Dreamforce ’16 – An EPIC Event. #SalesforceOhana

(Clockwise) Jeff May, Stacey Cogswell, Nana GreggMelinda Smith and Amy Oplinger

Ok, I am slowly coming down from my Dreamforce ’16 high and going to sleep at 1am since my return. Four days is just not enough time to absorb all the great content and time with the Salesforce community. Who’s with me on this?

So, last year, I published a blog post titled “Dreamforce ’15 – My Best Dreamforce yet!” Alright, at the time, it was the best Dreamforce yet.

For those of you who listened to the ButtonClick Admin podcast where I was featured as a Admin track speaker, I talked about Dreamforce ’16 being epic. I called it then.

For those not involved in the community, Dreamforce is just another technology conference…One REALLY BIG technology conference with 170,000 attendees.

For those who are involved in the community, whether it is the success community, Twitter, user/developer groups, etc., Dreamforce takes on a totally different meaning. It’s like coming home to a family reunion. The kind of family you love and want to be with. It’s #SalesforceOhana.

What is Ohana, you ask?


Still not sure what Ohana is? Watch this video. You will see #SalesforceOhana. This is my ‘Tribe.’

I went to the Hilton Union Square Hotel Monday afternoon to pick up my Dreamforce backpack and badge. As I walked into the lobby, whom did I see from afar? I yelled out across the lobby, “Is that you, Amy?” When she said yes, I think I ran over and gave her a giant hug. Amy Oplinger is my Twitter friend and this was the first time we were meeting in person. What?! You make friends over Twitter?

This was my first selfie at #DF16. And I got to meet Ali Waheed!

first pic.jpg
Pat Solum, Amy Oplinger and Ali Waheed

There was an Admin Track Presenters Happy Hour Monday afternoon. Thank you, Mike Gerholdt, for organizing this.

Met several MVPs as a new MVP myself as well as other folks I’ve interacted with on Twitter and the success community.

Shonnah Hughes and Jen Wobser
Sarah Deutsch
Misty Jones and Monica
My MVP Process Automation Showdown ‘rivals’ Mike Gill, Rakesh Gupta and Chris Edwards
John Graf, Shell Black and Dale Ziegler
Francis Pindar, James Goerke and Rakesh
Beth Breisnes

Following that event, was the annual Women In Tech networking event. This year’s event format had two panels with the awesome Ayori Selassie in between to a packed Grand Ballroom B crowd of Women in Tech and our allies in the Hilton Union Square Hotel.


Ryan (aka lifewithryan)
Salesforce Developer Evangelist, Mary Scotton. Thank you, Mary, for being the sounding board for my solo session ideas.
We’re ‘blasian’ sistas from another mother: Shonnah Hughes, Annie Shek-Mason, Toya Gatewood
Stuart Edeal and Melinda Smith
Zachary Jeans
Fellow Summer 16 MVP Classmate, Adam Olshansky
My #RADWomen Project Partner, Virginia Leandro
Truly honored to finally meet #JenSquadPrez, Justice Sikakane
Who introduced me to Tony Prophet, Salesforce’s new Chief Equality Officer

Let me take a step back. My DF16 journey started back in April with the evening before the Boston World Tour at the Boston User Group where I talked to Mike Gerholdt and Mary Scotton about the Dreamforce session submission process. I submitted two solo session ideas and went in on 3 group session ideas. In late June, I found out that I would be a first time presenter at DF16 with three sessions. From there, I spent I don’t even know how many hours upon hours prepping my deck, working with my session coaches Peter Chittum and Kevin Richardson, to deliver 20 and 40 minutes of session content. For the MVP Process Automation Showdown, it was a mere 4 minutes of showtime. Despite the amount of prep time, I was honored for be selected for 3 sessions. I did it for the community, for my peeps. I stand by my blog’s tagline “Sharing my love for Salesforce with the community.”

I want to take a moment to thank those in my support system, my ‘tribe’, aka #JenSquad, who have encouraged me, lifted me up, been my cheerleader through this journey or been there when I just needed to share something with someone. You know who you are. #MuchLove


I became even more excited when I figured out and confirmed with Salesforce that I would be kicking off Dreamforce at my Tuesday 8:45am session in the Developer Lightning Theater as THE FIRST session. Woot Woot!


Oh course, I got the anxious butterflies, despite my confidence in all the preparation leading up to the moment of truth. I just needed for it to start.

845 presentation.jpg

My Session Coach, Peter Chittum

(BTW, thank you, Chris Duarte, for stopping by to wish me luck before I hit the stage. That meant a lot to me that you did that.)

I needed to remember this moment as first time presenter at Dreamforce…This is what I wanted to do…


So, this is my version at 8:40am…

845 selfie1.jpg

…which eventually grew to standing room only. Whoa!


845am Session.JPG

Missed my session or didn’t make it to Dreamforce? Catch it now. (Thanks, Ben Bolopue for recording it!)

I was very excited to meet my #ProcessTwinsie, Benjamin Bolopue. Ben is such an awesome guy and I’m so happy that Mary Scotton introduced us to one another via Twitter. We are both of the school of #ProcessFirst #StartItOffRight #RequirementsBeforeTechnology.

ben b.jpg

On Day 2 of Dreamforce, at 9am, I was up for my second presentation in the Admin Meadow Theater with heavy hitters, fellow MVPs, Chris Edwards, Mike Gill and Rakesh Gupta in a friendly competition MVP Process Automation Smackdown…ER…I mean, Showdown. Showdown just doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it.

Rakesh Gupta, (my MVP mentor) Mike Gill and Chris Edwards

Thank you so much to the awesome Process Builder Product Manager Shelly Ecreg for emceeing our session.



