I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Ryan Lorenzen

This is the forty-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 four-time Salesforce Certified, Ryan Lorenzen.

rlorenzen

What’s your job title? Salesforce Solutions Architect, PayPal. (EFD – That sounds impressive. When you get your paycheck is it deposited into a PayPal account?)

What does that mean you do? I’m the Salesforce solutions architect for PayPal’s largest business unit, Global Operations. The user base we support consists of 1300 users based in APAC, EMEA, and NA who work in sales, account management, business support, product integration, and underwriting…to name a few. I also lead a team of awesome admins based in the US, India, China, and Ireland. Everyday I get to talk to people all over the world and help design solutions for them. For a kid from Nebraska, that’s pretty cool. (EFD – That IS really cool!  So there’s more than just corn in Nebraska…)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been using Salesforce for about 11 years and have been a System Admin for the past 7.  Got my start as a user while working in Sales Ops.  (EFD – 11 years…I bet you’ve seen a change or two-hundred!)

Bacon or sausage? I love bacon. I love black pudding more. (Blood sausage, popular in the UK/Ireland) (EFD – Uh…not sure I’d eat anything with “blood” in the name, but to each their own!)

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? To me, they’re equal.  Those who are talented and surround themselves with the right people will be successful. (EFD – I used to think who you knew was more important than what you know, but the more I publish this post and see other people’s views, the more I tend to agree with your statement that they are equally important.)

How did our relationship start, and when? Our relationship started on Twitter, in the Summer of 2015, I think. I was sitting at 100 followers and DM’d you to ask how you managed to amass 3k followers. Since then, I’ve got your advice on other things as well, which I really appreciate. I look forward to meeting you in person someday. (EFD – And since then, you’ve increased your followers like 12-fold, and I’ve not quite doubled mine. Hmm…the student might be performing better than the teacher. I’m looking forward to an in-person meeting with you someday 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 came very close to being a Firefighter.  I went to college for computer programming, but I barely graduated and failed to find a job in that field.  I gave up on software and spent 2 years in my city’s Firefighter hiring process.  I passed all the tests, and right before the final interview, I realized it wasn’t for me and withdrew.  I’m fortunate to have found a career that I truly love, and I still get to put out lots of fires, just in a different way.  (EFD – While the fires you put out now may not be life-threatening, I’m sure some of them feel just as exhilarating and stressful as fighting an actual fire might be.)

You can find Ryan on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Parth Vasani

This is the thirty-ninth 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 triple certified, leader of the Pune, India, User Group, Parth Vasani.

Parth_Vasani

 

What’s your job title? Salesforce Developer / Consultant, Eternus Solutions Pvt Ltd. (EFD – Eternus Solutions got its start in India in 2010, and has been experiencing great growth since then. They have enjoyed success helping clients in a wide variety of industries, both for-profit and not-for-profit, and they established a United States presence in 2016. To learn more, visit their site. That’s what I did!)

What does that mean you do? I’m involved in mainly all things development, but there are times when I do admin stuff as well, overall I make clients happy and and help them understand the possibilities of the platform. Apart from the usual work, I deliver Salesforce passionately and strongly believe in giving back to the Salesforce community. I have trained and mentored more than 600 students and 800 end users. I am happy to share that some of them have been working on Salesforce platform now and certified admin and developers. I am a big fan of answers community and quite active on it. I lead the Salesforce User Group in Pune (India) and have 180+ community members with 80 (on an average) attendance and have been doing this for about a year. I also lead Pune Marketing Cloud User Group which is the first Marketing Cloud user group in India, and should be having its first meeting soon. Apart from User Groups , also lead Pune Salesforce Students Developer Group and Surat Salesforce Developer Group. (EFD – You are one busy man! Kudos to you for all you do to mentor future Salesforce Community leaders. #ForewardLookingStatement #MyOpinion – I wouldn’t be too surprised to see you making the ranks of Salesforce MVP in the future.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I started working on the platform in 2012 while I was in college. Salesforce was introduced to me by one of the genuine and well known personalities in the Pune IT industry. He advised me to explore Salesforce and my first reaction was “Wow! You just need a computer and an internet connection to start with”.  Salesforce has been a really great company and a platform to work with. There was a time when I only saw all darkness after completing my college, it was only because of the Salesforce that I landed with my first job. From that very day, I decided to contribute selflessly to students, and end users (also known as the community) to switch them to Salesforce , train them and certify them. I hope to be able to continue to transform lives so that they can serve the same community. (EFD – Yes! Another life transformed by the power of the Salesforce Platform. And another person dedicated to giving back to others. That’s what it’s all about – helping others!)

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

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? Its all about collaboration, but both of them are important. Who you know, because the power of the community is stronger than anything. Its like you build the network and connect with others to help the community to figure out what to do and then its all about giving back and helping others find their success. On the other side, you need to be up-to-date with your knowledge and I have learned a lot from the community and learn everyday. If you don’t know, you need to learn, only then you can help the community and this is how “What you know” is also important. (EFD – When I first started this blog series, my opinion [there’s that word again!] was very strongly “Who you know” is way more important, but as I feature more and more people, and hear their views, I’m thinking now that they are nearly equal in importance.)

How did our relationship start, and when? My first exposure to you was via Twitter. I asked for your help and you responded immediately. Also we are connected through the User Group Leader community which itself is a vibrant community. I hope we can meet in person one day soon. (EFD – Twitter…oh yes. The “great connector.” I take pride in trying to respond personally, and quickly to anyone who reaches out to me, asking for help. As for one day meeting in person…I’m sure that will happen at some point. I’ll be at Dreamforce 2016…2017…2018…2019…I think you get my point.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I Love Music and am a Violinist! Still learning it but playing it on low notes suites me best now.  (EFD – A budding musician…very nice. I started on the piano when I was about 8 years old, moved onto clarinet and saxophone through out my middle school and high school days. Making music is challenging and great fun. I’ve always heard the violin is NOT easy to play. Good luck with that.)

You can find Parth on Twitter.

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.

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 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!