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It’s time for another monthly retro on the Salesforce Admins Podcast. In this episode, we celebrate state fairs as we go over all the top Salesforce product, community, and career content for August. We also get to meet another member of the Admin Relations Team: Ella Marks, Marketing Manager at Salesforce.

With a state fair theme for this month, I promise you will not be disappointed — we talk about quilting rooms, butter cows, and fried things on a stick.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation.

Meet Ella Marks

While Gillian’s out, we’ll be going through a rotating cast of guest hosts to give you chance to get to know our team. For today, we’re chatting with Ella Marks, our Marketing Manager. She focuses on the programs and campaigns the admin team runs. You may recognize her name from some of the Trailhead Live chats, AND she may be responsible for a GIF or two in her time.

Podcast highlights from August

Ella was a big fan of Matt Skogman’s episode from this month, “The Four Keys to a Successful Salesforce Implementation.” “I felt like I was listening and nodding to every single word,” she says, “just hearing how someone talking about how every business can be a relationship-based business in an industry you wouldn’t normally think of.” For me, I loved the Gordon Lee episode about how to be more mindful about how we volunteer at the start of our Salesforce careers. 

Blog highlights from August

We think everyone should pull up Jennifer Lee’s excellent Release Readiness blog post. “I keep this bookmarked on my computer—seriously it’s open all the time—as my source for what the latest dates are coming up for the release and where all those resources are located,” Ella says. Stay tuned for Jen in the next Release Readiness Live, coming soon!

Video highlights from August

I’m doing a takeover of the “No Silly Questions” video series while Gillian is away — it’s been a lot of fun! I highly recommend you check out the most recent episode where you’ll hear the tale of how Astro became the Trailhead mascot. As for Ella, she’s really psyched about J. Steadman’s awesome Tableau walkthrough that gets you started with rich insights and the Tableau Lightning Web Component.

Make sure to listen to the full episode to hear Ella try her hand at a new game, Friend Food or Fried Fools?

Podcast swag


Full show transcript

Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast in the August monthly retro. Our monthly retro is a great monthly retro. Don’t miss it. Don’t even be late. It’s dollars to donuts at our monthly retro. It’s the best monthly retro in the state. Well, if you can’t tell that I chose State fair as this month’s monthly retro theme, go look it up. I’m your host, Mike Gerholdt. And in this episode, we’ll review top product community, and career content for August, all with the State Fair theme, because who doesn’t enjoy fried things on a stick and ridiculously overpriced stuffed animals? I do. And also because the Iowa State Fair is going on, which is the best state fair in the country, no contest. I mean, there was a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical made about it, 1945. I don’t think your state fair had that, mine did, it’s awesome.

Now of course, you know Gillian is on maternity leave, and I have promised an ever-rotating cast of admin relations team members. This month is Ella Marks. Ella, welcome to the podcast.

Ella Marks: Wow. Thank you for having me, Mike. I’m so excited to be here.

Mike Gerholdt: Have you ever been like a one-person band at a state fair? You know that person that has all the clappers in the horns and the guitar?

Ella Marks: Sometimes I feel a little bit like one, but no, I have never actually performed. And I’m glad you didn’t ask me to sing today, it’s not one of my skills.

Mike Gerholdt: It’s clearly not one of my skills either, because if somebody’s still listening, they’ve gotten past that horrible intro. Rodgers and Hammerstein have literally rolled over in their graves if they heard me say that. But I’m excited. I like State Fair. Oh man, do I enjoy myself a good state fair? They have state fairs where you’re at? Do you have a state fair memory you can share?

Ella Marks: I’ve never been to a San Francisco, California state fair, but as a kid, we used to spend some time in Minnesota and I remember going… Maybe it was a county fair or state fair… But the memory still sticks with me. I loved seeing the horses, I loved all the food. Always a big highlight. And I was really fascinated, there was a quilt room for a quilting competition-

Mike Gerholdt: I’m a man.

Ella Marks: And I don’t possess those kinds of mad quilting skills. That was something I was like, even as a kid, I was, “Wow, people can create really cool things.”

Mike Gerholdt: Just a whole quilting room. We have a butter cow. It’s a cow carved out of butter, because we enjoy butter that much in Iowa.

Ella Marks: That would just make me melt.

Mike Gerholdt: It can’t, it’s kept in a cooler. I’ve seen it. We get pictures of it. Ella, what do you do on the marketing team? What do you do on our team? Because you’ve not been on the podcast lately. I feel like we’ve had everybody on the podcast.

Ella Marks: I focus on the kind of programs and campaigns that we run. Really focused on bringing the best content out there to everyone. And you may have seen my name or me, in the Trailhead live chat. That’s also where I make some appearances and occasional GIF producer too, I like to say.

Mike Gerholdt: That’s a resume builder right there. GIF producer. Well, I’d be remissed if I didn’t start off by reminding you that we have new podcast swag on the Trailhead store and due to popular demand, there is some of it available in EMEA. I pulled strings, I emailed people. It’s not all available in EMEA, but there’s a good portion of it. So we’ll include the link in the show notes, head on over. I’ve got my tumbler in front of me, filled with coffee. I’m usually recording in my podcast shirt. It puts me in the mood, and you can walk around and tell all your friends you listen to the Salesforce Admins podcast. I would, that’s the thing I would do.

But we’ve got highlights to talk about because that’s our retro. And then stick around, I put together a fun game and it’s totally State Fair related. We’ll see how Ella does and see what you think. But let’s start off with podcast highlights. Ella, we had quite a few podcasts this last month in August. Was there a favorite that you listened to?

