Saturday, 4 February 2017

UKOUG Member Advocate Election

If you are a member of UKOUG, you may have just been asked to vote for our next Member Advocate for the board. If you are not the main contact on your membership can I ask you to contact whoever is and lobby them to vote.

There are two candidates, and I have had the pleasure of working with them both over many years. Both have equal amounts of passion for the aims of the usergroup, but I have only one vote and have to make a decision. I am asked who to vote for, and not just for UKOUG, I have spoken up as to who I have supported in other usergroups.

Fiona Martin has been on the board for 4 years, stepping in when it was at its most broken and has worked tirelessly to take the steps to ensure UKOUG has turned around most issues and is taking baby steps for the future.

Brendon Tierney is a very important part of the Irish Community and we have worked together on every one of the 12 years we have held OUG Ireland conferences, he is also the editor of Oracle Scene one of my favourite offerings from UKOUG.

I am declaring with you the fact that I am supporting Fiona for this election, Brendon is a fantastic volunteer and great friend, he knows I am writing this post. Here are my reasons why:

This position is a board position, it is not about individual parts of the community. There are only 3 advocates, and they must balance representing ALL members with the running of the company that supports that Community. Fiona has been involved as board sponsor with many communities and lead the Tech Conference for 3 years before stepping up as overall conference lead in 2016.

UKOUG is in a much much better place than it has been, the strategy work that Fiona has been responsible for over the last few years has begin to bear fruit and we can see that project teams have delivered. This volunteer strategy has allowed members to step up perhaps for an event project rather than a long term committee position, and this has been invaluable to our organisation.

Fiona and I are both Alliance Directors, which basically means our day job is to look after the relationship between our own organisation and the unbelievably complicated Oracle. That means we have a wide understanding and have learnt to how to navigate Oracle. Skills really needed for UKOUG. It also means we have the flexibility to give the time and input your usergroup demands.

Fiona also has core skills in Sales and has mentored the UKOUG staff, this has been invaluable as we have recovered slowly from a big loss a few years ago. Her commercial acumen is for me the number one reason I would ask you to vote for her. Remember UKOUG is a company, with staff and the board is not just about what to deliver to members but the business of doing so.

In the past two years we have had an interim Executive Director and a period of time with a vacancy during which Fiona stepped up with even more time and expertise given to UKOUG. James Jeynes was appointed in November and Fiona and I with our experience on the board have been helping him to get up to speed with not only UKOUG but also the entire Oracle ecosystem.

Today the board has both an Executive Director and Finance Director with less than 5 months experience, and a new Non Exec Director that will be appointed at the end of March, as Bryan Foss completes his appointment. On the elected side Paul Fitton is getting to grip with his upcoming Presidency, and therefore I am the only person with experience of UKOUG and the board. I AM stepping down next March, I thought I should have done last year but I couldn't walk away when UKOUG needed the support.

Fiona being elected for another 2 years will be the best thing for the governance of our board.

Obviously I would like you to vote for Fiona but the most important thing is that you ensure your vote is used.

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