This week brought one of the highest achievements in my career and community work. On June 23rd it was announced by Red Gate and SQL Server Central that I had made it into the finalists for the Exceptional DBA of the Year award. WOW! Every time I say it, I still get that feeling in my gut only certain things that you are truly emotional about can bring.

June 23rd, 2010

The morning that the announcement went out I was completely blown away, not only by the nomination, but by the reactions and support from the SQL Community. Twitter, personal email, IM, Facebook, Linkedin and every other online communication method had messages congratulating me on this remarkable accomplishment and wishes for luck on winning.

This was also the day I was able to see who the other finalists were. I was more than pleased to see Jorge Segarra (Blog | Twitter) and Jonathan Kehayias (Blog | Twitter) in the final six. Jorge is a leader in the SQL Community. I could easily see that from the creation of SQL University and when I was lucky enough to have him come speak at SQL Saturday in Chicago. Jonathan is another person that the word exceptional fits with without a doubt. I’ve been very fortunate over the last few months to get to know him better and, for my part, call him a friend.

I’m still reading about Kevan Riley, John Burnette and Tracy Hamlin. I can guarantee that these other three finalists are nothing short of exceptional simply by making it to this accomplishment as well. I hope to meet all of them at PASS or in their local areas during SQL Saturday’s or SSUG’s.

How did I get here?

I have to thank Rose Waters (Twitter) dearly. Rose works on my team as a SQL Developer, and she is a great one at that. She nominated me for this award which means more to me than I can express in a blog. The one thing I strive for is to help the people around me, and try to create an atmosphere that we all want to come into daily. The fact that Rose did this for me means I’m doing a good job at that goal. Every time I hear Rose is attending User Groups meetings, posting on #SQLHELP and interacting with the community I get a huge smile. To help Rose and others get involved in this awesome community is the most important goal I have and can accomplish for myself.

Thanks Rose!!!!

**The week in play** The week following the announcement has been nonstop jaw dropping events. The next day, my Google alerts had blown up on me and I was off looking at how big this nomination was. Several news sites had announced the start of the community voting process, and many of the people I look up to and have a very high level of respect for had blogged on the announcement. I found that even CNBC had the announcement the next day. Each day brought another jaw dropping moment. Thursday, I received a call from my local news paper. The reporter had found out about the award and nomination, and wanted to report on the news in the weekends publications. At this point I'm still just amazed at this entire nomination. **[Red Gate][7] and [SQL Server Central][8]** I feel the Exceptional DBA of the Year award that Red Gate and SQL Server Central have created is the utmost prestigious award in the SQL Server field. To be a finalist is an honor and accomplishment. The part of this nomination that is most special to me is that my peers are doing the nominating and voting. There is no more gratifying feeling and reward than knowing your hard work is respected by so many others and you have helped them with their own growth in the community and personal careers. That is, without a doubt in my mind, the power of the SQL Community. We stand together and support each other no matter who the other person is. In my mind, we are all exceptional in that way. **Cast Your Vote!**

Winning this award would be one of the highest accomplishments possible in my career. I’d love to say, “Vote for me!” But, what I sincerely would like everyone to do is take a few minutes and read about all of the finalists. If you don’t know one of them from the community or personally, take a few minutes to research and find out what they have accomplished in their career. They have made it this far, and deserve the attention and recognition. Each of these DBAs is exceptional. It’s a hard decision, but do your best to vote for the person you truly feel is the most exceptional.