Week 11: Fishing For Volunteers

DAC’s Local Committee for the Bay Area is ramping up and needs volunteers.

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Next weekend is Hood to Coast, one of the largest and longest relay races in the world — and one that, like DAC, is only possibly thanks to legions of volunteers. The trailer for this 2011 documentary does a good job capturing the race’s atmosphere. (The full version of the film is available on iTunes and Amazon. By the way, who’s ready to sign up to do the documentary about DAC?) Hood to Coast is actually three events in one: the main 199-mile running relay from Mt. Hood to the Pacific Coast and two shorter 132-mile PDX to Coast relays, one for walkers and one for high school runners. All relays end in Seaside at the Oregon Coast.

Last year I walked the PDX to Coast relay with a team of friends and work colleagues. This year due to an injury and increased workload I didn’t have enough time to train, so I’m volunteering instead. The Hood to Coast organization has been pretty smart about keeping its overhead low. It requires every team with one or more local members to provide three volunteers to help along race course. This year there will be 12,600 runners, 4,000 walkers and 3,600 volunteers, or more than 1 volunteer for every 5 participants, an impressive ratio!

This of course brings me to my favorite topic: the volunteers that make DAC successful. Right now the program chairs are working on filling up the ranks of their subcommittees. It’s a big job given the number of such committees, which include Technical Program, Panels, Designer Track, Automotive, Tutorials, Security, and IP to name just a few.

There is another committee that needs volunteers, the Local Committee for the Bay Area. When we had our first DAC in Austin (the 50th DAC in 2013) we worked together with a local committee consisting of more than 40 members and headed up by Zhou Li, previously at IBM, now at Cadence; Kenny Rice, the IEEE Austin representative; and Rajesh Raina at Freescale. The committee helped us spread the word to the design community in and around Austin. We did “DAC and Donuts” office visits at companies like Samsung and Freescale with big Austin campuses to get designers excited about the program and assisted onsite in signups for “I love DAC,” which allows people to attend the exhibits and general sessions for free, thanks to vendor sponsorships.

The Austin committee did a great job and now we’re looking for volunteers who might do the same in the Bay Area next year. Of course all are welcome though we are especially interested in at least a few everyday users of mainstream EDA tools. If you’re interested, contact our publicity and marketing chair, Michelle Clancy, who as it happens is this week’s featured executive committee member.

Michelle is a senior PR and marketing communications professional with over 19 years of experience and president of Cayenne Communication. Since joining Cayenne in 1998, Michelle has successfully managed the public relations and integrated marketing efforts for many company and product launches, along with PR and marketing support for two IPOs and over 10 company acquisitions. Michelle took over the helm at Cayenne in 2005, but still manages client accounts as well as leading worldwide business development. Prior to joining Cayenne, Michelle held various public relations and marketing communication positions at such companies as Mentor Graphics, Avant! and Fujitsu.

Michelle is actively involved in many EDA industry events. She’s been DAC’s publicity and marketing chair since 2009, and before then she served on the DAC Exhibitor Liaison Committee for five years. Michelle has served on the EDAC PR council, managed PR sponsorship support for DesignCon West from 2002 to 2010, and created and managed the yearly “EDA Marketing Forum” with support from EDAC at DAC from 2003 until 2009. I leave it to Michelle, who spent a fair bit of time on the West Coast earlier in her career, to explain what she does for fun now that she’s ensconced in the Tar Heel State.

“I enjoy living in coastal North Carolina on the Pamlico River. When not working on DAC or for my Cayenne clients I’m apt to be found in my vegetable garden, feeding the family’s seven chickens — yes, seven! — or just generally enjoying “the river life” as they say in the South. Living where I do means hot summer days, plenty of sunshine, an occasional hurricane and fishing. Just recently I picked up the hobby of fly fishing. While I have still not mastered the craft — that will take years to perfect — I find the concentration of making the perfect cast of a 20’+ line relaxing after long days of DAC planning and PR efforts.”

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People like Michelle help make DAC go. If you’re interested in working with her to help trumpet DAC in the Bay Area, or have an idea about getting the word out about next year’s conference, drop her a note or let me know today.