The PASS organization and community is constantly growing and evolving thanks to the volunteer efforts of our members. Every month, we ask our members to nominate a volunteer who has gone above and beyond to support our community of data professionals and we present them with an Outstanding Volunteer Award.

As 2017 winds down and we prepare for the exciting initiatives to come in 2018, we’d like to take a moment to look back at this year’s OVA winners and once again recognize their exceptional volunteer contributions and accomplishments.

Chris BellChris not only organizes SQLSaturday and Local Group events in the DC region, but he also puts a great deal of effort into ensuring that these events are presented in a welcoming, family-like atmosphere. Whether engaging groups through his raffles or bringing home-baked goods for his groups, Chris goes well beyond what is expected of a volunteer organizer of these events.

William AssafWilliam is the organizer of the annual SQLSaturday Baton Rouge event, a past president of the Baton Rouge SQL User Group, and a Regional Mentor for South Central US. He can frequently be found traveling and speaking at SQLSaturday events throughout the region and is a frequent blogger on SQL and the SQL community at

Tracy BoggianoTracy tirelessly works to further the progress of the PASS community by helping to organize events, presenting sessions, and mentoring others. She also leads Raleigh’s “Tri Cities Advanced DBAs” Local Group, has spoken at PASS Summit, and has volunteered her time to encourage the next generation of Women in Technology through the “Girls and Data” event.

Steve Cantrell Steve is a passionate volunteer who has been an outstanding contributor to the DBA Fundamentals Virtual Group. Steve supported the Virtual Group as a co-leader for some time before officially taking over as the primary group leader in 2015. Since then, he has developed a strong VG audience, putting on multiple meetings every month, to hundreds of attendees.

Joaquin ZuñigaJoaquin has been an active member of the PASS community in Latin America for over 5 years. A leader of the PASS Windows BI Community in Costa Rica, Joaquin has also contributed to many SQL Saturday events in Latin America, as well as supporting organizers and group leaders with many other events throughout the region. He has also been a strong advocate for PASS, encouraging others to become involved in the community.

Damu VenkatesanDamu has been an active volunteer in the PASS community since 2008. For the past two years, he has helped co-organize BI SQLSaturdays in Atlanta and has been a member of the Atlanta SQLSaturday organizing committee since 2011. He is also an active leader and volunteer at several PASS Local Groups, including Atlanta Microsoft BI User Group, DAMA Georgia, and Atlanta Modern Excel User Group.

Paras DoshiParas has been a cornerstone of the PASS Business Analytics virtual group for the past four years. He started out focusing his attention on marketing and shifted to the co-Leader role after his first year. Paras has helped to grow the Virtual Group from 1,000 members to now nearly 10,000! Though he has decided to step down as co-lead, we thank Paras for introducing new ways to track, market, reach out, and grow our BA community.

Zenaida Karas Zeny’s hard work and dedication to EDMPASS and SQLSaturday Calgary have been greatly appreciated by her fellow community members. Zeny has been an active member of the EDMPASS organizing committee, and has recently been elected as the Local Group Leader. She has helped organize SQLSaturdays in Edmonton, and was a huge support to SQLSaturday Calgary.

Rie IrishRie is a leader of the WIT Virtual Group and has been the driving force behind revitalizing the group over the last year and a half. She has organized and contributed to many WIT events throughout the year, and is an active voice at SQLSaturdays. Rie has also been on the organizing committee of SQLSaturday Atlanta for several years and will be furthering her involvement this year as the main organizer.

Thanks again to all of our volunteers for the incredible resources and support you provide to the PASS community. Here’s to another great year in 2018!