Hub Heroes: August 2017

By Salesforce.org | August 1, 2017 | | Higher Education, Nonprofit, Power of Us Hub

For the month of August, we are proud to highlight the community contributions of Michael Kolonder, Brian Gnatt, and Kyle Schmid. Thanks to Michael, Brian, and Kyle for all you do!


Michael Kolonder

Spark Program
Michael Kolonder
1. Two truths and one lie about you!

  • I have smuggled illegal goods across an international border.
  • My Myers-Briggs Personality Type is ESFP (“the Entertainer”).
  • I built a chicken coop out of our swing set.

2. Why is community important to you? What motivates you to contribute?

The Salesforce Community (particularly the nonprofit community) is important to me because for the first time in my life I’ve found colleagues and collaborators that are invested in building each other up, sharing knowledge and expertise openly. The blend of techno-geekdom, values-forward community norms, and encouragement of personal sharing alongside serious work is not something I’ve found in other online communities. (Or, for that matter, in enough offline communities!)

Thanks to the open and welcoming attitude of the Hub I felt empowered to comment even when I wasn’t 100% sure I had “all the answers.” Once I’d been around for a short time I was encouraged to start attending in-person events, and inspired to learn more and more so that I could give back to repay what was given to me.

Even though databases have wormed themselves into a central role in every job I’ve ever had, I never considered myself a technologist. I tried out many careers, from diplomat to community organizer, before an Accidental Admin role brought me into contact with the nonprofit Salesforce community. The friends and colleagues I found here inspired me to make a career shift that puts technology front and center. That was only possible because of the great support I got in the Hub and the amazing resources like Trailhead that Salesforce makes available to teach yourself how to do almost anything with the platform.


Brian Gnatt

University of Maryland University College
Brian Gnatt
1. Two truths and a lie about you!

  • I saw the Spice Girls in concert.
  • I was an extra in a movie and got paid to sleep in a park.
  • I have a twin.

2. Why is community important to you? What motivates you to contribute?

I enjoy helping people to overcome challenges, especially challenges that may have been obstacles for me. We’ve all been stumped by technology at one point, so it’s extremely valuable to be able to tap into the Hub to connect with a community of people with similar goals and experiences who can offer help and recommendations.

Although some of us are technically competitors, we’re all better off as professionals and human beings when we’re able to learn from and help one another.


Kyle Schmid

Huron Consulting
Kyle Schmid
1. Two truths and a lie about you!

  • I started on the Salesforce platform as a student-worker.
  • My second-favorite state is Colorado.
  • I travel to Europe every-other year.

2. Why is community important to you? What motivates you to contribute?

I love how the community is a place where people in all stages of their Salesforce-life can come together and collaborate. Whether you’re new to Salesforce and looking to understand what HEDA is or you’re a seasoned vet that’s stumped on a crazy bug, you’ll find lots of folks willing to help out just because. It’s something that doesn’t exist on most platforms, and we’re all truly lucky to have such a great community with Salesforce.

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