Friday, July 7, 2017

Jean Velonis & Misty Jones - Phoenix Women In Technology

This blog is part of a blog series to highlight Salesforce Community Champion, from user group leaders, developer group leaders, and members from around the world #Ohana

Hello ladies, tell me about yourself, which User Group you lead and any other Salesforce community groups in your city?
Jean Velonis: Sr. Salesforce Admin, Phoenix Women In Technology.
Misty Jones: Sr. Salesforce Admin, Phoenix Women In Technology.

We have 5 awesome leaders in Phoenix:
Phoenix WIT - Jean & Misty.
Phoenix User Group - Gloria Gutierrez & Marisa Hambleton.
Phoenix Developer Group - Mike Norton.

When is your group established and when you become the group leader?
Group has been around since 2006 for core user group, but WIT has been around for the last 3 years. We love helping our fellow Salesforce members. 

Jean has been an admin since 2001 and Misty since 2011. We encourage women in tech to step up and share HER story in the WIT group. This helps them practice for a larger audience and/or build confidence.

How often you plan for User Group meetup?
Phoenix Women In Tech meets once a month.

How long has been your User Group established?
The last 3 years.

How many members attend the meetup in average?
We get anywhere between 5 to 25 ladies.

What have you learned as a User Group leader?
All of our community members are so grateful to have a group that they can come and share stories, bounce ideas and learn new skills. 

For Misty, she initially joined because she felt more comfortable and that it is a "safe place" in an industry traditionally dominated by men. We've heard the same initial sentiments from other attendees.

What do you love being a group leader?
We love giving back, sharing and learning about what others are doing in life balance, career, and health. Teaching, helping, and inspiring others, in turn teaches, helps, and inspires us!

What do the challenges become User Group leader and how to overcome it?
Finding a location that works for all our members. Phoenix is a wide city. We see members from 50 miles. This is hard to meet in a centralized location.

What do you think the "uniqueness" about your User Group compare to others?
The Phoenix WIT User Group has a vast span of members. We have OGs to Newbies. Admins, business users, and developers. We encourage everyone to participate and share HER story. You never know who else is having a similar issue, solution or career opportunity.

Share us tips that make your group success
Meeting regularly with a day of the month and location. We are lucky in that University of Phoenix partners with us. They allow us to have a permanent home on one of their campuses. 

We also evolve the community members in share their stories and experience. We try to find a topic like a movie showing for She Started It to bring in allies. 

Relating topics to discussions that have happened at meeting and bring in experts to help facilitate specific skills.

What would like to see your group in the future?
We would love to see more executives join us! Admins, developers, and business users are the core but having executive sponsorship from the top down really gives Salesforce the sparkle it deserves.

One last thing you would like to share with the community
Jean & Misty are "swagaholics". We love to collect, trade, and give out swag! Both of our spouses desperately wish for us to declutter.

Simplysfdc comment: Just curious if men allowed to attend WIT? Yes, I agree that user group and WIT group is the place to practice to speak to a larger audience and/or build
confidence. So, I believe both of you have submitted your presentation for DF17.

I had a chance to visit Phoenix, Arizona two years back, where my ex-company US regional office located in Scottsdale, it's around Jun and it's so hot!!! 

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