I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Toya Gatewood

This is the thirty-seventh 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 Salesforce MVP, Toya Gatewood.

toya gatewood

What’s your job title? Salesforce Administrator, Consumer Technology Association. (EFD – Consumer Technology Association? I had to google that one! Many people probably know them by their former name, Consumer Electronics Association. Regardless of what you call them, they are the producers of the Consumer Electronic Show, also know as the CES, which takes place in Las Vegas annually, and showcases over 3,500 companies who manufacture, develop and supply computer technology hardware, content, delivery systems and more. It’s a REALLY BIG SHOW with over 160,000 attendees from 150 countries worldwide!)

What does that mean you do? I’m the solo admin of my org; my company produces the Consumer Electronics Show and we manage all contracts and amendments associated with the show using Salesforce, not to mention the other events that we manage. I’m also working with other CTA departments to maximize efficiency. (EFD – I know what show management is like. I lead a group of awesome Salesforce MVPs and user group leaders to put on Midwest Dreamin’ each year.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been on the Salesforce platform for 7 years.  (EFD – Wow!  That means you and I started using Salesforce the same year…2009!)

Bacon or sausage? It’s Bacon or Nothing!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? I’d have to say it’s a combination of both. You have to take what you know and leverage it with and for who you know. All the nuggets of wisdom and tips & tricks I pick up from the Success Community add to what I know – which I can then utilize either in my own org. It all comes full circle eventually. (EFD – So it’s kind of like this. Oh wait, you said “full circle” not “circle of life” Hey Apex and the Limits – here’s a song idea for you: “The Circle of Admins”.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I started following you on Twitter either right before or right after you became an MVP for the first time, that was in the spring of 2013….and met you in person for the first time at Midwest Dreamin’ 2014! (EFD – I remember meeting you at Midwest Dreamin ‘2014. We had a great, but short, conversation as I was helping out at the registration desk and the line was getting long! It’s been great fun watching your community involvement grow over the years, and congrats on joining the ranks of the MVPs!)

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 an avid & voracious reader. I read from one book or another every single day without fail no matter how busy I am; sometimes I’m reading several books at a time. Right now I’m reading 3 different books. This year I finished all 5 Game of Thrones books in less than 2 weeks. (EFD – Me and books seem to have a different kind of relationship. They don’t bother me, and I leave them alone. Kind of like me and insects.)

You can find Toya on Twitter.

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I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Pritam Shekhawat

This is the thirty-sixth 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 three-time Salesforce Certified and amazing Answers guru, Pritam Shekhawat.

pritam

 

What’s your job title? Salesforce Consultant/Developer, Hytech Professional (EFD – Ahhh…the multiple hats. I think most of us in the Salesforce Ecosystem wear many hats. )

What does that mean you do? I am involved in analysis and review of business related process and requirements gathering, and finally to develop the application logic (Coding and Development) according to the business need, specifications and standards. On a daily basis I participate in project team meetings, sharing ideas and views with peers. Apart from my daily work, I am an active and a consistent contributor to the Salesforce Community. I am a big fan of Answers Community where I have been answering for almost 2 years, I recently achieved a very exciting landmark when I touched a total count of 5000 answers in the answer community. My count is over 5300 answers now and I am inspired to never stop contributing. I also write blogs, mainly focused on Lightning(EFD – Congrats on the 5,300+ answers!  That’s about 1,000 times the number of answers I have provided.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I started working on Salesforce platform in the year 2014 after completing my graduation and the very same day my career in Salesforce got kicked off. The more I got into Salesforce the more I fell in love with it, though I am a B-tech(Electronics) Background graduate, and for the same reason I always felt scared of the software industry in the starting phase of my career, But I took the right guidance from great Salesforce guys who literally inspired me that much, that I finally decided to make a mark into the heart of Salesforce guys with my contributions for the community. So for me, the definition of Salesforce rather than Just a Technology, Will be : “Technology run by the community, for the community & of the community!!!” (EFD – Started on the platform in 2014..that’s a decent amount of time, in Salesforce years!)

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

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? For me both are important because in the early phase of my career I didn’t know anyone who could groom me, so for me it was a “What I know” kind of a situation. Then I realized that making connections and interacting with the community is equally important and will surely help me not only grow technically but will keep me updated about what’s happening in the Salesforce world. Within a few months I realized, my knowledge and skills tremendously got so rich that I decided to share my learning with the community and this has been the reason for large count of answers which I have on the answer community. I believe networking play very useful and powerful role towards your personal and professional career. I have learned a lot from people both inside and outside the community who have always motivated and appreciated me. (EFD – As much as I tout the “It’s WHO you know”, I do realize there is some component of “what you know” that’s important too.)

How did our relationship start, and when? I remember that in one of our user group events organized by Noida Salesforce User Group under the direction of Vinay Chaturvedi, when you were a surprise presenter in the Meetup and joined us online via Skype. You shared a lot of information on the Salesforce Community that motivated me to offer my best to the Community. Then I discovered your blog and our relationship clicked. I began to read all your tweets and everything you shared to try to figure out the mystery of how you are so active! Believe me your community activity and devotion is worthy of an OSCAR! (EFD – The mystery of how I’m so active…I can solve that!  I don’t sleep. Ok, that’s a lie. I do sleep, but not much. I recall running some stats on my Twitter activity a few months back and discovered there wasn’t an hour during the day or night that I haven’t been tweeting, and just for the record, all the tweets I do that are not related to my role at Apttus are live tweeted. For the work tweets, I do use Buffer, though.)

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 a self-taught Salesforce Admin and Salesforce Developer. From the start of my career, I was working without any management or mentor support. Whatever I learned in Salesforce, so far, is from our AWESOME Salesforce community. To be honest, I am from non-programming background so before graduation, I always thought that it would be nearly impossible for me to work in a Software industry as I was short of skills, but the community (EFD – Self-taught…my personal opinion is that the people who are self-taught tend to more engaged in the community .)

You can find Pritam on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Nana Gregg

This is the thirty-fifth 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 Certified Force.com Developer, one half of the Nerdforce Podcast, and one of the “Limits” of Apex and the Limits, Salesforce MVP Nana Gregg.

nana

What’s your job title? Senior Salesforce Administrator, BRG – now part of JLL (EFD – BRG – now part of JLL. Why do I feel like singing “With a moo moo here, and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo…E I E I O!)

What does that mean you do? A little bit of this, a little bit of that! Seriously though, Our company runs the entire business (from lead to project to finance) on the platform. We have just over 500 users, with 5 companies in our org which means 5 currencies and 5 sets of corporate ‘books’. I never was a Finance gal, but had to get up to speed quickly. It’s impossible to implement an accounting solution without that knowledge. We have a lot of custom objects built to eliminate manual (excel) processes and I *try* to do most everything declaratively! Reporting, formula fields and building custom objects are my FAVE! I have another Admin on my team and my boss has started Trailhead so he can lend a hand as well! It’s definitely a team effort. (EFD – I love how you are sharing the Trailhead love!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I started as a Salesforce Admin in 2004 – I must have been about 12 at the time!  (EFD – That sounds about right!  I bet singing in the band helps keep you young.)

Bacon or sausage? It’s Bacon or Nothing!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? Ooh this is a good one. I really think it is a combination of the two. I would not be where I am today without the support of my family and the Salesforce Community. What do I know? I know I need to go ask one of my Community buddies if I can’t solve a problem!  See? They go hand in hand! (EFD – Groovy! 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. And I will admit that they really do go hand in hand, and regardless of where you start, one leads to the other!)

How did our relationship start, and when? I saw your posts in the community and on twitter, and at Dreamforce 14, I signed up for the Meet the MVPs event in the Admin Zone. I remember standing there like a pre-teen fangirl SO incredibly excited to meet all of these people who had helped guide me! I didn’t get a selfie with you then, but am hoping for one this year! (EFD – I’m blushing now. This is the first time anyone said they were “fangirling” to meet me. Or did I misunderstand, and that was for MVPs in general? Selfie with Nana – hasn’t that happened already?  If not…lets DO IT at #DF16!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? Hmm, surprise yall? A few years ago I won a Genuine 14 karat Gold plated Plastic Ship on a Stick during a Cruise for my karaoke rendition of Baby Got Back! (EFD – Hey!  Maybe you should start a band! Oh, wait….)

You can find Nana on Twitter and be sure to follow Apex and the Limits too!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Selina Suarez

This is the thirty-fourth 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 Co-Leader of the New York City Women in Tech Group , Selina Suarez.

selinasuarez

 

What’s your job title? Director, Educational Product Development, INVISR (EFD – In case you don’t know – INVISR is a “new type of consulting partner, focused on innovation and customer success. INVISR uses cutting-edge development techniques and brings a fresh perspective into transforming your business. Our collective experience in cloud consulting led to the creation of new wave solutions across verticals such as Financial Services, Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare and more.” And yes, I stole that wording right from their website, hence the quotation marks!)

What does that mean you do? I build applications for schools and NPOs whose focus is to promote educational access an eliminate the Achievement Gap!! (EFD – Love it…eliminate the Achievement Gap! Awesome!!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been on the platform for almost 6 years now. (EFD – In Salesforce time that equates to about 20 releases.)

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

What’s more important: Growing up I didn’t know anyone at all who could help me to progress my career- so for me it was “What I know”. I used what I knew to meet and connect with people who would eventually become my “who you know”. These connections were pivotal to my growth and progression in life. Without the one the other did not exist. (EFD – I think one word can describe what you just said: Synergy)

How did our relationship start, and when? It started when I was looking for fresh insight into the new DF15 Admin Zone for a presentation I was about to give when I discovered your blog (EFD – Oooh…I like that answer. I hope my blog provided you with the insight you were looking for!)

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 the eldest of 12 children (same mom!!!) and the very first in my family to graduate college and go on to earn an MBA. I taught myself Salesforce over 6 months- and embarked upon a mission to support organizations to help support more people like myself on the path to educational attainment and hopefully a career in tech! I built my first app on the platform in 2010 and it is being used by 30+ organizations to date! (EFD – Wow, that’s impressive! Yes, eleven siblings…that’s impressive, but even more so is your education, your drive to succeed, and how you are using your skills to help others make real changes in their lives!  Way to go!!)

You can find Selina on Twitter.

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 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.

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!