Getting started with the community

Meet your community managers

by Community Manager ‎03-30-2015 01:22 PM - edited ‎06-06-2017 02:55 PM (5,534 Views)

SAS® software users first appeared in universities long before we incorporated as a company in 1976. That year, our first users conference drew more than 300. Many of you began collaborating via email in 1986 with the advent of SAS-L. If we asked you to raise your hand if you’ve ever subscribed, hands would shoot up around the world!


SAS users range from commercial data scientists solving mind-boggling business problems to learners who see SAS as a ticket to a lifetime of meaningful, well-paying work.


Whatever perspective you bring to the SAS Support Communities, welcome! This collection of websites, organized by product, is about helping you get the most value from our software.


That’s it.

 

No other agenda.


You deserve our best efforts. That’s why SAS tripled the number of community managers to take service and participation to the next level. Our job: See to it that you get what you need when you come here.


So who are we?


Anna Brown


Many of you already know Anna, a lifelong communicator who loves a good story. She looks after three communities: SAS Visual Analytics, SAS Data MiningSAS Data Management and SAS Viya. You’ve seen her comments there, but may not know she’s a blogger and has written for websites, newsletters and magazines.

“Working with SAS Communities appeals to my inclination to interact,” she says. “To make connections and introductions among members. Make people feel welcome and valued. Make them want to come back. This year, I’m really looking forward to getting to know community members even more. What do you need from the communities? What would make your stay here more memorable?” GroupPhoto_31MAR15.jpg


Prior to joining SAS in 2008, Anna handled account management and business development at G&S Business Communications in the biopharmaceutical, health care technology and animal health fields. Before that she managed pharmaceutical accounts for full-service advertising agency Rockett, Burkhead & Winslow.

 

When not with her husband and two kids, she runs, dances and listens to music.


Beverly Brown


A former journalist and communicator at SAS since 1994, Beverly now spends her days managing the SAS Analytics U, Customer Intelligence and Certification communities. A SAS programming class a few years ago opened her eyes to the power of SAS and piqued her interest in becoming one of you. She’s out to prove that a right-brained person like her can be a competent programmer.


“I love the ‘human switchboard’ aspect of my new role,” she says. “To me, there’s nothing more rewarding that being a vital link in someone’s effort to achieve a goal. I can feel the endorphins kick in when a connection is made. It’s fun to think up ways to increase participation in here. Along the way, I’m using SAS University Edition as a foundation to learn more SAS.”


While at SAS, Beverly enjoyed varied public relations roles, including managing corporate PR and assisting SAS executives with media interviews and speaking engagements. She was previously a reporter at newspapers in North Carolina, including the state’s largest dailies, The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer.

 

She has a husband and son and loves to run, which enables her chocolate habit.

 

Shelley Sessoms


Shelley manages the communities for Administration and Deployment, Forecasting and Econometrics and our private forums. She joined SAS External Communications in 2002 and wrote and edited numerous e-newsletters and magazine articles. In 2007, she moved to SAS Press as an Acquisitions Editor. In that role, she helped many SAS customers and employees become authors of the ever-popular SAS technical and business books.


But Shelley’s a connector at heart. So when the opportunity to join the online communities team came up, she couldn’t wait to be involved. “My main goal with the communities is to allow customers to find what they need, when they need it,” she says. “I’ve been to numerous conferences and heard customers talking with each other, helping each other with questions and problems. For them to have a way to do this online? I knew I needed to be involved with it.”

 

In the coming year, Shelley hopes to bring the communities to the masses. “I want communities.sas.com to replace Google as the place to go for SAS knowledge,” she notes.


When Shelley isn’t finding ways to connect SAS customers, she’s reading – always reading. In fact, her husband fears the entire second floor of their home will collapse one day due to the weight of her bookshelves.

 

Chris Hemedinger


Many of you already know Chris, who supervises the communities.sas.com management team, because he is so active in here.


Since joining SAS in 1993, Chris has been a writer, a software developer, an R&D manager, and a consultant in SAS Professional Services. He founded and led the SAS® Enterprise Guide® development team for 10 years. He is also co-author of the popular SAS for Dummies book and The SAS Dummy blog. His newest book is Creating Custom Tasks for SAS Enterprise Guide Using Microsoft .NET, and he has turned that content into a SAS Education course.


