to work and will think about how the community can embrace this change on the ballot. All very helpful feedback. Thank you. -Matt

  8. I’m glad to see there’s some discussion here on this.

    Just some quick comments.

    The OLD media *clearly* is dying. NBC is up for sale, Citadel (formerly ABC Radio) is on the verge of bankruptcy, Newspapers are in a death spiral, and New Media players are dancing past Old Media veterans trying to enter the New Media space – as one case in point HuffPo just crushed the LATimes (who’ve quoted me in the past, interestingly yet irrelevantly to this discussion…I can digress, 🙂 …) and WaPo as covered by The Business Insider (

    Therefore, Matt’s Old Media experience is less compelling to me in 2009 than it would have been in 2005. New Media expertise would be far more compelling to me for the growth of our online initiatives.

    Karen’s concern that we get executive experience is correct – but I don’t think we should look for that experience outside of our SQL Server profession unless we cannot find it there. I don’t buy that this is the case.

    Matt’s Old Media experience is significant, thought – there is no question. I think we can use it to benefit our profession. I just don’t think it warrants a seat on our Board.

    My two cents…


  9. Matt,
    The concern that I have is that whomever gets elected to the BOD is someone that understands the everyday SQL Server profesional. Perhaps you can help calm that concern by answering a few questions:

    – How many PASS summits have you been to?
    – How many SQL User Group meetings \ Code Camps \ SQL Saturday events have you been to?
    – What SQL Server blogs & publications do you follow?

    Kendal Van Dyke

  10. Kendal, Did you read my interview and other comments;

    – PASS: we sent a rep to PASS last year and are supporting ’09’s Summit via an integrated media progam. This year we are sending another rep. There is no reason for me to attend sessions on improving my SQL DBA skills. Please read up my qualifications.
    – SQL User Groups: Again, I’m not a SQL DBA, so why go to camps etc. but have been to every major industry event includin TechEd – 8-10 times, VWWorld, Oracle World, PDC and more as an attending.
    – Kendall every publication website published under the Redmond Media umbrella is choc full of SQL content. We have done custom media, webcasts, white papers, podcasts, events and more.

    Let me stress; my nomination came to fruition as my leadership and track record in running, launching, and managing Media businesses. All I can ask is that you embrace this and vote for me so we can work to grow PASS and extend the organizations cause to grow community, and sustain position as best-of-breed provider.

    Here is a recommendation; why don’t you contact the SQL PASS and ask them why theyput me on the ballot rather than discounting my qualifications to lead PASS into the future because I’ve not attended UG’s or Camps.


    • Matt – I understand your enthusiasm about your “leadership and track record in running, launching, and managing Media businesses,” and that would be a great argument for running for the board of a media professional organization.

      But PASS is not a media business.

      Furthermore, the media businesses you run don’t have a vibrant community around them. There is no monthly Redmond Media Reader Group gathering in different cities. In the Redmond Mag online forums and MCP Mag forums, there’s few posts in the last several weeks – if not months. Social media is another matter altogether – the 1105 Media account has a whopping 8 followers at the moment.

      (And don’t even get me started about a media professional not having a blog.)

      I’m sure your magazines are financially successful, and that’s great, but that’s not what PASS is about. It’s about connecting, learning, and sharing, and I don’t see that in the online communities at Redmond Media. I see traditional one-way information pushed down from the top, and that’s not where I want PASS to go.

      • This Redmond magazine thing…most of the content are Advertisements…no technical values at all!

        • Marlon, Sorry, my thoughts were that your comments had been followed up on – I missed them. My goal is to focus on my candidacy rather than an issue of Redmond. To be clear however and set the record straight, Redmond Media Group has a diverse portfolio of print, online (a huge mix of assets), and conferences (run by the a team of passionate, hard working professionals who are not part of this process). There is more SQL based content than one can possibly consume at a glance. In Addition, Redmond Media includes MSDN, and TechNet online; so, we are responsible to put out information directly from and, in partnership with Microsoft, and to ensure the commuities get a steady flow of great content. Much of it of course revolves around SQL (or it is an underlying theme)…..Sorry for rambling and as mentioned, my hope is to keep the focus on my candidacy, qualifications, track record as a succesful business professional that has spent a career working to help IT professionals in this market; that is my objective. Hopefully you will embrace my skillsets, and help diversify the PASS BoD team. Thanks again. Your participation is this dialogue is appreciated!



    • Matt,
      I did read your bio and it did not mention that you had been to any specific events. This could have merely been an oversight which is why I asked.

      My questions weren’t meant to discount your qualifications as a candidate; rather they were meant to help me ascertain how well you connect with and understand the professional community that you have been nominated to represent. I didn’t ask if you attended the sessions – I asked if you attended the events. There are plenty of opportunities to spend time with SQL professionals outside of technical sessions. It’s like a product manager talking with his\her customers in order to understand how to build a product that meets their customers’ needs.

      I just want to know that if you are elected to the BOD you understand who you represent and what the community is asking you do to on their behalf.


  11. “Here is a recommendation; why don’t you contact the SQL PASS and ask them why theyput me on the ballot rather than discounting my qualifications to lead PASS into the future because I’ve not attended UG’s or Camps.”


    We (the SQL community) are actually pretty open and communicate with each other all the time. (Every day, as a matter of fact. Mainly on twitter, but sometimes also on blogs.) I’m sure this is an unpleasant conversation for you to participate in and I give you huge props for taking part. Be assured, I do not think that anyone is addressing this about you on a personal level. The abstract issue, however, is very important to a lot of us. We care who we allow to serve us. Thanks again for taking the time to communicate with us.

  12. Matt is a very interesting candidate, and presents unique assets to the mix of candidates – and also presents a unique challenge to PASS members.

    My first reaction to reading Matt’s bio on the PASS site was that he would provide a very good perspective on helping PASS put on professional events, and provide helpful material to PASS chapters. After reading this Q&A, my sentiments changed immediately negative – I classed Matt as another “marketing airhead”. That evaluation was driven almost solely by the capitalization of every single occurrence of the word “media” in his responses. “Media” isn’t a proper noun (it’s not an entity), but referring to it that way suggests Matt thinks of “media” in that sense. The language he used in the rest of his answers reinforced my feeling that his viewpoint revolved entirely around “pandering to the Media gods.” (My interpretation!)

    OK – with all that said and out of the way… I’m distrusting my revised opinion. Think of it this way: how many of “us” (SQL Pros) are good at expressing ourselves? (A few.) To those NOT in our “field”? (Uh – probably VERY few.) That’s exactly the position Matt’s in. He’s attempting to talk to “us” – but really only has his environment (of “media pros”) to draw from. It’s very understandable to me (taking that as background) that his answers and perspective would rub me the “wrong way” at first glance.

    I find myself asking myself… “self, why was he put on the ballot?” The simple answer is “because the current board and/or nomination committee (I have no idea) found his credentials compelling.” That simple reason, in and of itself, warrants serious consideration for Matt. It also should cause me to re-evaluate the knee-jerk reaction I had to his interview above. Also consider that Matt would be one of (at least) 12 individuals making up the Board. Even if Matt is a blood-sucking, schmoozing, @ss-hat marketing-type (no offense intended 🙂 ) – it seems highly unlikely to me that he’ll be able to screw up a Board of (at least) 11 other “SQL Pros”. It seems more likely to me that he’d be able to give them a (polite) smack upside the head if they do something that a seasoned “Media Pro” wouldn’t do in promoting an organization.

    Overall – I’m going to look past the “bad grammar” and off-putting capitalization of “media”. I’m going back to my original thoughts that having someone who has lived in the marketing/promotional business would be a net gain for the PASS board. But I am not going to do what has been enthusiastically suggested on Twitter to “vote now!” I’m going to hold my vote until the last day to make sure my hind-brain has processed this and other information as well as it can.

    • Todd,

      A SQL Server MVP (Tim Ford) was not permitted to run for the Board and instead our community is being asked to consider someone that is not in our profession. What are your thoughts about that?

      • I think I stated my thoughts on that pretty clearly, but here are some more.

        Take a look around the boards of directors of any other organization – corporate, charitable, not-for-profit. It’s not a fluke (IMO) that the vast majority of them include people who (otherwise) have absolutely no relation to the line of business that the board represents. Why do they do this? To broaden the perspective and ensure they don’t get tunnel vision. (I think.)

        I’m not saying that without Matt (or people from other professions) that PASS will atrophy and wither away because it gets focused on abstract technical issues. What I am saying is that any group needs some alternate perspectives – which do not have to be “dissenting opinions” – in order to be healthy.

        I’m not sure that PASS needs to “compete” with SQLServerCentral, SQLTeam, etc… as a “media producer”. I – like K. Brian Kelley – want the directors to be focused on making PASS a respectable and valuable resource for SQL Pros. But that desire is not at odds with examining or improving the content PASS does produce, or its relationships with sponsors, vendors, and other businesses.

        I don’t know Tim Ford, and I don’t know Matt Marollo. I’m sure they’re both “good guys”. But would I vote for Tim just because he’s a very accomplished SQL MVP? Nope. Would I vote for someone who wants to maintain the professional aspect of PASS? Yep. Would I vote for someone who wants to shake up the conversations within the PASS leadership and suggest new ways to accomplish what the membership wants? Yep. In the ideal world, those two things are represented in the same person. Maybe not in this case. My point is that you shouldn’t reject Matt out-of-hand because he may not profess (in “our” language) the first quality.

        • I totally agree with you on this one, Todd. I want to see the board made up of people who have a history of accomplishing things PASS needs to do, and PASS doesn’t need to write stored procedures.

          PASS needs to help people “Connect. Learn. Share.”

          In my mind, an example of an out-of-the-box Board of Directors might include, for example, an IT professional who’d helped bootstrap a thriving web community. The topic of the community wouldn’t matter, but I would want to see dozens – if not hundreds – of people interact on that site every day as they connected, learned, and shared. If that community just so happened to be about SQL Server, that’d be even better. And whaddya know, we have Andy Warren.

          I might want someone who’d started a grassroots community meeting series where people with common interests could get together, meet each other, share their knowledge, and learn. Ideally, the whole thing would be free to attendees, because the more PASS can deliver learning for free, the better. If that series just happened to be about SQL Server, that’d be even better. And whaddya know, we have Steve Jones. (Well, he’s not on the Board yet, but I’m gonna push ’em, heh.)

          • Hey Brent, you kinda, no you definitely, just described yourself, too.

          • I’d want a lover and promoter of #bacon.

          • KBK – HA! Yeah, but to be honest, I make a crappy candidate because I have zero, and I mean *zero* tolerance for red tape. I want to serve the community in a way that doesn’t alienate others, and I think putting me on the Board would do more harm than good. I wanna serve, and I do enjoy leading in the right environments, but the PASS Board isn’t the right environment for me. I have a ton of respect for people who can deal with the politics and red tape while helping move the community forward.

        • Hi Todd,

          I actually only asked if Matt was a SQL pro because I assumed that was a requirement to serve on the Board and I couldn’t find it in his bio. It was simple curiosity.

        • I agree that a wealth of different views can help any organization. It can also cripple it. I’m not saying folks should rule out Mr. Morollo. But I want to make sure he really understands the people he would be serving. That’s a key point to being on the BoD for a professional organization.

          • K. Brian, This exchange has been very insightful in understanding the people at PASS for sure. Please remember that my qualifications include audience development, audience research, and having attended more events than I care to say. IT pros are my people too. My job has always revolved around their best interests.


        • Todd, Very thoughtful comments. Your vote is not something expected, but you make some excellent points and offer up some good insight and opinion. Best, -Matt

    • Todd – “blood-sucking, schmoozing, @ss-hat marketing-type” eh? Listen, I work in the marketing department now, and let me just tell you that we don’t all schmooze.

      The rest of it is dead-on though. 😉

  13. Chuck, Again, why the indictment? Old media? Why would you suggest such a thing? Have you read woes about 1105 Media? You referene all B2C…certianly they face hardships in te everchanging landscape. Can you tell me of another or more progressive B2B Media company taking on new products like MSDN (which went to bid to every B2B Mediavendor in the market) and is launching new product like Virtualization Review? Do you not think Microsoft did a full analysis of the companies profitability to ensure Redmond Media is the right partner? Do you realize that as a company, in addition to conferences (ie TDWI, FOSE) that online revenue represents a significant portion of the companies revenue (not at liberty to disclose but its massive)? Did you know we operate a dozen websites, have 85,000+ registered members who download hundreds of WP’s, in 08 the team prodcued over 110 sponsored webcasts? was the 1st website ever to do podcasts (avail now on iTunes). Did you also note that the most prominent organization driving Internet Advertising (IAB) into the future inlcudes 1105 Media as a member organization, and yours truly is on the Executive Sales Council – look close for my name and the network of co-members; Does this represent old media? Would you consider PASS new media? Look, it would not behoove me to tell you what a SQL DBA’s job is or accuse you of bad database management, so please let’s keep this above board or at least do some more due diligence before slandering my hard work and all the commitments made to supporting Microsoft-oriented professionals. I would also kindly request that you retract the post and as recommended to Kendal, why dont you reach out to the PASS Execs who interviewed described what was needed to guide the PASS strategy forward. Either embrace change, let me help, or keep the current paradigm as is. Again, PASS is a media organization and I’m the only one the ballot who is a proved media leader. You have an opportunity to let me help PASS and the choice is yours. As mentioned, please call me and resist the urge to make false assumption about my career. -Matt

    • I made no indictment on anyone or anything? One would think that your saying I accused you of something would require you articulating what that something is. Since I have no idea what you’re talking about, I can’t respond.