Moment of truth…Up first, here I go, with my process automation idea – Delete a Record, Delete Related Records (I will be blogging the solution I demoed in the session soon…)



And the winner is…OMG, it’s me!!

(Thank you, Scott Kozinchik, Process Builder Product Manager, for your help in getting legal’s approval of the use of the process builder logo for the trophy!)


Time for Marc’s Keynote…

Last year, I became really involved in the Salesforce community. At DF15, I met my mentor across the pond, Mike Gill, for the first time in person. A year later, I’m attending Dreamforce as a new MVP.

MVP does have its privileges. We entered through Moscone North, zipped through security and got advanced seating in the MVP only sections behind Marc’s and Parker’s seats. Think TSA pre-check.



mascots admin.jpg

I met Salesforce Admin Boot Camp Alum, Becca Fontanilla
Holly Goldin Firestone – She runs the MVP program
james l.jpg
James Loghry
Jeremiah Dohn
Jodi Wagner
Kristi Guzman
leyna Hoffer.jpg
Leyna Hoffer
aouatif ansaru.jpg
Fellow Boston WiT, Aouatif Ansari
apex and the limits.jpg
It’s Apex & The LimitsPeter ChalmersRachel Rogers, Ryan


Jenny Bamber
Another DF selfie with Parker Harris. Can we make this an annual thing?

Onto the Keynote…

Even though Cheryl Feldman was not physically here at Dreamforce, she was here in spirit.Marc and Parker introduce Einstein, Salesforce’s Artifical Intelligence in the platform, the future of Lightning, ability to white label Salesforce1, Quip in Salesforce and how customers can use Salesforce to become a Trailblazer. Eboni Frelix, SVP of Philanthropy & Engagement, , sharing the work of  and increase impact with Salesforce. Will.I.Am calls out the lack of diversity at Dreamforce and asks the community to give back to public education, do more for the underprivileged children. As always, there are inspiring customer stories…


Now, for the last of my three DF16 sessions, my breakout session, Don’t Build Yet: How to Understand and Document Process in Salesforce. Standing room only.

439 session.jpg430 session1.jpg430 session2.jpg430 session3.jpg430 session4.jpg430 session5.jpg

430 team.jpg
Many thanks to my volunteers: Justice Sikakane, Liz Gladstone, Andy Schmiechen and James Goerke
My session coach, Kevin Richardson

Dreamfest with U2 at Cow Palace

I attended the Developer Keynote, where Leah slayed her presentation/demo and rocked that NICE outfit!

leah keynote.jpg
Leah McGowen-Hare

Nothing is as exciting as the Admin Keynote, from the march from the Admin Meadow into the Admin Keynote and the chant “Awesome – Admin, Trail – Blazer…”

Kris Lande shared Admin success stories with David Liu, going from an Admin to Developer, implementing Lightning Experience, and Annie Shek-Mason regarding her initiative of TrailheadForAll and some leaders in that effort – Shonnah Hughes, Amy Oplinger, Toya Gatewood and Melinda Smith.  receives the golden trailblazer hoodie at the #AdminKeynote! Gillian Madill showed us the new Lightning features that increases our declarative super powers.

admin keynote stage.jpgadminkeynote.jpgzac otero.jpgshelly scott.jpgannie admin.jpgdavid liu.jpg

jeff douglas.jpg
Trailhead Developer Advocate, Jeff Douglas
kerry townsend.jpg
Kerry Townsend

Went to the Trailhead Breakfast at the Rincon Cafe in the Salesforce building Friday morning. It was great to see all those who support Trailhead – MVPs, Trailhead team, Trailhead-blazers. I got to meet the wonderful #Trailhead team who continues to deliver on great content. I got to meet Gina Marques, the woman who obtained the 1 millionth Trailhead badge and got to sign her Dreamforce bag. There were several people who talked about the impact Trailhead has had or efforts they’ve led using Trailhead: Shonnah Hughes, Kristi Guzman, Atul Gupta, Zachary Jeans and Mary Scotton.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Attended Marc Benioff’s Q&A. Got front row seats with TereGarcia, David, Sharon and Eric. LT Smooth opens the Q&A with Neil Diamond’s Harvest Moon and has the audience sing along…

“Because I’m still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I’m still in love with you
On this harvest moon.”

Marc’s Q&A was essentially open forum for anyone to ask him questions about anything. Great questions/conversations from community members from BlackLivesMatters, more support for the developer groups (rather than be second class citizens to the user groups), more accessibility to and open mindedness to feedback by the Salesforce Product Managers, how Salesforce can support those who want to follow through on Marc’s Keynote challenge to adopt a classroom, and a request for Marc and team to visit internationally.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The first floor of Moscone West was converted into the Admin Meadow/Developer Forest with the Trailhead theme throughout. There was a big magical Trailhead tree where you can write your Trailblazer story. In this Admin Meadow/Developer Forest area, there were Ask the Expert booths, photo ops areas, Trailhead Quick Starts camp, IoT stations, etc. along with the Admin Meadow Theater, Automation Station and the various Developer Theaters.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Check out the dance and lip sync moves on the hosts of the #AwesomeAdmin Lip Sync Battle – Mary Scotton, Amy Oplinger and Shonnah Hughes.

I’ve watched this dozens of times. Never get enough of this. #AstroFaceplant


Here is a collection of my various selfies with people from the community…This is my ‘Tribe.’ These are my peeps. There is no other community out there where everyone is supportive of one another, willing to lend a hand at all times. This is true whether you are a Salesforce MVP, Salesforce employee, Salesforce partner, user/developer group leader, members of the community. This is #SalesforceOhana.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Already over? Say, it ain’t so…

Lastly, let me close DF16 with a picture of my MVP and Salesforce family…



See you next year at #DF17!