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How Trailblazers Helped Shape Our Trailblazer Community

How Trailblazers Helped Shape Our Trailblazer Community

The Trailblazer Community wasn't always made up of millions of Trailblazers connecting, having fun, and giving back together. Here's the story behind how it came together to become the thriving place it is today.

We’re posting a series of vignettes to celebrate Salesforce’s 20th birthday. Follow our digital scrapbook to get a behind the scenes glimpse of our history.

Our Trailblazer Community is a phenomenon. A force that propels the growth of Salesforce, and literally changes lives on a regular basis. By Trailblazer Community, I mean the millions of wonderful people who help each other succeed in the Salesforce economy. The ones who join our thriving community to connect, have fun, and give back together. 

Trailblazers from our community helped shape where we are today, with the help of Erica Kuhl, our Vice President of Community who has a 15-year Salesforce history. Here are a few of their early contributions: 

The online community was inspired by admins connecting in class

In Erica Kuhl’s early days teaching Salesforce Admin classes, she realized the students loved helping each other, and wanted to help them stay connected. They were already staying connected via email and online forums. Erica wanted to make it even easier, so she pitched a Salesforce-focused online community concept to leadership. And despite being skeptical, they said “go for it.” 

Here’s a look at an early version of the online community. You can tell that the discussion was very active even then… and we’ve come a long way, too. See for yourself!

image of Trailblazer message boards

An email request led to the Community Groups program

Pete Fife, a Salesforce Admin at the time (he now works at wanted to connect with nearby peers and offered to lead a local group. That started the Trailblazer Community Group flywheel turning. Now we have 1000+ amazing people like Pete leading Community Groups around the world.

image of Peter Fife's charter

Top contributors helped shape our Salesforce MVP program

The online community and Community Groups were thriving, and Erica saw some exceptional leaders answering questions, leading groups, sharing expertise as speakers, writing blogs, etc. So she pitched them the idea of a Salesforce MVP program to enable, amplify and celebrate their contributions. No surprise, they had strong opinions and great feedback that helped her shape the program.

A few of our original Salesforce MVPs enjoy a photo with Marc Benioff at a 2010 Salesforce World Tour.

photo of original MVPs with Marc Benioff

As the Salesforce ecosystem continues to grow, our Trailblazer Community becomes more amazing with Trailblazers from all walks of life. And there’s room for everyone to thrive! Please join us in Trailblazer Community Groups and the online community. Let’s succeed together!

Becky de Loryn profile picture
Becky de Loryn Senior Director, Trailblazer Marketing and Content

During nearly 10 years at Salesforce, Becky has led AppExchange partner and social marketing, Admin marketing, and Trailblazer Community marketing. She is passionate about empowering and celebrating Trailblazers to fuel the growth of the Salesforce ecosystem. Becky lives in Austin, Texas with her Dutch husband, two kids, and two dogs.

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