I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Huong Tran

This is the thirty-third post in my blog series in which I 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 a newcomer to the Salesforce Platform and Community, Founder & CEO of Magpie Travel, Huong Tran.

Huong_Tran

 

What’s your job title? Founder & CEO, Magpie Travel (EFDMagpie Travel…if you haven’t heard about them you NEED to! It’s a site designed to facilitate room and cost sharing for the solo female traveler, but there more than that specifically for Dreamforce, read on!)

What does that mean you do? I’m working on a new product called Perch Travel, a sharing platform to connect conference attendees so they can save 50% of accommodation costs by sharing a hotel room, while at the same time meeting new and interesting people. We’re currently running a Dreamforce ’16 promotion where we giveaway a free hotel stay in SF for registered attendees. (EFD – Whoa, wait. What? room sharing and 50% savings at Dreamforce, and a chance to win a free hotel stay?  DO TELL!! More on this later in the post.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I have just recently been introduced to the Salesforce ecosystem. I’ve spoken to about 20 people (Salesforce customers, partners, MVPs, Dreamforce past and future attendees, etc) and have gotten a very warm welcome from everyone.  It’s an amazing and supportive community!  (EFD – Amazing and supportive community…Yes. Yes it is!)

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

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? Who you know first, and then what you know second.  I came to the US about 8 years ago from Vietnam with virtually no US connections at the time. Eight years have passed and I’ve now become an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. This could not have been done without the supportive network I’ve built over the years. Since I’ve been so blessed, I want to pay it forward to others and Perch Travel lets me do that by helping others expand their networks. (EFD – You’ve really come a long way in eight years. Congratulations to you, and how exciting to see Perch Travel start to take off!)

How did our relationship start, and when? Eric and I got introduced by our three mutual connections. It goes without saying that his name came up a lot when I spoke to the folks in the Salesforce community. He’s famous! (EFD – Oh stop it! I’m just a guy from a little town in Southern Indiana, who seems to have a thing with bacon and knows a lot of people, or people that know people. I’m thrilled to meet you, and look forward to our first in- person soon.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I grew up in Vietnam when it was an embargoed country and the first foreigner I saw was in my teenage years.  That experience drove my curiosity to explore the world and eventually led me to become the first Vietnamese student attending Stanford business school since the war ended in 1975. (EFD – Go big or go home…isn’t that what people say? You went big…VERY BIG!)

You can find Huong on Twitter as @huongtdt and @perchtravel. Be sure to also check out Perch Travel’s Dreamforce contest!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Vinay Chaturvedi

This is the thirty-second post in my blog series in which I 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 the four-time Salesforce Certified, Leader of the Noida, India, User Group, Vinay Chaturvedi.

 

Vinay

What’s your job title? Salesforce Consultant/Developer, Fujitsu (EFD – Fujitsu is a huge multi-national corporation, with many divisions, some old, some rather new.)

What does that mean you do? I am involved in understanding requirements to implementation, configuration and customization, and overall trying to make my clients happy. Apart from my office work, I am quite involved with the Salesforce Community. I lead Salesforce User Group in Noida (India) and have been doing for for about a year. We recently did our 5th event and have 230+ community members with 70 (on an average) attendance. I am a big fan of answers community, and I so appreciate everything I have learned from the community that I have been inspired to contribute over 4000 answers so far. I hope I get to 10,000 answers by next year . I also write blogs at vinaychaturvedi.com. With the help of Patrick Solum and Eric Dreshfield, I was able to set up a monthly User Group Leaders Office Hours Call for APAC Region. (EFD – You are really doing a great thing by facilitating the User Group Leaders Office Hours for APAC. I’m thrilled to have helped you get that started.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I started working on the platform in 2011 while I was in college. I was not studying an I.T. discipline, so I found it quite challenging. Salesforce converted me to working in the technology field. (EFD – You’ve been on the platform for 5 years and haven’t been to Dreamforce…that’s just not right!)

