As announced by Salesforce & Holly Goldin last week, we have our first class of 2016 Salesforce MVPs! 26 community members have been awarded the coveted MVP title for their contributions and Salesforce expertise. These new members to the MVP family have contributed in various forms including, answering questions, writing blog posts and leading various user groups all over the world. I managed to catch up with a few of them to get an insight to what they do, and how you can follow them on various mediums. If you would like to know more information about how MVPs are selected from the community, please read this fantastic post by Holly Goldin.
Melissa’s Salesforce career started as an administrative assistant who was excited about process improvement, cross functional team collaboration and project management. She first crossed paths with Salesforce after being asked to administer a new CRM system. Melissa has any amazing blog you should definitely check out and in her own words –
“Knowing what it is like to transition a career from administrative support, to Salesforce administration, and now to Salesforce consulting at GearsCRM, I bring a unique perspective to my training and content approach for the admin wanting to make big moves in their career”
Enrico started his Salesforce journey in 2009 after working as a Java Developer. He currently works as a Solutions Architect at WebResults, an Italian Salesforce Gold Partner. Enrico contributes to the community in a huge way after being motivated by a fellow MVP friend a few years ago, we also believe him to be the first Italian MVP! In Enrico’s own words –
“I warn you my dear Salesforce Community friends, I will not be the classical MVP, I’m not the guy in suit and tie that speaks polite English. I’d rather be your italian friend with a pizza in his hand – who sometimes makes horrible grammar errors – but who is always there to help your Salesforce path to become an awesome journey!”
Toya is a classic “accidental” admin, she stumbled across Salesforce in 2009 and had no idea that this would turn a job into a Career. She now has 6.5 years of SF experience and has been a certified Administrator for 5.5 years. Toya has fully immersed herself into the community and is active on Twitter, her local user group, Midwest Dreamin’ and at Dreamforce. She is also a promoter of Woman in Tech, RAD Women and other diversity groups.
“One of the absolute best things about Salesforce is the community and any opportunity I have to immerse myself in it and expose more people to it, I feel like I have to take it.”
Celeste Keller became a self-taught Salesforce Admin in 2007 while working for a small tech startup in Portland, Oregon. She is a Certified Admin, Advanced Admin, Sales Cloud Consultant, and Developer. She is also a devoted Success Community Champion and an advocate for diversity in technology.
“I became a Salesforce MVP as a result of continued Community involvement, blogging and tweeting about all things Salesforce, and doing my best to help her fellow admins, both in person and through the Community.”
Agustina started working with the Salesforce platform as a Developer in 2008, since then she has not stopped learning about new platform features. Her road to MVP started with organising the first Developer user group in Spain 2 years ago she is also a regular session contributor including Madrid & London world tours and twice at Dreamforce. Agustina also spotted a niche for newbies in Spain and as a result –
“I decided I could do something else for newbies, mostly with Spanish newbies. We could find a lot of blogs and articles in English, but not so many in Spanish. That’s encouraged me to start a blog where I write entries in Spanish when the topic is focused on starters, and English when the topic is something broader like Lightning.”
Margaret is a Business Architect in the IT department at Interlochen Center for the Arts. She has a degree in Music business and “fell” into her IT job in 2007. She is the co-leader of the Michigan Nonprofit User Group and is a Certified Administrator and Force.com Developer.
Pat is the Marketing Director for Retail Data Systems and has been a Salesforce Admin for 5+ years. He wouldn’t describe himself as a complete Salesforce ninja, but is very passionate and an avid contributor to regional user groups. Pat tells his story better than me! –
“Even though I was a solo admin and nobody was around I never felt on my own. When others moved to salesforce and we got a User Group together we muddled through getting started and built a community. Now I am focused on helping others build strong regional user groups through the Salesforce User Group Leaders Office Hours calls, our User Group Leader Mentoring Program and now our blog leaderforce.”
Christian started working with Salesforce as a box office manager for a theater that sold their tickets on the platform. Through that, he became active in the Power of Us Hub, and started a blog. As an active member of the nonprofit Salesforce community, he was recognized as a Salesforce Foundation Hub Hero in July of 2015.
“When I’m not empowering nonprofits to make hard decisions based on real data, you can find me wandering the farmer’s market, grilling anything that might taste good over fire, listening to podcasts, or sitting on my patio with a book and a beer.”
