Denise McInerney 

Full application available here.


I attended my first PASS Summit in 2002 and became a volunteer in 2003. I started on the Program Committee as an abstract reviewer. I served on the Program Committee for 4 years, including 1 year as Committee Manager.

In 2004, I helped with the Women in Technology (WIT) luncheon and in 2005 became the event's chairperson. The growing interest in the WIT luncheon led to the founding of the Women in Tech Special Interest Group (SIG) in 2006 (now the WIT Virtual Chapter.) I was the first SIG leader and served as the WIT chair or co-chair for 5 years. Since its inception, the WIT luncheon has grown from 65 attendees to 500. As VC leader, I recruited and encouraged other volunteers. The chapter has grown in membership and leadership and has expanded its activities to include WIT discussions at numerous SQLSaturdays.

In 2010, I served on the Nominations Committee for the Board of Directors election.

I started speaking at local chapter meetings in 2007. I have spoken at the Silicon Valley and San Francisco user groups a total of eight times. I have spoken at the Summit four times, presenting sessions and serving as a WIT luncheon panelist. I have also presented at three SQLSaturdays.

My extensive volunteer experience taught me how PASS works and how we achieve success. Through the Program Committee, I understand what it takes to put on our flagship event. My track record as VC leader demonstrates that I effectively work with volunteers, who are the lifeblood of PASS. In each role, I have worked successfully with headquarters staff, which is essential for any PASS activity.

As a director, I would apply all I’ve learned as a volunteer and my ability to think strategically to make the best decisions for the future of PASS.


PASS is most successful when we focus on our core mission: providing valuable technical content and networking opportunities for SQL Server professionals. We have expanded our portfolio of offerings significantly, including a bigger Summit, the addition of SQLRally, the growth of SQLSaturday, adding chapters, and international expansion. Such growth is exciting, but must also be sustainable. As a director, I would influence the Board to make good long-term decisions regarding resource allocation so we can continue to deliver the high-quality offerings members expect.

It is the Board’s job to set strategy and direction for PASS. We have a remarkable pool of dedicated, talented, and energized volunteers. PASS has an opportunity to give our volunteer leaders more space to drive execution. As a Director, I would encourage and empower the volunteers in my portfolio to make decisions and lead. I would encourage other Directors to do the same. If we do this well, we will accomplish more and grow a broader layer of leadership.

I would work to establish a code of conduct for PASS events. Unfortunately, incidents of harassment have occurred at other technical conferences. A code of conduct would set expectations for attendee behavior and provide guidelines for how to handle any incidents that might occur. 

When considering long-term growth, we must think about where the next generation of members will come from. If elected, I would encourage the Board to increase our outreach to students. Some possible actions we could take include: resurrect the scholarship program, offer a student registration rate for events, and direct marketing efforts at students.

My strengths include an ability to see the big picture, consider differing points of view, and make decisions. I will advocate for what I think is right, and I will listen to what the membership is saying.

Career Highlights

  • Began working as a SQL Server DBA in 1998
  • Worked at several startups and as an independent consultant
  • Currently a Staff Database Administrator at Intuit in Silicon Valley; have worked there since 2004
  • Specialize in design and performance tuning of OLTP databases
  • Completed several leadership training classes, including change management, decision making, and interaction styles
  • Received the PASSion Award in 2007 
  • Certified MCDBA and MCTS 
  • Graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Blogs & Links

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Denise on Twitter

Denise on LinkedIn


Photo credit for group shot: Pat Wright


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