Bacon or sausage? Eww. A pork product? No thank you!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? I think both of them are important! If I know people, I can connect with them, help them and get help from them. I believe networking is very useful and powerful, not only for the business but for your personal stuff as well. I have learned a lot of things from the people around me who have always motivated, guided,and appreciated me. Of course I try to stay updated and knowledgeable enough to help others. If you are not you need to learn and then help.This is what I learned from Salesforce Community, so what you know is also important. (EFD – Ever since our first interaction, it seemed like there was something about you that made me think you would really do great things.)

How did our relationship start, and when?  The very first time we communicated was when I started a Noida User group, back in July 2015.You offered me to help anytime. I asked your help for user group template which you provided me within a day. And since then you have been an awesome Mentor! You are awesome, I am a great Fan of yours, and I hope we can meet in person one day soon. (EFD – Stop talking about me…this post is supposed to be introducing you to the Community. They already know me!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I am an electrical engineer by degree but from day 1 of my first job after college I was working as a Salesforce Professional. I even don’t remember a single transformer diagram and even unless people ask me about them, and sometimes I even forget that I hold a degree as an Electrical Engineer!  (EFD – My knowledge about Electrical Engineering could fit into the dot of this letter i.)

You can find Vinay on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Misty Jones

This is the thirty-first post in my blog series in which I 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 the Salesforce Certified Administrator and Advanced Administrator, and Leader of the Flyin’ Solo group on the Success Community, Misty Jones.

MistyRaeJones

What’s your job title? Senior Salesforce Administrator, Mutual of Omaha Bank (EFD – Mutual of Omaha has a bank? I thought they just produced awesome wildlife shows in the 1960’s through 1980’s. What was the host’s name again? Marlin Perkins, yeah that’s it!)

What does that mean you do? I’m an accidental techie. I plan events, automate stuff, train others, manipulate spreadsheets, enter securities trades, supply chocolate, and also administer Salesforce (EFD – Whoa, wait. What? You execute securities trades? Is that anything like this: https://youtu.be/obAoPP1bdIM ?)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been a Salesforce customer since April 2011.  (EFD – Almost long enough to be able to say “I remember the good old days when Dreamforce was small.)

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

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? Who you know. Success isn’t just a matter of hard work, experience, and talent. It also depends on your relationships. Jobs often come from knowing people. The best learning comes through interaction. I also believe a strong social network (likely) displays your people skills. Take the Success Community for example…people are helping each other find their dream job, helping each other with formulas and validation rules, expanding their social networks. I’ve solved many issues by first using who I know and those people teaching me things to add to my ‘what I know. (EFD – Amen, Sister!  I say it in every blog post I write for this series, and I’ll repeat it once again: For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.)

How did our relationship start, and when? We “met” in the Success Community and followed each other on Twitter. We promote each other’s events/groups. Finally bonded in person over plates of bacon during the 2013 Newbie Breakfast Reunion. (EFD – I’m thinking that it was the Flyin’ Solo Group on the Success Community where our relationship got started…thanks to a former co-worker of mine named Gabriel Matthews for leading that group, and you taking it over when Gabe left the Salesforce ecosystem.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? My latest workouts are considered aerial fitness. (EFD – Um…what? I asked Misty to send a few pictures that might help explain that. so…enjoy!)

You can find Misty on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Denise Carbone

This is the twenty-ninth 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 the Salesforce Certified Administrator, Co-Leader of the Chicago User Group and Co-Chair of Midwest Dreamin’, Salesforce MVP, Denise Carbone.

denise carbone

What’s your job title? Director of Client Engagements, RelationEdge (EFD – In case you don’t know – RelationEdge is a Salesforce Silver Consulting Partner that helps companies implement Salesforce. We focus first on the business processes you are trying to enhance and the results you are looking to achieve, and yes, I stole that wording right from their website!)

What does that mean you do? I help clients be successful and understand the possibilities of the platform. I primarily work with reboots and those just getting started in their implementation of Salesforce. In a nutshell, I am a Salesforce Consultant, and am happy to be here. (EFD – Rookies and Reboots….hmmm.  Sounds like a great title for either a blog series or a Dreamforce session!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been on the platform for 12+ years. I started in March of 2004 as a Customer. I’ve been a customer up until this past August (2015) when I joined RelationEdge here in Chicago. (EFD – And just for the record, Denise hosted the first user group meeting I ever attended, in Chicago back in late 2009.)

