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 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!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Misty Jones

This is the thirty-first 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 Advanced Administrator, and Leader of the Flyin’ Solo group on the Success Community, Misty Jones.

MistyRaeJones

What’s your job title? Senior Salesforce Administrator, Mutual of Omaha Bank (EFD – Mutual of Omaha has a bank? I thought they just produced awesome wildlife shows in the 1960’s through 1980’s. What was the host’s name again? Marlin Perkins, yeah that’s it!)

What does that mean you do? I’m an accidental techie. I plan events, automate stuff, train others, manipulate spreadsheets, enter securities trades, supply chocolate, and also administer Salesforce (EFD – Whoa, wait. What? You execute securities trades? Is that anything like this: https://youtu.be/obAoPP1bdIM ?)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been a Salesforce customer since April 2011.  (EFD – Almost long enough to be able to say “I remember the good old days when Dreamforce was small.)

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. Success isn’t just a matter of hard work, experience, and talent. It also depends on your relationships. Jobs often come from knowing people. The best learning comes through interaction. I also believe a strong social network (likely) displays your people skills. Take the Success Community for example…people are helping each other find their dream job, helping each other with formulas and validation rules, expanding their social networks. I’ve solved many issues by first using who I know and those people teaching me things to add to my ‘what I know. (EFD – Amen, Sister!  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.)

How did our relationship start, and when? We “met” in the Success Community and followed each other on Twitter. We promote each other’s events/groups. Finally bonded in person over plates of bacon during the 2013 Newbie Breakfast Reunion. (EFD – I’m thinking that it was the Flyin’ Solo Group on the Success Community where our relationship got started…thanks to a former co-worker of mine named Gabriel Matthews for leading that group, and you taking it over when Gabe left the Salesforce ecosystem.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? My latest workouts are considered aerial fitness. (EFD – Um…what? I asked Misty to send a few pictures that might help explain that. so…enjoy!)

You can find Misty on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Denise Carbone

This is the twenty-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 the Salesforce Certified Administrator, Co-Leader of the Chicago User Group and Co-Chair of Midwest Dreamin’, Salesforce MVP, Denise Carbone.

denise carbone

What’s your job title? Director of Client Engagements, RelationEdge (EFD – In case you don’t know – RelationEdge is a Salesforce Silver Consulting Partner that helps companies implement Salesforce. We focus first on the business processes you are trying to enhance and the results you are looking to achieve, and yes, I stole that wording right from their website!)

What does that mean you do? I help clients be successful and understand the possibilities of the platform. I primarily work with reboots and those just getting started in their implementation of Salesforce. In a nutshell, I am a Salesforce Consultant, and am happy to be here. (EFD – Rookies and Reboots….hmmm.  Sounds like a great title for either a blog series or a Dreamforce session!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been on the platform for 12+ years. I started in March of 2004 as a Customer. I’ve been a customer up until this past August (2015) when I joined RelationEdge here in Chicago. (EFD – And just for the record, Denise hosted the first user group meeting I ever attended, in Chicago back in late 2009.)

Bacon or sausage? Eww…a pork product? No thank you!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know? It’s a combination for me, I definitely do not know it all and never pretend that I do. I would be happy to talk all day about the things I do know well, and am always seeking opportunities to learn more. I love our community and have made lifelong friendships, and I feel comfortable enough to reach out when needed to my friends to ask questions or bounce ideas off them. Also, I love the User Group Community! (EFD – Ok, Denise…we get the point that you love the community. I agree!  And 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.)

How did our relationship start, and when? We met at a Salesforce City Tour event in Chicago when it was held at the Westin, I believe it was 2008 or 2009. We (Chicago User Group) were hosting a User Group Meeting the morning of the event. (EFD – Yeah, I kind of did a spoiler on that one a couple questions back…but it was a great day for me, and was thrilled to meet you and your user group then. You all made me feel like part of the family from the moment I walked into the meeting.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? Not sure I have anything that I would surprise you with since I think we talk several times a week to plan Midwest Dreamin’!! Hmmm, how about the fact that I’d be a vegetarian IF I didn’t like chicken so much! (EFD – Yes, I suppose that does surprise me a little. For the record, my wife refers to you as my “Salesforce Wife”, and I think you’ve even told me that your husband, who IS in the Salesforce ecosystem, refers to me as your “Salesforce Husband”…and yes, our respective spouses have met each other, and they are perfectly fine with the relationship we share!)

You can find Denise on Twitter personally and Chicago User Grouply (Yes, I know that “grouply” isn’t a word!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Matt Nesci

It’s been a month since my last post, and to my loyal readers, please accept my apology for the delay, but it seemed fitting to me, to take a little time off to remember and reflect on a life taken from us too soon. Tami Esling, you will long remain in the hearts of this community.

This is the twenty-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 the 5 time Salesforce Certified, Salesforce MVP, Matt Nesci.

Matt Nesci

What’s your job title? Client Success Manager, Basati LLC (EFD – Basati has some pretty cool core values: Basati is built on trust, customer care and enduring relationships. We employ honesty and objectivity, and work with an intellectual mindset to create in-depth analytical and problem-solving techniques. As a consultant, we exist to create value, and as such our work is driven by our consideration and respect for our clients, colleagues and partners.)

What does that mean you do? I work remote so every day I am on the phone with my clients most of the day. When I am not on the phone, I am usually in the set up menu moving clients projects forward,working on documenting requirements to send to our development team, spending time in the community, and researching new Salesforce functionality. (EFD – I’m a remote employee too. It’s pretty cool how many companies in the Salesforce ecosystem have workers spread out all over the globe!)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? I’ve been in the Salesforce since 2009. (EFD – And just for the record, Matt has been a Salesforce MVP since Summer, 2015.)

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, because the power of the community is always stronger then one person’s knowledge. (EFD – YES!!! He totally gets it! If you, the reader, takes only one thing away from this post, let it be a compete and total understanding of that statement: “The power of the community is always stronger than one person’s knowledge.”)

How did our relationship start, and when? I think we got our start about a year ago in a Twitter conversation about your wife’s cookies. (EFD – I can’t argue that one. Honestly, I don’t recall when or how our relationship started, but I know for a fact that I’ve had plenty of Twitter conversations about my wife’s cookies. Check those out here, and please give her a like!)

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 two fun facts at different ends of the spectrum. 1. I won a trip to the “Wardrobe Malfunction” Superbowl. 2. I was robbed at gun point and shot two times (about 20 Years ago.) (EFD – 1. You won a trip to the Super Bowl? Cool…did you actually go? 2. Ouch! I’m glad you survived that ordeal. )

You can find Matt on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.