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PASSion Award

The annual PASSion Award is the highest accolade given to a PASS volunteer.

Presented during the annual PASS Summit conference, this award recognizes an individual’s exemplary service and commitment to the PASS organization, by inspiring our community of data professionals to connect, share, and learn.

Nominations for the 2020 PASSion Award are now closed! Thank you everyone for nominating your fellow community members!

Stay tuned for the winner announcement during PASS Virtual Summit 2020.

Please read the PASSion Award Guidelines before submitting a nomination.Nominations will be accepted until October 15, 2020.

PASSion Award Winners


Hamish Watson

Hamish first joined PASS as a SQLSaturday attendee and began volunteering at that event the following year. As a SQLSaturday organizer he didn’t view other events as competition, but as partners, and as a Local Group leader he has mentored countless others to find success in their own groups. Rarely will you see Hamish at an event that he doesn’t also volunteer at, finding time to support others in the PASS community day or night.


Michael Johnson

Michael has been a dedicated PASS volunteer from the early beginnings of his membership. Starting out as an attendee of the Johannesburg Local Group in 2011, he quickly got involved as a volunteer at SQLSaturday #83. Since joining PASS, Michael has served as a leader and organizer across Local Groups, Virtual Groups, and SQLSaturday events. He’s a valued mentor to newer members and he has helped foster the data community in his local Johannesburg, as well as expanding his group’s reach in Cape Town and Durban. He has maintained his MVP status while running his own busy consultancy business, and still makes the time to give back to the community and assist his fellow data professionals.


Roberto Fonseca

Throughout his membership, Roberto has worked tirelessly as a volunteer within the PASS community. He has devoted his time, resources, and full efforts into furthering the vision PASS holds as a community-focused global association of data professionals. His work to facilitate the operations of PASS community-led events, volunteering for PASS local groups, organizing of SQLSaturdays, and work in running a series of virtual events showcase his commitment to this organization and its success. Furthermore, Roberto has also served on the PASS Program Committee, worked as a Regional Mentor, and volunteered his time to take part in the PASS Summit Buddy Program, wherein he assisted new members of the community in connecting with existing PASS members. Roberto’s efforts mirror the vision of what PASS has sought out to achieve since its founding – a community of data professionals working together to help others accomplish success while striving to achieve your own personal victories. Roberto’s work truly embodies what the PASSion award means to the community.


Mala Mahadevan

Mala has been working as a SQL Server DBA since 1997 and has attended every Summit since 2005. She started the first SQLSaturday in Louisville in 2009, growing attendance from 40 to 200 attendees and has organized several SQLSaturdays. Mala never hesitates to enrich the professional lives of those around her, constantly embracing and sharing knowledge about data analytics, big data, and R. She is a Regional Mentor for the South East, has moderated 24 Hours of PASS events, mentored new PASS members, and regularly blogs about data topics. Mala embodies the core values of the PASS community and is well deserving of this prestigious award.


Lance Harra

Lance Harra attended his first PASS Summit in 2002 and has been an active and devoted member of the PASS community since then. A respected DBA and a longtime member of the PASS Community, Lance embodies the volunteer spirit that makes PASS the global community it is today. He has been a PASS volunteer for over 10 years and gives selflessly with his time, ideas, leadership, and technical know-how. From SQLSaturday Kansas City organizer to Lead Program Manager for the PASS Program, Lance’s contributions cannot be overstated. He is a team player and is quick to ensure that others are recognized for their accomplishments. Lance has and continues to exemplify a deep enthusiasm for PASS. He embodies all of the characteristics deserving of the PASSion award.


Andrey Korshikov

Over the past several years, Andrey Korshikov has worked extremely hard to spearhead the global growth of PASS throughout Russia and Eastern Europe. Andrey is the Chapter Leader for Krasnodar SQL & BI User Group, Virtual Chapter Leader of the Global Russian Language VC, Regional Mentor for Central and Eastern Europe, organizer for 24 Hours of PASS Russian Edition, multi-year organizer of SQLSaturday Krasnodar, and has assisted with organizing and speaking at many other regional SQLSaturday events His shy and unassuming demeanor often belies his dedicated hard work and the large impact that his efforts have had on the Russian and East European community. He exemplifies the core of PASS values through “Connect, Share, Learn” and has does extraordinary amounts of work in strengthening the data professional community.


