February PatronManager Certified Admin of the Month

Our first PatronManager Certified Admin of the month is Lauren Ustaszewski, Development Coordinator at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island.

We asked Lauren some questions about her journey and current role as a PatronManager Administrator at her organization and here is what she said:

1. What is your favorite PatronManager feature?

My favorite feature by far and something we’ve been using a lot at Trinity Rep is Campaigns (a feature to manage and track direct mail programs, fundraising appeal letters, and other outbound marketing or fundraising initiatives). You can pretty much track anything under the sun with Campaigns. Campaigns also integrates wonderfully with my other favorite feature, Salesforce’s Dataloader. At the click of a button, I can import tons and tons of data and update records in a fraction of time, populating a wide variety of fields. I’m a total Campaign and Dataloader-loving nerd.

2. What is one feature of PatronManager you were not aware of until you became a Certified Admin?

While I was aware of Workflows (tools that allow you to automate standard internal processes to save time), I feel way more comfortable with them now that I’m a Certified Admin. Workflows can be tricky and complicated, but I love the flexibility they provide to manage automated tasks and notifications organization-wide.

3. What additional resources have you discovered since becoming certified that have benefited your organization?

Since PatronManager is built on the Salesforce platform, Salesforce has a ton of resources available. The following are the ones I use most:

  • Trailhead (Salesforce’s training modules): Trailhead is great for getting yourself and your staff hands-on training in the functions and mechanics of the Salesforce platform.
  • Salesforce Field Reference Guide: This 118 page (don’t worry, it’s not that daunting) document has been helpful in understanding the API field names for importing.

Then there’s also the PatronManager Client Community. When all else fails, ask the Community. At Trinity Rep, we have created an internal cross-departmental resource group for asking questions and finding answers. We call it the PatManiacs group and we meet weekly. But when none of us can help each other find an answer, we ask our colleagues in the PatronManager Client Community. Other people using the system are a fantastic resource (shout out to Joe Gleason at Capital Center for the Arts!).

5. Has becoming a Certified Admin improved your ability to mentor and teach colleagues about PatronManager?

As someone who has ZERO programming experience, becoming a Certified Admin has been a huge step towards understanding how the PatronManager system was built. As a result, I can now explain it to others who also have limited programming experience or knowledge, and we can walk through solutions together. Most of the time, they find that it’s actually way simpler than it looks, it just requires a different perspective and way of looking at our data and system functionality. While there are plenty of things we still are working to figure out, my colleagues have found that the flexibility of the system provides tremendous insight into understanding patron behavior.

6. What is one of your goals for 2019?

My goal for this year is to help our whole team get more comfortable in PatronManager and make sure all of our reports are pulling exactly the data we need. We still have some data hygiene and cleanup to do, so I am looking forward to getting the system in a place where we can run more complex reports and make use of Dashboards and Process Builder (another automation tool for Admins) to help streamline these processes.

7. Are there any current or upcoming technology trends that you’re excited about? If so, what?

Though I’ve only just gotten a taste, I’m excited about using the Salesforce Lightning Experience. We haven’t deployed it yet, but after attending a recent webinar, I’m looking forward to getting into the weeds of how we can optimize the new features.

8. Which one of your organization’s events are you most excited about this year? (If you had to pick one…)

I have to say, I’m really excited about the last show of our current season, Marisol. It’s one of my favorite plays and a really great production for the Providence theater community that no one should miss. It runs at Trinity Rep from May 16th to June 16th, 2019!

9. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness is only achieved with effective communication, self-awareness, and self-care. Life requires all kinds of relationships, many of which are complicated. If we don’t communicate effectively with each other and don’t take care of ourselves and our world, we all operate on a shaky foundation. When we are able to manage all of these things well, and our mutual wants and needs met, that creates perfect harmony. 🙂

10. What is your favorite vacation spot(s)?

One of my favorite places in the world is atop this small mountain in the Austrian Alps in a small town called Westendorf. It’s spectacularly beautiful. Second, is Sunset Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii, and third… Disney World!

11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse or are known for saying?

“No worries!”, “It’s all good.”

12. What is your most treasured possession?

I have a small stuffed elephant named Stanley that was given to me by a friend. I also collect and love elephants and all things related to elephants. They are majestic and beautiful animals.

13. Is there anyone from the PatronManager community (client or staff) that has helped you and your organization improve during your journey to becoming a certified admin?

I have to shout out Christy Warren, PatronManager’s Senior Manager of Education, whose voice I’ve heard over and over again in training videos. Each time I need to remember something, I try to recall: “What was it that Christy said?” I then go back to my notes and can hear exactly what it was and it stays with me. I also want to give a shout out to Katie Campbell, a Data Migration Specialist at PatronManager, who was super helpful in getting our historical soft credit data updated. You’re rockstars!

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