      Yes, old media. See Clay Shirky –

      I have actually done new media in Europe NYC (and won the MVP in Digital Media as well as the SQL MVP). So, I know a bit about what I speak.

      You don’t need to sell me on the size of your media company or it’s stats. We’re talking about allowing you to lead my SQL community.

      I believe that Steve Wynkoop and I did the first SQL podcasts in 2005, 2006. They’re still online, just google.

  14. All, Sorry about the Type-O’s but the slanders are not something I’m used to nor expected as I’m keen to support PASS and help YOU all. That’s what I do and my those are my only qualifications. If my career did not consist of generating lots of SQL based info to our own community, then it would not be relevant or something I’d pursue. Thanks for the feedback. Most of it is helpful and all appreciated. Sincerely, -Matt

    • Matt,

      This conversation began by asking a question as to whether you were a SQL professional. Now you are accusing us of slander? This is very unfortunate. No one has slandered you.

  15. This has been an enlightening exchange. I found it far more useful to my decision-making than I did the original interview, through no fault of Brent or Matt.

    • Chris, Thanks for the feedback. This thread has been extensive and enightening in more ways than one. Throughout the course however, the dialogue has been healthy, we’ve shared some good feedback and information, and learned a lot more about each other. Whether you’ve cast your vote or not, the comment is appreciated and my hope is your time has allowed you to follow the rest of the comments section and you have gained even more insight. My goal has been to answer and respond to each participant in addition to making some key points about my experience, its relationship to PASS, adding diveristy, new leadership to the platform. Thanks for checking in here.



  16. Matt, here is where I’m going to disagree with you and I think is the root of the issue that most of the folks have commented here have with your view. Brent and Kendall have echoed their thoughts. Here are mine:

    PASS is not a media organization. At least not in my view or in the view of many other DBAs and database professionals that I know. PASS’ name says it all: Professional Organization for SQL Server. PASS is a professional organization. I’m a member of another professional organization, ISACA. While ISACA produces a lot of media, that’s not its primary function. Its primary function is to help develop and provide resources, including networking, for IT audit and InfoSec personnel. PASS should be the same way. That’s what I expect of PASS.

    I’m a local chapter president. My chapter serves the midlands region of South Carolina. I’m not interested in media. I’m interested in knowledgable SQL Server professionals coming to talk to my chapter members in order to help them learn more about the tool they use in their daily job. I’m interested in seeing my members develop their skills (and not just their technical ones), they relationships with others in the SQL community, and feel like they can give back (and they can). I want to be there for one of my members when she loses a job and hopefully connect her with another member of the community who is looking to hire. That is something that has happened in the last couple of weeks. And I want to be there to do that so someone will be there for me if I’m in that position.

    It’s about community. It’s about professional development. It’s about supporting one another and helping each other grow. That’s not a media organization. That’s a professional organization. And that’s what PASS is. At least to most of its members that I have met.

  17. Brent, Redmond Media Group as all 1105 Media just transitioned to a new CMS called SiteCore and we are acutely aware of the references you made. Also, the newsletters like Redmond Report, produced by Doug Barney for example is where most of the feedback comes from in the Mailbag section – its hugely popular and I can send you a sample. That said, we have a new web producer position and expect you’ll see more comments in the coming months. The Top listing on is Barney’s Mailbag – all reader comments – – pages and pages of comments.

    As for the PASS naming convention, our opinion differs. Thats all. PASS has a sales rep, sells newsletters sponsorship, event sponsorships, and web banners. So, it’s an association w a media arm? Better?

    There are a lot of bloggers in Redmond Media, and as mentioned as someone who runs the business, my role is not to produce content, but drive the strategy, and grow the business.

    1105 Media would not have a blog or Twitter page because we are a company made up of business units in Enterprise, Government, Education, BI and more, Our umbrella company simply provides central services; accounting, HR etc.

    Brent, you know I’m grateful for this dialogue, but “one way”? If that were the case, how could we maintain extensive vendor partnerships and grow revenue. Can we keep it above board?



    • Matt,

      You accuse us of slander and then you appeal to keep the conversation “above board”? Honestly. I don’t think I’ll be voting for you based on the comments in this thread, but I do wish you’d take more time to consider the things here if you do get elected to our community’s Board.

      Best Regards,


      • Chuck, Our advertising partnerships and audiences are the key to the business. I simply reserve the right to request that we keep them out out of this thread as it may be misconstrued. As for your vote, it is with regret that you tell me this. You seem like someone that has mutual experience and would be a key member of the community to engage with. Thanks for the dialogue. Best, -Matt

  18. K. Brian, Ditto that. Again, why I’m so keen to support PASS and the community. Thanks for the feedback. -Matt

    • Great, now that you know the perspective of the membership and the fact we consider it a professional organization, can you speak about how you envision your time on the board will further it as a professional org, not just another org producing content? For instance, we’ve all see the whitepapers, the webcasts, etc. ad nauseum. But what are your thoughts about helping the chapters? Not just the local ones, but the virtual ones, too. How do you see yourself helping to aid professional development? There’s been talk in the past of PASS possibly attacking a certification. Doable? Worth it? Why or why not? If not a certification, what else?

  19. Chuck, Then I retract the word. My apologies. Best, -Matt

    PS. was pocasting well before 05 – can tell you when he started – before 2k.

    • Matt,

      Apology accepted. Not to get overly geeky on you, but NO ONE was podcasting before 2k because RSS with enclosures weren’t added by Dave Winer yet at that time:

      • K. Brian, Good question, happy to give you my opinion, but have not been asked to do this by the BOD, nor was it suggested in the interview, At this point, as specific duties have not been assigned, nor have I been nominated, I would simply be taking liberties. That said, in the interview w Brent, I discuss much of this at length, ad this is something we do all day. There are about 60 people on the 1105 Media ECG staff that I work with. The certification question is a good one; one that I’d like to ponder. For many years I was Associate Publisher of MCP Magazine (when it was in print), we do an annual salary survey to MCP via the website, and I have mixed thoughts on their value as many employer tend to choose experince over cert, plus there are a lot of ‘paper certified” It would be great to speak with you about this. Thanks. -Matt

        OK – I’m putting in a PTO day – keep em coming!

        • I understand that you’d be taking liberties, but what I’m trying to get at is that we need to see your thoughts on how to develop PASS. If it is, as your Twitter post indicated, ads and more media, then include me among those not interested. I get bombarded with that stuff every day. Most of it is too short and too irrelevant to what I do or the folks around me do. When you see deeper material (see the 24 hours of PASS) that’s a different story.

          We have a better understanding of at least two of the other candidates (Tom and Jeremiah) and what their views are because they are actively involved in the community. We know what they stand for, what they care about, and we get that they feel our pain, because they experience it, too. While Brian isn’t as engaged as he once was since he started Solid Q, he’s been in the trenches and should know our pain points. If I were to pick someone as a board member, I would want to make sure that board member understood those things. I would want to see what, corresponding to what I do, they are passionate about. I’ve heard media and marketing. I need to see that you have a pulse on us regular folks.

          • K Brian, I’m not familiar with that post, but thank you for the consideration. I would not advocate anything that is counter to the BOD’d direction, butwill share ideas galsdly. Thanks again. -Matt

  20. Chuck, Mike did his 1st podcast in 03 – my bad, its seems like forever – but we simply posted a WMA file before we added RSS feeds to our site. And, while not a SQL DBA, having supported the IT community for so long, some geek talk is fine w me and part of what I need to know in order to be effective at my job…we publish a Java newsletter for example and while I cant code in Java, certainly can maintain some dialogue with providers and coders. Best, -Matt

  21. I’ve been watching these comments for the last couple of days and I feel compelled to add my two cents.

    My concern is, that if PASS needed to have a member of the board that was well versed in working with Media, I would hope that it would be someone who wasn’t so easily drawn into an argument. I would think that a truly media savvy person would understand the importance of audience perception and be more unflappable than the nominee seems here. Engaging the members of this community (the community that you hope to represent) in argument seems counterproductive. If you truly feel that you understand the SQL Server community and that you have skills that are valuable to us, you should be able to communicate that. I don’t believe that you’ve been able to in your interview or the following comments.

    If you can’t communicate it to us, then how will you represent us as a community?

    • Lori, Thanks for the feedback. My only answer is that this has been a great lesson, and I’m simply not used to being called “old media”, “marketing airhead” and all the other, lets say, non-flattering comments especially since I’ve committed my entire career in the business of providing the best information resources to IT audiences, have worked tirelessly on their behalf, and have a lot of respect for PASS but mostly based on vendor dialogue (as well as comments from my peers at TDWI whom I’ve worked with for many year and in fact turned down the job to be considered as general manager). As someone who is passionate, some of the comments caught me off guard, and if they appear that I was “drawn into argument” then that perception I cannot change. Its certainly felt like the community did not want to embrace my candidacy at times, even mentioned another candidate did not make the board and there was some resentment that I did. Keep in mind there was a very lenghty interview, and leadership was emphasized along with strategic thinking. This is my first experience, and I’m simply used to people embracing my ideals and not resisting the work and commitment I’ve made to helping improve the careers of IT professionals. If I did’nt care, then I would not engage.

      Lori, again, your thoughts and feedback are appreciated. Thank you.


      • Matt, I may be misstepping here, but my feeling is that the basis for most of these comments is that you’ve neither worked as a DBA or have been involved with PASS until this point. I don’t know what the nomination process is and would be interested to know the BOD’s reasoning, but I don’t think that your understanding of PASS and its members “based on vendor dialogue” is enough. I would hardly think that I could be voted into the House of Representatives for my state without being involved at lower levels of government.

        I don’t believe that any candidacy is ’embraced’ without the candidate presenting a platform that is embraceable. While your initial interview made me wonder about your nomination, your responses to comments made me doubt that you want to be an integrated member of this community. I’m sure that you’ve done good things with your career so far – I just don’t know that this is the correct forum for you now.

        • Lori,

          Thanks for the feedback. It’s hard to sum up one’s career in a forum like this, but know that we have chosen to send people to PASS because it is a great event, and done thorough analysis. It would also be impossible for me to send you every bit of advertising and online information we’ve invested in SQL.

          Like I told K Brian, these are my people too; many of you read TechNe, MSDN, Redmon, MSDN. Adding diversity to the BOD is a good thing, but its your vote; there are 3 choices. All I can ask is that you mix it up, and if you are not satisfied with my work, then, there will always be another election. There is a chance here unlike PASS has seen. Please just consider that.

          Your thoughtfulness and commitment to PASS says a lot. Thank you.


          • Matt – I think it might go a long way if you could point to an online or meatspace community that you’ve helped to build up, someplace where users are congregating to connect, learn, and share.

  22. Mr. Morollo,

    and I’m not saying this to disrespect you, but “prove it.” Prove that you understand us. You don’t have to use the jargon we use. But I need to see evidence that you do know us. Maybe it stems from my mathematics and sciences background. I know your experience is with IT pros. But let me assure you that from my experience being part of two very disparate professional organizations in related fields, that there are a lot of folks who might think they understand the other, but they don’t. Also, I straddle the lines between system admins/security personnel/db pros (I’ve always been a jack-of-all-trades). There’s a lot in each of those three groups that the other groups just don’t get. But each group usually thinks its got the other two groups figured out.

    To put it further in science speak, I can take as a hypothesis that you understand us. But I need to collect evidence that shows you really do in order to validate that hypothesis. Being around us isn’t enough. You say your job has always revolved around our best interests. Great, so what are they for us database professionals, in your view?

  23. Pingback: The PASS Board of Directors Election « WebbTech Solutions

    • K Brian, With all due respect, my post did not suggest advertising (although there are ads all over the PASS site). One of the greatest lessons today is that most PASS members are telling me SQL PASS in not a media organization. The community has spoken. Point taken. One thing to keep in mind, all magazines, show providers, and websites talk about being “community”. Perhaps it is used too loosely in the circles I run in. OK, just like Redmond, PASS survives through 3 core streams of revenue – Summit sponsor, exhibit revenue, and online revenue, and perhaps some commitments from MS and CA – to my knowledge. Maybe its a hybrid, to that I would bow, but that media revenue is critical to the organization. Booths, newsletters sponsorships, banners comes out of marketing communications budgets; it is kinda media. More marketing will help chapter expansion. PASS continues to entice me because it is a very unique model and this is a community like no other. Wow!

      Thanks again Mr Kelley,


      • Which goes to my point that PASS is not so unique. There are plenty of other professional organizations out there. That’s what I’ve been trying to convey. ISACA is just one professional organization that I have the most experience with outside of PASS. There are many more.

        And in my experience, marketing has not had such a great impact on chapter expansion. It is the blood, sweat, and tears of volunteers willing to go above and beyond. This is what you learn from a chapter startup and trying to be there to help another get started and in interacting with other chapter leaders. Marketing helps, sure, but not as much as you might think. And that again goes to the point I’ve been trying to make.

  24. Pingback: Button Forums » The PASS Board of Directors Election

  25. Matt, In all my years with PASS I have never seen a candidate so thoroughly vetted by the community at large. Thank you for your candidancy and commitment to the process.

    Every election I’ve been a part of has always been made up of SQL Server community veterans and established leaders in the community. When I would ask who is X candidate? 99% of the time there is a body of work on the internet or lots of my peers that know of them and their previous accomplishments in the community. Even if they were new and trying to establish themselves other people in PASS still knew who they were and could validate their SQL credentials. Essentially, the candidates have always been “one of us”. You don’t have that inside track where people already know you, what you stand for and what you can bring to the organization.

