I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Nick Lindberg

This is the fortieth 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 4-time Salesforce Certified and Salesforce MVP, Nick Lindberg.

Nick Headshot

What’s your job title? Director of Nonprofits, Redpath Consulting. (EFD – So you direct nonprofits? How do you know where to you tell them to go?)

What does that mean you do? Dreaming and building tools via Salesforce for nonprofits all while running the team at Redpath to carry out our nonprofit projects. (EFD – Oh!!!  I get it now. You help nonprofits become more connected to their donors and clientele, while making them lean, mean, efficient machines. Except for the mean part…I hope!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been in the Ecosystem for over 7 years now. Five years as an accidental admin for a nonproft, and now 2.5 years, so far, as a partner.  (EFD – You and I have been in the ecosystem about the same amount of time!)

Bacon or sausage? It’s Bacon or Nothing!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? To me, it is all about who you know. By knowing others, you have a group of people you can lean on and look to for knowledge. There is no way one individual can know everything there is to know about Salesforce or life for that matter. Collectively, through who you know, there is a greater chance of building out the what and potentially discover things you didn’t even know were possible. (EFD – I don’t think I could have said it better myself.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I first heard of this amazing Salesforce Kevin Bacon character also known as Eric during User Group Roundtable calls back in the beginning of 2014. During the calls, there would be a lot of conversation about various ways to run a User Group or referencing previous conversations. He was the person who would chime in and say he had a bookmark of the conversation topic and would in turn post them to the Success Community after the call so we all knew where the information was. From those calls, I just knew he was one solid fella and I needed to get to know more about him.

Afterwards, there were many occasions that the relationship really started to take off. From exchanging tweets back and forth, to chatting about how awesome it is to be an Admin after the Admin Keynote during Dreamforce 2014, to many awesome conversations during the MVP Summit 2015 & Midwest Dreamin’ 2015.

Over the past year our relationship has blossomed into a friendship. He’s really taken on #raynasunset as a way of remembering my daughter Rayna. It seems at least once a week there is a post by him or reposting someone else’s sunset with the hashtag. Beyond that, we had the chance to organize Midwest Dreamin’ 2016 together and our weekly Friday calls were something I’d look forward to each week. There have been countless times I’ve gotten to know more about him both professionally and personally and realized just how awesome he is. What else can I say, he’s a solid fella. (EFD – STOP IT! You’re embarrassing me….and this post is supposed to be about YOU, not ME!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? Where to begin. There are so many :). The one I like to use is when I was growing up, it took me seven years to pass the beginners swimming class. I was a foot taller than my instructor. I was determined to pass no matter what. (EFD – I can safely say I do not know any adult that I’m a foot taller than…sadly, I do know many who are a foot or more taller than I am!)

You can find Nick on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Gaurav Kheterpal

This is the thirty-eighth 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 Mobile Architect and Salesforce MVP, Gaurav Kheterpal.

gaurav-kheterpal-salesforce-mvp

 

What’s your job title? Head – Mobility at Metacube. (EFD – I had to Google that one: Metacube is a Software Engineering Services company with experience in developing enterprise applications for a wide spectrum of domains including global trade management, supply chain analytics, manufacturing analytics, business continuity planning, CRM, content management and eCommerce.)

What does that mean you do? I head the mobile practice at Metacube – leading several native and hybrid app development projects, a majority of which involve Salesforce and/or Heroku. I’m involved in day to day account management, technical architecture, design and overall well being of multiple projects. Apart from that, I work as a community evangelist – I love to be involved in organizing and speaking at community-driven tech events and meetups all the time. I play a key role in mentoring new hires for Force.com development. (EFD – It sounds like you wear many hats. That seems to be a growing trend in the Salesforce ecosystem.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I started off with Salesforce in 2007 so it’s been 9+ years on this amazing journey and still counting. We’re a Salesforce partner (Product Development Outsourcing). It’s been a very rewarding journey for me as well as the company – I was recognized by Salesforce as a Developer Success Story in June 2015 and I’ve spoken at leading events such as Dreamforce (every year since 2012) and Salesforce World Tour (2015). I lead the Jaipur DUG in the pink city of India!  (EFD – Wow!  You’ve made quite the career for yourself. Congratulations!)

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

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? It’s a bit tricky but I’d go with who you know and what you and they collectively know. After all, it’s a community and the essence is collaborative learning. (EFD – I used to think it was all about who you know, because chances are someone you know, or someone they know can answer all the questions, but the longer I write this blog series, the more I’m thinking the two are equal and intertwined.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I think we’ve known each other virtually for quite some time now. I’ve obviously followed you as an inspirational figure in the community – a Salesforce MVP and I’m hoping you’ve noticed me do a few things for the community as well. It’s also helped that we both are User Group leaders. (EFD – We connected on LinkedIn in September, 2012, which was even before I was first named an MVP, so our original connection must have been either the user group leader connection or simply Salesforce community interaction.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? As a child, I’ve acted in several TV plays and I’m still a part of a hobbyist theatre group focused on social awareness on several grass roots problems in India and globally. (EFD – You’re quite the person…doing good things all over the place!)

You can find Gaurav on Twitter.

A Community Mourns, A Community Remembers – A Tribute to Tami Esling

When I think back to the day I first met Tami, I recall immediately feeling like I had know her all my life. Her amazing smile was contagious and anyone who was in conversation with her quickly found themselves smiling as well. Tami and I met at the MVP Summit in 2015, shortly after she was named a Salesforce MVP. It was a great pleasure to meet her in person, and after having so many online interactions with her, I felt like I already knew her well.

Professionally, Tami worked for SaaS Consulting Group with a focus on directing clients and colleagues towards Salesforce education and training to help them get the most out of their Salesforce implementation. She was a firm believer that with the proper education and training that anyone could accomplish big things. Unlike some, she also practiced what she preached. Tami held five Salesforce Certifications.

Tami certs

Tami was a giver too. She was the “mother hen” for all things Salesforce in Austin, TX. She led the Austin Salesforce User group. She was an active member in the Austin Women in Tech group, and a passionate champion of Salesforce Saturday. Anytime there was anything Salesforce going on in Austin, you could find Tami there. She volunteered her time to help others in the Salesforce Community get better educated, and hopefully well prepared so that they could successfully become a Salesforce Certified individual too. I decided to make the commitment of 15 weeks and join the online Certification Study Group that Tami was leading in late 2014. It was through the interactions in the group where I really got to see Tami shine. She skillfully facilitated the online study group, week after week, drawing out the best of everyone involved through thoughtful insights above and beyond the assigned homework. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t the “let it ride, let everyone through” kind of person. She was tough on the people who were not prepared each week, and called them out the next week, to make sure they were doing the homework and sticking to the commitments they made when signing up for the study group.  I should know, I was probably one of her “bad” students. I had a hard time keeping up with the homework, and missed a class or two, and paid the ultimate price for that, in that I was unsuccessful when I attempted the Certified Administrator exam. Notice I did not say that I failed, because I firmly believe that Wayne Gretzky explained that best.

gretzky

In December or 2015, I featured Tami in my “I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community” blog series. It was great fun working with Tami to recall all our interactions together, and to learn more about her background, how she got started in the Salesforce Ecosystem, etc. I asked the standard questions, including “What’s more important: Who you know, or What you know?” I will never forget Tami’s reply. She said: ‘If you’re on the Salesforce Community, then you probably “know” Eric Dreshfield. That is how it all began.’ That was the first time I truly felt speechless!

There was one other question from that blog post where Tami’s response was quite surprising to me. When I asked “What’s one fact about you that few people know, that would surprise me?” To that question Tami replied, ” I have skydived and plan to take another jump in 2016.” Wow! I sure was surprised by that answer.

Tami events

As we all struggle to find a way to deal with the hole left in our hearts, and in the community due to Tami’s untimely passing, I think it’s only fitting to share some words that her friends in the Success Community stated upon hearing the sad news.

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Thank you for everything, Tami. You are truly an inspiration to many and your spirit will remain alive in the Success Community as long as one person whose life you touched is there.

Tami Esling. Wife. Mother. Mentor. Coach. Friend.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to American Heart Association  This form asks you to complete a memorial card, please choose mail card and send to: Walter Esling, 14833 Irondale Dr., Austin, TX 78717

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

This is the tenth 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 Grimes.

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What’s your job title? Salesforce Consultant, Cheshire Impact

What does that mean you do?  I help clients engineer the lead to revenue lifecycle through Salesforce architecture and Marketing Automation enablement.  I help with marketing and sales processes during Salesforce implementations, managed services and custom projects tackling unique pain points. (EFD – I have some unique pain points, but that might just be from being old!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? Five years. (EFD – So in ‘Salesforce years’ you are a relative rookie, but have seen some incredible improvements!)

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 leg up I’ve gotten throughout my career in Salesforce is because someone smarter than me took the time to explain an answer which then became knowledge I helped share too. It’s a grassroots community empowering everyone who has a desire to learn 🙂 (EFD – Ahhh…the community in action. That’s awesome!)