Chris frequently presents at SAS users groups around the world and participates in all of the online forums where SAS customers gather. Besides these communities, you’ll find his posts in sasCommunity.org, sasProfessionals.net, and – of course – SAS-L.


At SAS Global Forum, he hosts SAS Tech Talk, a show-and-tell video series that features SAS R&D staff.

 

“I like anecdotes from customers saying, ‘This community is helping me get my job done,’” says Chris. “That’s the target on the wall: We want all of our customers to have a great experience in the communities and with SAS software.”


Chris loves indie rock and science fiction, action and art-house movies. He and his wife have three daughters.

 

That’s who we are. Share a bit about yourselves in the comments.

 

Where do you live and work?


What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done using SAS?

Comments
by Super Contributor
on ‎03-30-2015 06:26 PM

Over 35 years (yes, I know!), I've done some pretty cool things with SAS. For me it's the most flexible tool for ETL, with or without DIS.

  • Presenting a paper at the NZ Statistical Society conference showing how I had used SAS to disprove a statistical demographic theory using logic (I don't understand statistics!)
  • Writing a DIS user transform to incorporate point-in-polygon processing by using procs MAPIMPORT and GINSIDE as generic parameter driven processes
  • Running the very first in-house SAS training course at Statistics New Zealand, in 1980
  • Finding that an end-of-year COBOL payroll process had corrupted itself, so stripped all data out into SAS datasets, recalculated the tax values, rebuilt the flat files and carried on - the IT auditors were impressed!

There may be better data manipulation tools out there, but I've never found one.

by Trusted Advisor
on ‎03-30-2015 06:55 PM

Lovely to get to know you and I hope to meet all the community managers and new members in person soon! It's great to see the SAS community growing and for SAS Institute to provide support to SAS users in many specialized areas.

About me... I'm based in Brisbane, Australia and have been using SAS Software for almost half my life! You can read more about me at

For those going to SAS Global Forum 2015, please join us at the #SASGF15 #TweetUp: to meet each other in person. Details can be found at the blog post - Let's meetup at the #SASGF15 #TweetUp

by Moderator
on ‎03-30-2015 08:11 PM

Anna, Beverly, Shelley & Chris - Great to finally put faces to names.. (although Chris gets around - is there anyone in the SAS Community who hasn't met Chris yet?)

Although I'm Melbourne born & bred, I've worked in both Melbourne & Sydney (gotta love the weekly commute!) as a SAS Tech Lead at most of the major banks, and now insurance.

I'm on the SAS Melbourne User Group committee, and also the committee of the SANZOC (SAS Australia & New Zealand Online Community) group in communities.sas.com with (and other local User Group committee members).

I think the coolest thing about SAS was using what I know to get to present at SAS Global Forum, and getting to finally meet a lot of my SAS peers. I first presented at SAS Global Forum in San Francisco in 2013, and last year in Washington D.C. I'm presenting again this year in Dallas, so that's three in a row.

If anyone's is in Dallas Saturday night, I also strongly encourage you to turn up to ' & 's TweetUp - its a great informal ice-breaker to SAS Global Forum (and a handy way to take the edge of the jetlag of a 16 hour flight..)

by Super User
on ‎04-01-2015 07:15 AM

Great prez!

Feels like I know quite good after reading this.

Keep up the good work!

by Community Manager
on ‎04-01-2015 11:52 AM

Thanks for all the great comments, everyone. I’m amazed by the depth of SAS knowledge in this thread alone! LaurieF: I love your story about SAS helping save that payroll all those years ago. One of my favorite things to do is blog about interesting, unusual uses of SAS, like this user searching for signs of extraterrestrial life. Andrew and Michelle, this post mentions an air ambulance service in Australia. I look forward to getting to know you all better in the days ahead.

by Regular Contributor
on ‎04-02-2015 03:55 PM

Thanks all for your introduction and the faces behind the names.

Being an early adapter of SAS VA, I work in the city of Roermond located in Holland (the Netherlands).

