Access MVP John Viescas celebrates his 20th year as an MVP this March, a member of the first group of awardees in 1993.
For those original 34 MVPs, and the tens of thousands of MVPs who followed, the MVP Award often served to “open the door” to Microsoft teams, providing an important avenue for community interaction and the exchange of ideas. But not for John, who already had created a strong connection with Microsoft’s Access product team.
A long-established expert in database systems, John had become involved in the early testing of a new Microsoft product, then code-named “Cirrus.” When he was named an MVP, he already had a special Microsoft email account and lived around the corner from campus. Microsoft Press published the first edition of his book, Running Microsoft Access, in 1992. Like all of the inaugural MVP awardees, it was his contributions on CompuServe forums which brought him to the attention of Microsoft’s Support team. “All the Microsoft Access folks I knew were very excited when I received the Award,” John recalled.
In the two decades since he was first recognized as an MVP, John has been a prolific author, writing four more editions of Running Microsoft Access, co-authoring the best-selling SQL Queries for Mere Mortals, authoring Microsoft Office Access 2003 Inside Out, and co-authoring Microsoft Office Access 2007 Inside Out and Microsoft Office Access 2010 Inside Out with Jeff Conrad.
He also has been a popular lecturer at conferences and user group meetings around the world, and noted that his recognition as an MVP helped him secure many speaking engagements at Microsoft Tech-Ed conferences throughout the years. But probably the most valuable thing he’s gained from 20 years as an MVP is the friendships. “If you look at my Facebook page, you’ll see that at least a third of my friends are MVPs,” he said.
Although professionally based in the United States, John and his wife now live most of the time in Paris—a good launching off place for their many travels. He remains active in community, jumping in to answer questions mostly on an international Yahoo Access group which features MVPs from around the world.