Friends have been asking and I want to tell you the whole story!

This will serve as my #DF22 wrap up post and my #LifeWithGoldie intro post, so buckle up (your helmet) and hop aboard (the cargo bike!). For readers outside of the Salesforce bubble, thanks for hanging with me. More of the posts you know and love coming soon!

Hotel selfie before the Nonprofit Keynote

I’m not going to lie… the most stressful part of preparing to speak in the Dreamforce Nonprofit Keynote (WHAT an honor!!!) was deciding what to wear. Share about why I’m passionate about nonprofit data? Noooo problem! Do that in a suit? YIKES! Big moments like this can feel like an ultimatum on my … personal style… and ALL of my insecurities come out. Plus, I never feel completely myself in “business attire.” Luckily, I found a way to sneak in a stretchy dress (basically my uniform) under the blazer.

So, perhaps you can imagine my surprise and glee when Salesforce.org created these Lionheart Astro (the nonprofit salesforce mascot) slippers and gave them out to attendees at a fancy party the Monday preceding the Dreamforce conference! After I got over my heart-eyes-emoji face, I determined that they were the perfect accessory to complete my outfit. I begged the keynote producers to let me wear them, which seemed like an easy, “Yes!” After all, what could be more on brand?

Me, on the Keynote Stage, with co-presenters Lori and Dave, and my cover slide of beloved friends! And, we can’t forget the slippers!

You might still be wondering, why the slippers? Of all the attendees at the party who got this coveted swag, presumably no one wore them around the conference, let alone on stage. Here’s something you should know about me: I absolutely thrive in cozy circumstances and will do almost anything to be comfortable. You might think that the slipper-swag made me – even more – of a Salesforce.org poster child, but the truth is, they allowed me to access a confident, goofy, embodied version of MYSELF!

Speaking of being myself – and feeling insecure (at first) about my outfit – being on stage, in slippers no less, with my curvy body, with my hair down and curly (!), and even using Yiddish vocab like “chutzpah” during my mini-speech, all combined to make this feel especially momentous, which is to say, I found a way to intentionally be “myself” up there! I think this is a theme that permeates the blog throughout all these years, and I wanted this big opportunity to feel no different, despite the pressures (internal, external, and in between) to “conform!”

Rewind to several years in the Before Times (pandemic), when I was feeling grouchy about getting up off the couch to go to Friday night services at my synagogue. I realized that the main thing catalyzing my inertia was desire to be comfortable. So, I did the next logical thing. I brought my then-bunny-slippers to synagogue with me! It was my turn to make post-services announcements, and I immediately became jokingly famous for public speaking in slippers. (Those slippers were especially important to me because they were a gift from my sister upon recovery from, yes, my tush surgery).

Fast forward to May of this year, when I married my beloved of 6 years in a tiny, private ceremony. Instead of a big reception, we hosted events at our two synagogues, including a night of skits following Friday night services. The “executive board” showed up in style… wearing bunny slippers of course!

Slippers seem to be a through-line for me, from surviving health setbacks, to celebrating some of the big moments in my life, to staying cozy in the day-to-day. And I’m so glad that they were with me for what happened next…

While I had prepared for the opportunity to speak in the Keynote, I had no idea the surprise that they had in store for me – presenting me with the awe-inspiring, coveted, Golden Hoodie, which is one of the most significant types of recognition in the so-called Salesforce ecosystem.

Picture of me with the Golden Hoodie and Astro mascot plushie also wearing a Golden Hoodie.

The Golden Hoodie crosses industries, geographies, career timelines, life stories, and years! What became the first Golden Hoodie was awarded back in 2014! You can read more at the links above. But what does #LifeWithGoldie mean to me?

  • People in the Salesforce community (beyond the ones I already know and love) care about my ideas and contributions – this isn’t my core motivation for sharing here, but it’s certainly exciting!
  • Someone dedicated to a career in the nonprofit world (me) is capable of achieving recognition in a field of mostly private sector people
  • There’s a bigger world out there who I can connect with, learn from, impart wisdom toward, collaborate with, and celebrate each others’ achievements
  • If I can reach more people, then I can (slowly, over time, with humility) have a better chance at challenging/changing limiting beliefs about administrative labor
  • I’m swimming in a pool with people I REALLY respect and admire
  • There’s room for quirky people like me (who aren’t exclusively, “Rah! Rah! Salesforce!”) in community leadership roles
  • All of these years of blogging, sprinting, video recording, learning, growing, sharing, being wrong, trying again, have really amounted to something

Some of these things I knew already, somewhere deep in my bones. But the Golden Hoodie experience, group chat, and outpouring of support from my community, have helped me feel connected and confident and excited in a new way.

I guess I feel a bit sheepish posting this here. Like, why do I care so much about this gold lamme shmata? When I look at the list above, I think, have I really craved recognition for so long? I think the answer is, yes AND no. I was going to keep going no matter what. Now, I’m going to keep going with some extra sparkle and pizzazz!

The rest of Dreamforce was dazzling, overwhelming, swag filled, exhausting, fun, and permeated with some mild FOMO. I had to leave early for family reasons, so I didn’t get to attend as many sessions as I would have liked. I’m glad that this wasn’t my only or last chance to get to build community together!

8 thoughts on “the story of the slippers

  1. So glad you were able to wear the slippers and to hear the back story of how slippers have shown up in other milestones. It was lovely to see you receive Goldie. Thanks for being you!

  2. Hurray for slippers! You rock ’em, Sam!!!
    I love this post! maybe this will start a trend? I’m not sure, but you are the one who can pull it off, with style!

  3. Not sure west else to say other than ❤️❤️❤️. Your contributions shape and improve the products we use. Your voice and commitment inspires us all to do better. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Lara!!! Too bad we were ships passing in the night @DF this year. We’re overdue for catching up!

  4. No one deserved the honor more! Congratulations on being acknowledged for your super smart, kind, compassionate and quirky self! I’m sorry I missed the keynote while trying to pound Flow into my brain.

    1. Thank you Christine! You’ve been an amazing colleague and champion since day 1 of the blog!

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