Changes at OPASS

I’ve been managing oPASS since we re-hydrated it back in early 2007. Seems like a long time ago! We’ve made some progress and the group is stable, just not growing as much as I had hoped. That could be us, could be the region, hard to know. Jack Corbett joined me a while back as President and as part of that we moved from bi-monthly to monthly and I think overall that has been a good change, but it’s definitely more work and couldn’t have done it without his help.

In the last couple weeks as I’ve thought about where I want to go and focus on, and how we’re doing at oPASS, it just made sense that it was time for me to hand over the reins to Jack, let him set the direction fully. Originally I had thought to make it contingent on whether I was re-elected for the PASS Board, but I think it adds a bit of uncertainty to oPASS, and I think it’s good for leadership to change. Whether I’m re-elected or now, I won’t lack for opportunities to participate in the community.

Making that decision now drives a lot of other decisions. We’ve always been light weight, not much of a formal charter and I’ve just run the little bit of sponsor money through my business account for simplicity. It’s worked, even worked well I’d say, but now as we face change, we need to revisit all of that and figure out what comes next. In truth the money management is the biggest pain for us (and most chapters). Incorporating for a few thousand dollars a year is tedious and poor use of time in my opinion. I’d really like to see PASS extend the idea of holding funds in trust to chapters in the same way it does for SQLSaturday. That would remove a huge pain point, and it would also contribute to transparency, we could easily share the details of money in or out for each chapter.

Between now and the September meeting we’ll see who is interested and what direction they want to go. I don’t have any firm preference, I just want to see the group sustain and grow. Maybe we can iron it out in September, maybe it takes a little bit longer, but by end of year we’ll make the changes and start the next…chapter…as it were!

Not easy to let go. Still, it feels like the right move.

4 thoughts on “Changes at OPASS

  1. Andy,
    It saddens me to see you go, but It is without a doubt you will remain active in the community. I hope that you will continue to serve as an excellent example of leadership, that I and many other data professionals use when preparing for professional growth and guidance. I hope to see you later this month in Jacksonville, and maybe even pick your brain a bit.


  2. I could not agree more on PASS taking more responsibilities on financial management. In my opinion that is the single largest pain of an established chapter. I really would like to see PASS take the lead on managing money for Chapters whether it is for SQLSaturday or any event that the chapter organizes. I would not mind if PASS charges an admin fee to the chapter. I think it is perfectly in order for PASS to do so.

    I think 1-3% is fair in terms of admin fee per year…

    I would go even further to say that since PASS is already established as a Non-profit organization, why the chapters benefit from it and shield the chapters from tax reporting etc.

    My 0.02c

    Chapter Leader – North Texas SQL Server User Group.


  3. You have been very inspirational to me and our group, I can’t agree more about leadership needing to change. I am sure Jack will do a tremendous job with the group.
    As for PASS taking on financial management that would be wonderful. I have been trying to get announcements on the radio about SQL Saturday and users groups and I am not able to with out a Tax ID to show Non-profit. In order to use the word FREE they require proof. Which means I would need to file non profit and spend our money doing so. I could spend time and effort on spreading the word if I wasn’t dealing with the finances.
    Lots of luck oPASS.


  4. Bonnie, we appreciate the work you do for the Space Coast! No guarantees on the money management, but I’ll ask!


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