To address a few questions on what does the board actually do and to bring more visibility to all of the members plus non-members, I thought I’d write-up some notes from last weeks board meeting.  We are always looking for feedback as to what you think is not working, or maybe what is so we can focus more on it. Please let us know any thoughts; good or bad.


The board typically meets once a month on the first Tuesday.  A few days prior to the meeting we will email each other different agenda items to be discussed.


Last weeks notes are as follows:

  1. Group Sponsorship
    1. Given that we are a non profit organization with no real revenue stream, we rely heavily on our sponsors.  Our main swag source has put a freeze on anything new until further notice.  Therefore, we will need to start looking for some additional sources.  We will draft up some letters and start sending them out to potential new sponsors.  We’ve heard from several members that having the possibility of bring home some type of swag is always nice.
  1. Speakers
    1. Speakers are a large part of the user group and we’ve now gone to hosting two presentations at our regular meetings.  The two presentations, we aim to have an intro level topic for 30 minutes and then a 60 minute more advanced topic.   Tracking down quality speakers and getting them scheduled is a never ending job.  It seems that the stream of speakers always fluctuates throughout the year.  We are back to only having scheduled speakers for the next meeting.   We all will be searching for speakers.
    2. We discussed a topic idea that was suggested by a member around job hunting and the current market conditions.  We’ve had one Professional Development topic recently which was presented by Steve Jones on “Ways To Build Your Brand“.  We had a lot of great feedback from this presentation.  Given the member feedback, we will look at hosting another PD topic in the near future.  A rough guide for PD topics maybe 1 30 minute and 1 60 minute presentation in a year.
  1. Certification Study Group
    1. Chris Randall has been working with different vendors and sponsors on this regard.  For this initial study session, the idea is to focus on the Administration exams.  The bulk of the studying will be self study with a cram session on a Saturday (tentatively set for Nov. 14).  We will then take the exam as a group afterwards. We will take the feedback and our experiences with this initial session and refocus for a second.  The second session will focus on the Developer exam targeted for February.   We’ll then repeat this for the BI exam in April.
  1. Lab
    1. The hope and idea of the labs is to provide some additional hands on time with SQL Server while others around to help out.  We discussed the logistics and timing of this event and thought for the initial go or two that it would work out best to hold the labs the same date as the Certification Study Group sessions.  We realize that there maybe some conflict for folks that would like to attend both the Certification Study Group along with the Lab but hope this number will be relatively low.  We will take all feedback into consideration for future labs to improve the offering and value.
  1. SQLSaturday Denver
    1. The board, earlier this year,  discussed holding some sort of larger community event.  We all thought this was a great idea but wanted to focus on getting a certification study group and lab up and running first.  This summer,Steve Jones a co-founder of SQLSaturday, approached us about holding an event here in Denver.  We’ve had an initial discussion with the organizers of the Tech Tri-Fecta about merging a SQLSaturday with their event and all thought it was a great idea.  Our tentative aim is February for this combined event.  We are still seeking a facility to host this event.
  1. Mentors
    1. A member sent us an email a short time ago seeking information or if we offer any type of mentoring program.  This member is relatively new to SQL Server and is lacking real world experiences.  The board thought this was a great idea and we will roll out an initial offering shortly.  We thought the role we could play best, at least initially, would to be facilitators and connecting different members.
  1. Member Recruitment
    1. Getting new members along with increasing attendance rates at meetings helps for several reason.
      1. The more members we have the more diverse the knowledge pool becomes.  With more members, we have a broad range of backgrounds to potentially share by way of speaking, answering questions on the forums or at the meetings and potentially more mentors.
      2. The more members we get along with more folks showing up for meetings, the higher probability of attracting more sponsorship. Sponsorship of course helps with the food and refreshments that are offered at the meetings along with more swag.
      3. So, we are working on sending out targeted mailings to local colleges and universities. Some of which maybe great resources for hosting a SQLSaturday event.
  1. Board Elections
    1. In order to keep some fluidity after the elections three board positions were setup to have elections on the odd years with the other two the even years.  This way the entire board doesn’t have the potential to rotate out and the new board left trying to keep the momentum.  The elections are typically held in November and the re-elected or new board member starts officially the first of the year.  On the occasion that a sitting board member decides to step down, we may hold out of cycle elections. This year the following three positions are up for election:
      1. President – Term 2010 – 2011
      2. VP Marketing – Term 2010 – 2011
      3. Treasurer –  Term 2010 – 2011
  1. December Meeting
    1. This is always a debate as to if we should hold the meeting or not and if so, do we hold a typical meeting or something fun.  We’ve not yet decided but please let us know your thoughts.
  1. Book reviews
    1. We’ve had a few questions recently with regards to what has happened to the book review program that was recently started.  We’ve had a good initial response from this program.  Unfortunately, the major book publishers we were working with have stopped sending books.  We have and will continue to follow-up with these publishers as well as reach out to others.
    2. UPDATE: Wrox ROCKS!  Wiley publishing delivered to the group several books for review.  Thanks Wiley!