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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can find Guillermo on Twitter.

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

This is the twenty-fifth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce Certified Salesforce Administrator and Force.com Developer, Salesforce MVP, and co-leader of the Minnesota Developer Group, Andy Boettcher.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the twenty-fourth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce Certified Salesforce Administrator and Force.com Developer, Curt Holtz.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can find Curt on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

Tahoe Dreamin’ – From Lake Michigan to Lake Tahoe

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

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

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

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

Adam and Shawna Snowsuits

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

Samantha Snowsuit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Jen Nelson

This is the twenty-third 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 and co-leader of the Chicago Suburban User Group, Jen Nelson.
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What’s your job title? Senior Solutions Architect, Configero (EFD – That sounds pretty impessive. So you build stuff, right?)

What does that mean you do?  I like to say it is part art and part science. Once the customer’s requirements have been collected, my job is to identify and present solutions for the more complex requirements. Solutions may include any combination of code, declarative configuration and or AppExchange apps. I look at factors like Admin experience (how hard will it be to implement AND maintain), User experience (how hard will it be to learn and use), scalability and compatibility with other solutions that they already have, they are currently implementing or they have on their roadmap.  It is great fun and, sometimes a great challenge, because every Salesforce Org really is a snowflake! (EFD – I like that! Every Salesforce org really is a snowflake. Mind if I quote you on that? What you meant by that is every org, every company’s use of the Salesforce platform and ecosystem is beautiful and melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, right? I kid…I’m a kidder. What you mean is that every company’s use of the Salesforce platform and ecosystem is unique, which really speaks volumes to the power of the platform.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)?  I’ve been on the platform for 10 years. (EFD – 10 years? TEN years?!? Wow! You were around to witness the birth of the AppExchange…and a whole lot more.)

Bacon or sausage?  It’s bacon or nothing!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  Both are import, especially if your goal is collaboration – it is awesome to be able to share knowledge but even cooler to say, I don’t know but let me introduce you to someone who might. (EFD – Let me introduce you to someone who might…hey! That gives me an idea for a blog post. Oh…oops. Nevermind.)

How did our relationship start, and when? Was there ever a time when I didn’t know you?  Seems impossible. I suppose we really got to know one and other planning Midwest Dreamin’ 2014. (EFD  – Ah yes…that little thing in Chicago. I think we knew each other prior to that, but going through such an ordeal gave us both new found respect for each other, the entire Midwest Dreamin’ planning team and everyone at Salesforce who helps organize Dreamforce.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? One of my college jobs was working 3rd shift in a Pepperidge Farm Bakery – and I totally recreated the Lucy & Ethel conveyor belt scene with a batch of dinner rolls! (EFD – Did you still have that job after “Project Lucy”? And for the younger crowd, this is what Jen was referring to.)

You can find Jen on Twitter.