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Higher Education Advisory Council: Submit Your Nomination Now

By June 7, 2017

By: Florence Parodi, University of Miami, Higher Education Advisory Council executive committee officer

One of the great strengths of the higher education community is its commitment to helping each other. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Salesforce ecosystem, and those who most contribute become well known for sharing their expertise with others. If I’m describing you or someone you know, consider responding to the call for nominations to the Higher Education Advisory Council.

What does the “advisory” part of the council’s name mean?

The council not only shares their knowledge with the community but serves as go-to advisers for To be clear, the council is a working group of evangelists who are committed to helping the community. Part of helping, of course, is ensuring that leadership receives clear feedback from its most active customers.

During its two in-person meetings and regular conference calls, members have engaged with around HEDA and Advisor Link; have provided feedback on packaging and licensing; and have reviewed everything from event agendas and session proposals, to onboarding journey personas and advisory services offerings.

How does the council strengthen the community?

Because members are naturally motivated to help, the council has committed to a variety of community-building initiatives, including:

  • Higher Education Office Hours: Council members volunteer to host this monthly call-in session to answer questions from their higher ed peers. The community may call with a variety of questions or just tune in to hear what’s new or exciting in the ecosystem. Even without a single question from callers, there is plenty of Q&A…and tips, tricks and best practices…and frank opinions. The goal is to help everyone better understand how they can be successful.
  • Higher Education User Group: Following a regular meeting schedule, this “virtual” user group brings together higher eds for demos of products and solutions. This allows true question-and-answers, much different than we get with webinars and vendor calls. Council members share their own solutions during demos or, if a product is being demo-ed, they ask some pretty straightforward questions to help peers understand the benefits and challenges of products that so often purport to solve every problem we have.
  • Custom demos and referral calls: Most council members start out sharing their success individually with other schools. They often progress to sharing their org through a demo with another school and even host – or travel for – site visits. As a community, higher eds want to see what others have done and council members, who tend to be the most veteran, experienced and giving in the community are in high demand.
  • Session speakers: Naturally, those who have enjoyed success and want to share their knowledge are obvious candidates to present at events and on webinars. Council members lead sessions at Dreamforce and Higher Ed Summit, are featured in webinars and present at other higher education conferences, investing their time to make sessions both inspirational and filled with practical advice.
  • Volunteerism: Members write guest blogs, host “birds of a feather” conversations and lead Circles of Success training. They also step up to serve as beta testers, test drive surveys, make appearances in videos and co-host events (like Higher Ed Summit!).

It sounds like a lot of work. Are there expectations of members?

There is a high bar for membership, so be sure to review the Introduction to the Higher Education Advisory Council deck below prior to making any nomination. Because membership is an investment in time and resources for both members and, members are expected to attend at least one in-person meeting annually, participate in 50 percent of conference calls and volunteer for council initiatives. Good nominees spend their time helping the community; membership formalizes the commitment, offering organized channels to scale work they already are doing.

Who makes a good nominee?

Since I’m a long-term member of the council and an executive committee member, I’m often asked about requirements for membership. The Introduction to the Higher Education Advisory Council deck above does a great job of providing examples but it’s a simple answer: If you are internally motivated to help higher eds better understand how to succeed with Salesforce – and you can point to examples of how you have done so – you have the requisite characteristics.

What is the nomination process?

Nominations for membership are accepted through June 30th. The council will interview nominees in July and will select the next year’s term of members by August. New members will be invited to participate in the in-person meeting the day before Dreamforce.
What else should nominees should know?

Importantly, the council welcomes self-nominations. I can honestly say we want to hear everything done to help the community and we believe no one can better document that service than the nominee.

I’m excited to see where the next year will bring. New viewpoints and enthusiasm of the members who joined this year have helped support the success of our community and I am confident that next year’s nominees will be as energetic and involved as this group.

If you or someone you know is a Salesforce evangelist, active in the Power of Us Hub and/or Success communities or a volunteer who spends time leading conference sessions, webinars or reference calls with peers, the Higher Education Advisory Council wants to hear about it. Submit a nomination today!

About the Author
Florence is an IT Senior Manager at the University of Miami and has been working in higher education for 15 years. She leads the Salesforce enterprise strategy to implement a connected campus system that supports CRM and custom development applications for prospective students and employees. Her team works to engage undergraduate and graduate students in more than 180 majors and programs in 11 schools and colleges. Florence and her team rolled out Lightning Experience and positioned the University to be the first to go-live on the Higher Education Data Architecture (HEDA). The enterprise implementation included Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud (Exact Target), and a custom event registration solution. She is a certified system administrator and developer.