Welcome Nana Gregg – Girly Geek of the Week!
Nana is not only a Super Mom to 3 children, but an ADHD advocate, hard-core parent volunteer and a 10+ year veteran administering Salesforce! I am a working parent with one child and thought I was busy. As a woman, parent and fellow Salesforce geek – I am thoroughly impressed! You … Go … Girl!
Me: How & when did you start working with Salesforce?
Nana: In 2004 I was working for an Energy Conservation Consulting Company. I had started out as an Administrative Assistant, but had taken on multiple roles and was eager to move up. I was just coming back from maternity leave when my boss said that the Sales/Marketing department was moving onto the Salesforce platform and they wanted me to take on the Director of Marketing position and lead the implementation effort. I attended an Admin class (before there was a Salesforce University and certifications) and never looked back! Another Administrative Assistant turned Rock Star Admin :)!
Me: What is your current role working with Salesforce?
Nana: I am currently the Sr. Salesforce Admin for a company that provides corporate real estate technology and management solutions. Our Salesforce org is a full-on ERP solution with over 300 users – we use the FinancialForce PSA app for project and resource management and FinancialForce Accounting app for all of our finances. We manage 5 individual corporate sets of books and 5 currencies, and over the past 2 years we have tripled our head count. I’ve been the solo admin for the past 3 years, but we have recently brought on another admin to help with the workload. In implementing the FinancialForce apps, I had to learn all about how we manage our projects, how we bill, process A/P and A/R. I’ve learned the Revenue Recognition process and all about currency exchanges and Journal entries! An admin does SO much more than just create users and reports! A true Salesforce Admin knows the inner and outer workings of every part of her company! So Very True!
Me: What is your favorite thing to do in Salesforce and why?
Nana: My favorite thing to do is work with users to see what they are doing ‘offline’ and design, build and implement a solution in Salesforce. I am always amazed at how much time people spend in spreadsheets just getting data organized and ready for consumption – if we can cut just a portion of that time by adding related objects or formula fields then they can use their time evaluating and acting on the data instead! It’s all about creating and improving efficiency!
Me: Are you currently certified? And if so what certifications do you hold?
Nana: After 10 years as an admin I finally bit the bullet and got my Administrator Certification at Dreamforce last year. The sense of accomplishment was really nice, and I’d encourage admins and developers alike to go for it. I’ve set a Goal to get my Developer Certification by the end of May so check back up with me to make sure I stay on track! Congrats on the cert!
Me: What are some of your aspirations and/or goals when it comes to Salesforce?
Nana: Besides the Developer certification I’ve really started focusing on learning to code. I’m dating myself now, but as someone from the generation that took an actual typing course (on a typewriter) in High School, computer programming was not on the radar of your average female college-age student. It wasn’t even on my radar. But now, with Salesforce and the multitude of courses and blog posts and the Success Community it is something that anyone can tackle and learn! I’ve taken the ADM-231 Intro to Object Oriented Programming course from Salesforce University, am working through Kieren Jameson’s Cooking with Code series on the Women Code Heroes blog, and have applied to be a part of the new RAD Women pilot program for becoming a Salesforce Developer, so fingers crossed I get accepted! Fantastic blog for learning code!
Me: Do you have any advice for women working with Salesforce?
Nana: The best advice I can give is something I actually read on this Women Code Heroes blog post: “Assume You Belong”. It’s a quote that has stuck with me and really resonated. The community of Salesforce Admins and Developers is large but so very welcoming. Get involved by joining in the conversation on the Success Community and reading blog posts and follow all the MVPs on twitter. Lurk for a while if it makes you comfortable, but jump in, assume you belong and get involved! Last year at Dreamforce I was like a FanGirl in the Admin zone – I felt like I knew all of these people I had been virtually communicating with for months. They all felt like old friends. And when I walked up to MVP and uber-cool Girly-Geek Cheryl Feldman to introduce myself and she said, “oh my gosh, Nana!” and hugged me, I knew that this bond that the Salesforce world helps to create is an awesome one! I couldn’t agree with you more!
Me: What kinds of things are you involved in, and/or do you like to do outside of the Salesforce world?
Nana: Well, I am married to a great guy who does all the cooking (yay) and I have 3 busy kids, my daughter is just about to turn 14 and going into High School – she is into theatre so she is always working on one show or another and I love to help with props and costumes. I also have 2 boys, ages 7 & 10. My boys are both very smart and have varying degrees of ADHD – I am their biggest advocate and am involved in the ADHD community and often blog about our experiences with school, meds and more. I’m also a PTA mom – the working mom guilt means I say yes to PTA so I can give back in some way since I’m not available to help during school hours. WoW! how fantastic, you are a SUPER mom!
I like to describe myself as a learner. I love learning new things so I always have multiple things going on. I taught myself to crochet, I love to paint and even spent the summer a few years ago painting murals on the playground walls of our kindergarten. I’ve done community theatre in the past year and served on the school district’s bond committee. I figure life is too short to put things off and sit around watching TV! I’m also an avid audiobook listener – it is the ultimate in multi-tasking – I can listen while doing laundry, commuting to work and everywhere in between!
Me: Are you part of a Girly Geeks Chapter?
Nana: Amazingly, the DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) Girly Geeks chapter is pretty new. I am a member of the group but haven’t made it to a meetup yet due to the kids’ schedules. I’m thinking once summer is here their evenings will settle down enough for me to attend! I think you have 3 excellent excuses 😉
It was a pleasure getting to know you Nana and thank you very much for sharing! You are definitely an inspiration!
For those of you that want to follow Nana, here are her links:
Twitter handle: @nanahg3
Sfdc Community link: https://success.salesforce.com/_ui/core/userprofile/UserProfilePage?u=00530000007qchZAAQ&tab=sfdc.ProfilePlatformFeed