How did our relationship start, and when? I started following you when I read your blog on becoming an MVP.  (EFD – so that would have been in April, 2013. I found out that I became an MVP the day after my birthday. What a present, huh? Oh…and in case anyone missed that blog, here it is!

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I went to a college prep boarding school for athletes in Faribault, MN right outside the Twin Cities.  Shattuck St. Mary’s focused on building a competitive environment for nurturing student athletes.  Alumnus include the great Marlon Brando, Sydney Crosby from the Penguins, Johnny Toews of the Blackhawks, Derek Stephan of the NY Rangers, or the countless AMAZING women on Team USA and many more. (If the Shattuck St. Mary’s google alerts find this article, my apologies for those left out who are worthy of a shout out 😉 ).  I used to think the highlight of my life would be saying I went to high school with the best of the best as I humbly cheer on my friends while they made it to Olympic levels, until I found my Salesforce network.  Now I’m a part of a group so powerful and exciting that I don’t have to just look back fondly at my time in high school, I’m excited for my future and what I can do for Women in Technology paving my own trail.  It may not be as glorious as a Gold Medal or Stanley Cup, but for me the growth in my career with Salesforce is more than I could have ever hoped for as a girl from Nebraska with a dream to find my calling. (EFD – There are some people who will be more impressed at what this girl from Nebraska has done, compared to winning an Olympic Gold Medal or the Stanley Cup….I’m one of those people.)

You can find Taylor on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Bonny Hinners

This is the 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 Bonny Hinners, the leader of the Bay Area Salesforce Nonprofit User Group.

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What’s your job title? Independent Consultant.  (EFD – So how’s that relationship with your boss?)

What does that mean you do?  I work with nonprofits and for-profits to build out custom solutions in Salesforce that are unique to their business needs from clicks to code, primarily groups that want a local resource here in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I am fortunate to have worked on some terrific projects including a resource management application with a children’s museum and a clienteling solution with a for-profit service provider.   (EFD – All that, and you also lead the Bay Area Nonprofit User Group…kudos to you!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? Since 2004, that’s when I got my very first developer org and started learning about the capabilities.  I have continued using it for creating and testing customized business solutions.  Everyone should have a free developer org to explore new features and to try out new customizations and code.  (EFD – 2004, that would have been the 2nd year for Dreamforce, if I’m not mistaken.)

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–it’s all about the users and how well you know them. You have to understand users’ needs to provide them with the best solutions.  You also have to know the Salesforce community and how to turn to them for inspiration and feedback.  The community can really help you to learn new skills so you can provide better solutions for the end users.  (EFD – Users, users, users….why is it always all about the users? It’s NOT!  It’s all about the community!)

How did our relationship start, and when?  I had the pleasure of meeting you shortly after you became an MVP and was delighted to work with you on a Dreamforce 2013 session! That session was all about encouraging administrators to join their local user groups and showing them how to make good use of the Success Community and Power of Us Hub.  (EFD – So that would have been Spring, 2013, and my very first time presenting at Dreamforce was that session with you!)

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 a degree in Computer Science and I do trapeze! (EFD – Computer Science? That’s not too surprising, but trapeze? Do you mean swinging and flying high above the ground?)

You can find Bonny on Twitter, and please read her blog too!

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.

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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.

What Would You Do?

If you had the chance to do something (that you do every year) and help a great cause at the same time, would you do it?

Yes, that was a rhetorical question, but do me a favor, answer it anyway.

My answer would be a resounding ‘yes’. I try to give back to the Salesforce community every chance I get. So when Cirrus Insight emailed to tell me I was their weekly winner of a free Dreamforce pass, my thoughts immediately turned to helping others.  I didn’t need the pass to Dreamforce. I was already registered and would be attending. I could give the pass to someone who wants to attend, but that would only be helping one person.

What I decided to do was to hold an auction with proceeds benefiting Project Night Night. I thought that could help many people. One lucky person would still be able to attend Dreamforce, and many homeless children could get a NightNight pack from Project Night Night.

Do you still need a pass to Dreamforce? Do you want to help children have sweeter dreams at the same time? If you answered yes to both questions, please go here: DF15Pass for Project Night Night and place your bid. The high bid, at the time I published this blog post was $500.  To see the current high bid, follow me on Twitter and search for #DF15PassProjectNight2XHIGHBID.  The bidding closes at 11:59 PM on Saturday, August 8, 2015.

If you happened to answer the first question with a no, please visit Project Night Night and consider making a donation.

Thanks!