15. SQL Hero sightings at PASS Summit

Community members share how chance meetings made a difference.

“The year 2005 was at Grapevine, TX. I had received a modest bonus at work [and] could afford airfare and two days of hotel. So, off I went again, to hang among these very excited strangers and try to understand a wee bit of what they were saying or doing. During lunch break I was wandering around and stopped at a table with a bald man and another lady. They seemed very friendly. The bald man was Rushabh Mehta, one of the board members at PASS. He asked me if I had a user group in Louisville. I said no, and he asked me if I was interested in starting one. I was mostly an introverted person. I did not know how to get the word around or how to get people to attend a user group, even if I started one. I expressed these concerns. He reassured me that he would help with mailings and would also get the local Microsoft people to help. What he said next made my heart leap – they offered free attendance to entire conference for running a user group! I decided to go for it. On my way back from Texas, I knew one person now. I had Rushabh’s contact information.

While sitting at the airport terminal waiting for my flight home, I saw another lady with a PASS backpack. I asked her if she was from Louisville and she responded, yes. It was just two of us from our little town at the conference. I explained what Rushabh had told me and asked her if she would help me start up the first meeting for our user group.

She was interested. Teresa Mills was the second person in the SQL community whom I got to know, via attending a PASS conference and the first meeting of the Louisville SQL Server User Group in 2006.”

Story by: Mala Mahadevan


 “I was attending the Welcome Reception and telling a wonderful woman about how I have so many heroes in the community but am too shy to meet them. At that point her badge flipped around, and I realized I was talking to Gail Shaw and had a mini freak out (which she hates). I had told her that one of my heroes was Paul Randal but that I would never have the courage to meet him. She said that he rarely attended after hours events anyway.”

“The next night Gail came rushing up to me and said, "I told you something wrong, come here." She took me to meet Paul Randal! I waited patiently until he finished talking to another attendee and then Gail kindly introduced me. I hugged him and nearly knocked him over. He asked if I wanted a picture and I told him yes. He said he could feel my heart beating because I was so nervous. It was amazing and one of my most memorable moments at PASS Summit. My new goal is to meet Kimberly Tripp!”

Story by: Andrea Allred