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 Huong Tran

This is the thirty-third 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 a newcomer to the Salesforce Platform and Community, Founder & CEO of Magpie Travel, Huong Tran.

Huong_Tran

 

What’s your job title? Founder & CEO, Magpie Travel (EFDMagpie Travel…if you haven’t heard about them you NEED to! It’s a site designed to facilitate room and cost sharing for the solo female traveler, but there more than that specifically for Dreamforce, read on!)

What does that mean you do? I’m working on a new product called Perch Travel, a sharing platform to connect conference attendees so they can save 50% of accommodation costs by sharing a hotel room, while at the same time meeting new and interesting people. We’re currently running a Dreamforce ’16 promotion where we giveaway a free hotel stay in SF for registered attendees. (EFD – Whoa, wait. What? room sharing and 50% savings at Dreamforce, and a chance to win a free hotel stay?  DO TELL!! More on this later in the post.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I have just recently been introduced to the Salesforce ecosystem. I’ve spoken to about 20 people (Salesforce customers, partners, MVPs, Dreamforce past and future attendees, etc) and have gotten a very warm welcome from everyone.  It’s an amazing and supportive community!  (EFD – Amazing and supportive community…Yes. Yes it is!)

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 first, and then what you know second.  I came to the US about 8 years ago from Vietnam with virtually no US connections at the time. Eight years have passed and I’ve now become an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. This could not have been done without the supportive network I’ve built over the years. Since I’ve been so blessed, I want to pay it forward to others and Perch Travel lets me do that by helping others expand their networks. (EFD – You’ve really come a long way in eight years. Congratulations to you, and how exciting to see Perch Travel start to take off!)

How did our relationship start, and when? Eric and I got introduced by our three mutual connections. It goes without saying that his name came up a lot when I spoke to the folks in the Salesforce community. He’s famous! (EFD – Oh stop it! I’m just a guy from a little town in Southern Indiana, who seems to have a thing with bacon and knows a lot of people, or people that know people. I’m thrilled to meet you, and look forward to our first in- person soon.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I grew up in Vietnam when it was an embargoed country and the first foreigner I saw was in my teenage years.  That experience drove my curiosity to explore the world and eventually led me to become the first Vietnamese student attending Stanford business school since the war ended in 1975. (EFD – Go big or go home…isn’t that what people say? You went big…VERY BIG!)

You can find Huong on Twitter as @huongtdt and @perchtravel. Be sure to also check out Perch Travel’s Dreamforce contest!

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.

Want to Attend Dreamforce 2016, and Help Homeless Children at the Same Time?

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

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

My answer would be a resounding ‘yes’. I try to give back to the Salesforce community every chance I get. So when Cirrus Insight emailed to tell inform me that they were holding the same contest they held last year, where the winner would receive a free pass to Dreamforce, the contest I won last year, and auctioned off the Dreamforce pass because I did not need it, with the proceeds going to Project Night Night, I decided to take the bolder approach this year. Instead of entering the contest and hoping I would win, I simply emailed my contact at Cirrus Insight and asked if they would donate a pass that I could action off to benefit Project Night Night again this year. I think the response I got might have set the record for the quickest email response EVER. And that response was “Absolutely, YES!”

I’m now announcing the 2016 edition of “Attend Dreamforce, Help a Homeless Child” contest. One lucky winner gets a free pass to attend Dreamforce* and many homeless children get a NightNight pack from Project Night Night. *Conference fees only, sorry – travel and other accommodations are the responsibility of the winner.

Please answer these two questions:

  1. Do you still need a pass to Dreamforce?
  2. Do you want to help children have sweeter dreams at the same time?

If you answered yes to both questions, please place your bids here. To see the current high bid, follow me on Twitter and search for #DF16ProjectNight2X_HIGHBID.  The bidding will close at 11:59 PM on Friday, September 2, 2016.

URGENT UPDATE: Because Salesforce expects Full Conference Passes to sell out sometime during the week of August 29th, no bids will be accepted after 11:59PM Central Time on Saturday, August 27, 2016. The winner will be notified by 11:59PM Central Time on Sunday, August 28, 2016, via email or telephone.

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

Either way, please follow Project Night Night on Twitter and support their cause with prayers!

Thanks!