    The fact you would take the time to answer all the questions being posed to you tells me you have the right level of commitment to be on the board.

    My biggest concern is what you think PASS is:
    If this has not been stressed already; PASS is a Media organization serving a very influential community of SQL oriented professionals

    I’ve been involved in the SQL Server community since the late 90’s and with PASS since ’02. Never have I considered PASS a media organization. It is a organization that facilitates education and connection with other SQL Server professionals. It isn’t a magazine or a web site, it is people. I don’t consider the chapter I run, or the chapter I helped found, media organizations. They are support organizations for people like me. PASS is the next logical extension of that around the globe.

    SQL magazine is a B2B, their conference is a B2B con. You don’t see SQL Magazine chapters.
    Don’t get me wrong, SQL Magazine is important to me as an education and information tool.
    I recommend it to my users group in general. SQL Magazine and PASS may have parallels but they are completely different organizations with different goals.

  26. K Brian,

    My job largely revolves around keeping regular folk – all falvors of IT up to speed with information on new technologies and paradigms. Also, my job is ensuring our partners get ROI. The synergy between content and advertising results is mission-critical. Redmoned Media Group has always been about keeping that dynamic alive.

    There are 3 different models, to more directly answer your question 1) help you find immediate information to a specific problem 2)provide expert level pro’s with information that will help you keep up with the dynamic pace as SQL evolves and as new versions are released, and 3) help people at all levels of the the profession learn more about the fundamentals, and usages for SQL Server, get better educated.

    Please keep in mind this has not been outlined to me as an objective the board has in mind for the candidate, I’m simply offering up information, doing my best to answer your questions.

    Lastly, as stated in my interview, I would turn the tables on you, and make sure you tell me what you need and make sure we deliver. Redmond Media Group is a reader driven organization – audience feedback, their needs are vital to shaping the content provided. We survey them constantly, then build our content outlines (pint, online, events) based on their feedback.

    For example, the only qualification to join PASS is to pay. That means you have varying skillsets in the community and how do you go about ensuring everyone gets equal value?

    K. Brian, you are asking great questions, and again, it is pleasure and much appreiated.



    • I hate to jump in just to say this but…

      For example, the only qualification to join PASS is to pay. That means you have varying skillsets in the community and how do you go about ensuring everyone gets equal value?

      PASS membership is free. At one time it was pay but that has since changed. I think it is little things like this that cause the community to feel that you’re out of touch with us and thus the backlash you’re seeing.

      • Hi Jorge, I was using a TDWI analogy/comparisom which I retracted and simply meant to reference the Summit as one of the key revenue streams for the organization (among the others). My apologies. Thanks for pointing this out, but it also supports my statement about PASS & Media. That said, as mentioned the community has spoken and their view on PASS has altered my perception. Much appreciated.



  27. Pingback: SQL Server Central

  28. Wes, Thanks for the thoughful feedback. It is very constructive. The opportunity to obtain someone that brings the best experience of a reputable B2B media company, and combine that w PASS is unlike any other. Again, my service to IT professionals is the foundation for my campaign. As I’ve written to others on this forum, this community represents my people too. There is huge opportunity to carry that experience over, and ensure the community grows, the reputation is sustained, and PASS is poised continued success. This is a community that I remain committed and keen to support. If my ability was not a match, then it would be a different discussion. Clearly this is a close knit community and one that I’ll continue to work towards gaining my trust.

    All the kind words and support are appreciated. Thanks so much.



  29. Matt,

    and this kind of piggy-backs on what Jorge pointed out.

    Put Redmond Media Group aside for a moment. You’ve had a ton of experience because of it and we respect that. I certainly do. But you’re only beating a dead horse by referring back to it. Drop the marketing/”Dilbert” speech like synergy and ROI. Those types of words are used so much that they don’t have a lot of meaning any more within the framework of this type of discussion. If we were discussing budgeting and cost reduction with business analysts, by all means, go for it. But we’re looking for you to use plain, simple language. Here’s what I’ve been trying to get a good response from you on. If the problem has been my questions, then I apologize (preface all of these with, “In your opinion”):

    – Who do you think make up PASS’ membership?

    – Do you think that’s the right membership?

    – What do you think PASS is and what do you think it needs to be?

    – In order to go from where it is to where it needs to be, what do you think needs to change, be improved, be dropped, be added, etc.?

    – What can PASS HQ do to really contribute to local growth of chapters? (Marketing ain’t it.)

    – What can PASS HQ do to provide opportunities for growth and professional development for its members?

    – What do the members need to do to improve PASS HQ?

    – What other communities, online or “in person,” have you actively been involved in that involve users coming together to “connect, learn, and share,” as Brent put it?

    • Great questions! I’d love to see all the candidates answer those.

      • I’d like to see future candidates interviewed live on twitter and UStream and have the community vote on who makes the slate. Based on this conversation, I feel safe to say that the SQL community can do as good a job (frankly better…) vetting candidates as any committee serving on our behalf.

        • Hi Chuck, Not a bad idea, a good one in fact especially since some comments, written on forums like this can be misinterpreted (guilty!). You make an excellent suggestion. This is also why I have encouraged people to call me. T 508 5321418 M 508 294 8183. Nothing would give me more pleasure to speak to any and all of you.

          Thanks for chiming as always,


    • K Brian,

      I’ve got to run, but will answer questions that are not redundant happily. If the PASS community wants to embrace me, then the more success we will all have. The last thing I would want is to blemish my record. So if you embrace me, its easier to swallow “old media”, “marketing airhead” and “drop the marketing/Dilbert” statements. My skin is thicker than most, and can take it all day, but is it necessary? Your resect is acknowledged, bu my point is that PASS stands to benefit; that is the only goal here. I’m doing my best, have always done so, and you can expect even more. To answer Brent’s question, we’ve run TechMentor, VSlive, ITvirtualizationLive (Virtual -3500 attendees) and 11/5 (w 3700 registered so far). 08/02/2010 we are holding a developer conference on the Microsoft campus. Don’t forget, we publish 16 newsletters each week, put out 5 magazines a month, and 12-16 webcasts a month, in addition to the virtual events we plan to contiunue in 010 (not to mention the custom work – we did an ERwin series which earner the PM a promotion).

      It’s been my pleasure to engage you all, appreciate the scrutiny and due diligence, consider it an honor, and will log back on later, but family duty calls til 9pm EST.

      My cell is 508 294 8183 or W 508 532 1418 &

      Thanks for your commitments to this effort and questions, It is appreciated. Great to to meet you if only via

      • Matt,

        I would make a distinction here. What you’ve pointed to with things like TechMentor are events. They aren’t user groups or community organizations. I’ve done both and there is very little similarity between the two. Okay, time to delve back into my past… once upon a time (no, not a band camp reference), when I was a young officer in the USAF, I was part of the organization that puts on the Air Force Information Technology Conference (AFITC). It was the largest IT conference in DoD and we attracted all DoD and a lot of other federal government agencies. I won’t post the numbers because that would seem like I’m bragging, and that’s not my intent (if you’re morbidly curious, I can give you the details, but it was, in its heyday, on the scale of the PASS Summit). As a co-chair 1 year and being involved for 4 other conferences, especially on the technical side (including one year as the initial Technical Chief until I separated from Active Duty), I know what events are like. They aren’t like community/user groups. Completely different skill set. Completely different requirements and needs. So I would ask you to delve into the local user group scene where you are. It doesn’t necessarily have to be SQL Server. The .NET guys have similar issues. That will give you a better idea of what it’s like at ground level.

        • I agree with Brian. It’s one thing to host an event, and it’s another thing to build a community.

          The PASS Summit is an event.

          The local PASS chapters are communities. They’re ongoing, self-organized, groups of people that continue to stay in close contact with each other whether online or in meatspace (or as Greg Low said, baconspace!)

          Matt – the events that you’re describing, like the magazines, are one-way information pushes from sponsors and sponsored speakers down to attendees. I can say this because my company’s a part of some of these events, like SharepointVCX. The sponsors pay to promote themselves, and give away free training as a part of that. That’s great – but that’s not a community, and that has almost nothing to do with PASS.

          PASS sessions consist entirely of volunteer speakers who don’t have to pay or get paid in order to speak. PASS is a volunteer organization – people helping each other by connecting, learning, and sharing. Vendors don’t put on any sessions at PASS. Vendors don’t have anything to do with the speaker selection process.

          You’re doing a great job of managing a business, though. I just want to draw the distinction between managing events versus managing communities. I think your experience is top-notch, and I think it would be an asset to have on the Board. I just think you should sell it for what it is: experience managing business, not managing communities. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. I know several prominent business leaders that I’d love to vote into the Board of Directors, and they don’t know jack about managing communities – and that’s okay. We need a mix of skillsets for a successful Board.

          • Brent,

            This distinction is perfectly clear to me. Every event has a different flavor, no two are alike. Also, at all of our events they’re are social elements, networking receptions, BOF’s etc. It is a community – not like PASS – but one nonetheless.

            Also, vendors do not speak rather hand picked industry leaders run our tracks. The content is vendor neutral and that is a fine line you must understand better than most.

            As for communities; that is a broad definition. We call them audiences, and have vast ones. You can see on our BPA audits etc. But your point is taken. That said, and I’ll ask MS next week for input, there is an MSDN community; in fact a rather large one that I will be working to support. Addditionally there are hundreds of MS developer UG’s and community sites. Microsoft did’nt just say, “here, take it”. There was an extensive, highly competitive bid process that took the best part of 09 to win.

            Note however that audiences/communities whether PASS or some other vendor organization in this market, essentially work to grow, serve, and support Microsoft oriented IT professionals. That is our mission. This is what we do. Maybe our (sorry) media model is a variation; that I will grant you.

            If you perceived me as running on a community based platform only, that is simply one area where I have unique – possibly different skillsets. Adding business leadership in this market and diverse experience, in combination to all the other audience/community development and experience I have will be a good thing and something for the PASS community to embrace.

            Finally, teamwork has not come up a lot on this blog comments section; I would obviously not be the sole person on the BOD, but an individual on the team that is a distincly different candidate, one that will be provided a distinct set of tasks. Fortunately there are great people on the team, in the community and my hope is to work closely with all of you and them to “get it done”. If my track record did not demonstrate I could, nor did I feel up to the challenge, we would not be sharing this information.

            Brent, you are a Rockstar, an extraordinary individual. To note the respect you have provided me is a thrill as is to be in the company of all the people who read your blog.

            Thanks for this opportunity and please – “keep ’em coming!”



      • Matt, here is the local PASS chapter near you: The reason I post it is PASS is like a lot of other professional organizations, in that there is a big (“HQ”) portion, but there are also individual groups locally. I think if you are able to get out to the New England SQL Server User Group, you’ll get a better sense of what I’ve been trying to explain in the difference between events and user groups. The MSDN community is a community. But the use of community is totally different than when we’re talking local user groups and even the SQL Server community at large. It’s closer to the latter, but it’s far apart from the type of community we’re talking about with respect to groups like NESQL. Events can’t duplicate what you get at places like a local user group (and the reverse is also true). And I think if you’ll attend a few meetings, you’ll see the difference and the challenge I’ve been talking about.

        • K. Brian, I fully intend to reach out to the local NE chapter in addition to attending Summit (including other aggressive travel plans – yu can rest assured -I’ll reach out). Thanks for the suggestion. Again I ask you consider the diversity and leadership that I bring to the table; someone who has a track record and proven skillset and has built successful businesses. Thanks again. You’ve been very helpful through this journey.


          • Don’t worry, I’ve considered all factors. I blogged about others doing the same. You not being a “SQL guy” is not an impediment IMHO. Others have pointed that out, hopefully, enough for folks to keep in mind. But on the same token, taking time to really understand who makes up PASS is important. I would feel it’s critical to being able to well represent the members from the BoD. And that only comes through getting to know us, such as through avenues like this and the Summit but also at the local level and at more informal events like Code Camps and SQL Saturdays.

          • Thanks Grant, I think the one in Waltham? is closer – I live in Newton, but would happily make the trip down to meet you all. In fact, I’m trying to organize something in the Boston area before the voting ends (also for anyone near Redmond tomorrow at 8/PM at the town center Marriott.

            All the best,


  30. First off this is in no way an attempt to approve or dissaprove Matt for the position as I haven’t gone over everything in enough detail as of yet. But I do want to voice my opinion in that I don’t feel every board member needs to be a SQL Server professional per say. The tasks that the board have to deal with are more about running an organization / conference than anything directly related to SQL Server. And as such demand different talents or skills than most SQL Server professionals are best at. How many corporate executives have the skills necessary to function effeciently as any of the non-executive workers in the company? Not many. And while if there were a choice fo two individuals with the same executive skills and one had (in this case) SQL Server experience they would usually be the prefered choice. But if all one knew how to to was administer a dataabase and the other knew how to run the company there would be no contest. We need more people on the board who can make the correct decisions that have very little to do with SQL Server in reality. Now whether Matt is that person or not is up to the masses to decide.

    • Andrew,
      All good points and I think most (if not all) of us are in agreement that the BOD needs to have a variety of folks, not just DBA’s, in order to ensure the success of the organization. However I think the driving issue and concern from everyone is having someone at the helm, that will be responsible for the direction of our organization, that doesn’t understand the fundamental building basics of the ship he/she is trying to steer. Matt seems like a very sharp individual who is very passionate about what he does and obviously very talented in what he does but the million dollar question here is “is it a good fit for this particular organization?” and that’s what we’re really trying to sort out here.