Bacon or sausage? Eww…a pork product? No thank you!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? It’s a combination for me, I definitely do not know it all and never pretend that I do. I would be happy to talk all day about the things I do know well, and am always seeking opportunities to learn more. I love our community and have made lifelong friendships, and I feel comfortable enough to reach out when needed to my friends to ask questions or bounce ideas off them. Also, I love the User Group Community! (EFD – Ok, Denise…we get the point that you love the community. I agree!  And I say it in every blog post I write for this series, and I’ll repeat it once again: For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.)

How did our relationship start, and when? We met at a Salesforce City Tour event in Chicago when it was held at the Westin, I believe it was 2008 or 2009. We (Chicago User Group) were hosting a User Group Meeting the morning of the event. (EFD – Yeah, I kind of did a spoiler on that one a couple questions back…but it was a great day for me, and was thrilled to meet you and your user group then. You all made me feel like part of the family from the moment I walked into the meeting.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? Not sure I have anything that I would surprise you with since I think we talk several times a week to plan Midwest Dreamin’!! Hmmm, how about the fact that I’d be a vegetarian IF I didn’t like chicken so much! (EFD – Yes, I suppose that does surprise me a little. For the record, my wife refers to you as my “Salesforce Wife”, and I think you’ve even told me that your husband, who IS in the Salesforce ecosystem, refers to me as your “Salesforce Husband”…and yes, our respective spouses have met each other, and they are perfectly fine with the relationship we share!)

You can find Denise on Twitter personally and Chicago User Grouply (Yes, I know that “grouply” isn’t a word!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Matt Nesci

It’s been a month since my last post, and to my loyal readers, please accept my apology for the delay, but it seemed fitting to me, to take a little time off to remember and reflect on a life taken from us too soon. Tami Esling, you will long remain in the hearts of this community.

This is the twenty-eighth 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 the 5 time Salesforce Certified, Salesforce MVP, Matt Nesci.

Matt Nesci

What’s your job title? Client Success Manager, Basati LLC (EFD – Basati has some pretty cool core values: Basati is built on trust, customer care and enduring relationships. We employ honesty and objectivity, and work with an intellectual mindset to create in-depth analytical and problem-solving techniques. As a consultant, we exist to create value, and as such our work is driven by our consideration and respect for our clients, colleagues and partners.)

What does that mean you do? I work remote so every day I am on the phone with my clients most of the day. When I am not on the phone, I am usually in the set up menu moving clients projects forward,working on documenting requirements to send to our development team, spending time in the community, and researching new Salesforce functionality. (EFD – I’m a remote employee too. It’s pretty cool how many companies in the Salesforce ecosystem have workers spread out all over the globe!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been in the Salesforce since 2009. (EFD – And just for the record, Matt has been a Salesforce MVP since Summer, 2015.)

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

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? Who you know, because the power of the community is always stronger then one person’s knowledge. (EFD – YES!!! He totally gets it! If you, the reader, takes only one thing away from this post, let it be a compete and total understanding of that statement: “The power of the community is always stronger than one person’s knowledge.”)

How did our relationship start, and when? I think we got our start about a year ago in a Twitter conversation about your wife’s cookies. (EFD – I can’t argue that one. Honestly, I don’t recall when or how our relationship started, but I know for a fact that I’ve had plenty of Twitter conversations about my wife’s cookies. Check those out here, and please give her a like!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I have two fun facts at different ends of the spectrum. 1. I won a trip to the “Wardrobe Malfunction” Superbowl. 2. I was robbed at gun point and shot two times (about 20 Years ago.) (EFD – 1. You won a trip to the Super Bowl? Cool…did you actually go? 2. Ouch! I’m glad you survived that ordeal. )

You can find Matt on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Taylor Moore

This is the twenty-seventh 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 Taylor Moore.

taylor headshot

What’s your job title? Marketing Manager at McLarens. (EFD – In case you don’t know McLarens, they are a global claims services provider that helps clients achieve timely and equitable claims resolution. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the company has offices strategically located around the world.)

