Karla Set the Standard

Last week Karla Landrum announced that she will be leaving her position as Community Evangelist later this year after five years. That means change for PASS and for us and for Karla, but just the nature and scale of that pending change illustrates how much Karla has done in the those five years.

Karla was the first evangelist that worked for PASS that had roots in the community. She had built and run a Chapter, built and run SQLSaturday Pensacola, and built a very good network within the SQL community before her first official day at PASS. It’s not hard to imagine that it’s easier and more effective to evangelize if you’ve walked the walk and enjoyed the journey. No one can listen to Karla talk about SQLSaturday without realizing it’s her true passion – the essence of evangelizing.

How do you measure the impact of an evangelist? New events? Total events per year? New countries reached? By any measure Karla succeeded beyond what anyone ever thought was possible. SQLSaturday in Turkey! 500+ events! Plus her work on Chapters, Regional Mentors, the Summit Community Zone, and and a lot more.

Karla has done a lot of things well, but I think what she did that mattered most was building trust with event leaders. Prospective event leads have a lot of concerns and it’s a big deal to know that the person telling you that you can do it is the same person you will be calling when you have questions or need help. For experienced event leads it meant that if you had a concern or frustration it was heard and you got a response. There was no handoff – Karla supported what she evangelized.

I find no cause for sadness as I think about her decision. Karla has made a difference in ways large and small, noticed and not noticed, and in the end making a difference is what matters most. I respect and admire her decision that it was time to make a change. Not an easy decision I’m sure, but one that is right for her and for us.

Karla, thank you for doing so much so well – you set the standard.

P.S. We still have time left, can’t we get Wyoming?