It’s that time of year, Nominations for the ODTUG Board are open (til Sept 23rd, get your nominations in here). I am up for reelection, and this time I really really care. More than in any other years, so much has changed, and so much is at stake.
ODTUG needs leaders who know what is going behind the scenes and can lead this organization through the minefield of challenges posed by COVID-19 restrictions. I am one of those leaders. I ask for your vote for reelection to the ODTUG Board of Directors for the 2021 term.
Read through to learn why you should vote, and why I ask for your vote.
Why I Care
This year COVID-19 brought drastic changes to the world. While we in IT are *relatively* unaffected by COVID-19 closings and restrictions – we can work, learn and network from home – there is no doubt that how we work, learn and network has changed drastically. ODTUG is actively – and needs to continue – adapting to our new mostly-virtual-hybrid world.
More than ever we need user groups to keep us connected, learning, and progressing. And those user groups – ODTUG in particular – must rise to the challenge of delivering not just content (the learning part) but the connections and camaraderie (networking) that is essential to build skills, confidence and leadership in our members. We need to keep our members engaged.
Most businesses – large corporations to sole proprietors, across all business sectors – have incurred significant setbacks, and have to adjust to conduct business virtually instead on on-site (or “on-prem”, if you will), all due to COVID-19. Cancellation of in-person events has touched us all. ODTUG was hit hard too, canceling Kscope20 in Boston.
ODTUG is a global not-for-profit organization (business) whose sole purpose is to keep you on up-to-speed on Oracle technology.. We have goals and budgets, and planning and tasks to meet those goals throughout the year. The ODTUG Board works behind the scenes to keep ODTUG operating. This year, like every other business in the world, our master plan was turned upside down by COVID-19.
ODTUG Has Adapted.
Forced to cancel KScope20, we launched our virtual Learn From Home series. Our webinars continue. In-person Meetups are on hold, virtual meetups proceed. Community activities, now all virtual. Kscope21 planning is underway (I am truly hoping to see all of you in Nashville) yet planning is by necessity flexible and cautious, as we need to adapt to what is allowed and required to host events by June of 2021.
On the surface, it seems not much has changed. Live events to virtual. Behind the scenes, your Board is doing everything possible to keep ODTUG operating at the same level of excellence as always. We will restore live events, starting with Kscope21 in Nashville, as safe as possible and as allowed, following all required guidelines.
Keep The Spark
Most important, we need to keep the ODTUG spark alive. ODTUG has a different feel from other user groups – more roll-up-your-sleeves technical, a great sense of community, networking and sharing (as opposed to consume-and-go). We are actively working to maintain this spark across all ODTUG events, live or virtual or hybrid, whatever we need to evolve to. With so many virtual events, ODTUG needs to bring the camaraderie and connections that ODTUG fosters to our virtual events as well as our live events, across all communities.
Our ODTUG Open Mic for Charity is one such event, Sept 28 to Sept 30 – join us to see the latest new stuff in your community, and to raise money for Cradles to Crayons our Kscope20 Boston Kathleen MacCasland Community Service Day charity.
Over the past terms as an ODTUG Director, I have served in many capacities, and essentially done anything I can behind the scenes to assist where needed in ODTUG operations:
- Vice President, 2020
- Secretary, 2019
- Leadership Program Board Liason
- APEX Community Board Liason
- Marketing Director/Liason
- Governance Subcommittee
- Conference Structure Subcommittee
- Strategic Planning Subcommittee
- Volunteer Engagement Subcommittee
- Conference Committee Board Liason
- Board meetings and unscheduled discussions to handle assorted planned and unexpected ODTUG business, confidential and non-confidential.
As you can see I have experience across just about all that ODTUG is involved in. Plus the maturity and perspective of a senior ODTUG member and long-time developer/consultant, having observed and participated in ODTUG and other Oracle user group growth and changes since I first started volunteering in 2005.
Goals for 2021 Term
My goals for ODTUG for the coming term:
- Kscope21 Ensure a safe, practical, Kscope21 event, in whatever forms it needs to be to serve our members, as allowed by the latest regulations and as required to meet our member needs in all communities
- Volunteers Engage more ODTUG members in active volunteer roles. Virtual events, webinars, online meetups, even Open Mic for Charity afford more opportunities for persons to jump in and help for a few hours or a few days. These smaller chunks of commitment mean more persons can join in more easily. More volunteers means lower costs, saving on resources that can be better spent elsewhere. For this task I will actively be asking for persons to help out – Watch for my contact … and join us!
- Budget vs Tasks vs Programs Ensure a slim practical, flexible ODTUG budget for the coming years, that allows us to survive in virtual mode and readily expand to introduce more programs and live events as allowed.
- Keep the Spark Ensure ODTUG maintains its differentiating positive fun learning vibe in coming months and years, whether in-person, hybrid or virtual events.
Why you Should Vote
Your vote matters. ODTUG matters. Oracle User Groups matter. If you have read this far, you understand that I just about eat-drink-sleep ODTUG (much to my husband’s puzzlement!)
I am passionate about seeing ODTUG not just survive but adapt to thrive and serve our members in new, engaging, exciting ways in the coming term. All ODTUG communities have their unique needs. While partial to the APEX community (of course, I’m an APEX gal) each of our communities contributes to ODTUG as a whole.
All ODTUG members should vote, that includes you! Sometimes our elections come down to a few votes one way or the other, so please vote! If anyone wishes to talk about ODTUG in general, ODTUG topics, or why I am running, or you have specific needs from ODTUG that you want considered, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM on Twitter @thtechnology
Happy Coding, Happy Voting, and please consider a vote for Karen Cannell.
Thank you ~ Karen