Stephanie is a Salesforce team lead at GreenSky and in her spare time she co-founded and runs two user groups in Atlanta, WIT (Woman In Tech) & Pardot. As well as being very active on Twitter, the Success Community, networking with other members of the community, she also won the #AwesomeAdmin award at the Atlanta Word Tour!
Jocelyn is a managing partner of OpMentors, a Salesforce & FinancialForce partner. She works with customers to obtain operational effcienceis using the Force.com platform. As well as her day job, Jocelyn co-leads the Chicago WIT user group and has been a member of the Chicago user group, and if that’s not enough! –
“I also co-lead the Midwest WIT Thirsty Thursday webinars with the leaders of Wisconsin and St. Louis. I love contributing on the Success Community and Twitter.”
Jodi started with working with Salesforce in 2004 for a financial services and insurance company, she went from solo Admin to running a Salesforce center of excellence on the client side. Now Jodi has moved to consulting, leads two user groups (Business user group & WIT), tweets, blogs and is 1/4 of planning for London’s Calling.
“Once Francis Pindar dragged me into speaking with him at a user group, it was all over. I’ve spoke at world tour London, Dreamforce and more”
Fabien started playing around with Salesforce back in 2009, he loved how easy and powerful the platform was, as well as being able to setup a Developer Org in under 5 minutes. By day he works as a Salesforce consultant and in his free time he started co-leading the Paris Salesforce Developer group, answering questions on StackExchange and the Salesforce Developer Forums.
“All these awesome people I’ve met and the help I get from them make me feel even more eager to give back. I’ve started a blog at the end of last year,and started presenting at some events like Salesforce World Tour or more recently the awesome community-led event London’s Calling.”
Davina has been a solo admin since 2007. She co-leads the Tampa Bay User Group and is an active supporter of the Tampa Women In Tech group. She is a hard working mom and loves cheering on other moms in the Mom Force group on the community. She doesn’t have her own blog, but has enjoyed guest blogging on Button Click Admin, Admin Hero and has been featured as a Girly Geek of The Week.
Alex has been working on the Salesforce platform since 2013 after being introduced to the platform and mentored by MVP, Chris Lewis. Alex is heavily involved with the Salesforce community and has helped with community projects as well as speaking at Dreamforce –
“I think I mainly became an MVP through my involvement with the StackExchange, Twitter, my blog and my involvement with the Bristol user group”
Jeremiah was first introduced to Salesforce in 2013, he got more involved after “falling” into the role in 2014 after being asked to clean up some dirty data. Since then he has branched out to start his own blog, answering questions on twitter and started leading sessions in the Salesforce Certification study group.
“Since my introduction to the platform, I have received six certifications and am ecstatic that I can now help others along their journey. Three years ago, if you asked me where I thought I would be in three years, I never would have said that I would be where I am today.”
Stephanie is a Sr Salesforce Manager for NFP in Austin where she manages a team of 5 admins. Steph has contributed to the community in a huge way by helping to launch the concept of Girly Geek Chapters back in 2013, shortly launching the Austin chapter in 2014. In 2015 she also created #SalesforceSaturday where her local community meets up to discuss and practise all things Salesforce! –
“We also just talk Salesforce shop. Its very informal, with no set agenda, other than to show up and work on something salesforce related. It still blows my mind that this many people show up so early on a Saturday morning to talk Salesforce Shop.”
Roy is a Salesforce expert and works at WalkMe as Director of Business Operations.He started working on Salesforce in 2009 by mistake, after being hired as a dot-net Developer and on the first day of the job being asked if he wanted to switch to Salesforce development (What a fantastic mistake!). From there he gained more responsibilities: from a Salesforce developer to a Salesforce project manager, later to a Salesforce Architect to a Hands-on manager. Roy also started the Israel user group and moved to be an in-house employee, mostly because he wanted to collaborate on how it would be best to implement SF and the common uses cases of different modules.
Mohamed joined a small company as a trainee Salesforce developer, at first he was pretty sceptical because he had never heard of it, but after he discovered the community he decided to jump on in and try and give back. 3 years ago he started the Paris Developer group and tried to create an environment where developers could learn and network.
“Today we have a solid community in France and having 2 more MVPs means we’re doing something right!”