      Matt, thanks for taking the time to answer all of these questions and engaging the community like this. It might seem like everyone is “picking on the new guy” but honestly I think it’s just everyone feeling the need to make sure we’re as informed as possible about our choice of candidates and given that you’re a relative unknown to us you’re going to see a lot more prodding than the other candidates.

  31. Andrew, THANK YOU! Gosh, I wish I could have written that. Outstanding. I understand it is not an endorsement by any stretch, but it nets down so much.

    Much appreciated.

    Kind Regards,


  32. Jorge,

    Yes but we all have to remember some facts about the BOD for PASS. First off a this is why you have a BOD in the first place. It is not a single individual making all the decisions, it is a collection of individuals hence the “board” aspect. This is exactly why corporations have multiple people on the board. And second this nomination is just for a seat on the board and not for the president of PASS. The normal PASS process will ensure it is years before anyone gets to the top of the chain. There is plenty of time for any capable individual to fully understand the needs of the organization long before they get to the helm. In the meantime it is up to all the members of the board to ensure the unique talents of all members are utilized to the fullest extent.

    • Jorge,

      Thanks, it was a bit of a shock – the prodding that is, and with no disrespect some of the choice words caught me off guard but after getting to know this community a lot better through this important dialogue, it makese sense. Believe me, the business of publishing we are in, rejection is a daily part of the routine due to the competitive nature of the business. Smart people get by, and follow up w strategic info and have incredible success and build great relationship that translate into good business partnerships. PASS has a rock solid community, that much is clear, and with great leaders, and proven business strategist backing you, and supporting the community, it will continue to thrive.

      Thanks again,


  33. I finally decided to comment on this long string. I’ll Keep my post to some simple statements as to not spur to much controversy.

    1. The PASS Board needs variety. No doubt we need people on it that our different otherwise great ideas would not happen.
    2. PASS Hires great Marketing people. The Marketing that has been done for some of the events and the Summit in my opinion is excellent. Again I’m not a marketing guru but I’m the person they are trying to get to PASS and it works very well for me. Now is there room for improvement and are we going to change the marketing absolutely but I see that as a function of the consultants/marketing people we have hired. In my opinion we need a Board person to manage those people and drive the ideas of the Community since they may or may not be plugged in with the SQL Community. The Board person doing this has to be plugged in with the community so he/she can drive these people in the right way.
    3. As Many people have mentioned here. PASS is a Community first and foremost. We are not here to make money. We are here to help those that use and support Microsoft SQL Server. We make money at PASS only to put it back into the community. Whether through 24 hours of PASS or regional events or supporting Chapters. It’s about building a Community not an Organization.

    Thank you to Brent and the many others that have asked questions and posed these ideas. If you want to know what Community is I think this blog is a good example of a great community.


  34. OK this will be my last post as well because it can go on and on. Wait it already has :). Pat not to pick on you because I still want you to come to my sessions :). But I think you just proved my point. You stated that PASS hires someone to do the marketing for PASS and they do a great job. Well how many people on that marketing team do you think are SQL Server professionals. My guess would be 0 yet they do a great job. That is because that is what they are good at and that is what they do. If you looked around I dought very seriously if you would be able to find a company who has has a board of directors in which everyone on the board was even in the same profession as the underlying company. Again there are valid reasons for this otherwise it wouldn’t be this way all around the world. Yes it is important for the board members to understand the needs of the community from a PASS perspective but let’s face it, this is not rocket science. Any intelligent individual should have no problem if they are dedicated to the cause. What they do need to be able to do well which may not be so simple is to execute the goals & tasks that come with the position. And most of those have far more to do with running a business than with SQL Server per say. It is not a position for just anyone. First they need to have a lot of dedication and will endure a lot of self sacrafice if done correctly. If and when they execute the position well they should be very respected by the rest of us but in my opinion being a SQL Server professional is the least of the requirements. Done now. I won’t accept any unmarked packages in the mail for the next few days at least 🙂

  35. Matt,

    We appreciate your willingness to serve and answer questions in this forum. Please avoid taking these questions personally, as they are not directed at you, as a person, but were intended to help us choose individuals to represent us in our chosen line of work. The comments that may have seemed harsh or like attacks, were not intended as such, but, rather were intended to determine your credentials for a seat on this board. While we here at PASS joke around and have a good time, our representation and perception as a professional association is something that we take very seriously. You will find this membership as committed to learning and helping each other succeed as any out there. Bottom line, please don’t mistake our passion for what we do as attacks, rather this is a very important election to us. I only wish this passion and level of particpation in electing leadership was always exhibited by the general citizenry in all of the other elections that affect our lives.

    • Hi Tim,

      Thank you for the feedback. It’s helpful and this has been a great experience. Again, while some of the words directed at me were not that endearing nor something I’ve ever experienced, it was hard not to take personally, as my only goal here is to help and be a part of the community. I’m not afraid to tell you there is a human side to me and that some of the comments made, might not have been the right thing. So we make some mistakes and we learn. But if you’re not outthere trying, what does that say. Thats why I’m jumping in and continue to be aspired and am working as diligently as time allows. Also getting some great experience along the way. I’m goal oriented, ambitious, clearly have great respect for PASS and am keen to help you all. This is a market I know, but a community I need to understand better. As someone commented yesterdat, its not rocket science, and feel like progress has been made in that aspect. In the same vein, I’m grateful to all that have taken the time to get to know more about me – someone on the other side of the fence, but in the same line of work – only from a business perspective. Thanks again.



  36. My Final post for today as my 9pm deadline just got shut down and my sense is we’ve all had a good run for today (please do call or email if there are any burning questions – or please send me your email/Tel and it would be great to converse with you). Again my thanks go to Brent for providing the community this incredible blog. Pat Wright summed it up incredibly well in his 4:27pm post. Perfectly. This is a deeply committed community – its wonderful to see how much this means to you all. Clearly my work is not done, and hopefully we can continue this important dialogue. Everyone provided valuable feedback and insight that will go a long way in my effort to demonstrate my value proposition, business case, and distinction as candidate. Thank you.



  37. K.Brian, as promised

    – Who do you think make up PASS’ membership? (Matt: I’m not sure what the question means – but my understanding about this community is better than it was on Weds, and I had a pretty solid nuts and bolts understanding about PASS for years that was passed down by my TDWI and Redmond colleagues in addition to the vendors that support PASS, and the Executive BOD.)

    – Do you think that’s the right membership? (Matt: If the members maintain and get value, then yes. The core vendor community and partners we support who exhibit a the SUMMIT, certainly tells us, its audience that is world class. Summit is also one of about 5 industry events we send representatives too and will continue to do that. You can meet me there as well this year)

    – What do you think PASS is and what do you think it needs to be? (Matt: A not for profit organization providing world class SQL Pros with important information resources – it is also clearly a lauchpad for the community blogoshere, and will continue to expand globally as SQL continues to proliferate)

    – In order to go from where it is to where it needs to be, what do you think needs to change, be improved, be dropped, be added, etc.? (Matt: this is a question for the community; again as a business professional serving communities like PASS, we survey them, do research, and benchmark our performance through their feedback. It would be a pleasure to transfer my knowledge to PASS and increase “customer satisfaction”. That is a key objective.

    – What can PASS HQ do to really contribute to local growth of chapters? (Marketing ain’t it.) (Matt: Putting into place best of breed audience development, continuing to support viral community growth and the blogosphere, and not to be disagreeable, some marketing – this point was outlined to me, and some people on this comment board have also suggested as much.)

    – What can PASS HQ do to provide opportunities for growth and professional development for its members? (Matt: not be terse, but I see this community doing so much innovative work, information sharing; the blogoshere almost competes w PASS! HQ can certainly be a platform to fuel this community based activity and also provide a foundation or gathering point. I’d like to get some of the eval forms from Summit and hear what you all have to say – again, much of the role is about listening and responding to the communities needs).

    – What do the members need to do to improve PASS HQ? (Matt: continue to urge the community to provide input, what is good, not so good, and also contiue to communicate as you do as a community. Unlike any other technical community, there is massive and effective communication and great cameraderie. My sense is the community will get what it wants and needs as the dialogue continues, and hopefully expand.)

    – What other communities, online or “in person,” have you actively been involved in that involve users coming together to “connect, learn, and share,” as Brent put it? (Matt: as mentioned in my 4:15 post yesterday, 1105 Media is conference provider in addition to publishing a large portfolio of media assets serving diverse, niche audiences. We also actively train people in community development and social networking via IAB nad through a company wide steering committe. One thing that is important to note, is that 1105 Media is what is called a “roll up” that has acquired legacy products like TDWI, Federal Comuter week, Visual Studio media and dozens of other IT focused assets. That fact alone brings a lot of diversity and some of the key executives have worked hard to blend the employees and created virtual and in-person forums where information and talent in community building is shared. The 08/02/2010 VS oriented event on campus in Redmond is a good example how the company leaders have worked to create opprtunities for our audiences).

    Thanks for your questions Mr Kelley, and it would be my pleasure to answer and discuss more.



    • Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I hope everyone will take your answers into consideration when making their choice of who to vote for. Also, I applaud you for sticking your neck out like this. We DBAs can be a curmudgeonly lot, and those who are database developers who haven’t been sucked over to the dark side usually aren’t far behind. So please understand that most of our comments aren’t intended to be personal attacks.

      • K.Brian, It has been a privilege. Glad to have made you acquaintance. You may be a tough crowd – more so than expected – but everyone’s passion and commitment I share, maybe that what initially put me on the defense and I made some mistake. Again, I’m in this too but only from the other side of the fence. Certainly its clear to me its not personal – at first it was’nt, but live and learn. Thanks for your gracious comments and my hope is that you support me in this race as I run on the business leader and diverity platform.

        All the best,


  38. This think those who selected candidates for BOD really thought it through.

    Let me ask one question : How many excellent and well known DBA and Developer are trained to do database in their school/collage?

    I guess my everything else is already talked about and discussed in other threads.

    • In the US, there aren’t college programs for current database platforms. By the time the database software is out, then courses are designed for it, then they go into the college curriculum, then the student takes the course – by that time, there’s a newer version of the database software out. I’ve seen people learning SQL Server 2005 in school right now, which is okay, but there’s a limited life span for that training. It’s not the best way to spend your college dollars/time.

      • Brent,

        That exactly is my point. One can be expert by experience (please note that first five letters in expert and experience are same) and that is counted the most.

        Getting job done right on time is the most important. That is my expectation from BOD of PASS.

        • Pinal, This is a core part of where the passion comes from as the community commits so much of their time and energy to learning, attending conferences, webcasts, reading WP’s, blogs etc. You have all invested time and money in yourselves, and on top of that its a never ending challenge to keep up the pace! This is core to the business we are in and why making sure you and your peers get best resources and are able to advance your knowledge and careers. Brent asked me a good question about my day to day work which requires discipline and structure (see above – hopefully this speaks to your expectations). As for volunteerism, its not something that scares me -while my friends were enjoying college fun – I enjoyed 4 years of voluntary military service which is a foundation for my leadership skills and work ethic. Service people cannot mess up – it may cost a life. Attention to detail is mission critical.

          Thanks for adding your comments.



  39. Pingback: PASS Board of Directors Election Comments | The SQL Agent Man

    • Tim, Thanks to you as well for your thoughful comments. More on your blog to come.

      Thanks again,


    • I tried posting this on your blog. Error message. Still, I would encourage people to visit.


      Thanks for this compelling post and for putting down your thoughts. This comment especially is appreciated “These individuals on the slate before us now, and those that were filtered through the interview process wanted to contribute in some manner to the success of PASS.”

      In all candor, my expectation was the community did have a little more insight to the process and maybe that’s why my dialogue on Brent’s blog did not go that well at firt, but improved as we got to know each other.

      Anyhow, this is incredibly valuable information for the community, that helps them understand what we went through. My only hope is that you would have piped up sooner!

      My condolences on the fact you did not make the ballot; I have not had to interview for 14 years, but was able to convey a different and unique message which my sense is what helped (I know the feeling)

      Perhaps if the community knew all this from the outset, my nomination would not be “controversial”. Nonetheless, Brents forum is excellent, and I applaud the community for the due diligence and commitment to this process.

      Thanks again,


  40. This is a good debate. I was out of touch with my reader the past week and a half so I missed the conversation but I wanted to add a few thoughts.

    I think Matt’s candidacy brings up a great point: “outsider” influence is great for a board of directors of any group. I

    It also brings up another point in my mind: harnessing media (especially social media/networking today) is key for success of any organization/company. As someone helping a gubernatorial campaign, I am seeing this myself. A good friend and social networking expert (Jon DiPietro at has inspired me to think this way… He has some great principles around how having a complete web presence with “Content, Content, Content” is critical.

    PASS is starting to do a better job here. The bloggers initiative this year, a presence on Twitter, director’s blogging openly, the virtual chapters. I think with more outreach we could have more members, more collaboration and a stronger voice of advocacy towards Microsoft. We could also help garner more “respect” from our management regarding the importance of the Summit (yes, a lot of bloggers give a lot of great reasons already).

    I know a lot on the board have historically had business experience in addition to their SQL experience and that helps. Having someone on the board without SQL experience helps keep someone focused on the business, growth and outreach aspect in my mind. Someone to help focus on the community side (though I also argue that that is being done already, look at the “Unite” tag for the Summit, look at the Chapter leader lunches, the Birds of a Feather lunch, etc.)

    Now Matt seems to misunderstand our purpose and direction, which is concerning. We are a collaborative community of SQL Server “people” in all walks of life and career. We are not a magazine that wants to sell subscriptions and 4 broad conferences a year as a revenue stream. Yes, we need to have a revenue stream in the summit but of equal (or greater to the membership) importance is the community feeling. The ROI for our members, the ability to network (I love the networking sessions this year!) and build relationships on common values, etc. are important.

