Run Y'all, Run!

David SchleisGuest Blogger: David Schleis

Last fall, shortly after the results of the ODTUG Board elections were finalized, then President Mike Riley asked me and Mark Rittman if we would each write a blog post about our experiences as ODTUG Board members. Mark obliged and wrote a lovely piece saying how he had decided to step down and reflecting on his tenure with the board http://www.odtug.com/p/bl/ar/blogaid=106. As for myself, I didn’t write a blog post. It was not because I don’t like to write. I enjoy seeing my words posted under the ODTUG banner. (Like this! Right here and now!) And it was certainly not because I didn’t have great things to say about being on the board. Heck, my time on the board was one of the high points of my professional career. No, to be honest, I didn’t want to write the blog because I was kind of upset. I was upset with myself for failing.

You see, losing that election was the only time in my life that I had been fired. (OK, there was the misunderstanding at the liquor store, but leaving a 19-year-old in charge was a bit too much like the proverbial kid in a candy store). So, immediately after the election I was afraid that anything I wrote regarding my time on the board might reflect more heat than light. But, as they say, time heals all wounds, and a lot has happened since I received the news that I was no longer a member of the ODTUG Board. So if I may, here is something akin to what I should have written nearly a year ago.

As I look back on the year I spent on the ODTUG Board, there are no low points to be seen; only varying heights of highness. Let me rephrase that. Being a member of the ODTUG Board was a challenging, rewarding, and enlightening experience that I am extremely happy and proud to have been a part of. To a person, the members of the ODTUG Board are extremely intelligent and strongly committed to supporting the members and advocating in their interest.

I learned a great deal about how an organization such as ODTUG is able to do the great work that they do. How the board members, all volunteers who have real jobs and families, are also able to guide and advance the user group. The secret is not time travel or energy drinks (not entirely anyway), the secret is YCC.

Any of you who have been to the Kscope conference have seen the YCC staff in action. But, like an iceberg, the work that you see them doing is but a tiny fraction of the work they do at the conference.  However, it was enlightening to me to see how much work YCC does throughout the year to keep the good ship ODTUG on course and steering clear of the aforementioned icebergs. If the board is the software, YCC is the hardware. If the board is the muscle, YCC is the skeleton. If the board is the meal, YCC is the table. If the board… Well, I think you get the picture. The people of YCC make ODTUG possible.

In closing, I would like to remind all of you that the golden ring of being a member of the ODTUG Board is within your grasp. You may miss. You may even fall. But the risk is well worth the potential reward. Remember, you can’t win, if you don’t play. Nomination information.

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