Amy Lewis

Amy Lewis has been a PASS volunteer for more than 5 years, working the past 2 years as co-manager of PASS Programs to deliver world-class speaker and session lineups for PASS Summit and the PASS Business Analytics Conference. As the former leader of the PASS Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter (VC), she enlisted partners from the UK and New Zealand to involve speakers from around the world, added sessions in a variety of time zones, and brought global context to session topics. Amy is active in the Women in Technology VC, leads the Arizona PASS Chapter, and has spearheaded the Phoenix SQLSaturday the past 2 years. At Summit, she has helped attendees navigate the conference as a Summit Ambassador, served as a mentor to first-time attendees, and led Birds of a Feather tables. Amy was elected in September to serve on the PASS Board of Directors for the 2014/2015 term.

2013 PASSion Award Honorable Mention:

Ryan Adams


Jen Stirrup

Jen Stirrup has worked diligently over the past 2 years with various groups in Europe to promote support for Women in Technology. A SQL Server MVP, she is a frequent speaker at such events as PASS Summit, SQLBits, SQLRally, SQLSaturday, 24 Hours of PASS, and local user groups and has been an active volunteer with European SQLSaturday events. At PASS Summit 2012, she was part of the panel discussing “Women in Technology: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going” at the 10th-anniversary WIT Luncheon.

2012 PASSion Award Honorable Mentions:

Amy Lewis
Jesús Gil Velasco


Lori Edwards

Lori Edwards has been an active PASS volunteer for 3 years and served as Program Director Allen Kinsel’s “right hand” on the Program Committee this year. She kept projects on track and on time, coordinating some 70 volunteers working on abstract and PowerPoint reviews, proofing, session scheduling, and more. In 2010, she was instrumental in organizing the nearly 200 PASS Summit 2010 technical sessions, worked on the Speaker Scorecard, and served on the 2010 Elections Review Committee.


Wendy Pastrick

Wendy Pastrick has actively volunteered for the PASS Women in Technology Virtual Chapter for several years, and is a PASS Chapter Regional Mentor. Wendy organizes PASS SQLSaturday events in her area and promotes WIT. Wendy was instrumental in establishing the PASS Suburban Chicago SQL Server User Group and in producing SQLSaturday #31.


Charley Hanania & Allen Kinsel; Lifetime Achievement - Kevin Kline

2009 saw two outstanding volunteers receive the PASSion Award, as well as the awarding of the first Lifetime Achievement PASSion Award.

International PASSion Award winner: Charley Hanania

Charley Hanania is a Sr. Database Specialist at Quality Software Solutions and leads the Swiss PASS Chapter. As 2009 Organization Committee chair for the PASS European Conference, he managed the entire European PASS Conference and invested approximately 600+ hours to make it a success.The conference was a huge success, and as one of the nomination letters stated,  "In the end, we had our first profitable year in our history—in the worst economy ever."

North American PASSion Award winner: Allen Kinsel

Allen Kinsel is a Lead Database Analyst at American National Insurance and has been a volunteering with PASS for 5 years. He was Program Manager on the Program Committee this year, and served on the Volunteer and Nomination committees. His role as Program Manager included selecting volunteers to form the abstract selection teams, compiling results, and working to get the Abstract Submission and Review sites ready.

Lifetime Achievement PASSion Award Winner: Kevin Kline

In PASS's first 10 years of existence, the organization has never known a time when Kevin Kline wasn't on the Board of Directors. “Kevin’s dedication to PASS, love of the SQL Server community, and wise, thoughtful guidance over the past 10 years has been an inspiration to us all,” said Board President Wayne Snyder. Kevin—who has served as VP Marketing, Executive VP, President, and Immediate Past President during his decade on the PASS Board—received a moving tribute and the first-ever Lifetime Achievement PASSion Award to a standing ovation during PASS Summit 2009 in Seattle. As PASS Summit 2009 was winding down, Brian Moran interviewed Kevin about his 10-year journey with PASS, what he's most proud of and things he would have done differently, and what's in his future as he leaves the board. Here's the transcript of their conversation, thanks to SQL Server Magazine.


Kathi Kellenberger

Kathi Kellenberger has been a volunteer with the PASS Program Committee since 2005 and served as the PASS Program Coordinator for the last 2 years. Additionally, she has worked with the PASS Editorial Committee since 2007, and helped organize the WIT Luncheon in 2005 and 2006. Nominated by The 2008 Program Director Lynda Rab, Kathi has been an integral part of the Program Committee’s success.


Denise McInerney


Pat Wright

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