    So I am rethinking if Matt is the right candidate for me but this debate brings up a need in my mind. A BOD level person from without. Someone who understands building communities, keeping communities and harnessing a web presence for marketing our group. For instance the fact that the answer to Brian’s first question starts with “I’m not sure what this means”. Any of us who have ever volunteered for PASS or have been a member/attended a summit/etc. can all answer that pretty easily.

    So the question in my mind is: how do we get that outside direction setting (hiring and paying is fine but someone on the Board is more credible to me. They are donating their time, making sacrifices and more tied to success. A hired hand is a hired hand. They may be great but this isn’t a “part of their life” necessarily)… I’ll continue.. The question in my mind is: how do we get that outside direction setting/media/web outreach help while keeping that person in touch with our goals and what we are? A Steve Jones, Andy Warren, Brent Ozar are good mixes of knowing the community and knowing community building. But they may miss that outside perspective.

    I lean towards saying a yes for a Matt and hoping the rest of the board and great volunteers and staff at PASS can help explain what we are but then I fear, “What if we had all 3 candidates as “outside” candidates and they all misunderstood PASS?” I don’t want to lose the momentum that we seem to be on this past year but I am willing to see what a vote for Matt brings about, I guess. The other candidates are all great and strong and that should balance things out enough for me.

    • Mike, Thanks for the feedback and thoughtful comments. As mentioned on several occasions, I was caught off guard and did not expect such candor and some of the language – especially from people that don’t know me on a personal level. It caught me off guard, I have indicated regret and that I’m just human The PASS community is unlike any other as I come to learn and as the posts have evolved, my feeling is the dialogue has been very constructive – but I will not deny some initial posts started badly. That I deeply regret (especially to Lori Edwards who is a class act). Finally, I’m grateful for all the notes of empathy and “don’t worry Matt”; essentially people saw my plight. Thank you all. Sometimes people regress, and in this instance, initially I missed the cues. Heck, in all my 14 years in this business mistakes I’ve made, but each and every has been worth it, adn to among less than a dozen VP in 300 sized organization, should tell you that each time a “gaff” was made, I though long and hard about improving myself as a professional. There is one shot for me at PASS and my only hope is to be an advocate for you all – this community has inspired me like no other; it would be an honor to dontate my time and expertise. Again, in business leadership the community has an opp to choose a unique diverse person on the ballot. I stand here alone, and simply want to be accepted. That is as honest and transparent I can be.

      Thanks so much for commenting on this great blog.



      • Matt –

        You responding had me thinking of another question… Why? I read the BIO and the interview but why do you want to be on the board of PASS so bad?

        After learning more about what we are and how the focus is less on publishing/media and more on community are you still as interested?

        But why do you want to do this volunteer position on a board that will impact your personal time and life? I already know what you think you can give us from your comments but what are you getting? Don’t tell me “a good feeling and sense of fulfillment”. I mean what do you hope to gain? How can I be sure before I revote that you are dedicated to making this organization that you are just learning about better?

        I would love to hear an answer to help consider. Shoot from the hip and be blunt like us 🙂

  41. Matt isn’t a DBA, he has a different perspective, and he brings a fresh look at things to PASS. He actually reminds me of a past board member that viewed the world in a different way. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, because, as Brian Kelley pointed out, a fresh view can help, or cripple a board.

    I agree with Andrew Kelley that we don’t need to just elect SQL professionals, and in fact, I’d like to see one non-SQL person on the board to stimulate debate. In fact, on many corporate, and other boards, the people are not necessarily engaged in that business. They might have a tie, but they work in other areas, typically non-competitive.

    That being said, I worry about Matt’s personality. I have not met him, but the responses I have seen to the interview concern me. A number of them seem to be taken as personal attacks, and the responses seem to shift arguments.

    I can’t tell if Matt’s answers in the interview and comments that mention his company are going to be a problem, or a conflict. They’re part of his experience, and they might be analogies to make a point. Or they might be plugs to push in the future. I can’t tell, but they raise a (small) flag for me.

    Did I vote for Matt? I can’t say as I don’t want to influence people. I’ll disclose my votes after the results are in.

  42. It is always interesting how non-IT folks react to the “bluntness” of IT pros. Gets me in trouble a lot but I love bluntness.

    • True, we are blunt. But there are only so many ways you can attempt to make “critical server failure” sound better before you realize it’s just better to spit out the truth and take the hits. And that carries over into other aspects of our speech and interactions.

      • Yes, by bluntness, I do not mean one has to be mean sprited or rude, but to get to the point, get the information needed to resolve the issue. To me that is a great quality that IT folks have and wouldn’t hurt in most aspects of life.

        • Chuck, K. Brian, Thanks for the comments and insight. As a business professional, that luxury is not mine, but you both have given me good perspective.



          • Hmmm. “but the slanders are not something I’m used to nor expected” – Not blunt –

            “The synergy between content and advertising results is mission-critical.” – Not blunt – PR

            “I was caught off guard and did not expect such candor and some of the language” – Blunt

        • Chuck, I’m not sure I follow. No worries and thanks for your attention to the posts.



          • You reply “As a business professional, that luxury is not mine”,i.e., the luxury of being blunt.

            Yet you were very blunt to a number of commentators. I was pointing out that calling comments ‘slander’ is not being blunt or helpful. PR comments are not helpful. Saying that you “was caught off guard and did not expect such candor” is helpful and truthful.

            Thank you for for your service: “I enjoyed 4 years of voluntary military service.”

        • Chuck, Thanks. Agreed, the comments did not start off well, and I’m grateful for those who reeled me in and explained that my candidacy is under the Microscope a little more than others. As the dialogue continued, we all learned more about each other and there was some very constructive feedback.

          Thanks again,


  43. I would like to see a vote early in the new Board’s life… “What are the directions/issues you think PASS should focus on in 2010/2011?”

    To me, PASS is mainly about a local user group and the summit. Yes I have built and continue to build relationships through PASS, yes I have discovered new bloggers (and posted my own blog) on the PASS Blogging project. Yeah I entered my personal info into the profile area. Yes I have volunteered some for this summit.

    But… PASS isn’t a destination for me outside of the above. I don’t have a reason at this point to continually go there and look for new updates. I am not actively engaged except for seeing a tweet for a good virtual chapter meeting I want to try and make..

    Not blaming PASS, I don’t subscribe to enough and look enough but I would like to see a focus on marketing/web presence and being out there with content (useful content). Maybe that isn’t the role of PASS? I have SQLServerPedia and SQL Server Central and a feed Reader to stay connected to blogs, content and questions. I have twitter for quick questions, info on events and fun conversation with colleagues.

    I guess maybe it’s my fault for not fully knowing the mission of PASS? I see PASS as what I already mentioned above a few posts… Collaboration, Collective voice to Microsoft (though does that happen as much as earlier in PASS’ life? I mean we have connect now but I would like to see PASS work together to bring industry info as a whole to Microsoft. Stronger as one big voice than a few votes on a connect item), provider of excellent content (Summits, events like code camps, sql saturday’s etc.) but is that it?

    I want to see conversations like that at the board meetings and that is where I think an outside voice can help. But I guess the question to figure out is, is this the right voice?

    • Mike, Thanks for thoughts. Hopefully some of my posts have provided a little more clarity in terms of this being the right vote. Many have accepted the notion of diversity and combined with leadership, it is the right vote. I’m a leaders, leader and have not asked any colleagues, friends, or partners with whom we share valued partnerships, because I do not want them to influence this community. I stand alone, a person who has worked on behalf of IT pros my whole career. There is no question that, I’d rise to the occasion and be tested like never before, eager to demonstrate my leadership abilities and have this community embrace me. I’m putting myself out there to be at your service as a volunteer to you.

      Thanks again.



      • See my questions above, that will help me. I love the sentiment about wanting to serve as a volunteer and I give you the benefit of the doubt and believe you and don’t blame you, we’re a really fun group! I am curious to see your answers to those other questions about why though 🙂

        • Mike, Sorry for missing that. The PASS experience dovetails with the work we’ve done to support Microsoft IT professionals over many years. Also, as my colleagues, business partners have all indicated, PASS works well for them. It fits perfectly with my current job and leadership responsibilities, represents a community that is also one we serve – but from the other side of the fence. My hope is to maintain contact with the community via PASS, open myself up to new challenges that are extremely relevant, and be a part a team that shares my passion. I’m not a technical person (but can speak some tech and Microsoft), but it boils down to a passion for the business and ambition. Volunteerism is also something that is very rewarding to me, so what better fit than PASS?

          Thanks again,



        • Mike, Also, there is so much attrition in this business and fallout, but we are successful because we live for this stuff! Who else in crazy enough to put a pubs and sites like Redmond Channel Parter ( and Virtualization Review ( We didnt have to but did it. We didnt have to bid on MSDN/TechNet but did because we are Microsoft nuts and live and breathe this stuff all day. Look at – why push information from other sites to the community – a) because we are a resource to them, and b) not at all threatened by any other media providers. Why did Ballmer agree to adorn the 5th anniversary issue of Remdmond this Oct – because it wreaks of passion. Thats why. To be a part of the PASS team would be an experience that I seek professionally – just like each winter I hunt for untracked ski runs in deep powder, Microsoft IT is my professional passion; the people, the technologies, the conferences, the pubs, – I love it all.



          • Matt –

            Thank you so much for your continued replies and thought you are putting in. Who are the “We” you keep referring to? You? Your current company? Obviously not PASS because you are referring to what you are offering.

            I can appreciate your enthusiasm and passion. I’ll tell you, I was waffling with my original comment above. You see why I believe “fresh views” are good. You see why I believe a focus on marketing/social networking is good (though not sure if the latter is you, honestly)

            To be honest, your most recent replies confuse me. I don’t really get why you want to be on the BoD because the answer seemed a bit “public relations firmy”. You also really seem to be repeatedly talking about business deals and positions you have held. It seems adverserial (e-mail, comments, etc. are a horrible way to communicate because emotions can be easily mistaken) and turns me away a bit. We don’t need someone to strong arm Balmer into something or get a publishing contract.

            We need to grow our community, get more people connected, maybe listen to the membership about future direction (I gave some of my thoughts above.. off topic, I know). I don’t know if we need an IT industry media mogul power broker (if that identity is even possible in the IT industry media genre)

            I don’t know. I’m being honest. I appreciate your enthusiasm and fresh input but I don’t know if the media industry focus is the fresh outside input I was thinking. I’ll consider all when I revote.

  44. Mike,

    OK. Fair enough. However, we didn’t strong arm Ballmer, rather asked him. I dont consider my self a power broker (nor think any of my professional acquaintance would either – a hard worker, yes), nor have I worked in PR. Please note that. My goal was to simply convey my passion, enthusiam and excitement and gald for your recognition. Make no mistake, during the interview process the community issue was a part of the conversation. In this business, whether for profit or not, I cant tell you what resources are available to grow chapters, nor that would be my specific task. There is a lot of work to be done in many areas, and the BoD saw me as someone, that can get things done. Again, looking at the diversity factor, and business leadership necessity, please consider this in addition to what else I’ve stated. Hopefully you will vote for me and let me make help difference. Thanks for the continued feedback.



  45. Pingback: codegumbo » All aTwitter about PASS Nominations

  46. If Chuck Boyce and Tim Ford can do it, I can, too :

    Here are my thoughts on what I learned from this discussion.

  47. Matt – just wanted to say ‘kudos’ to you for engaging with the community in this forum. I look forward to meeting you in Seattle.

    • Mr Hasker, Its been a rollercoaster ride, but a privilege and a nomination I expect to earn. Coming this far was not easy. Clearly, there is a lot of work to do…unfortunately I stumbled out of the gate, but the dialogue picked up, as did some support. Just looking forward now. I am so grateful for your comments and it is a great way to start the weekend. Have a terrific one yourself.



  48. If you wish to meet me in person, please let me know if you will be attending the VSIP reception on Mon 10/19 at 6pm. It would be great to meet you there. Otherwise



    M 508 294 8183 |

  49. I’ve been watching this conversation with great interest. I started to comment a few times, but realized that what I wanted to say was fairly detailed so instead I turned it into a blog post.

    In short, I would encourage everyone to talk with each of the candidates via email, IM, twitter, etc. and then, make up your mind.

    If you’d like, you can read the longer version here: http://

    • Joe, Thanks for sharing…however, your link did not work. Perhaps its my Verizon service, but will check back later) To add your comments, this particular board has not been fluid, so please go back if you would, and kinly review some of the statements along the way, Chuck Bryce, Marlon Ribunal, Stuart Ainsworth, Lori Edwards, K. Brian Kelly, Tim Ford, Steve Jones Christian Hasker, Jorge Segarra, Karen Lpoez, Wes Brown,, Todd McDermid, Kendall Van Dyke, (Brent of course as well) have offered excellent feedback pro’s and con’s to my candidacy. Thank you. The biggest take away here, some of the most helpful, eye opening insight came from Marlon Ribunal (others may have said as much), but my assumption was that the nomination process was transparent and the community as a whole was dialled into to my nomination. This is no excuse, but probably what confused me the most as the commentary blog got started. My sense is that is work, and in total agreement w Marlon, that the community needs to work on in the next election. Finally, I would say, please read Chuck Boyce’s comments and questions where he asked me the “Moby Dick” question, and think that will add some further insight. Marlon Ribunal also started a thread on Linked In on the News Board, which discusses raises a critical questions in the nomination process. Thank you. -Matt

      PS Brent, your comment about traffic was a cue of sorts – did I mistake – if so please advise. Thanks.

