Jenny Lockie: Big Sky Dreamin' + NPSP in Bozeman, Montana


I’ve been to the main event, Dreamforce, in San Francisco, when I lived there - and this is Bozeman’s inaugural event. This is a great opportunity for Bozeman and is perfect for anyone living in Montana. This city has a surprising amount of tech companies and workers. Not many people outside of Montana know this, so it’s a great way for Bozeman to get on the Salesforce and tech maps and let people know that we are here.


Two speeches stood out to me at Big Sky Dreamin’: One was done by one of our clients, The Commit Foundation, which is a veterans organization that helps new veterans transition to new careers after their Military service. Brian Rauch, the Data Analytics Manager, was highlighting the work they do - and one statistic particularly stood out - He was speaking about the suicide rates of military members and how they dramatically rise once they return home and begin to integrate with normal society. It’s actually more dangerous for veterans after they come home, so they need a place to transition back into society more seamlessly. Salesforce also has a program called VetForce which trains military members in Admin skills and other Salesforce certifications.



The other presenter was Sandi Nuss Zellner -- she was originally a very active person and music teacher. Then she was diagnosed with a Chiari malformation and had to have brain surgery. She was unable to return to teaching music, because the cacophony of the instruments become physically painful for her.  She was also unable to continue her active lifestyle. The loss of so much in her life was so emotionally painful that, after becoming a brain surgery survivor, she then became a suicide survivor. After surviving the suicide attempt, she discovered Salesforce, and working through hundreds of Trailheads gave her a new focus in life. Shortly after starting to learn Salesforce, she attended Dreamforce and found the Ohana which gave her a new community. 

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NPSP day, organized by Ryan Ozimek, was also held in Bozeman.

NPSP days allow nonprofits to come together to network, sharpen their Salesforce skills, and find out how other nonprofits are using Salesforce.  Just a couple of the nonprofits with multiple staff members at the NPSP day, were Montana Conservation Corps and Hopa Mountain. MCC is teaching their young staff how to use Salesforce and they created an internal group to meet, discuss and build their skills. Hopa Mountain works primarily with rural and tribal citizen leaders (both adult and youth) who are improving education, ecological health and economic development.  

The NPSP day was hosted by Thrive, (and they also loan their space for the Bozeman nonprofit user groups.) Thrive focuses on working with families and children: They partner with local schools and the liasons at the schools will pair volunteers with a child to mentor.

Looking forward to 2019, I would love to see these two events come together in one week. The ability to connect the NPSP group with attendees of Big Sky Dreamin’ would be fantastic, and people would be able to plan a trip to Bozeman to attend both events.