Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The SAS World - A Two Week Snapshot

Hello Everyone;

As I indicated in my last post, this is truly the calm before the storm. Next week marks the official launch of the fall SAS user group season! Two Toronto-specific groups will be kicking off the end of 2010, and they couldn't be more different. The first, the Toronto Management Exchange, is an invite-only event for a small number of Directors and Executives from a select group of customers. Leveraging SAS' global thought leadership capabilities, the group will be joining Aiman Zeid, SAS Global Business Practice Leader in the Business Intelligence Competency Centre space. With a tight attendee list, the conversation promises to be pointed and robust!

The following day, I'm helping to run our annual King St. Kicks soccer tournament. Benefitting Market Lane Public School, this fun-filled day features co-ed amateur soccer teams from a variety of SAS customers and local businesses. In addition to supporting a great school, the event itself is something I look forward to each year. The school often turns up with African drums to cheer on their favourite team (ahem, SAS, ahem) and the comraderie which develops between the teams is lots of fun to watch. But wait: no rest of the wicked!

The following day, Friday, September 17th, the TASS meeting officially kicks off the general, open-invite event schedule. We currently have over 200 individuals registered for the day, and the numbers keep climbing! You can find a detailed agenda of the full slate of presentations and breakout sessions here. I'm very much looking forward to seeing friends and colleagues and catching up on the details of everyone's summer vacations.

Speaking of TASS, I wanted to make mention of one individual in particular. Adrian Boldan has been a long-time SAS user and TASS attendee, thoroughly engaged with the group and his fellow SAS users. He could always be counted on to spur discussion in the Statistics Breakout groups, and always had a pleasant word for myself and the other SAS users. It has recently come to my attention the Adrian's life was cut short by a speeding car in recent months. I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to a good person, and a member of our community.

While this may seem like a sombre note to end this blog, I prefer to think of it as a celebration of our growing community. We mourn the loss of one of our own, to be sure, but it also warms the heart to see the outreach of support and sympathy. We're all SAS users, but we're also all human beings possessing compassion and morality. I think I speak for all of us when I extend our best wishes to his family at this difficult time.

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