  50. As follow up to my post about Monday 10/19…..I am holding an informal gathering at the Redmond, WA Marriott after the VSIP reception at 8:00 pm and would very much like to meet you if you are local and have the time. Please join me. The best gathering spot at this point is at the bar and we can either stay there (or, and I will) arrange an open conference room we can move into. Please RSVP at

    Thank you.


    A similar invite will come for all Bostonians/NE members as there don’t seem to be any UG opps between now and Summit.

  51. Good afternoon fellow SQL Pros. There has been quite a volume of information derived from the multiple exchanges between members and Mr. Morollo. One item that I would like to lift off my shoulder pertains to Brent. I really enjoy your blog but you need to move stage right and let the dialogue take its course. A solid moderator would let the vetting unfold w/o continual interruption.

    Now onto Morollo. One must recognize that there’s an incredible variance between a sub contracted media arm and a board member who understands the ebb and flow of media. After fifteen years of “working between the hedges” or more appropriately SQL and propelling our internal efforts/visibility to customers, I’ve lived it. The responses here that I have perused that tie marketing/media to old media /Black and white television along with newspaper are not representative of today’s environment. I’ve seen Morollo’s work with the Interactive Advertising Bureau and a tad bit of his recognition by the media trade pubs recently by using Google (I recommend this exercise to those open minded voters.)

    Let me cite an example. Our linkedin group has 2,100 members while our total membership is north of 50,000. Of course we are an association and not a media organization yet we need to plan for growth and how we will refine and hone our mission. That’s a strategic goal and Morollo understands this evolution. Let me repeat … “we need to propel this organization through growth and that is achieved by strategic awareness a.k.a. smart media and marketing.”

    There is zero doubt that we would gain from having a person that understands social networking. In fact, imagine a social networking group dedicated to the various chapter leaders complete with digital resources, logistics, real-time coordination and motivation that would erase the latency and distance issues that these chaps/ladies face. We need to infuse variety and talent into the board. The best analogy is that of an association laden with incestuous “same profession” BOD members to that of an iceberg floating to higher temperatures. With business best practices in mind, boards function best with diversity. Unfortunately, it is clear that many of those commenting think of diversity far too narrowly (someone that built a community NOT USING SQL – oh my god!) My vote is cast.

    • Jim – I understand your feedback about my role, but I disagree. This is my blog, not a forum or debate platform. If I was moderating a discussion on, say, PASS’s site or SQL Server Magazine, I would agree, but those organizations didn’t choose to interview the candidates publicly for some reason. That’s an interesting question for another day. However, I can’t bring myself not to respond when it’s my blog. I prideyself on my interactivity with my readers and commenters.

    • Jim – Brent needs to move to stage right? I was done with this thread, other than reading, but when the e-mail notice came in of your reply to the comments I was confused and shocked.

      Brent didn’t sign up to be a moderator of the comments and he simply gave a place where the comments can happen. They have taken off onto other blogs, twitter, Linked In and apparently some in Person events Matt is trying to setup. If you truly rad the two pages of comments here, I think you can see Brent has moved to stage right, answered where appropriate, gave a few opinions (as Morollo and others have been doing) but otherwise he has been graciously donating his bandwidth to the back and forth comments here…

      I also agree that we need to use social networking more to our advantage. I just don’t see that in the candidates on the ballot now.. Actually, I take that back… I think that Tom LaRock and Jeremiah Peschka have both demonstrated that. Look at Tom’s ustream videos, for example… I also agree that we want someone focused on building a community (whether they use SQL or not, thanks for the sarcasm) but again, I don’t really see that being Matt. At least not from a lot of his comments/answers/non-answers.

      • Wow. Thanks Jim, Brent, Mike. Just crossed the US from Boston to Seattle hence the delay. Lot of discussion. Need to follow up on some work, go to a reception on Campus, then come back to answer these questions later tonight. In the meantime, Mike “what non-answers” need to be addressed? I’ve tried to answer everybody. If you can let me know, I’ll fu asap. Thanks all. -Matt

    • Jim,

      Brent has been nothing but exemplary in facilitating these comments on his blog. He has my respect and I commend him for this.

      Comments I have seen Matt make online show a firm commitment to old media:

      “Make no mistake, the web is a dynamic game changer and a medium who’s potential in limitless, but nothing has the impact of good print advertising accompanied with mind gripping editorial. The images and captions of print advertising will always have a palce. And lets not forget, magazines are key assets in driving viewers to the web. It all come around. -Matt” ( 08/31/2009)

      People that agree with that and are ok that Matt entered his nomination for our Board under the assumption that PASS was a B2B media organization perhaps should vote for Matt. People who think otherwise shouldn’t, IMO.

      Matt’s company has 8 followers on twitter. ( ) I do not see any basis for confidence that he can help PASS with social networking.


      • In fairness, Matt has 400+ followers and is following almost 700 people.

        Not that follower count *really* means anything. Nor is it a good indicator of Social-ness. I haven’t looked up when those numbers came about. But if you are going to report data, lets get some more relevant data out there than that of a company account.

        I am personally a huge, huge fan of print media. Newspapers, magazines, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t think they will be as successful as they have in the past and I will mourn the passing/changing of all of them when that time comes. I do agree that bringing timely, relevant usages of media to all professional societies will be an important part of society success.

        We do have to remember that even though most of us here, are members of the online community, thousands, if not millions of IT pros are still restricted from accessing social media or even old style online communities at work. Seriously. So that means that traditional communications are still going to be relevant for the next few years.

        I’m still trying to figure out where Matt’s skills fit into all this. My comments are not a defense or offense for his candidacy. They are just my opinion about the topics being discussed.

        • Karen,

          How many times in these comments has Matt referenced his company throughout this conversation. That “social media” company has 8 followers on twitter. Do I really need to continue?

          • Can’t find the place where Matt called his company a “social media” company directly, as your quotes seem to imply.

            I’m not really a fan of company Twitter accounts and that’s one of the reasons why my company doesn’t have one. I think that people can be social, but companies, not so much.

            Just to lend some context, my company, InfoAdvisors, has a community management function in addition to our consulting services. And we still don’t have a social media account for the company (unless there’s a test account still hanging around somewhere). We host and manage communities both in the IT and non-IT world. Not just servers, but also community building and support.

            I think the Twitter measurement is intended to respond to Matt’s assertion that he and his company have been in the “community” biz for a long time. I think the contention is revolving around the definition of “community”. So perhaps it’s best to focus on what that means. I believe that no one data point will appropriately measure the community-ness of a business…or a person.

            I do believe, though, that if we are going to take into account the Twitter measurement, then personal, professional, and organizational measures should be taken into account. It’s a data thing.

          • Karen,

            Thank you for forcing me to clarify my logic. I appreciate it.

            I respect that you’re not a fan of company twitter accounts.

            However, reasonable people can be of the differing opinion that having only 8 followers on a company twitter account makes the following comments less compelling:

            “As a publisher who has spent years and years building communities, I’m familiar with all models including qualified, paid, SEO/M, social networking, alliances, and contemporary Audience Development (AD) practices. There is no silver bullet here and there are a number of methods in order to accomplish this key objective.”

            “Also, at all of our events they’re are social elements, networking receptions, BOF’s etc.”

            “We also actively train people in community development and social networking via IAB nad through a company wide steering committe.”

        • Karen,

          Thanks for pointing this out – and agreed, number of Twitter followers means nothing (if we started comparing, the world would be a said place! That said, I’ve tremendous respect for those that utilize it effectively and do gain large audiences such as many in this community – Brent for example and others). They have come about during this year; Twitter really took off in 09 as you know and I jumped on before the nomination to the PASS slate but only a few months before if memory serves me well – it was just something that I knew I wanted to do, but needed to find a good model that is consistent to my audience – admittedly, that took a while and its not about “oh, taking the dog for a walk” (also around the same time joining FB). LinkedIn, has been 2+ years or so.

          Thanks for chiming in. You’ve been extremely objective/interesting/directional, and raised some excellent points. Whether I earn your vote is one thing, but glad you, like everyone, have been a part of this process.


      • OK, as always, Chuck Boyce’s feedback is most welcome as is Karen Lopez. The Folio quotes is in the context of an integrated media portfolio, that statement makes total sense (note the web statements as well please). Please, question my leadership, question my commitment to serving this community, question my passion for this market, question my statements on BoD diversity, question my track record. Thats why I’m on the ballot. I did the work, made the slate.

        As for a media company that has 8 followers; this was addressed already. The company is made up a different business units; each separately run by a President. It does not really make sense for a main Twitter page, or maybe it does. That said, only the business units engage their audiences, Via Twitter, LI, FB etc. If it is HQ is important to you, we can certainly address that, and it is taken only as feedback.

        Again, it is me that is an the ballot, so please direct the question towards my abilities as there are many, many hard working people at my employer not involved in this process.

        As always, call, email, tweet, and looking forward to seeing some folks tonight.


      • Chuck, I concur completely. With the internet as a communication medium, we only need blogging and all of us blog in some fashion. The masses will locate our content


        • Timoteo, The masses will locate your content, but there is more SQL content out there, than PASS provides alone. Now the “connect” aspect of PASS is massively dynamic, and I think that via those connections, you can point each other to the challenge or questions re; SQL Server at hand that are on the web. Thanks for your input! Best, Matt

    • Jim,

      Brent has been nothing but exemplary in facilitating these comments on his blog. He has my respect and I commend him for this.

      Comments I have seen Matt make online show a firm commitment to old media:

      “Make no mistake, the web is a dynamic game changer and a medium who’s potential in limitless, but nothing has the impact of good print advertising accompanied with mind gripping editorial. The images and captions of print advertising will always have a palce. And lets not forget, magazines are key assets in driving viewers to the web. It all come around. -Matt” ( 08/31/2009)

      People that agree with that and are ok that Matt entered his nomination for our Board under the assumption that PASS was a B2B media organization perhaps should vote for Matt. People who think otherwise shouldn’t, IMO.

      Matt’s company has 8 followers on twitter. I do not see any basis for confidence that he can help PASS with social networking.


    • Jim, I have a differing opinion with Mr. Morollo as to what community is, especially with respect to PASS. And I will disagree with you. The examples Mr. Morollo cited I would say are at the loosest use of the term “community.” I would, for instance, say or are much tighter than what was cited. Those I consider communities. Events are not communities. I’ve run events, too. And I’ve run a local PASS chapter. They aren’t even in the same country, much less the same ballpark. Magazine sites are not communities. If you want on-line communities that isn’t SQL Server centric, a site like Microsoft’s Channel 9 is a community. And yes, I’ve indicated that and, while useful, I don’t feel are communities either (which I pointed out about on They are more about gettings answers quick. They don’t build towards a social environment.

      Also, I find it very interesting that you cite social networking as so important. This is one area I think Mr. Morollo is well behind LaRock and Peschka when it comes to social networking and its use to reach a community (that would mean dialogue, relationships, etc., not just posts with links). He is also well behind Tim Ford, who put his name in the ring but wasn’t selected by the nominating committee. Matter of fact, when I first jumped more into the SQL social networking space, the biggest four I saw were Brent Ozar, Jason Massie, Tom LaRock, and Tim Ford. Jeremiah Peschka is extremely active, too, but those were the first four that really got my attention and who I saw were putting in some substantial time and effort into the online community. Just some food for thought.

  52. Brent, this is a vetting process, an important one that doesn’t require triple cadence. I’m disappointed but this is actually an excellent example of understanding (or lack thereof) the important role of uninterrupted ebb and flow. Cheers.


    • Jim,

      I completely disagree. This is Brent’s personal blog. He has every right to respond to comments posted here, especially since he took it upon himself to try to make more information about the candidates available so that the membership could make a more informed decision. This blog is not officially sponsored or endorsed by PASS. As such, if a reader doesn’t like the way the host is managing it, they have every right to refrain from reading it. Were this an officially sponsored PASS site, I might tend to agree with you, but since a member of our community has chosen to donate his time, resources and bandwidth to help make the PASS membership better informed, I couldn’t disagree more.

    • Come on Jim –

      This is Brett’s BLOG. A very active blog dedicated to giving information to geeks like me. Please don’t come in here and lecture Brent on how to handle comments on his blog. He didn’t even have to do the interview and post the results in the first place. He certainly didn’t have to post a link to the comment thread reminding folks to read the comments before voting and even encouraging contacting Matt (and others) off line.. How has any comment here interrupted ebb and flow which is, by design ebb and flow….

      The lack of understanding from Matt about the community aspect and then the lack of understanding of a supporter of his around the purpose of a blog comment thread (a blog paid for and hosted by Brent, I imagine) speaks volumes to me.

      Speaking of Social Networking, Brent was not a candidate for his own reasons. He is still a good example of what it takes to build a community. I think Matt, the current PASS board and current candidates could learn from it (though the other three all do blog and tweet.. Tom and Jeremiah are the most active). A couple examples:

      1 – SQLServerPedia – ’nuff said. He has worked tirelessly on that franchise. Watched it grow and it is there for the community. Not for him. Not even for Quest Software.

      2 – Me – I am blogging because of blogs like this one. Many others are as well. I may not be as prolific or have enough witty (or funny) things to say but because of Brent and people like Brent, I and many other bloggers are blogging. Look at the contest for sending someone to the Summit.

      3 – Webcasts & Content Galore – look around on this blog and sqlserverpedia… Again ’nuff said.

      4 – Blog Better -> Not only does he encourage others to blog (and not for his own gain and he even counsels people to blog about what they know and what will help others, not about increasing hits and making money) but he devotes several articles to improving blogging techniques.

