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Rising Waters, Rising Connections: Chicago Commons Community Sprint and Nonprofit Dreamin’

Salesforce.org Commons Community Sprint Chicago 2023
If you’ve been following my previous blogs, you’ll know the anticipation that led up to my journey to Chicago for Nonprofit Dreamin’ and the Salesforce Commons Sprint. Little did I know that just eight days before departure, my home would be flooded due to Storm Babet, demanding a complete overhaul of the downstairs. However, with an understanding husband and the profound importance of this trip in mind, I embarked on a journey that promised to fill my cup with inspiration and connection.
 

Finding Community Amidst Chaos

The flood wreaked havoc on my home, necessitating a significant cleanup effort. While many might question the decision to leave my husband to deal with the aftermath and care for our 9-year-old, the trip held a unique significance. It was an opportunity to meet the faces behind the pixels on the screen and the names in Slack from the Salesforce Ohana. The trip, despite the challenges, became a necessary refill for my cup, a source of inspiration and connection that I desperately needed.

Highlights of the Journey: Kindness, Sprinting, and Nonprofit Dreamin’

1. The Kindness of the Community
The community’s kindness stood out as a beacon of support during a challenging time. Special mentions go to Kathy Waterworth, Michael Kolodner, and Judi Sohn for ensuring I explored Chicago’s sights and had dinner companions. The gestures of everyone who checked in on me were genuinely appreciated.
 
2. The Open Commons Sprint
The Open Commons Sprint, a topic previously explored in my blogs, took on a new level of magic when experienced in person, in the U.S., alongside seasoned sprinters. Leading the Indicators group, a core team I recently joined, was a highlight. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog about this exciting product. The sprint not only enriched my professional insights but also transformed acquaintances into lasting friendships – oh and I got to meet Sprinty, our beloved mascot!
 
Me, Michael & Sprinty
 
3. Nonprofit Dreamin: A Confluence of Minds
Nonprofit Dreamin brought together over 250 individuals from the Salesforce Nonprofit space. Lori Freeman’s keynote covered recent Salesforce Nonprofit developments, and Salesforce Product Manager J.J. Miller addressed our questions. The event exemplified ‘community over business,’ with representatives from various consultancies collaborating and sharing best practices. Standout sessions, included Hayley Tuller’s “Too Small to Succeed: On the Salesforce Size Myth” and Cori O’Brien and team’s “Community Innovation: Explore the Commons” added depth to the experience.
 
4. Networking Beyond the Conventional
Networking wasn’t confined to conference halls, meeting rooms and open working spaces. Volunteering for goodie bag stuffing and session monitoring provided ample opportunities for meaningful conversations. From architecture boat tours to Chicago Bulls basketball games, forging connections in unconventional settings highlighted the power of networking beyond traditional conference spaces.
 
Chicago 2023 Community Photos

Conclusion: A Cup Overflowing with Inspiration

Upon my return, despite the weariness from the journey, my cup was undeniably full. The memories of meeting incredible individuals, learning, and establishing stronger connections will undoubtedly enhance my ability to support nonprofit organizations using Salesforce. As I contemplate my next trip, there’s also the pressing matter of dealing with the aftermath of the flood—a testament to the resilience required in both personal and professional pursuits.

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