I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Patrick Solum

This is the twenty-second 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 Salesforce Certified Administrator, and co-leader of the South Dakota User Group, Patrick Solum.

patrick solum  sodakforce


What’s your job title? Marketing Director, Retail Data Systems (EFD – In case anyone is curious, Retail Data Systems is the largest provider of Point of Sale hardware and software in North America.  I suppose that means they are also the biggest POS in country.  Sorry, Patrick…sometimes my sense of humor filter goes unchecked. But then, you already knew that! )

What does that mean you do? My job is to at RDS is to build and launch marketing initiatives for our various offices.  These can be email, print, web etc.  Additionally I manage a small lead generation team and get to be a solo Salesforce admin for about 75 users  (EFD – Marketing. I used to wonder what that really meant. Now, with my latest job change – separate blog post coming very soon detailing that, I’m in Marketing too!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)?   I have been in the Salesforce world since 2010.  (EFD – Seems like only yesterday, doesn’t it.  No, not really. There have been TONS of changes to the ecosystem in that short period of time. )

Bacon or sausage?  Can’t I have both? Don’t make me decide.

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  Knowing where to find the answers and how to get them, no matter who has them or where they are. (EFD – So is that a “What” or a “Who”?  I feel a little like Whoopi Goldberg without the funky dance moves. #ExplicitLanguageWarning – not for those with “sensitive” ears.)  Some additional details from Patrick:  When starting with Salesforce 5 years ago in South Dakota there was really nobody around here to network with.  We were kind of the last frontier of salesforce so to speak.  By networking with others through The Nebraska Salesforce User Group (used to drive 2 1/2 hours one way to go to meetings) and the success community I found that connecting with others was my lifeline.  Early on, Brian Connell who mentored me in getting started, Steve Molis on answers, Mike Gerholdt on Button Click and many others I met online and at Dreamforce, too numerous to mention, these were my lifelines.   What stood out was how helpful everyone was and how everyone wanted everyone to succeed.  I found you could really be on your own in your business and really succeed with the community.   When companies started emerging in the area on the platform it took things to another level when Sarah, Liz and I started the User Group.  We again leaned on the success community to build that network (how I met you) and connect with others to help us “figure out what to do”.   Now its all about giving back and helping others find their lifelines.

How did our relationship start, and when? You were my life line when I started the User Group Leader Office Hours calls. (EFD – Ok, that’s the “how”, you are the who, user groups is the why, helping other user group leaders is the what, but where’s the “when”? [Oh my…that’s confusing!]  I think we first met at in person at Dreamforce 2013, at a user group leader event, and unlike “Who Wants To Be A Milloinaire” you can call on this life line as often as you need to!  #HappyToHelpSpreadTheUserGroupLove)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? For fun I spend time with my family (I have a beautiful wife Tiffany and 4 amazing kids), I am an avid gamer and practice Tae Kwon do.   Additionally I love helping the Salesforce community.  I am passionate about Salesforce User groups and helping leaders to help their users reach their full potential. (EFD – And you are pretty good at scoring points with the Mrs. Solum. I’m bet you’ll point out this blog to her so she can see what you just said there!)

You can find Patrick on Twitter, and be sure to check out Leaderforce, the blog for Salesforce User Group Leaders, current & future!

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