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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 NomCom: Helping Guide the Direction of PASS

The PASS election cycle is fast approaching as we head towards PASS Summit, but before we get there we need to have the Nominations Committee (NomCom) in place. The role of the NomCom is to identify suitable candidates for the PASS Board of Directors election, ensuring they meet the criteria set out in the Ideal Candidate Description. The NomCom itself is made up of PASS community members who review applications and interview the potential candidates ahead of the final slate being sent to the Board of Directors for approval.

“How do you become a member of the NomCom?” I hear you say, I’m glad you asked. Back in 2016, PASS President Thomas LaRock talked about Changes to the NomCom Process where we moved from elected members to appointed members. As a result of those changes the process is quite simple. You send a letter of interest when the call opens in mid-August (August 21 this year), saying why you want to be a member of the NomCom and what you can bring to the process. From there, the Board votes on the PASS Executive recommended committee.

Why Serve on the NomCom?

Put very simply, serving on the NomCom helps ensure that the PASS Board has the skills and characteristics needed to continue the success of the PASS organization, and how it serves the community. In addition to supporting the success of PASS and the community, serving on the NomCom is something that can help prepare you for running for the Board, if that is something that interests you. Working with current Board members and PASS HQ provides deeper insight into how the organization is run and the interactions between Board members, PASS HQ, and the community.

There is also the potential to display to employers that you have more strings to your bow than just the technical skills you have built up over the years. Being able to explain how you have been involved in a Board member selection process highlights business skill that many employers look for.

What is Involved?

Last year I was the Board representative who served on the NomCom, reviewing and interviewing candidates running for election. This process was spread over a couple of weeks where I had to take time to review the applications and prepare my questions for the candidate interviews.

The interviews themselves were an hour long. In my case they were later into the evening as our candidates were based in North and South America (I’m in the UK for those that don’t know). So, there is a chance that you might need to get up early or stay up a bit later depending on where you are compared to the candidates. We are a global community which means candidates running for the election could be from anywhere in the world.

As a member of the NomCom, I had the opportunity to ask the Board candidates questions that aligned with the Ideal Candidate Description to determine their characteristics and skills.

After the interviews were completed, the NomCom scored the candidates and presented the selected slate to the Board for a vote to ratify the candidates.

As you can see, this is your chance to have direct involvement into the way that PASS selects their future Board members, ensuring that we get the right people to evolve and oversee the organisation.

An Evolving NomCom

As I’m sure you are aware, there have been some changes to the PASS Bylaws relating to the way that the Board is built. In addition to the election process, there is an opportunity for the Board and NomCom to identify the need for specific characteristics and skills that may be vacant on the PASS Board, which could result in candidates being put forward outside of the election cycle. These potential candidates will still follow the process of being evaluated against the Ideal Candidate Description, and the NomCom will interview them before making a recommendation to the Board for appointment.

As a result, the NomCom has had to evolve to accommodate this change. This means that while in previous years the NomCom was only in place for the election cycle, it will now be a one-year appointment. Outside of the normal election cycle there will be no commitments to meetings or calls unless there is a potential appointment to the Board, at which point the committee will meet and work through the process.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Hopefully now you have an idea of what the NomCom is, how the process works at a high level, and the commitments involved. I also hope that you can see the importance of the role and how it has a real impact on the way PASS can grow and evolve as an organisation.

If you have any questions that I have not answered here, then feel free to ask. You can email me directly at or in the comments section below.

As I said above, the NomCom call for interest will open soon so keep an eye on the PASS Twitter, Connector, news, and the PASS Election page for further information.

John Martin
About the author

John Martin is a Data Platform Engineer working in the financial sector, as well as Director-at-Large for the PASS organization and currently a Microsoft Data Platform MVP. Previously John has worked as a product manager for SentryOne and a Premier Field Engineer with Microsoft UK.

John has over a decade of experience working with SQL Server and the Microsoft Data Platform. Working as a DBA, developer and consultant for Microsoft, he has been lucky enough to see how best, and how not, to use SQL Server and the Data Platform effectively.

Having over a decade of experience working with SQL Server and the Microsoft Data Platform. Working as a DBA, Developer and Consultant for Microsoft, John has been lucky enough to see how best, and how not, to use SQL Server and the Data Platform effectively.

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