Meet the new batch of SQL Server Microsoft Certified Masters

Hello, my name is Joe Sack and this is my first blog post here on behalf of the SQL MCM program.  I'll be helping manage the program over the next year, and I look forward to engaging with the community.

In the last year we've hosted two SQL Server 2008 MCM training rotations.   Out of these rotations, twelve individuals have achieved "Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft SQL Server 2008" certification.  Here are a bit on the background of our new MCMs (listed in no particular order - since this is quite an impressive group of people):

  • Jose Barreto, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft. Jose Barreto joined Microsoft in 2002, working for 5 years as the Systems Architect with the Cisco Systems Account Team in Northern California. In 2007, he moved to the Redmond campus to join the Storage Solutions Division (SSD). He currently works as a Principal Program Manager with the File Server Foundation Team. He blogs at


  • René Balzano, CEO, WISS Foundation,, and Institute for Business Technology, Kalaidos University for Applied Sciences, René has used SQL Server since '89/Ashton-Tate as developer and consultant, partly for an standardized ERP solution for the education sector (, used by most Swiss universities, colleges and high-schools), partly for individual consulting for medium scale SQL Server solutions in government, banking and insurance companies. For the last couple of years, René has designed and conducted database and SQL Server courses for bachelor and master students.


  • Cindy Gross, Microsoft Dedicated Support Engineer in Premier Field Engineering. She started her SQL Server life as a DBA with a hospital and health plan company in 1993, and moved to Microsoft in the year 2000 where she has worked ever since. Her roles at Microsoft have included PSS Product Support Engineer, SQL Content Lead, Yukon Readiness Lead, and most recently Dedicated Support Engineer (DSE), all for SQL Server. She has delivered training throughout the USA as well as in Europe and India, including presentations at SQL PASS. In 2008 she started the Boise SQL Server User Group, an affiliate of the site where she is a worldwide SQL Server Community Leader, to share SQL Server wisdom in the Idaho SQL Server community. She is looking forward to many more years of transferring knowledge to the SQL Community! She blogs at


  • Bertil Syamken, Application Development Consultant (ADC), Microsoft. Bertil Syamken joined Microsoft in Germany in 1998, working 6 years as a Consultant for Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS). Since 2004 he works as an Application Development Consultant (ADC) in the Premier Support for Developers (PSfD) team.


  • John Huang, Supervisor & Database Administration, National Money Mart Company. John has more than 15 years of experience with SQL Server and application development. He is managing about 1000 SQL Server instances across North America for his company. As a technical lead, he has resolved many performance related issues and designed replication system, data warehouse system, encryption/decryption system, HA, DR and message communication by using service broker for his company. He enjoys spending time with his family and hiking. He blogs at


  • Greg Low, MD of SolidQ Australia (Australian arm of Solid Quality Mentors), Greg is a SQL Server MVP and Microsoft Regional Director. He has worked with SQL Server since 4.2 and is an instructor in the MCM program. Greg also hosts the SQL Down Under podcast ( and is a PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) board member ( You can follow Greg on his blog at, and via twitter at greglow.


  • Jaime Tarquino, PFE, Microsoft. Jaime supports customers across the LATAM region as a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer, and enjoys helping customers take maximum advantage of their SQL Server installations. In his free time he loves to share quality time with his wife and play video games friends.


  • Serguei Mizrokhi, Principal Consultant, Avanade. Serguei, based in Toronto, is a Technical Architect specializing in the architecture and implementation of disaster recovery and high availability solutions.


  • Mandar Inamdar, Senior Consultant, Microsoft, India.  Mandar has worked as a Senior consultant with Microsoft for 5+ years, with a focus on the SQL Server database engine. He has worked as a consultant with several premier customers and partners across India.


Big congratulations to them all!  I anticipate we'll have more people join the ranks of MCM over the next few months, and I'll be sure to communicate this when they do.

Joe Sack

Comments (1)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Congrats everyone!

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