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The official PASS Blog is where you’ll find the latest blog posts from PASS community members and the PASS Board. Contributors share their thoughts and discuss a wide variety of topics spanning PASS and the data community.

The Importance of Joining the NomCom

Serving on the NomCom

During the month of August, PASS makes a Call for Letters of Interest to serve on the Nominations Committee (NomCom), so we thought it would be a great time to write a blog post about what the NomCom does.  I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the NomCom as a community member in 2015 and as the Board representative in 2019, so hopefully I can share some insight.

Serving on the NomCom is a great way to get understanding about the structure of the Board, the chance to work with current Board members and PASS HQ and the ability to help shape the leadership of PASS.  If you are thinking about serving on the PASS Board, I would highly suggest serving on the NomCom first.

What does the NomCom do?                                                            

The primary mission of the Nominations Committee is to help provide a slate of candidates for election to the PASS Board, but more goes into that.  Prior to opening the call for candidate applications, the NomCom will meet to go over the current procedures and ideal candidate description to ensure that everything is still relevant.  We try to make sure that at least one of the NomCom members has prior experience as well as having a Board representative and members of PASS HQ provide insight, but the process is ever evolving and we look to new members to help us grow and change as necessary.

After the call for candidate applications has closed, the NomCom will review the submitted applications to confirm that they meet the minimum requirements.  For the candidates who meet those, the NomCom then sets up interviews with each candidate.  The interview questions help to display how each candidate matches up to the Ideal Candidate description. Each interview is about an hour and there is typically time set aside after interviews for discussion amongst the NomCom.  Each member of the NomCom will score each candidate based on their application and interview. Those scores along with each candidate application will be available for the community to view during the campaign. After the interviews, the NomCom puts together a slate of candidates and presents that to the Board to ratify the slate.  At that point, we can begin the election process. As a note, details about the Board job description and Ideal Candidate description can be found here.

Prior to last year, once the election cycle was completed, the NomCom’s responsibilities were complete.  Due to changes in the bylaws, which allow for the appointment of additional Director-at-Large seats if the Board determines there is a need or a seat goes vacant, the NomCom is responsible for reviewing those appointments to ensure that the candidates meet the same guidelines.  So while the majority of the NomCom’s responsibilities will be complete after the election, NomCom members continue for the entire year.

Joining the NomCom

In re-reading this,  it sounds very dry and not very exciting, but that’s more a reflection of my blog writing skills, not the position itself.  Both times that I’ve been a part of this committee, it’s been incredibly valuable in learning about the PASS organization and very impressive to see the people who want to serve the PASS community by serving on the Board.  You have a real opportunity to help shape what we look for in Board members.

So are you ready to serve?

To be clear, the months of September and October will be fairly busy for the NomCom, so make sure that you have time for meetings and interviews.

This year, the Call for Letters of Interest in the NomCom will be from August 19th to the 27th.  To be considered, you’ll submit the letter that will be available on the Nominations Committee page on pass.org, stating your interest to serve and why you feel that you can benefit the committee.  The NomCom for 2020 will be announced on September 11th.

I hope that if this interests you, you’ll consider applying for the NomCom.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach to me at lori.edwards@pass.org or on Twitter @loriedwards.

Lori Edwards
About the author

Lori Edwards has spent the past 16 years working with SQL Server. Her current position is Training Manager for SentryOne and she develops training content to help our users and partners become experts at our products. After attending her first Summit in 2008, she began volunteering for PASS, serving on the Program Committee, the Election Review Committee and Nominations Committee. In 2011, her volunteer efforts were recognized when she won the PASSion award. She has also had the opportunity to speak at a number of events, including SQL Saturdays, local user groups, PASS Summit and SQL Bits.

She hopes to use her background in communication and her love for education and technology to help further the PASS efforts of connecting, sharing and learning for the MS Data Platform community.

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