Koa Club Spotlight - Aisha Kelly-Vong


September 30, 2021

Theresa Ludvigson
& T.J. Vilardi


“Your Network is Your Currency”

This month’s Koa Club Spotlight features 13 year Salesforce veteran, Aisha Kelly-Vong. Read about her rise at Salesforce and how she utilized her network to help get to where she is today. 

Something special about Salesforce

The day we spoke to Aisha for this spotlight it was actually the exact day of her 13th anniversary at Salesforce. Destiny or great timing? We’ll let you decide.

Aisha started at Salesforce in 2008. However, as she will tell you, her experience with the company started way before that. “My husband has worked at Salesforce coming up on 18 years. I originally talked to him about Salesforce and told him to take a job at the company when he was interviewing for new roles back in 2004 when there were only about 400 employees. Then through him, I got to attend the company’s IPO celebration, and other amazing corporate events and parties, and see the incredible culture that the company had. I loved it all and wanted to come work at Salesforce as well,” she said. She loved Salesforce so much she immediately recruited her good friend from high school, and fellow Koa clubber, Ebony Beckwith to join.

In 2008, Aisha accepted a job at Salesforce as a Premier Support Business Analyst. She was responsible for helping customers that had Premier Support on their account with Salesforce best adopt the technology and use it to fit their business. “It is funny because that role does not exist anymore at the company. That is the way Salesforce works. We are always adding new roles and deprecating others depending on the direction the business is headed,” said Aisha.

Within a year of starting her Salesforce journey, Aisha moved into a leadership position managing Premier Support Business Analysts. In addition to the Premier Support Business Analyst team, Salesforce also had Customer Success Managers. However, they were in an entirely different part of the company and did not work with the Analysts. Maria Martinez then came to Salesforce and created the Customer Success Group,” said Aisha. “We looked at the difference in roles and found an 80% overlap in the work we were doing between the two roles and decided to merge them.” She continued, “What was great about being a leader in the customer success organization at that time was that we were going through hyper-growth at the company which gave us all an opportunity to help come up with and drive strategies for how our team could scale to keep pace with that growth.”

During this time, Aisha and her husband decided to start their family. “I had two kids during my time at the company. Over time I had the opportunity to meet great people and have gone through major life milestones with them. I have met some of my lifelong best friends at Salesforce and a couple of them are actually the godparents of my children. There is truly something special about Salesforce and the caliber of people we hire,” she said.

Today, Aisha is the Senior Director of the Role Strategy team in the Customer Success organization. “This team is brand new as of this year. We are all learning on the fly and tackling problems as they occur. My team represents the role personas in Success in the design of all the work that gets done in our organization by making sure everything we do in Success is clear and practical to our roles. The more clarity we can bring to people's roles, the better performance we can get from them,” said Aisha.

What has kept Aisha at Salesforce for the past 13 years? She told us, “I have had times where I have been frustrated here just like anyone else. I have had times in which I was looking for other jobs and I was convinced I was leaving. However, I would talk to other people I know well at different companies and they would tell me about issues at those companies. No place is perfect!” How Salesforce handles issues that arise both inside and outside of the company is what it comes down to and is another reason why Aisha is here. “Ask yourself, when things are imperfect (or not going well), how does your company handle it? Salesforce has nurtured every single employee during this pandemic via extra resources, All Hands Calls, The Daily newsletter, and more. I don’t know too many other companies that are doing the things we are doing in the way we are doing it for our employees,” she said. “Living our values creates loyalty!”

Aisha with SaaSy!

Advice for her fellow colleagues

There’s a reason Aisha hit Lucky 13 years at Salesforce. She worked hard and developed relationships. We asked Aisha if she had any advice for people just starting their Salesforce journey. She told us, “One of my favorite things to say is that your network is your currency that you trade on when needed. That’s how I get things done here. It is knowing people in different areas of the business that can help you be successful. Aisha continued, “You can start with the people you first meet in your inner circle at the company and ask them who they think you should connect with. But do it in a natural and organic way.”
Aisha and President Obama.
Aisha also has guidance for our more tenured employees further along in their journey. “The advice I would give them is the same advice I’ve received. Go find something different that you want to do inside Salesforce. There are plenty of opportunities within this company to find something you are passionate about,” said Aisha. She continued, “You need to diversify your skillset and round it out by challenging yourself. Also, make sure to have an open and frank conversation with your manager about the type of work that excites you and that you could see yourself doing in the future. Managers are not mind readers. As roles materialize from our company’s growth, your manager can take that knowledge and speak on your behalf if someone is looking to fill a role that aligns with what you’ve shared. We need to lean on our leaders to represent our brand when they are speaking to other people in the company.”


Like many of her colleagues, Aisha is extremely passionate about giving back to her local community. She is on the board of Girls Inc. of Alameda County, a more than 60-year old organization that provides programming for school-aged girls from underserved communities to help them navigate the gender and socio-economic barriers they face, and prepare to realize their dreams. Aisha told us, “This work helps make the next generation of girls strong, smart, and bold. It is so rewarding for me to be involved.”

If this organization's mission speaks to you, Aisha invites you to join “virtually” from the comfort of your home on Friday, October 29 for the annual fundraising gala event of entertainment, building community, and raising funds to help girls rise. Additionally, please consider supporting Girls Inc. of Alameda County by providing supplies needed for their safe return to campus through this wish list.

Aisha at a BOLDforce Event.
Internally at Salesforce, Aisha finds our Equality Groups are a great way to give back, network, and get involved with the culture. She is most involved with BOLDforce and WINDforce. BOLDforce stands for Black Organization for Leadership and Development. The group’s goal is to expand and empower the Salesforce black community. WINDforce is a community representing a Worldwide Indigenous Network of Diversity. The group’s work is dedicated to education, engagement, collaboration, and knowledge sharing with the aim of respecting and celebrating indigenous peoples and their cultures around the world. “Both groups have been a source of networking for me. I meet people on different teams and in different organizations. Everyone should take advantage of the Equality Groups and the volunteer opportunities they provide. It is another fantastic way to build your network. There is something special about doing something you care about with people you probably have never met before who care about the same thing,” said Aisha. 

The Koa Club

Aisha has been part of the Koa Club for the past 3 years. As an added bonus, a fun fact is that she conceptualized, designed, and implemented Customer KOA which recognizes and celebrates our 10 year+ customers. We asked her what she enjoys about being a part of this exclusive club. She told us, “Who doesn’t love being part of a club? I love the Koa Club. When you talk to other members in Koa Club you get to reminisce and talk about days of the past. They get you and understand why you want to talk about those things. When you share the very same stories to some of the new employees at the company, they sort of look at you like a grandparent at a family dinner. However, Koa Club members understand each other and where we all came from to get to where we are today.”

Want to learn more about Aisha’s career journey? Check out her career on Linkedin


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