PASS Board Of Elections: Rob Farley

Be Part Of The Solution, Not The Problem

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Now that BoD season is in full swing and I’m not running for the board I am going to cover the candidates I think would be good for the BoD. Make no mistake about it, these are endorsements. I have ether worked with, or have a personal relationship with the people I am going to talk about. In the past I have sat on the sidelines and watched events unfold and simply spoke with my vote. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, heck I’m not sure the people I’ll be writing about will agree with my reasons for backing them.

Also, don’t think because I’m not backing you that I’m soundly rejecting you ether. I simply may not know you very well and wouldn’t endorse any thing, person or product if I didn’t have some personal experience to draw upon. If you want to correct that then feel free to reach out to me. I always love getting to know people better.

I won’t be speaking against any candidate. Don’t ask my opinion on a candidate that I haven’t written about, you won’t get it. I still have a sense of hope about elections in general and believe you should win them on YOUR merits and not by tearing down your fellow candidates. At the end of the day, we are all part of the PASS community. We all want it to be better and shouldn’t be in the business of belittling others just because they are running for a BoD slot along with you.

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Rob Farley, High Voltage!

Many of you my only know Rob from his blog ( or via Twitter @rob_farley. I very little contact with Rob before 2009. I was an avid reader of his blog and knew he was an MVP from Australia but it wasn’t until I started following him on twitter and watching him interact with others that I add him to my “people to meet” list. In 2010 I got that chance at the PASS Summit. To be honest with you, I thought he was drunk. I’ve rarely seen anyone that excited about anything. I have seen people with enthusiasm and passion but Rob was just a notch above that.  I think Microsoft took AlwaysOn from Rob.

Management Skills

Well, that one is pretty easy. Rob started with a single person company and has grown it to 6. He is a leader in the SQL Server community running the Adelaide, Australia users group. He is also active outside the SQL Server community. Rob is a huge proponent of ownership. If you take on a problem you should own it. He doesn’t ever dodge an issue or deflect blame.


Rob holds three degrees covering arts, science and computing. Again, I don’t believe that you must have a degree to be a successful leader. I do admire his dedication and for studying such a wide range of subjects.  Again, he is a local leader as well.

Dedication to Community

Holy cow! Rob is dedicated the the community locally and nationally. He recently accepted an non-voting appointment to the BoD to help grow PASS as an international organization. He  Even though he has focused on that aspect he also understands that PASS has to reach out to the local level. He also gets that local doesn’t just mean metro areas like my own town of Austin, TX but to the smaller undeserved communities.

My Understanding of Rob’s Vision

Remember, this is my take and if I’ve got it wrong I hope Rob will correct me.

Growing PASS internationally. Rob wants PASS to be more than a United States only organization. PASS has tried a few times to extend its reach without a lot of success. I don’t know if the new initiative will be a slam dunk  but I think PASS has engaged the right people. Rob also understands that to expand into Australia and other countries you must engage at the local level. You must also respect the organizations that are there serving the community already. After all, we all want the same thing, to educate and support the community. He also sees PASS as an organization that isn’t as tight with Microsoft as it should be. I agree that in some aspects we aren’t as close to the mother ship, but part of that is the nature of being an independent organization. I’m not sure how we could strengthen our bonds with Microsoft without becoming a “branch” of Microsoft. I’d like to hear how Rob would grow that relationship.

A Solid Candidate

Rob Farley is probably one of the most honest and genuine people I’ve ever met. He gives of his time and resources to help others. He is also a strong entrepreneur, his brand of leadership rings true with me. Oh, did I mention he is humble? He has a hard time promoting himself. He isn’t a boastful man at all even though he has plenty to be proud about. He has been awarded MVP for several years. A successful business man, father and community leader, he may not feel comfortable putting forward his successes I do.

Yep, I support him.