We’d like to know more about the fun side of the MVPs! And from what we heard, so do a lot of people in the community. Welcome to the Proust for Salesforce experts.
"I have always been a ‘learner’ and since Salesforce and the business world are constantly changing, I am constantly learning - so it feeds that inner need!"
Q: How did your love for Salesforce start? Was it a conscious choice or did the whole universe just conspire and make it happen?
Definitely conspired by the universe! I was what you call an ‘accidental admin’ and had it dropped in my lap 12 years ago. The company I was working for at the time decided to use Salesforce and tapped me to implement and get it up and going to our marketing/sales departments. I have always been a ‘learner’ and since Salesforce and the business world are constantly changing, I am constantly learning – so it feeds that inner need!
Q: What is your current role?
My title is “VP | Sr. Salesforce Admin” but we all know those are just words. I am the primary admin/architect for our org. We do everything from Marketing, Sales, Project Management, Resource Management, Revenue Recognition and Invoicing so it’s pretty complex. My favorite thing to do is find anomalies in the data and drill into them to see trends and make suggestions for how we can make changes to support the business.
Q: If not a Salesforce expert, what would you have become?
Good question. I’m not really sure. My dream job would be to be an artist – painting murals, making costumes, just generally creating. I think that side of my personality matches well with Salesforce because implementing and developing on the platform requires vision and creativity as well!
Q: What does being a Salesforce MVP mean to you?
I’ve been an MVP for 3 years now and still wonder how in the world that happened when I see what other MVPs are doing. For me, the basic concept is that Salesforce MVPs are people who give selflessly in the community. I had so many people lend a hand as I was learning it just became natural for me to do the same. I think that is the beauty of the community as a whole. Being an MVP has enabled me to do more of that by providing resources to me that I can then pass on. Helping people makes me feel good so I will selfishly continue to do so!
Q: What’s next in line for you after attaining the coveted MVP title?
I have so many things I want to learn and do! Speaking at more events and just generally pushing myself to continue to grow. I’d really love to begin traveling to the international community events to speak and meet people outside of the US, so am hoping to work that into my plan over the next few years!
Q: Which blogs/channels do you follow to get your Salesforce elixir?
Twitter is really my channel of choice – I use TweetDeck and have columns setup to follow the #AskForce hashtag as well as the Salesforce MVPs List. They give me quick insight into the latest happenings around the ecosystem. There are so many awesome blogs it’s really hard to pinpoint one – by keeping an eye on my TweetDeck, I see links to blog posts, links to podcasts, articles, release information and more.
Q: Your personal blog Nana’s Musings is a great read with topics ranging from ADHD advice and parenting to Salesforce. How often do you blog and what is your driving force behind the topics that you choose to write about? (Other than the obvious fact that you are an amazing writer :))
Aw thanks for that. I love to write, and especially love to write when I am passionate about the subject. Might be Salesforce related, or about my kids, really just whatever grabs me. I’m not really one to plan posts or agonize over it. I usually get struck by an idea and type furiously until I’ve gotten my words onto the page and then I publish. In fact I sometimes get in so much of a hurry to get my thoughts out there, I have to go back and edit the typos after I’ve already published a post!
Q: Tossed by a Tornado, Caught by a Cloud. You have an incredible story about inner strength along with the power of community that is associated with this quote. Please share your story with our readers.
I won’t get into all of the details (you can find those on my blog), but my home was literally tossed by a tornado the day after Christmas 2015. We were home at the time, sheltering in a downstairs bathroom, when it hit the house and essentially took off the 2nd floor. No one can be prepared for an event like that. Within the hour, the Salesforce MVPs and Community had organized and began putting the word out that we were in need. The sheer outpouring of support, love, and assistance from all over the world and people I had never met in person was astounding and one of the things that kept me going when I was exhausted from all of the chaos. One of the darkest days (my mother passed away just a few weeks after the tornado), I got a package from the community team at Salesforce and it had a little flag in it that said “You Got This”. Realizing that a whole community of people believed I could get through this difficult time and that they were there for me if I needed them was an aha moment. It has become my mantra. Life will throw curveballs at you (and sometimes tornados), but when you have people that believe in you, that say “You Got This”, even when you aren’t sure you do, it makes pushing forward a little bit easier.
Q: Tell us more about the Salesforce for Youth program that you are part of.
This program was really the awesome brain child of Ajomon Joseph, a member of the leadership team for the Dallas Developer User Group and an all around awesome person. You can check out his blog at apexcoder.com. Every year, he works with local school districts and most recently a local college and puts together a one day event for high school and college students to learn about Salesforce. The intent is to introduce them to salesforce as a potential career. We tell them about jobs in the ecosystem, how easy it is to learn using Trailhead and spend the day doing hands on exercises to get them excited and engaged. This year was the biggest turn out so far and I was thrilled to bring my 15 year old son so he could learn more about what I do on a daily basis. It’s been a fabulous program here in the Dallas area and I am definitely looking forward to next year!
Q: What has been your most memorable Dreamforce experience till date? What are you looking forward to the most this #DF19?
My most memorable Dreamforce experience was the first ever Admin keynote in 2014. I had attended the two years before that and my biggest frustration was that there was a lot of content and activities around sales and marketing and IT and development, but a weird lack of sessions and focus on the Salesforce Admin. That year was really the year that gave me the push to put myself out there, begin blogging more about Salesforce stuff, started a podcast after that with John Graf (who I met at that keynote), and really just threw myself into the community. From that point on, there has been a bigger and bigger focus on content for and by the admin at Dreamforce so we finally have our stage! This year I’m really looking forward to seeing all of my Ohana in person. It’s my favorite part of Dreamforce – seeing/meeting people in real life. There really is nothing like it!
Q: What is your advice to those stepping into Salesforce?
Get involved. Online, Twitter, the Trailblazer Community Groups, local User Groups, wherever you can! Finding your tribe that will help when you need help, point you to others who can help, be an ear when you need to vent and celebrate your victories with you.
Q: Do you have Salesforce certifications already/lined up? If yes, how many?
I have 4 certifications (Admin, Advanced Admin, App Builder and Sales Cloud Consultant). I’ve been working towards a few of the Architect certs to stretch myself (if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!) and am actually signed up to take the 3 day Analytics Training in a few weeks.
Q: Other than Salesforce, what does your world look like?
I have 3 awesome kids that keep me busy. My daughter is leaving the nest this month to start college in Chicago. I’m so incredibly proud of her for taking a giant leap into adulthood. My sons are in middle school and high school and keep me on my toes with their activities and personalities! I love to do yoga and have been training for a half marathon (just hoping I don’t die, lol), and we love to kayak and stand-up paddleboard on the local lake, swim and just get outside. My daughter and I are vegetarian and I love to try out new recipes and see what I can get the boys to actually enjoy!
Q: What’s something about you that you think would surprise others?
People who don’t know me well would probably be surprised to find out I’m kind of an introvert. I love to speak to groups and have no problem presenting in front of hundreds of people, but one-to-one conversation is uncomfortable and small talk is exhausting! At Dreamforce, I typically find hallways and corners where I can go and breathe in between walks through the expo floors. On the other hand – give me a microphone and throw some karaoke up on a monitor and you might have to wrestle me to get the microphone back!
Q: Anything we missed?
I think you covered everything – and as I said above, when I’m passionate about something I can write a novel – so I apologize in advance for the extra long answers! 🙂 Thanks so much for the interest and asking me to be a part of this series!