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Get to know Silverline’s 2019 Salesforce MVPs

Salesforce News

A round of congrats are in order to all those who earned Salesforce MVP status this year. At Silverline, we’re particularly proud of our newly appointed MVP, Umair Ilyas, and our renewed MVP, Lizz Hellinga.

To celebrate, let’s get to know them a little bit better and learn more about their passion for Salesforce.

Umair Ilyas

Get to know Silverline’s 2019 Salesforce MVPs 1

Tell us about your role at Silverline and your involvement with the Salesforce community. 

My role as a Senior Business Analyst at Silverline is to work with our clients to transition their businesses to work in Salesforce and to work with our Architects to help design and deliver client-specific solutions.

Outside of work, I’m one of the leaders of the New York City Trailblazer Community. My role as a user group leader is to bring together a community of admins, developers, consultants, students, and anyone else who is interested in learning about the Salesforce community. As a leader, I’m involved in leading our community events, helping Salesforce at World Tours, and volunteering as an educator through Trailhead for Students and programs like PepUpTech and CO-OP — organizations that empower youth from underserved communities in the New York City area.

What are some of your favorite things about the Salesforce community?

One of my favorite things about the Salesforce community is just how diverse it is. We have professionals from all walks of life and at different points of time in their career. We have a mix of administrators, consultants, and developers all ranging from small mom-and-pop shops to large Fortune 100 companies. We leave our differences and our titles at the door but still manage to share our unique experiences with everyone in the community.

How do you share your expertise with the community?

I think this one is the hardest to answer. Sure, I have some expertise in the community and in Salesforce. I’ll share my knowledge and experience at events like World Tours or Trailhead training sessions with organizations like PepUp Tech and CO-OP. But more than that, I — along with the other Salesforce leaders — have created a space where others can share their expertise.

What are some of the best ways for interested people to get more involved?

Show up, step up. We have so many events going on and a gamut of topics that we’re always looking for folks to not only join us but also lead. If there’s something you’re passionate about, a success at work you want to share, or even if you’ve built a cool process builder — we want to give you the spotlight to share with the rest of the community. Come to our community events. Ask how you can volunteer as a mentor or an educator.

What is one of your favorite community-led Salesforce events and why?

We had an incredible event in July 2018 with over 40 attendees at the Silverline Office. (special shout-out to #Silverline for providing us with the incredible meeting space). Below are comments from some of our attendees:

  • “My first SF User Group experience. Such a great topic to begin with.”
  • “You really kept the evening moving and fostered a great environment where people felt comfortable to reflect, question their biases, grow as human beings, and share their experiences. That’s not easy to do.”
  • “I greatly appreciated being invited to the event and felt included and valued.”

We took the Equality event-in-a-box and reshaped it to include more interactive activities, such as KWL charts (what you know, what you want to know, what you learned) and the Human Barometer. This turned out to be one of those rare events where everyone had a chance to speak and feel included.

What has been one of the most rewarding experiences about participating in the Salesforce community?

The most rewarding experience about participating in the Salesforce community — always — is seeing all of the incredible growth that our community goes through. During the start of all our events, we do this session called “career connect” where we ask folks to come up and tell us whether they’re looking for a job or are hiring for one. In this session, we also ask folks to come up and tell us if they’ve recently gotten a new job or acquired a certification. This session is all about celebration, and it’s absolutely touching to see folks come up and receive a round of applause for their success.

 

Lizz Hellinga

Get to know Silverline’s 2019 Salesforce MVPs

Tell us about your role at Silverline and your involvement with the Salesforce community.

I am the Sales Operations Manager on the Sales Effectiveness team. My life at Silverline revolves around Salesforce, which makes me very happy. Not only do we strive to take advantage of all that the Salesforce platform offers internally, but we also strive to help our customers align the platform to their evolving needs. I’m constantly in awe of what can be done with the platform.

I’ve been involved in the Salesforce community since 2013. I volunteer my time to help others learn the platform. I enjoy sharing skills that have helped me along my Salesforce journey, particularly skills that combine well with Salesforce admin skills. I’ve presented six times at Dreamforce on topics such as security, project management, and change management.

I am also passionate about helping women and other underrepresented groups in tech advance in their careers. I facilitated a workshop at the inaugural WITness Success Conference in August 2017 and facilitated another workshop (“Key to Negotiating your Next Role Like a Boss”) at WITness Success in July 2018. I have organized and moderated several Women in Tech (WIT) panels over the last four years. I am co-host of the Wit Thirsty Tues/Thursday. I truly have a passion for helping others hop on what I call the “Salesforce Success Journey.”

What are some of your favorite things about the Salesforce community?

What is amazing about this community is that I am surrounded by people who constantly want to help others. Just this week I was tweeting about Einstein Analytics and an entire giant group of people came out of the Twitterverse to help. It’s remarkable when you pause to think about it. I trust that I can reach out to each of those individuals and get help.

How do you share your expertise with the community?

Volunteering, speaking, and connecting people.

What are some of the best ways for interested people to get more involved?

Join your local community group. There are hundreds! I was a bit shy at first, but the community is welcoming and I learned quickly that they will go above and beyond to create a space for you to participate. Walking into the room the first time when you don’t know a soul is tough. I registered and didn’t show up to a couple of events because I was nervous. In hindsight, I realize how silly it was because the community is welcoming.

What is one of your favorite community-led Salesforce events and why?

I love WITness Success! It’s where I first met Silverline. The content is amazing and the atmosphere is about building each other up and making space for others at the table. (And we’ll be back at WITness Success this July!) 

What has been one of the most rewarding experiences about participating in the Salesforce community?

Seeing those you’ve helped along the way reach back and help others.

 

Want to connect with Salesforce MVPs? Check out the links below:

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