I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Melissa VanDyke

This is the sixth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce Melissa VanDyke, the creator of the Admin to Admin Academy and the host of the Admin to Admin Academy Video Podcast.


What’s your job title? Manager, Salesforce.  (EFD – So you manage a team of Sales people?)  MVD: No! I manage a team of Awesome Salesforce Admins at Orbitz Worldwide, the online travel agency.

What does that mean you do?   Lead Salesforce solution architect for the Global Hotel Strategy instance of Salesforce (~300 users); Management responsibilities for the Salesforce team (2 direct reports on my team); I oversee the Hotel Strategy Salesforce deliverables for all stakeholders; Full end-to-end project management responsibilities for all SFDC projects. From requirement gathering, documentation and development to implementation, training and roll-out/change management.

(EFD – Uh, wow. That’s a lot. How do you have time for anything else, like your Admin to Admin Academy and podcast?)  MVD: I use all of my free time thinking about ways to bring value to the community and creating content. I listen to every podcast I can find that helps empower me, so I stop being my own worst enemy (for example, I try not to say “I am too busy” and instead think about ways to find the time — like how I can watch 1 hour less of TV and write a post instead! LOL!). If interested in this type of thing, check out The Life Coach School Podcast by Brooke Castillo she is definitely one of my major heroes (along with Tony Robbins and Stephen R. Covey of course :))!!

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? 5 years.  (EFD – That’s a pretty good amount of time, in Salesforce years.)  MVD- I actually started with Microsoft Dynamics, so it is technically 8 years’ experience of leveraging CRM as a platform for process improvement projects.

Bacon or sausage? It’s bacon, or nothing..

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  It’s what you know about who you know. Listening and knowing your audience so you can learn from them and help them as necessary  (EFD – Listening?  What?  Oh right, we have 2 ears and only one mouth, so we should listen twice a much as we talk, right?)  MVD– Yes! And the key is to ask awesome questions that make people feel comfortable with you, making it clear that you are there to help them and solve their process pain!

How did our relationship start, and when? Midwest Dreamin’ 2014!!!  (EFD – Midwest Dreamin’?  What’s that?  😉  I know a thing or two about Midwest Dreamin’. If you don’t, check it out! It’s coming back to Chicago this summer!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I was almost an amateur poker player. (EFD – Almost? Did you lose a bet and have to take a career path that led you to Salesforce instead?) MVD– Ha! I guess I was technically an amateur poker player because I had been playing tournaments and cash games in all of my free time for about eight years, then five years ago I seriously considered packing up and moving to Vegas to pursue my passion full time! In the end I decided instead to try and level up my career, knowing that if that did not work out I could fall back on the poker dream (and I can always retire early to try my hand at becoming a poker pro!). Luckily I found Saleforce shortly after, and have never looked back 🙂 I do miss playing poker tremendously, but now I spend all my free time creating content for the blog and podcast!!

And now for the extra bonus question – Tell me about Admin to Admin Academy and your podcast…what’s it all about and motivated you to start it?  I first started my blog in February 2015. It was something I had been dreaming about for at least 2 years. (EFD – Dreaming about a blog…hmmm.  Tell me more!)  I would talk about it, plan it and think about what I wanted to write.  (EFD – #Teaser  Sorry, readers…you’ll have to watch for another post coming soon that goes into all the details behind Admin to Admin Academy!  I promise, it’s a great story. That’s why I’m going to make it a separate post!)

You can find Melissa on Twitter and be sure to check out her site.

One thought on “I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Melissa VanDyke

  1. Pingback: Know About New 2016 's First Class Of Salesforce MVPs - Vinaychaturvedi.com

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