What does that mean you do? I ensure our global brands’ messaging is streamlined through various marketing media: social, digital, print, press, promotional (swag!), and ads. I most enjoy working with my international colleagues to learn about how the local language(s) and culture impacts our messaging so we can ensure our communication is relevant and meaningful. As it relates to Salesforce.com, I serve as a pseudo-admin and work with our sales team to maintain an environment that highlights their hard work & customer wins. (EFD – Does anyone ever really wear just one hat professionally? I don’t think so, and with all the engagement through social channels and the Salesforce Community, I think the line between professional and personal life gets rather blurry. Oh, and swag? Did someone say swag?)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been a Salesforce customer since 2012. (EFD – 2012…that was the year Red Hot Chili Peppers played at Dreamforce. I missed that concert, but I’m sure it was fantastic. Taylor told me she would have loved to see RHCP and she missed it too. She also said she was in Kindgergarten when they were a big thing. And to think, I felt like RHCP was a group my kids would like. #SomeoneIsFeelingOldNow)

Bacon or sausage? Bacon!  While I must admit that I try to stick to low sodium turkey bacon (what’s the point, right?!) Bacon is at its BEST when it’s cooked in a cast-iron skillet #SouthernStyle (EFD – Oh yeah!!! #DownHomeCookin)

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? Who you know…I’m early in my career and have many people to thank for getting me to where I am today. Networking is so important, both in and out of your own area of expertise. Pay it forward 🙂 (EFD – YES! Another one who really understands the power of the community! Pay it forward, people! The feeling you get from helping others is incredible!)

How did our relationship start, and when?  Wow, we met in the Atlanta airport on the way to Dreamforce ’13..THEN again on the sidewalk in San Francisco pre- or post- AppBash maybe?! (EFD – Yes! Truly a great story here. I was on my layover in Atlanta on my way to DF13, and posted in what we called the Dreamforce App back then, something like this: “In Atlanta’s airport on my way to Dreamforce. I’m at gate xx, anyone want to chat?  I should be easy to find with my classic red Salesforce MVP Rickshaw bag.” And literally, within 2 minutes, I hear this voice saying “Are you Eric?”  And that’s how Taylor and I met.  Later that week, late in the evening, while walking towards the App Bash at the Metreon, I spotted her at the corner of 4th & Mission and casually walked up to her and said, “Hi Taylor.”  Her reaction was priceless….out of the 50,000 or so people at Dreamforce, what are the chances of running into one you know?)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I’m not sure about your blog readers, but Eric, you might be surprised that I lean towards being an introvert. (EFD – Yep, I do find that rather surprising!)

You can find Taylor on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Guillermo Pedroni

This is the twenty-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 the Salesforce Certified Administrator and leader of the Orange County User Group, Guillermo Pedroni.

image

What’s your job title? Senior CRM Applications Manager, Telogis (EFD – So you manage CRM applications? What’s the difference between that and an Administrator?)

What does that mean you do? I manage all things Salesforce related within my organization. We are a wall to wall Salesforce shop. I manage a team of 6, as well as a managed services team off site to keep my day busy. I work with my developers and system admins to listen, guide them and help develop all our internal processes within a multitude of departments. We use Salesforce within literally all departments globally and we develop various process within each department. I provide guidance on all Salesforce related business processes, architect and help deploy these projects. Some days are full of meetings while other days are full of execution. (EFD – Oh…I get it now. You’re like the Owl from the old Tootsie Pop commercials, you are the person who knows all the answers to all the question, or if you don’t know, you do the research and find the answer.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been playing within the Salesforce ecosystem for the last 9 years. I was lucky enough to be in consulting for a while helping other customers implement and expand their usage of the Force.com platform, which really opened my eyes to its full potential. I’ve also lived in a few Salesforce shops as an employee within these orgs further expanding and breaking the image that Salesforce was just a “Sales” tool. (EFD – Wait, you mean Salesforce isn’t just a sales automation tool? Wow, who knew! #Sarcasm, but that’s a real pre-conceived notion for some people.)