      5 – Giving back to the community –> Through the above, training sessions, presenting at PASS, helping with the virtual chapters, etc…

      I haven’t heard of Matt ONCE before his candidacy. I didn’t hear his voice on a single volunteer conference call, I haven’t seen his name on any e-mail threads with volunteers giving up their time to help PASS. The other nominees? Yes.. He is asking me to put him in charge (more or less) of the direction of this organization that I have come to know, love and give my time (far less than others do) away from wife and kids and other responsibilities as a volunteer??

      And the reasons he gave are kind of spread about and do focus on marketing but I just don’t see any social networking/community building experience.

      Look at Jeremiah’s blog. Look at Tom’s. Look at what kind of things they have done and given to PASS. Look at Brian’s giveback to the community and what Solid Quality Mentors does (both as a business but also as an association of SQL Server gurus who give their time where and when they can).


      • Apparently I just gave you a new name Brent.. Typing too fast again, apparently. I guess I owe you a Coke at the summit now. BreNt

        • Brent is the “Brett” Favre of the SQL Server social networking scene? Any time you think the ol’ man has lost his magic, he makes a throw (blog post) that only he can make and you’re left going, “Wow. I should know better than to count him out.”

      • Thanks, sir. I’m honored.

      • Mike,you would not have heard from or of me because I’ve been behind the scenes, working tirelessly to help Microsoft IT Pro’s – I am a business leader w a track record of success in the wide, vast, competitive market, comprised of many organizations serving MS oriented communities. Maybe we can change the subject and turn the tables; why do you all think I made the ballot? This is the most vexing question that I have. It would be great to hear your feedback on that matter. Tim Ford stated why he didn’t, but why do you think I did? This is posed meant with total respect; I really want to know. Looking forward to the feedback. If there are any questions, I’ve not addressed, I will scour this board later and get back to everyone. My value prop has been driven home over and over again. Lets mix it up.

        Thank you all. With sincere gratitude.


        • Matt – I wasn’t expecting an immediate reply from you.. In fact I would hope that you have a bit of a life outside aspirations to be a volunteer on a board of an organization you aren’t tied to yet 😉

          Matt that is great to know you have been working tirelessly behind the scenes just to help Microsoft IT Pros.

          I honestly have no idea why you made the ballot. It is a great question in my mind, though. I wish we had a bit more on the ballot than 4 for 3 slots and I think some good candidates (like Tim Ford) missed the mark unfortunately.

          Phrases like “my value prop has been driven home over and over again” and “I am a business leader w a track record of success in the wide, vast, competitive market” turn me off.

          The unanswered questions were eventually mostly answered (the why question.. It baffled me why you were trying so hard not really having a horse in “the race” (PASS), it made me question trustworthiness. I mean this is not an organization that you are a part of and I couldn’t do the math, every time I tried I kept coming up with “what is he trying to get from us?”. To be honest it looked like more “upside” to you than to PASS.. I asked the why question a couple times and you answered it… The answer was about all the things you want to do for us and how much you care for us IT professionals and what you think you bring to us. So that is answered now.. Apologies for the unanswered part of the comment)

          I am torn.. I have said, and believe a fresh face/outsider is good in a way but I keep going back to, why?

          Maybe a fresh perspective is good and maybe having a business experienced/sensible kind of person with a business focus could be helpful to give business advice that may be tough for someone in the community to have to make a decision on… I don’t believe that is the role you are asking to fill.

          Maybe a fresh perspective on community building/harnessing social networking and really keen on activating volunteers/people to find ways to help build the community and not just by adding numbers but quality numbers (getting presenters to have a slide everytime they do a training class/user group presentation talking about PASS the organization.. not PASS the provider of conferences as I have sometimes seen on resource slides.. But PASS the motivated =community- of SQL Server professionals working together to solve each others problems and have a collective voice to Microsoft, encouraging additional virtual chapters and membership in them, working on “marketing” to the management at the employers of the membership to see the importance of PASS the organization,etc) But I really don’t see that as you based on your notes and thoughts… Media businesses have aspects of this in the “marketing” sense but community building just isn’t there.

          Then I get back and say we have such a diverse group of people within PASS. People who have started businesses, people who really understand community building (Steve Jones, Andy Warren, Brent Ozar, etc.), People who understand business and making tough business decisions. People who understand Social networking and how it can really be used to further our goals (Brent Ozar, Tom LaRock, etc) So maybe a fresh face is just what we currently do -> rotate the board through elections.

          I don’t want to respond anymore. I’m getting tired of the broken record out here to be perfectly honest. I will say I really appreciate the sentiment your comments that answered the Why question showed. I appreciate you caring so much about joining the Board of this organization that you are willing to spend so much time answering questions, offering to set up meet and greets all over the US map, etc. I may not understand why but great on you for trying. I also truly respect you coming back into this gauntlet (even with blunt comments, bordering on harsh apparently from the twitter response I got.. and I apologize, that was not my intent at all) and answer our questions/explain yourself. That is all great and I believe that even if this doesn’t work out for you, you will be successful at other pursuits, if for nothing else than your sticktoitiveness. I personally have said my piece, probably more than I should before the voting is over (I should have followed the lead of several more mature and reserved than myself 🙂 .) No ill will towards you personally is meant but I think you see where I am coming from and I don’t see it moving.

          • Mike,

            Thanks for the feedback and understand your position and that you’ve said your piece. Cetainly my intent was not to “turn you off”, but only to say that I’ve given the participants my value propositions (also written about BoD’s, my opinion on why they are/need diversity, and provided a 3rd party asset via Twitter on Non-Profit Association Board Elections – more food for thought), did the work, made the ballot. The point that I’ve probably not made well enough, is that I’ve worked in organizations similar to PASS and – my answer why I maded the ballot – is that my responses fit the bill during the nomination process. Your peers on the Nomination Committee, made the choice, not me. Now as Jim (above) mentioned, there is a small, but I suspect very vocal/influential minority of the worldwide PASS community that is commenting on this board. Maybe this segment of the community is a little tired of the string as well, but has spent more time (not all – and those who have supported, “Kudo’ed me) I’m very grateful to, as well as everyone who has provided input/feedback/direction) saying “why not” (again, not-all and appreciative of the feedback) then “why”. That said, when asked the question “why”; why do you all think I made the ballot you are the only one who spoke up. Again, more confusion on my part. Can we look at the pro’s of my nomination (and Mike you have outline many – this goes to the rest via my response to you). Feedback more feedback on “why” would be great and can we move the dialogue in that direction?

            The “trustworthiness” comment wont be taken personally as its clear that you all care so much about this community and want what is best for PASS. Mike, you especially have been helpful in this process. As for others who ran or didn’t – that was not my choice – I agree, Brent is an innovator, brilliant at community engagement and one of the best, well he is among the best SQL Server Pros in the world – but has self proclaimed he would not make a good board member – something to that effect). Tim Ford, again graciously commented and admitted he did not interview well. But I must have, otherwise you would not see me on the ticket (sorry to state the obvious – this you all well know, but working on my point here – “why” and would cherish everyone’s feedback).

            Again, thanks for you comments and more are always welcome from the rest of you all. You are all so passionate about the community, one that we all share a passion for. Just “trust” me on that point – whether its via PASS or some other outlet, we have all worked to improve and enhance the career paths, skillsets of Microsoft IT Pros, join them together, and better their chose prosfession (I would not be here in Redmond were that not the case – as I type this). This is our community, and a vast one. PASS is a subset of that community, and one of few that I would like to work to improve and support. Thanks again, Best, -Matt

          • Mike, Sorry to go on, but not to be trite, I represpectfully disagree that you should have followed the lead of several more “mature and reserved”. In many ways, that discredits the work you have put into this campaign, the passion for this process, and a dialogue unlike any other I’ve seen. Please note my genuine appreciation that you have been outspoken and hope that everyone else continues to raise more points and follow up a bit on the “why” factor (which you did – there are a lot of “why’s in your statements). Thanks again, -Matt

          • Matt,

            Thanks for repeatedly reaching out to me via twitter. As I replied to you via DM I got your request that I call you and I will try to do so, hopefully this week.

            I’m sure we are all impressed at the amazing and extraordinary amount of effort to communicate with what you perceive to be the “very vocal/influential minority of the worldwide PASS community that is commenting on this board”. We have no experience of anyone who is not a part of our database professional community going so far (setting up events to meet, corresponding passionately via blog comments, contacting us via twitter, setting up phone conversations) to try and obtain a leadership role within our professional community. Even if we do not select you to be on our Board, we are inspired by your efforts to persuade us.

            Best to you.


  53. Gotta go with Brent and everyone else hear who believe that Brent deserves just as much say, if not more, as other internet users (notice I didn’t just limit this to PASS members) in *this particular* thread and venue.

    It’s his blog. It’s his discussion. It’s his entry.

    Perhaps there’s a bit a confusion about what this discussion is. It’s not a PASS thread. It’s a Brent thread.

    • Karen, It is his blog which is why we exchanged email over the weekend and he kindly encouraged the dialogue to continue. As mentioned, it was not for me to overstay my welcome, but he was very gracious as you all have been as we’ve got to know each other, and said by all means, continue. Thanks, -Matt

      • To echo what Matt’s saying – I’d left a comment this weekend, but I did it through the WordPress admin control panel, which supports deeper comment nesting than what shows up on the public PHP pages. I’ll copy/paste it here. Apologies to folks who subscribed to the comments via email, because they’ll get it again. Doh!

        “Just realized my lack of response about wearing out your welcome could be misconstrued! You’re totally welcome to keep the discussion going here, by all means! I really appreciate how much work you’ve put into staying involved. I’ve been trying to sit back to let everybody else have their say, and I think it’s gone really well. Everybody’s been forthcoming and done a great job of opening up some cool debates that have moved PASS forward just by talking.”

  54. Chuck, the steering committess etc are revised of members of different business units so we can share best practices; again, its OK if you dont vote for me, but please lets focus on my candidacy!

    Thanks -Matt

    ps I know some good reality TV producers in LA. You’re up for #SQL Intervention series part I.

    • Hi Matt,

      I hope you had an enjoyable flight.

      The reason why your public remarks conveying your commitment to print magazines is important is because of the issue Jim took with the characterization of you as a practitioner of old media.

      I don’t want to open up old wounds unnecessarily and I know you’ve apologized – but you accused me of slander for characterizing you as an old media practitioner. The quote indicates that you are. That’s why it’s important. By the way – there is nothing wrong with working in old media???

      I think that Mike Walsh spoke for me and a lot of us and I’ll just defer to his well articulated remarks.


      • Mr Boyce, “All Media” would be more preferred as the quote indicates (again notice the web comments), my job is comprised of, as is my commitment to training, and practicing new media. Just like this community does not like to be called “technicians” people in my own, do not like being called “old media”. That would be OK if I wasn’t practiced in all flavors and make a point to learn more. Thanks for the note! Always, -Matt

  55. re Chuck Boyce’s 7:09 AM comment.

    Mr Boyce, As probably one of the most passionate and outspoken PASS members its been my pleasure to engage with, your comments are very much appreciated. I’m trying my hardest. Thank you for the recognition. With Gratitude, -Matt

    PS I am grateful to all those who did not stage an intervention on Mr Boyce and dicourage his voice on Thank you and “why Matt” comments would be great to explore w you all!

  56. Here are my final thoughts on the nominations. That you all for the support and participating in this dialogue. It has been a tremendous experience and an honor to meet you, and share in this process. Thanks to Mr Ozar espcially for hosting this dialogue.

    I’ve been at Microsoft since yesterday and talking about my experience campaigning for PASS. Its been a tremendous experience win or lose. Its also been a very personal journey; one that I’ve not included my colleagues, friends, and business partners in – a solo act. Luckily, I had a meeting with a vendor partner and we chit chatted about her own experience w INETA and WIT. She is in marketing and shared a similar experience where the community (at least a vocal few) were not receptive, nor consider candidacies as we are not part of the community because she does not developer in .Net not is an IT Por(“hey, its my community too!” she said – sound familiar).

    All the blogs have provided great insight and feedback to how this community thinks and the passion they demonstrate. Also, a friend of mine had an expert lobbyist (someone who has put a President in the White House) examine my campaign on some of the boards. He has a bit shocked at first (“venom directed at Matt”), acknowledged that I stumbled out of the gates, but did make some incredible progress. The real disconnect for me, most disappointing was that the vocal few do not seem to recognize that this is my community too, and just bc I am not a MVP or Rockstar blogger, they seem cast me out, or looked for fault (some more diligently than others).. But, heck it is my community, and one that we all share a deep passion for – a community that I’ve successfully committed my career too supporting and have the qualifications to support its evolution.

    Again, just wanted to thank you, express my gratitude for the nomination, recognizing my expertise, leadership, and for having put me on the ballot (to the nomination committee). Hopefully, you all will or have embraced the diversity that my candidacy brings to the table. From what I see, PASS has the drive and the passion, but as the lobbyist said……and with these thoughts I’ll leave you.

    Thanks again. This has been more fun and insightful than I ever could have imagined. Hopefully, the community will support and allow me to make a difference.

    All The Very Best,


    “Some positive themes do emerge as the discussion continues and these are the things that Matt would seem to add to the PASS board and make the most compelling case for his election to the Board. Namely, boards function best with diversity……

    One final comment that came up in the last thread – many not-for-profit, associations, and professional organizations talk negatively about making money and how they are not a “business”, but a “community”. Any organization needs some money to do the simplest things (investments in technology, conferences, chapter build-out, etc) and by more intelligently monetizing existing assets that the organization controls, there will be more money to spend on the stuff that all…… claim to want.”

