Introducing the 2018-2019 Class of IDERA ACEs!

We are excited to introduce our 2018-2019 class of IDERA ACEs! This program helps active members of the database and data modeling community share industry knowledge by sponsoring their travel for speaking engagements and networking opportunities for a variety of SQL and Data Management conferences and events.

Members are selected annually and are up-and-coming data professionals who have shown a passion for teaching and wish to become more active in the community.

We are looking forward to what this class of ACEs will bring to the community this year - Watch out for these names in upcoming IDERA Blogs, Twitter Chats, SQL Saturdays and more!

Ginger Grant:

Ginger runs the consultancy Desert Isle Group and shares what she has learned while working with data technology at clients to people around the world.   Last year she helped author the book Exam Ref 70-774 Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning which was released in March 2018. As a Microsoft MVP in Data Platform and a Microsoft Certified Trainer, she is looking to help clients by creating solutions using the entire Microsoft Data Stack, which includes SQL Server, T-SQL, SSIS, SSAS, Power BI and Azure Data Cloud components including Data Factory, Data Lakes, Data Analytics, IOT, Event Hubs, Machine Learning and Machine Learning Workbench. You can follow Ginger on Twitter hereYou can read Ginger’s blog here.

How long have you been a database / data modeling professional? "Over 10 years!"

What are you most looking forward to as a new ACE this year? "I’m looking forward to providing input to help IDERA create tools which will help data professionals."

What is a fun fact about you? "This year at PASS summit marks the 100th time I have given a technical presentation."

Mohammad Darab:

Mohammad Darab was born in Washington, DC and spent majority of his life in Northern VA. He is a proud husband and a father of two kids with a third on its way! Mohammad is an MCITP SQL Server 2008, MCP SQL Server 2016 (working towards his MCSE). Mohammad started speaking at SQL Saturdays this year and absolutely loves it. You can follow Mohammad on Twitter hereYou can read Mohammad’s blog here.

How long have you been a database / data modeling professional? "I have been a database professional for over 10 years. Time flies when you enjoy what you do!"

What are you most looking forward to as a new ACE this year? "I am looking forward to meeting new people and engaging with the SQL community, especially newcomers. Making new long-lasting friendships is at the top of my list!" 

What is a fun fact about you? "I used to be in the music industry back in the mid 2000s. My best friend was the music producer and I took care of all the business. We met some very big names from all the major music labels, from NY to LA. I have stories that you wouldn't believe! I plan on blogging some of my experiences on my blog: https://MohammadDarab.com to share some of the "behind-the-scenes" stories." 

Matt Gordon:

Matt is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and has worked with SQL Server since 2000. He is the leader of the Lexington, KY PASS local group, a frequent community speaker, and speaker at PASS Summit 2017 and 2018. His original data professional role was as a database developer, which quickly evolved into query tuning work that further evolved into being a full-fledged DBA in the healthcare realm. He has supported several critical systems utilizing SQL Server and managed dozens of 24/7/365 SQL Server implementations. He currently utilizes that real world experience as a data platform consultant helping clients design solutions that meet their ever-changing business needs. You can follow Matt on Twitter hereYou can read Matt’s blog here

How long have you been a database / data modeling professional? "I’ve worked with databases for nearly 18 years and been a dedicated data professional for the last 12+."

What are you most looking forward to as a new ACE this year? "I’m looking forward to meeting people at community events and helping them resolve the challenges they are facing with their data estate. I’m also excited about all the ducks!"

What is a fun fact about you? "A fun fact about me is that I drive race cars sometimes. I’ve run both formula cars and stock cars over the years."

Eric Blinn:

Eric has been a SQL Server DBA in the legal, software, insurance, and transportation industries for over 10 years.  Currently he is the Sr Data Architect for Squire Patton Boggs, a global provider of legal services with 47 offices in 20 countries. You may have seen Eric present at PASS Summit, in.sight transportation conference, SQLSaturday, IT/DevConnections, or the Ohio North SQL Server User's Group. You can follow Eric on Twitter hereYou can read Eric’s blog here.

How long have you been a database / data modeling professional? "I started working with data in 2002 and started with SQL Server in 2003 or 2004."

What are you most looking forward to as a new ACE this year? "I'm a big foodie and am excited to try food in a bunch of new cities."

What is a fun fact about you? "My wife and I have 3 kids who all love animals.  Our house has 3 fish, 3 frogs, 2 rabbits, 1 hamster, and a dog.  By the time you read this the numbers will likely have changed."

