Who are the SAS® Rock Stars?


In November, I introduced a series of interviews called SASonality. The term was meant to define a person – SAS user or SAS staff – who had made a lasting impression, both in the way that he or she uses SAS and cares for and treats others. The problem is that “SASonality” tripped over a very serious trademark issue.

In the corporate world, what you call your company is hugely important. Of even more importance is how carefully you guard that name. Steve Benfield, Senior Director of Corporate Communications at SAS, explained it well in his discussion about "SGF" versus SAS Global Forum. He said, “SAS® is a registered trademark. And, legally, trademarks should never be abbreviated. We run the risk of minimizing its value – and even losing its trademark status – if we use it in abbreviations too frequently.”

I've learned that the same risk is true when we join SAS with other words or parts of words even in situations like, non-SAS and SASonality. My intention was to find a word that would somehow describe SAS and these fabulous SAS characters. So, I decided to rename the series. I described the importance of the series to my colleagues and explained that an interviewee would be someone who had made such an impression that you’d just have share the story with other SAS users. After many new name suggestions, we realized that the only name that really fits is SAS Rock Stars.

So far, I’ve interviewed Don Henderson, Diane Hatcher, Ragna Préal and Véronique de Vooght from SAS Belux, Rick Wicklin, Rick Langston, Ron Fehd and Sy Truong. And there are more written and waiting to be posted: Phil Holland, SAS author and beer connoisseur; Toby Dunn, Perl Ninja and future SAS book author; and Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, gold medalist in the World Judo Championships and President of The Julia Group. I have others that aren’t even written. I can’t wait for you to read all of their stories!

You asked for these SAS Rock Stars; now who do you want to learn more about? What does SAS Rock Star mean to you? I’ve heard you use the words SAS Ninja and SAS Diva. What does it take to be a ninja or diva, and who are those people? Send me an e-mail or tweet with your suggestions and the reason he or she should be interviewed. You can also post a comment on this blog.


About Author

Waynette Tubbs

Editor, Marketing Editorial

Waynette Tubbs is a seasoned technology journalist specializing in interviewing and writing about how leaders leverage advanced and emerging analytical technologies to transform their B2B and B2C organizations. In her current role, she works closely with global marketing organizations to generate content about artificial intelligence (AI), generative AI, intelligent automation, cybersecurity, data management, and marketing automation. Waynette has a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from UNC Chapel Hill.


  1. Waynette Tubbs on

    HI Wendy,
    I completely agree with you about Chris. He is a crowd pleaser because he is so knowledgeable about SAS Enterprise Guide and can explain it so well. I haven't interviewed Chris for this series because I interviewed him for an earlier series: http://blogs.sas.com/sgf/index.php?/archives/23-SAS-presenters-series-Chris-Hemedinger.html. I plan to write a post that links back to some of those SAS Rock Stars who have been profiled in other places so that you guys don't feel as though you've missed out on hearing their stories.
    Thanks for reading the series. These guys are really great and more than just instructors and great SAS users.
    See you at SAS Global Forum!!

  2. Wendy McHenry on

    Chris Hemedinger is a crowd favorite! Love it or otherwise, EG is a conversation starter, and when you talk about EG, you end up quoting Chris.

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