In Summer 2015 I was the director of healthcare foundation and default Salesforce Admin for our organization, which led to me getting an invite to a Non-Profit event with Salesforce.org AE Toby Quaranta. I was sitting next to Kristi Dellinger and as the meeting progressed I asked if there was a group like the Google Non-Profit Meetup, where we all could get together more often, share ideas, help each other use Salesforce better, etc.
One of the hosts, Admin User Group Leader Kristin Kiester, said, ‘Oh, you should start a Non-Profit User Group.’ I had no idea what a User Group was, but said, ‘yeah, that sounds great.’
Fast forward a few weeks, Kristi & I were the new co-founders of the Pittsburgh Non-Profit User Group. Since that summer, Kristi & I have organized over 40 User Group events, and I believe our efforts have really benefitted many .orgs in the Western PA area.
Over that time I transitioned to Salesforce consulting, but stayed very involved with our local non-profit community through volunteering, organizing Salesforce projects for GiveCamp, our User Group, and a few other efforts. However, as the years have passed and my Salesforce abilities have grown, I found I have been focusing less and less on the new features and improvements of Non-Profit Cloud and non-profit specific best practices.
Though I had spent 10 years in human services & non-profit organizations, my focus has shifted so far from the non-profit realm that I realized my knowledge of all things non-profit had stopped growing. Luckily, during this same time, our Admin User Group Leader Kristin began working for Cloud for Good. She always knows the pulse of Non-Profit Cloud and is surrounded by a team of non-profit specialists.
So today Kristin & I officially changed groups and I am assuming the leader role for Pittsburgh’s Admin Community Group. I’m really excited about the change, I think I can bring new energy to the Admin Group while Kristin can do the same for the Non-Profit Group.
It is also a sad moment, Kristi & I have put so much work into growing our Community Group and it has been directly responsible for so many amazing advancements in our skills, careers, and network within the Ohana. It was hard to make the announcement at our Global Gathering event last night even though I know both groups will be better for the change, in a way it feels like I’m losing the last real connection to the field where I spent the first decade of my career.
Harder still is losing my co-pilot for the last 3 years. I am a big picture guy, I’m not the best with details, process, and rules in general while Kristi is quite the opposite – we have complimentary personalities and together we’ve grown so much in our Salesforce careers, helping each other each step of the way with the User Group as a common bond.
I know we’ll still talk all the time, I’ll still ask her all my CPQ & Flow questions, she’ll message when she has a stubborn problem she can’t solve on a project, but I’ll miss the monthly planning & exchanges that have been part of the last 3 years.
Despite this, I can’t wait to get started with the Admin User Group. I have so many ideas for sessions, study groups, social outings, etc that I’m excited to bring to a new Trailblazer Community Group. This also means that 3 of the 4 Pittsburgh Community Groups will be led by members of the Accidental Admins family, which brings a great sense of pride to our team.
So…while it may take some time to stop referring to myself as the Pittsburgh Non-Profit Group Leader, I am excited for the change, challenge, and adventures to come with the Pittsburgh Admin Group!