Elizabeth Noble:

Elizabeth Noble is a Sr. Database Administrator in the metro Atlanta area. When she was introduced to her first database over 10 years ago, it was love at first sight. Her passion is to help others improve the quality and speed of deploying database changes through automation. When she is not trying to automate all of the things, she can be found spending time with her dogs, playing disc golf, or taking a walk at the gym. You can follow Elizabeth on Twitter here

How long have you been a database / data modeling professional? "I have been working with data for over 10 years. I started with data ***, progressed to handling data modification, and transitioned to a Database Administrator."

What are you most looking forward to as a new ACE this year? "I am eager to share my passion for database source control, automated unit testing, and continuous integration as a means to improve the quality of life for my fellow data professionals."

What is a fun fact about you? "At about 12 years old, I got bored and assembled my parents' brand new gas grill completely unsupervised. My stepfather was convinced that I must have forgotten a piece somewhere, but it worked perfectly when he turned it on for the first time."


Angela Tidwell:

Angela Tidwell is an experienced Data Professional with a love for Data Analytics, Data Science, Machine Learning, Power BI, Python, SQL, etc.  She is a dynamic and exciting speaker armed with a zest for life and quick wit; her background and unique views on the world provide the backdrop for a plethora of great stories. Utilizing her strong interpersonal skills and verbal/written communications, Angela supports SQL Saturdays across the country and blogs about her experiences in order to help other data professionals grow at TidwellTidbits.com.  She is a co-author on Stores from the Trenches: Volume 2 from the Let Them Finish series. You can follow Angela on Twitter hereYou can read Angela’s blog here.

How long have you been a database / data modeling professional? "I have been working in the data industry for more than two years now."

What are you most looking forward to as a new ACE this year? "I am looking forward to sharing my insights while learning from others, as well as exploring IDERA's offerings in the machine learning and AI space."

What is a fun fact about you? "I can make many (freakishly realistic) animal sounds and have been known to call squirrels to me!  I am working on perfecting my quack for 2019."

Samir Behara:

Samir Behara is a Solution Architect with EBSCO Industries and builds cloud native solutions using cutting edge technologies. He is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP with over 12 years of IT experience working on large-scaled applications involving complex business functionalities, web integration and data management. Samir is a frequent speaker at technical conferences and is the Co-Chapter Lead of the Steel City SQL Server User Group. He is the author of www.dotnetvibes.comYou can follow Samir on Twitter hereYou can read Samir's blog here.

How long have you been a database / data modeling professional? "I have been working with databases since 2006."

What are you most looking forward to as a new ACE this year? "Speaking in Technical Conferences and Blogging about latest technologies has been an enriching experience for me. Being an IDERA ACE, I will be able to further contribute and reach out to a wider audience. I have learned a lot from this community and want to pursue my passion of giving back to this amazing community."

What is a fun fact about you? "I never miss a day in gym -- you can find me there the first 2 weeks of every new year."

Leslie Andrews:

Leslie Andrews is an IT professional and Certified ScrumMaster with a passion for making improvements that help people to do their jobs more efficiently.  She obtained her BBA with an MIS concentration from the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico and has worked in the public sector for 15 years developing applications and databases.  She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, climbing, kettlebells, and reading epic Fantasy.  She is active in the SQL community, is a board member of the newly formed NM Tech Council Big Data Peer Group, and on the Governing Board of a Charter School. You can follow Leslie on Twitter here.

How long have you been a database / data modeling professional? "19 years."

What are you most looking forward to as a new ACE this year? "Being able to provide feedback on IDERA products and be involved in the development process of new features."

What is a fun fact about you? "I try to find an indoor climbing gym to visit in every city where I am selected to speak at SQL Saturday.  If there is a gym I will fly in early Friday so I can climb for a couple of hours before the speakers' dinner."

Mitchell Bottel:

Mitchell Bottel is a senior database administrator with Sutter Health, owner of Innovative IT Consulting and President of the Sacramento SQL Server User Group. He has 18 years of IT experience, focusing on SQL Server for the last 14 years with an emphasis on database administration and high availability solutions. He has authored blog posts on the SQLServerPerformance website and written White Papers on using Dynamic Management Views. You can follow Mitchell on twitter hereYou can read Mitchell’s blog here.

How long have you been a database / data modeling professional? "Since 2004 with SQL Server, but in tech since 2000. Thus all the gray hairs in my beard."

What are you most looking forward to as a new ACE this year? "I am most looking forward to getting back out into the community, meeting new people, helping others and making long lasting friendships and professional acquaintances."

What is a fun fact about you? "I got lots of fun facts..... I am a part time Carpenter / Chicken Farmer / Retired Softball Coach/ Tractor Repairman / Brewer and Distiller / Full Time Dad / Duck Hunter and I still have time to sleep."

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