Welcome Amanda Byrne – Girly Geek of the Week!
Meet Amanda! She is driven, resourceful and an absolute #SalesforceFan! After reading her story, she has truly inspired me. Amanda is the Salesforce Admin for an amazing Non Profit, Carolina Tiger Rescue (literally if I was in the Non Profit world, that is who I would want to work for!), she is active in the Salesforce Community and she is an amazing photographer! See pics below!
Me: How & when did you start working with Salesforce?
Amanda: I learned about Salesforce at the NCTech4Good Conference in Chapel Hill. Here was a gift! Are you kidding me? I fell in love with the Reporting tool. Our prior database query tool was horrible; straight-up SQL was simpler. Salesforce reporting used grade-school math order-of-operations : parentheses, AND, OR. It was Divine!! Scalable, Salesforce for Outlook, Mass Import/Export/Update, apps for mass email, real de-duplication. Our first consultant made no progress in six months and our second spent half an hour on the phone at $150/hr and still didn’t answer my question- I decided I’d go it on my own. I found the Nonprofit Starter Pack. NPSP was just about to hit the fast gear. Many consultants were still recommending custom implementations, but the new features of the NPSP made the arguments moot. The next year was stumbling through terminology, creating processes, evolving a training plan, and making glorious promises that I’m still fulfilling. I found Judi Sohn’s Google group, and the more official NPSP google group, beginning to recognize names like David Habib, Kevin Bromer, Tim Lockie. Salesforce is devine!! I love it! and not waiting and figuring out a solution on your own #ROCKS!
Me: What is your current role working with Salesforce?
Amanda: I’m the Admin for Carolina Tiger Rescue’s Salesforce instance: with 90,000 contacts and nearly one million records. Mostly this means being the liaison between the staff and all the data behind the scenes. There are so many fields, and so many nuances to getting apps to work together that I understand why it can be intimidating. BIG KITTIES!!!! ❤
Me: What is your favorite thing to do in Salesforce and why?
Amanda: I love figuring things out and then sharing the hurdles and solutions in the community. I love creating process and infrastructure. I love feeling that I’m making Salesforce a more magical experience for other nonprofit techies. (that’s more than one, huh?) That is awesome! #SharingKnowledge! 🙂
Me: Are you currently certified? And if so what certifications do you hold?
Amanda: Certified Admin, 2014. I prepped in a study group led by Deepa Patel and Brent Downey. 🙂
Me: What are some of your aspirations and/or goals when it comes to Salesforce?
Amanda: Ready to measure Return – My year has been creating an app for Carolina Tiger’s tour check-in that will save thousands of volunteer data entry hours and decrease our lead time-to-engagement from 4-6 months to one week. I am definitely ready to see that project shine, and maybe present its success at DF16! Would love to see this solution!
Being more active in several Salesforce communities, especially GirlForce. I will be co-leading a GirlForce study group this quarter with Margaret Fako.
Check out the external database tool- what a savior that could be!
Implement iconography. I recently watched the “Be Iconic! Drive your business actions in SF1 with images” session video. Iconography would make the GUI less scary and more user friendly.
Pursue Developer Certification. Good Luck with all of these amazing goals!!! 🙂
Me: Do you have any advice for women working with Salesforce?
Amanda: Use the communities! Be respectful- look to see if an issue has already been answered before asking it yourself. And if no one is able to answer your question, be sure to come back and share what you found- It’s totally legit to mark your own answer as Best if you put in the work to figure it out. You’re paving the way for someone else.
Share your accomplishments and back up your peers with theirs. This is particularly important if you’re a solo admin- you will need people that understand the value of what you do. Excellent Advice Amanda!
Me: What kinds of things are you involved in, and/or do you like to do outside of the Salesforce world?
Amanda: In eleven years at Carolina Tiger Rescue, I’ve become a good photographer. I’ve even had photos published in the National Geographic kids book, Tiger in Trouble, about one of our rescues! My hope is the animals’ photos share a sense of who they are. They develop meaningful relationships, they have personal likes and dislikes they even have a sense of humor! They are sentient souls as unique as we are, and failing to conserve them and their wild nature would take away depth and beauty in our world.
I absolutely LOVE this and had NO idea it was only 30 minutes from my house! I am going to make a trip to visit very soon!
Otherwise, I love spending time working on my house. In 2010, I was accepted as a Habitat Partner Family, and with their help built my own house. Everyone knows Habitat for Humanity builds homes, but I don’t think people realize how well structured their program is for finding really deserving candidates and for sustainability. Congratulations! That is wonderful!
As a general rule- conservation is my nature and joy. I love to refurbish furniture, antique cars, old watches, anything I can do to bring life back to the neglected. 🙂
Me: Are you part of a Girly Geeks Chapter?
Amanda: I think I signed up for Girly Geeks initially, but I wasn’t clear on the difference between Girly Geeks and GirlForce. GirlForce became a comfortable fit- I already knew many of the names from the PowerofUs community. Girly Geeks seemed so much bigger, and the larger world of Salesforce can be pretty intimidating. But I recently recognized several names and faces in the local Girly Geeks group, so I’ll definitely have to check it out. Yes please as you would most likely be in my chapter lol!
It was a pleasure getting to know you Amanda and thank you very much for sharing!
You are definitely an inspiration!
For those of you that want to follow Amanda, here are her links:
Twitter handle: @AmandaByrnePBO, @NCTigerRescue
Sfdc Community links: