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PASS Director-at-Large Profile: Chris Yates

With PASS Election applications opening today (until October 15), Chris Yates shares his experiences as a PASS Director-at-Large and why it's been an important milestone in his career. 

How did you first become involved with the PASS community?

I became involved with the PASS community back in 2011 when I attended my first PASS Summit. I had been working with SQL at that point for close to 11 years and it was the first time I caught a glimpse of what the SQL community looked like. From there it took a few years before I became actively involved with my Local Group and then SQLSaturdays. It's been a heck of a journey this past 7 or so years, and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. What has meant the most to me along the way are the people that I have met in the PASS community. It's been a career and life-changing experience.

How would you describe your role as Director-at-Large?

My role as a Director-at-Large is a humbling one. I ran for the Board because I believe, and continue to believe, what PASS means and what it has done for me. It is both challenging and rewarding. Leadership in and of itself is something that is near and dear to my heart, and along the way, I have learned that when you provide leadership through service, a true impact can be made. My role since I became a Director-at-Large has enabled me to provide my insight through knowledge and conversations with community members, to different Board members, and PASS HQ. I try to tackle each day with the same conviction and passion that I've had since 2011; I truly believe that we can and do make an impact each and every day and I know that there are plenty of other Chris Yates' out there who still can be reached and have the same experience as I have had within the community.

What have been some of your most memorable experiences as Director-at-Large?

There have been plenty of memorable experiences along the way; one that stands out to me is the ongoing camaraderie of the Board members and how we work with PASS HQ in doing our best to make PASS the best it can be for our community. This doesn't mean that being a Director-at-Large is full of glitz and glamor; because it's not. Each day presents new challenges and new obstacles, but I can honestly say it has been a pleasure serving alongside everyone as we try to put our best foot forward in helping make our community the best it can be. I know we are not perfect, but we continue to strive daily to be better than we were the day before.

How has being a Director-at-Large changed or benefited you?

Listen, I truly enjoy and have a passion for what my role is on the Board and I see this same passion in my fellow Director-at-Large colleagues. Being a Director-at-Large continues to teach me humility, leadership skills, and reminds me every day of why I became an active community member. I know we have a long way to go, but that is part of the journey. Look at how far we've come; I find the times we are in to be exciting given our technology stack. The sky is the limit of where we can go together.

Can you share your thoughts on the characteristics required to become a successful member of the PASS Board?

Well, this is a great question. My personal take on a few characteristics are below:

1. Patience - you can't think you are going to change everything in one day, and that's okay. It's a marathon and not a sprint.

2. Strong Communication - without a doubt, being an effective communicator is a top attribute of a Director-at-Large. You may have a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish, but if you can’t convey it, it will be almost impossible to carry out.

3. Passion and Commitment - remember your "why". There will be days that are tough; remember why you started out and focus on the vision and task at hand.

4. Innovation - you will need to think outside the box. Just because we did something one way for years doesn’t mean it is the best way. Be open to change.

5. Collaboration - bring your 'A' game daily and be a difference maker. The opportunity to collaborate is yours to be had, don't waste it.

PASS Election applications are now open. To submit yours, please complete the Applications Form and submit to governance@pass.org before October 15, 2018.

For more information on the PASS Election process, please visit the Elections page.

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