This week at #TrailblazerDay, I somehow found myself sitting for a couple hours with Marc Benioff, Ivanka Trump, and Trailblazers Aaron McGriff & Justice P. Sikakane at the fanciest dinner I ever had.
To say it was surreal would be the understatement of my life!
We were chosen to sit alongside these giants to share our stories of how Salesforce has changed our lives, and how the Salesforce model could be scaled to inspire and educate American workers.
– Aaron McGriff shared his story about how he went from unemployed to a Golden Hoodie winner.
– Justice P. Sikakane told his story about how he became a game changing accidental admin.
– And I shared my story about how Marc Benioff changed my life with a single email.
I’ve always dreamed of sharing my story with Marc. To do it here alongside Ivanka was special.
Ivanka was especially curious about how the average American person could find success like we and many others in this industry have. We told her the key was combining the community with technology. Inspirational stories, strangers helping strangers, and a learning platform like Trailhead.
I told Ivanka that I believed it was the American way for people to help each other, and if given the opportunity through technology like Salesforce’s, they would.
The next day (yes Ivanka spent TWO days with us!) was a special celebration where Marc signed a pledge to train 1 million workers. In true Benioff fashion, he delighted us all by doubling his initial promise of 500k workers. Steph Herrera, Zac Otero, and Shonnah Hughes shared their stories and signed the pledge as well. More than a few people, including me, teared up during the ceremony.
My biggest takeaway was how special the Salesforce community is and how lucky we are to be a part of it. The fact that a high profile person like Ivanka Trump (and her secret service!) spent two days with us showed me that this community is the real deal. Add the fact that she needs us to help her scale it out to the average American person – incredible! We really have a responsibility to give back and inspire the next generation of Salesforce talent.
If you’re curious about Ivanka – she was an absolute class act. She was polite, soft spoken, curious, listening, and not condescending in the slightest. She was extremely generous with her time and took selfies with everyone who asked. Politics were never part of any conversation – we were focused on the community.
Marc was Marc. This guy is larger than life.