Bacon or sausage? Can’t I have both?  Don’t make me decide, but if the zombie Apocalypse comes, definitely bacon!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? Both really. Who you know gets you to figure out what you may know, or need to know. But what you actually know can open you up to who you can or should know. Like all things, you need to balance. (EFD – So that’s a “who” because it leads to the “what” which takes you to “who” that helps you discover “what”? Uh…wow. My head hurts now. Can your draw me a picture?)

How did our relationship start, and when? We met virtually probably in early 2014 via the Success Community and User Group Leaders Community. But we actually met in the real world @ Midwest Dreamin’ 2014! From there, the Salesforce bubble closed in on us more and more even as it expanded. (EFD – I think we may have met in person at a User Group Leader event at Dreamforce 2013, but after the headache I got from the previous question, and you talking about bubbles closing in as they expand, I’m not sure if anything anymore. Now where did I put my Tylenol?)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? Can I cheat and put a few? I’m a brown belt in Aikido, which is a martial art that use indirect motion to deflect and disarm opponents. It’s less about hitting and hurting and more about deflection (but it can really hurt too!). I’ve almost died a couple times before my life as Salesforce person. The two most exciting stories would have been almost falling down a few thousand feet of mountain side after a rock slide I caused, only to be save by my uncle who pulled on my shirt and pulled me up. Then another time that I almost got lost on a Volcano when I was a kid. Both incidents were while I was traveling to Mexico, which my family did every other summer. I also do pro bono work twice a year for 2 random nonprofits to give back to the Salesforce community. (EFD – I’m sure I am not the only one who is glad you didn’t die, and thanks for the pro bono work! There are so many nonprofits out there that could really benefit from using Salesforce, but many of them don’t have the resources to make Salesforce work right for them.)

You can find Guillermo on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Andy Boettcher

This is the twenty-fifth 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 Certified Salesforce Administrator and Force.com Developer, Salesforce MVP, and co-leader of the Minnesota Developer Group, Andy Boettcher.

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What’s your job title? Chief Architect, Demand Chain Systems (EFD – Back when I was going to college, Architects designed buildings. Now I think it’s safe to say Architects build designs…for systems.)

What does that mean you do? My role as Chief Architect at Demand Chain Systems is a wide one – I end up working with prospects in a pre-sales solutioning capacity, with our clients in ideation/solutioning discussions, mentoring my team, and helping guide the company to the latest technologies and approaches. (EFD – Uh…is ideation a real word? It sounds like your job is to really help a lot of people figure out how to get things done.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been on the platform for about 7 years, 5 years with Demand Chain Systems. (EFD – 7 years…that’s almost half of the entire Salesforce has existed. I bet you’ve seen a lot of growth and changes.)

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

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  It’s all about who you know and what they know. One person cannot know everything. (EFD – YES!!! One more for the “Who” side! )

How did our relationship start, and when? The MVP program brought us together back in 2013. (EFD – Ah yes…we both became MVPs in 2013. Seems like we may have had a user group leader connection somewhere in there too.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I’m a certified BBQ judge. (EFD – Well, that’s interesting. I really enjoy eating BBQ. Just ask Dale Ziegler, Mark Ross, Jarrod Kingston & Jennifer Wobser. #BBQForce.)

You can find Andy on Twitter, and be sure to check out his blog too!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Curt Holtz

This is the twenty-fourth 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 Certified Salesforce Administrator and Force.com Developer, Curt Holtz.

curt holtz

What’s your job title? Salesforce Administrator, USA Football. (EFD – No, really? What’s your job title? No one actually has Salesforce Administrator as their title, do they?)

What does that mean you do?  I manage the Salesforce org for a small nonprofit. I help our associates leverage the platform in ways that make them more productive and efficient. (EFD – USA Football? I guess that has something to do with what we call a pigskin, and not a soccer ball. I did some research: USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, hosts more than 100 football training events annually offering education for coaches, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association. Wow…that’s a cool organization!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been on the platform for about 6 years. (EFD – That’s a decent amount of time…long enough to where you have seen a lot of changes, but not too long for it to get stale. Hmm…with the pace of innovation on the platform, I think it’s impossible for it to go stale!)

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

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  Who you know…every job that I have been offered over the past 10 years has been heavily tied to relationships that I have forged over that time.  Knowing your stuff is part of the equation, but being able to fit into a company’s culture is an even bigger part.  And it’s always pretty easy to fit in when you have an existing relationship at that organization (EFD – YES!!! One for the “Who” side! )

How did our relationship start, and when? My first exposure to you was via the Success Community and then we officially met when I made the drive from Indy down to the S. Indiana User Group in 2014.  Since then we have stayed in regular contact over various social channels. (EFD – I’m always thrilled to see people attend Southern Indiana meetings when they aren’t from Southern Indiana! It must mean I’m doing something right on how I run my meetings.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I spent 6 years tearing down and rebuilding jet engines before I found my calling as a Salesforce Admin/Developer. (EFD – Small world here. When I read that secret about Curt I started asking questions. It turns out Curt and I both worked for the same airline, but I left a year before he started there.)

You can find Curt on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

Tahoe Dreamin’ – From Lake Michigan to Lake Tahoe

I planned my trip to Tahoe Dreamin’ about a month before the event. I was looking forward to seeing how the Western US took my Midwest Dreamin’ concept from the big city of Chicago to the ski slopes and mountains of South Lake Tahoe. Just a few short weeks later, I had accepted my new role as Advocacy Manager for Apttus, which suddenly meant most of my Tahoe Dreamin’ experience would come from interactions with people who visited the Apttus booth in the expo.

From my own, somewhat selfish point of view, I was not looking forward to that because I thought it meant I would not have time to spend with all my friends from the Salesforce community. For once in my life I was absolutely thrilled to be wrong. In reality, it meant that I got to spend time with NEW friends during the event, then new & established friends after-hours.

The Salesforce community is what makes events like Tahoe Dreamin so amazing. This event was not organized by Salesforce, rather it was organized and run by a small group of Salesforce community members, a small but highly motivated and passionate group of Salesforce customers and partners led by Bill Greenhaw, a Salesforce MVP and Leader of the Sacramento User Group.

Because of my new role, I did not have the opportunity to see the keynote, given by Shawna Wolverton, Vice President of Product Management, Platform at Salesforce, and Adam Seligman, Senior Vice President, Developer Relations, Salesforce, because our booth was busy, which is most certainly a good thing! From what others told me it was a great session with some flair that many of us would normally associate with the one and only, Parker Harris, a.k.a. Lightning Man. The keynote had Shawna and Adam wearing some awesome snowsuits!

Adam and Shawna Snowsuits

One that the next day Samantha Ready wore on the slopes!

Samantha Snowsuit

But fun in the snow isn’t what Tahoe Dreamin’ was really all about.

You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out. You do the hokie poike and you turn yourself around, that’s what it all about! 

What Tahoe Dreamin’ was really all about was the Salesforce Community, making connections and sharing knowledge.

Liz Gladstone put it this way: “Tahoe Dreamin’ provided the inspiration and community that Dreamforce does but in a setting intimate enough to talk with every single person.”

Shonnah Hughes had this to say: “Take Aways: Volunteer if you can, Speak up, get to know someone you don’t already know, Go to the after the event parties or gather your own group to party, ask questions, take lots of pictures and have the mind set that you are there to learn and have fun!”

Cynthia Saalfeld said this: ” I loved it!  I liked how well distributed the sessions were, not too short and not too long with a good break time in between sessions giving you time to visit the vendors and partners.   Moreover, talking to the speakers was possible and much more intimate than Dreamforce.”

Stuart Edeal (who came to Tahoe all the way from Minnesota!) wrote his own blog post about Tahoe Dreamin’.  He summarized the event this way: Attend regional events, and volunteer if you can. Share your challenges & successes. Accept invites for lunch, coffee, walks, etc. Ask questions, set goals, and enjoy yourself!

A few other comments I heard were: “Great venue”; “Fabulous food”; “Well organized”; “A little smoky at times, but it was in a Casino, with awesome scenery!”; “Bill Greenhaw and his team did a fantastic job pulling the event together”

I guess it’s safe to say I feel a little bit like a proud grandfather, having just watched a grandchild succeed gracefully in his first piano recital. Great job, Team Tahoe Dreamin’! I hope this becomes an annual event!