  57. Not quite final: first sentence “That” = “THANKS”/ Regards, -MM

  58. Hi Matt,

    I have one question (if you’re still following these comments): How did you originally find out about the PASS Call for Nominations?


    • Wow – that is a really good question. Matt?

      • Andy, Brent, OK. As promised, my goal is to answer every post. As a professional in this business/market/community/industry, it is my job to follow and watch every organization, media provider, and vendor that moves in this market. As a Microsoft oriented business (certainly an aspect of PASS), PASS has been under my watchful since many years ago (remember I was selected to interview as GM for TDWI, – went w Redmond Media – and speak regularly w my TDWI peers since day one – nearly 15 years ago – throughout the relationship, they have spoken to me of PASS w respect, a community w integrity and passion – we all talk about this market all day, watch who is moving where etc.) Also as mentioned, we have sent a publisher in the past, and planned as well this year to PASS. So, to summarize, nothing gets past my radar (especially MS focused communities/organizations/vendors), and as a close PASS follower, it would be hard that this opportunity would have escaped me. Thanks for your questions!



        • Hi Matt,

          Thanks for the response. I was hoping for something along the lines of:

          – I don’t remember.
          – The SQLPass newsletter.
          – someone on the board suggested I run.
          – Heard from a friend who heard it from friend who… (oh wait, those are REO Speedwagon lyrics)
          – was forwarded an email.


          • Andy,

            Not sure I follow, but thanks for the follow up. Its hard to gauge exactly what kind of response everyone wants – so, I’ve just tried to be candid and give you honest feedback. Did I give you TMI etc..? These are questions I cant answer, just following up the best way I can. I appreciate your sense of humor – make no mistake and maybe its so late in the procosee, that a more humorous respnse was warranted. I dont know. In summary:

            It would be irresponsible of me not to be in touch w opportunities such as the PASS BoD noms.

            Thanks Mr Leonard.


          • Hi Matt,

            Well, I tried. I imagine you tried too. Maybe this will work better in person. Are you attending the PASS Summit?

            :{> Andy

  59. Pingback: What Direction Do You Choose? | Kevin E. Kline

  60. Kevin, Thanks for this post. Again, spent time last night w about 6 MS pofessionals (after all day strategy meetings) who are customer satisfaction oriented and as partners, our goal with MSDN and TN is to ensure their objectives are met (and “sub communities” like PASS have similar teams in the backdrop/forefront focused on these objectives). Of course my day job is driven by reader input, feedback, and good collaboration with the professionals it is an honor to call my colleagues. Back to last night, the MS feedback was, of course; “this is your community too!! wha??” but being well versed in MS technology, understand that the language and direct speak to community is a lot different than how we communicate as non-technical business professional who serve and work to support all segments of MS communities. There was a lot of other good feedback about diversity, composition of BoD’s etc, and then went straight back into dicussing satisfaction objectives. It was good to hear from people that know PASS and shared very good objective feedback. Pardon the non-tech speak; but the synergy was highly apprarent to the table and the feedback provided was a bit of surprise about this dialogue; in all fairness, the good, the bad, and the, lets say “not so good” was shared, and they steered me how I may have improved the process (no campaign is perfect and if you dont put yourself out there, you wont get the chance to make “gaffs”, gain support, and the like!). Back to your article, great Dr Seusss quotes which of course serve as a good analogy. Clever and as a major Dr Seuss fan, it was a great pleasure to read and start the post with that theme! The Fallout (no need to go there – if one has been following Brent’s blog, it should be clear), The Process Today (greatly appreciated as I’ve echoed the sentiments and surprise the about the “veiled” nature of the process – IF ANYTHING this dialogue can help the future process. Finally, The Times They Are A Changin’; man I could not say it any better. PASS consists a very media savvy individuals – that much became clear in this process (how to strategically use it as a communication vehicle), but strap in because it is a ride of a lifetime and unlike the blogosphere, I dont have the luxury of traffic shortfalls, audience fallout and am responsible to ensure the financial success which ties back into audience, customer or “community sat”. Fortunately I get to work with the best and brightest Microsoft marketing/technologists, and the most competent team of journalists & publishing pros in the market. Without close teamwork and communication, the teams who work to make our media relevant in this dynamic market, follow everything that moves, is not afraid to test/pilot new concepts, and ALWAYS seeks community feedback so we can tailor the objectives, realize success hinges on these elements. We do all this, and maintain a highly successful business, which has gained the recognition and support of vast audiences and the industry (also part of the community). So, again, thanks for your input and my hope is simply to tie-in with PASS, be a part a of well qualified community, and help you all navigate into a future that is murky on the best of days. This has been one of the best professional experiences I’ve had, and to the select and outspoken community at PASS, I’m grateful, as to the Nom Com who made it possible.

    With Respect and Sincerity,


  61. Got PC access! OK, in Redmond, WA in MS meetings and I’m booked til 6, dinner, drinks, then an early wake up for a 6am flight back to Boston but wanted clearly to follow up with the blogosphere and the 250+ who voted for me. Thank you! Its was an honor. And to Brent Ozar and all the participants on this blog, it has been a joy. Thanks for all the emails, tweets, feedback, and support. Now, my concession.

    Kevin, & All Nominees,

    Thank you for the ballot nomination, and to Brian, Jeremiah, Thomas, congratulations! It was an honor to run alongside you all. It is greatly appreciated how you managed your campaigns in such creative, highly professional, and respectful manner. Well deserved. Thanks so much and good luck in your roles on the PASS BoD!



  62. Hi Matt –

    Thanks for your activity and perseverance on this blog. I’m glad you were will willing to engage in the dialog.

    Are you attending the Summit this year? If so, perhaps we’ll have some time to catch up over coffee or something.

    Also, I may have missed it before, but how many PASS Summits have you attended in the past?



  63. Here is my follow up to an excellent letter from a PASS member received following the election. My sense is it would be interesting to share with all the people who posted information on this blog. Thank you to everyone who voted for me, all the emails of gratitude, and your particpation in this process. Hope you all have a great week in Seattle! We’ll be on the lookout for news from the event!

    —–Matt’s Response—–

    Hi ,

    Thanks for the note and feedback.

    Since my nom profile on PASS explains that [as co-founder and launch partner in] every Redmond asset, been on the team of 4 that went through the extensive bid process to earn the TN/MSDN partnership should address your first question, and if it made you pause, my email address and phone number were out there. This is the first time, anyone has asked this so interesting and appreciated feedback. Brent’s interview also details a lot of what I have done/accomplished in my career [which has been dedicated to improving the careers of IT pros by providing useful and great information resources]. Also my title should tell you what I do and also have done [my background is in media, all media including online, face-to-face, print [with my career related to IT Professionals] as all the other things on this page.

    The irony is the nom process ended when I got phone call from….(could not answer), then the email from PASS at the time of announcement while on campus in Redmond in meetings, discussing man things related to the TN/MSDN partnership. Now your points are taken and I will be the first one to tell you that my campaign effort could have been better in addition to some other key points:

    1) As the call came [prior to the election result release] I was in a meeting at Microsoft – and as an extension of a broad IT pro “marketing group” (RMG) they were briefing us on community objectives including SQL. So, I have a unique level of perspective….RMG combined w TN and MSDN will be doing more to help SQL pros and shape the information dialogue, along with 1000’s of MS stakeholders in the market and SQL community.

    2) I emphasized diversity and [IMO] PASS missed an opp bc all 3 nominees are more or less the of the same [ilk w/varitions of course – but SQL Pros 1st and foremost]. You may see differently, but I don’t [really] especially if viewed against my own unique profile.

    3) Why was I on the ballot? Because I represent someone in the community with an alternative voice, deep insight to the marketplace, someone who is aligned closely with MS communities, [understand what it takes to ensure the sucess of a media endeavor?] [That would be my guess.]

    4) Look at your own board if you work at a company (hard to tell since the email is under a gmail account), do they all come from different backgrounds? This was the best thing about my nomination opp – that it is not a stretch as this is my community too – but just a different angle or skew.

    What if I had used my influence outside of PASS and encourage people to join the constituency? It is stated in the by-laws we cannot use our company websites, but I have other resources….but as mentioned, it was a solo journey, and a measure of what PASS really is about; a vocal minority. Don’t we want a more involved, more inclusive, a more [diverse]community?

    So in summary, whether or not I have been to PASS or Chapter meetings is of no consequence IMHO (again, we send representative(s) each year – someone who I work with and they would not be there if we did not think it worth their while and the expense. [Additionally} I have been to more IT Tech events than I care to share, and we attend to support our business and our vendor partners. That said, did you review the marcomm plan we helped developed to promote registrations to PASS Summit 09? Have you attended any media conferences (I’m not going to relent on that point anymore – PASS is a B2B media organization for profit or not – another mistake made during the nom process). Could you put together a good marketing commutations strategy for PASS? Likely not, but that does not discount your ability in any way shape or form – you are also part of the community, but from a vast and diverse segment of it. My sense is you are probably among the worlds top Pro’s in SQL’s in addition to being a top notch developer (judging by your LI profile). Could I write a complex SQL based database…!

    So, I’m [grateful] for your email, glad for the feedback, but the biggest lesson learned is “how not” to communicate to a technical audience, how protective and inclusive the vocal minority at the PASS community is (totally fine), but how threatened (some) people are by change, new thinking. Totally not my intention to upheave the effort (someone suggested I may “cripple” the community which is just slightly [on the dramtic side] as the board is a team of people who must agree, work together – a team effort. Believe me, PASS needs money [and as a nominee that has a track record in driving and growing the “business’]. IMO revenue is the key to help guide our community into the future or you can just call it or the SQL Blogosphere because it is fragmenting PASS’ revenue stream and there is simply vocal minority at PASS who have a stake in some shape or form. With a 578 voting constituency, the community could do well to vote more like the passionate community that was consistently portrayed as deeply connected. Engaged? That # 578 says a whole lot. 578 votes. Lets say the [voting constituency] could use an improvement and maybe that is [another issue the BOD must tackle].

    How big really is PASS [regardless of member registrations], how much do people really care about the B0D? 578? How can we improve that (my commitment is strong and endures), and how can we propel PASS into something that has lasting appeal, a destination resource hub, a dynamic community center? PASS must have lost a massive rev stream (a trade off for member names which is the currency of the web?) when membership became free so how do we plug that kind of economic erosion and keep the community engagement broader and more vibrant than ever? [what is the plan for PASS to grow revenue, give back and grow the community? Why is media representative employed to sell sponsorships and other media opps? To help the community, PASS in general, and maintain its vibrancy?]

    Last point, the fact that only 2 of the 3 voting nominees had the grace to respond to my concession email, thanking me, reaching out, and sharing their gratitude, tells me more is at play in the nomination objective of the current BOD.

    Why not open up to my SQL world – take a peak at the people who help drive SQL professional development and proliferation as I do yours? Why not evaluate it, and open up to new dialogue? How can we make this a more open, less inclusive community, and truly work to expand the benefits that SQL offers developers and IT pros alike around the world? Those are the questions that need to be addressed so the long term viability of PASS is a model that sustains and flourishes. That would be in my best interest (whether community wants to note or not) and my suspicion yours as well.

    With Sincerity and Respect,


    [PS – to the author below; we do share one thing in common; analysis. Whether it financial, business, market-oriented, much or my time is spent analyzing the business for future strategy and development.]


    Matt N. Morollo VP, Publishing
    1105 Enterprise Computing Group
    T: 508 532 1418 M: 508 294 8183

    The Best Microsoft News from Around the Web

    Sent: Thu 10/22/2009 1:12 PM
    To: Matt Morollo
    Subject: PASS Board Candidacy


    I’ve been following the thread about your candidacy for the PASS Board on Brent Ozar’s blog with interest, and I had a few thoughts that I wanted to share with you.

    First, one thing that gave me pause is that you talked at length about what your company has done, but very little about what you yourself had done. I’m impressed by your company’s activities, and I read your company’s publications regularly, but those don’t give me any insight about what you might do if elected.

    Second, you seemed to take offense at some of the comments. I agree that some comments may have stepped over the line. However, you also have to remember your audience: we analyze things for a living. Yes, we looked for faults, but not because you aren’t “a MVP or Rockstar blogger”. It’s who we are, and it’s what we do.

    Finally, some of your last posts mentioned that this was your community, too. You’re absolutely right – PASS is open to anyone, not just developers and DBAs. I lead a local PASS chapter, and I encourage anyone interested to attend and learn, regardless of whether they work directly with SQL Server or not, because there are things that we can all learn from each other. However, I got the impression from your responses that while you had watched the community for quite some time, you had never participated – never attended Summit, never attended a local user group meeting, never written for PASS, never participated on the forums. Your initial responses, both to Brent’s questions and to some of the initial comments, also seemed to indicate that you really didn’t understand how we, the community, see PASS. Even though media is a vital component of PASS, we see ourselves as more than just our publications, websites, conventions, or content. It all comes down to the people. I don’t think that the majority of us would object to a director that does not actively work with databases, but we do expect that those we elect would understand what we’re about. After all, we have in PASS a thriving organization that we can be proud of, and we’re very protective of that.

    I appreciate that you took so much time and effort to run for the Board. Speaking as someone who worked for a media company for ten years, I have no doubts that your insight into that industry would be valuable to PASS as we continue to grow, and I hope you consider running again.

  64. Pingback: SQL University History Week III: The Future == You | The SQL UPDATE Statement

  65. Pingback: SQL Server Central

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *