I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Lori Witzel

This is the 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 Salesforce MVP, Lori Witzel.

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What’s your job title? Senior Product Marketing Manager, Spanning Cloud Apps.
What does that mean you do?  I listen to and learn from Admins so we build SaaS data protection products that delight them, and I do educational outreach on SaaS data protection. (EFD – I love that statement…not just listen to, but also learn from…and then delight them!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been a customer of Salesforce.com since 2005, a Salesforce admin from 2011-2014, and have worked for AppExchange ISV partners for more than 7 years.  (EFD – So what’s more enjoyable – being a customer or working for an ISV partner?  That’s a rhetorical question…you really don’t need to answer it!)

Bacon or sausage? Is this a trick question? (Bacon, of course!)

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  It’s all about who you know. Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned with and from other people. I may only know that person from what they wrote, but there’s still a person behind the “what I know.”  (EFD – And isn’t it a blast when you meet those people in real life?)

How did our relationship start, and when? We e-met through the Salesforce Success Community in 2014, when I was new to Spanning and was preparing myself for Dreamforce. I saw the Newbie Breakfast Group in my Chatter feed, and the #bacon theme, and it was the start of a beautiful friendship.  (EFD – They say that relationships started over pork products are the relationships that last a lifetime!  –  OK…I just made that up, but it sure sounds good, right?)

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 in Richard Linklaters’s first movie, “Slacker” (he went on to direct “School of Rock” among other things), and I play a very disturbed woman in a coffee shop about halfway through the movie. (EFD – That might explain a few things…)

You can find Lori on Twitter.

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I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Jocelyn Fennewald

This is the 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 Jocelyn Fennewald, co-leader of the Chicago Women In Technology Group. 

  

What’s your job title? Managing Partner, OpMentors.
What does that mean you do?   My job is a mult-hat one. I am co-owner of my company, OpMentors. We are a Salesforce SI partner, as well as partnering with FinancialForce and Apttus on thier X-Author for Excel tool. Most of my day is working as a consultant and system admin. Working with clients to push their platforms to the next level is a absolute thrill for me. On any given day I can be working with the client’s system admin to solve an issue, conduct end user training or working through their implementation or optimization of Salesforce or FinancialForce. Being able to wear so many hats keeps it fun and interesting. Since I love problem solving so much, this type of work will always keep pushing my knowledge of the platform.

(EFD – Who doesn’t wear more than one hat on the job these days? And WOW…I do love Apttus X-Author for Excel!!))

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? 2.5 years as a customer, and now 1.5 years as a partner for a total of 4 fun-filled years.  (EFD – Congrats, you made the jump! Why am I now thinking about the movie “Speed”?  https://youtu.be/AmOBTB4Py-Q)

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

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  I think it’s what you know about who you know. I always love to surround myself with the most amazing people because that pushes me to be better. If the people you know (like the great Salesforce community) are strong in all different areas then by knowing them and learning from them you will innately become more well rounded and have the communal knowledge to solve any problem. No one person can know everything about Salesforce so having the community is the most valuable part of Salesforce.  (EFD – Wow…I couldn’t have said it better myself!)

How did our relationship start, and when? After Midwest Dreamin’ 2014 I started following you on Twitter.  (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 on July 21 & 22, 2016!)

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 drummer. I have just been playing for over a year but I LOVE it! I learning all different types of musical styles but can play rock music the best. (EFD – There’s a lot of musicians who are great Salesforce Admins & Developers. Perhaps we should get a band together!)

You can find Jocelyn 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.