Most recent cool thing is surely the first Dutch SAS VA user group meeting 2 weeks ago.

More than 30 active VA users joined to discus tips, tricks and got informed about new features to come.

You can find more about me at the VA community (meet Peter)

After being a presenter last year in Washington, I will join Dallas this year again.

Hope to meet you all soon in Dallas.

greetings Peter

by PROC Star
on ‎04-02-2015 09:25 PM

Laurie, you can feel young (which you are)! This is my 42nd year! I live in Toronto, Ontario Canada and am currently the CEO of a placement service for all SAS (and other) analytical professionals: analystfinder.com.

Coolest things I've ever done with SAS? Everything! Creating a system that set Canada's automobile insurance rates based on predictive modelling would definitely have to count amongst the coolest things, as would using SAS to identify and visually map daily vehicle theft patterns across the country. However, AnalystFinder has to be the coolest! Finding the best matching candidates for any analytical job (world wide), finding out if the prospective candidates are interested, and then matching them with the company doing the hiring.

by Community Manager
on ‎04-03-2015 09:23 AM

Art, how did I spend 20 years in PR here at SAS, looking for cool stories, and not find YOU? Great to meet you in here.

by PROC Star
on ‎04-03-2015 09:30 AM

Beverly, Nice to meet you as well! I've been hiding (Customer Recognition | SAS)

by Community Manager
on ‎04-03-2015 10:31 AM

Hiding in plain sight! Smiley Wink Hope our paths will cross soon.

by Super User
on ‎04-03-2015 10:43 AM

Arthur.T ,

Where is Peter Eberhardt  ?

I did not find him out there .

and John King ?

Xia Keshan

by PROC Star
on ‎04-03-2015 11:18 AM

Xia,

There are a number of folks missing from that list

by Community Manager
on ‎04-03-2015 02:30 PM

It's wonderful to get to know you all better on this thread. I particularly love the geographic spread of this community! Here's a SAS Visual Analytics geo map of community activity (posts & replies) since 2009.

Community Activity since 2009.png

And I hope to meet many of you at SAS Global Forum 2015!

by Super User
on ‎04-03-2015 02:48 PM

I wonder what shade Canada would have if you removed Art's posts. :smileygrin:

by Respected Advisor
on ‎04-03-2015 03:22 PM

Wow, what a weird projection!Smiley Happy  Makes Alaska look half as large as the rest of the US.

A Canadian user. 

by Community Manager
on ‎04-03-2015 03:30 PM

Haha, that's true PGStats!

Side story - we have a world map placement on the kitchen table for my son, but I'm the one who can't take my eyes off it. I get sucked in and find something new each time I look at it. Like oh, Russia is SUPER big! An obvious 'aha' but you get what I mean.

by Community Manager
on ‎04-03-2015 03:37 PM

Russia IS big.   This video clip should please our Russian friends and our Canadian (SCTV) fans:

What fits into Russia - YouTube

by Community Manager
on ‎04-03-2015 03:43 PM

OMG, that video! How much Aqua Net is in his hair?

by Trusted Advisor
on ‎04-03-2015 03:57 PM

The geographic distribution is one of the things I love about the SAS Support Community. Having an online facility to have discussions, raise questions, share ideas and network makes us appear geographically closer than we physically are. A 'round the clock' community for SAS users... Great for us 'down under'!

by PROC Star
on ‎04-03-2015 05:40 PM

Tom: Worse yet, what it would look like if you removed a couple of the other high posting Canadians, namely Fareeza and PGStats.

by PROC Star
on ‎04-03-2015 06:17 PM

PG: Looks like it's a problem with SAS Visual Analytics (e.g., http://www.sas.com/software/visual-analytics/demos/explore/SAS-Visual-Analytics-Quickstart-Guide.pdf ).

Alaska if farther off to the west than reality, Alberta is shown to be much taller than the combination of states below it, and numerous other distortions.

Obviously, don't use VA to plan any driving trips!

by New User swanny
Thursday

hello, is there any way that i can change my username? I read that only one of the community managers is able to help me change my username. 

by Community Manager
Friday

Hi swanny, Sure thing, I can change your username for you. What would you like it to be?