Ella Marks: Yeah, I think probably the episode that stuck with me most from this month was the four keys to a successful Salesforce implementation with Matt Skogman. I felt like I was just listening and nodding to every single word. And it’s really great when you get to listen to something like that, and you’re like, “Yeah, this is speaking to me.” It was different to hear from an executives perspective, but I think so important for everyone to hear how an executive is thinking about their business and their technology, and that entire process. I loved all of the takeaways there.

Mike Gerholdt: And shout out to the community for getting me connected to Matt Skogman. I invited him on the podcast because it was an interesting conversation that he and I had prior to recording that. And I was like, “Man, there is not a lot of executives out there that are as hands-on as you are in your organization”, and had to get him on.

Ella Marks: And just hearing from an executive, like what you can do to be successful, and to hear from someone talk about how every business can be a relationship-based business, and in an industry that you wouldn’t typically think of. So definitely a lot to learn and listen from there.

Mike Gerholdt: I would agree. Ella, I chose the Gordon Lee podcasts, mostly because I’m on all of them. So it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I really enjoyed sitting down with Gordon, he’s good people. And he opened my eyes up to really talking about volunteering and using the skillset that you have, as opposed to looking at volunteering as a place to grow your skill.

Ella Marks: That’s something that comes up again and again. I see it on Twitter and the community. How can I start building these real world skills? And what I love about what Gordon’s sharing here is giving all of these ways to show your experience without volunteering, and thinking about being very intentional with how you start your own Salesforce career and how you’re helping others.

Mike Gerholdt: It was very good. Go back and listen to it. One other part that stuck out for me was really how scrutinized new individuals are when looking for a job. And it’s kind of that experience or trust gap. So the lack of experience on somebody’s resume equals less trust that we have in them, as opposed to… I think Gordon gave the example of, “I could just walk into an employer and say I have these 15 years” because he’s been at a company that long, and that fills in that trust gap. And I do think we over-evaluate that. And that is something that we should look at, especially as we’re bringing people into the workforce and the workforce as a whole is changing because people are moving through jobs quicker. They’re not like our parents working 20 or 30 years at an organization. Now it’s common for two or three years.

Ella Marks: Definitely things have changed. And there’s such a great perspective there from Gordon and about how to use that to your advantage and know and understand your own skills.

Mike Gerholdt: So in addition to wonderful podcasts, which I’m a fan of, there was also quite a few blog posts that were written. I am just going to piggyback on yours, Ella, because I think the one that you picked is the best. Can you tell us about it?

Ella Marks: My pick is the Get Ready for Winter ’22 blog. This blog is the one place… I keep this bookmarked on my computer. Seriously, it’s open all the time as my source for what the latest dates are coming up for the release, and really where are all of those resources located? It’s such a great place to be able to dig into the release notes, take a look at other released related blog posts and resources, and then again, to refresh on that timeline because it’s coming up fast.

Mike Gerholdt: It sneaks up on you. One day you’re refreshing a sandbox, the next day you’re building a dynamic webpage.

Ella Marks: It’s all coming. So definitely keep that one open, if you don’t have it open already. I think everybody, this is one to keep in your bookmarks.

Mike Gerholdt: Plus Release Readiness LIVE will be coming out and that’s going to feature Jennifer Lee from our team.

Ella Marks: It’s going to be amazing. I think Jen is going to absolutely shine. So exciting to see some of the new features in Winter ’22, and the release notes just came out so make sure you’re digging through those as well.

Mike Gerholdt: There’s not much else to do, it’s hot in the Midwest. Besides going to a state fair, stay inside in the air conditioning, drink some lemonade or ice tea, and read the release notes.

Ella Marks: Sounds like a great way.

Mike Gerholdt: Watch the corn grow.

Ella Marks: Great way to spend your weekend or day

Mike Gerholdt: Said no one. Okay, so we do video as well. I want to make sure that we highlight some of those really cool videos. I’m just going to throw mine out there so that we can get past it. But with Gillian out, obviously pitch hitting for this month’s monthly retro, I also took over the No Silly Questions videos, which are amazing and fun to hunt down. But we had a really great question come in this month about how Astro became the Trailhead mascot. So shout out to Dom for giving us an answer on that and watch the video, because Dom walks us through all of the characters. I think if you’re new in the ecosystem you just grew up and Trailhead always had characters, and Salesforce always had characters. We didn’t. We did, I mean, we had SaaSy for a while, and then like a hot second, Chatty was there.

Ella Marks: It’s just a good reminder. There’s no silly question. And that’s my favorite part about this series and this question in general too, is that we’re really wondering what you’re thinking about. If the characters have been on your mind, that’s something we want to hear. If there’s other things that you have questions about too, this is a great opportunity. Mike will hunt all those answers down for you.

Mike Gerholdt: Or most of them. We do one a month, so you’d be-

Ella Marks: For some of those answers.

Mike Gerholdt: Forward looking statement.

Ella Marks: Yes, [inaudible].

Mike Gerholdt: Ella, what video are you highlighting?

Ella Marks: I was looking at a great video from early in the month created by J Steadman, all about how to get insights on your Salesforce users with Tableau. And I love this one because you learn where to find ready to download Tableau workbooks, and get a lot of really great advice on how to connect these to your own org on both Tableau desktop and Tableau online. So a lot of really practical advice and takeaways, and also you get to see how to install the Tableau lightning web component for Salesforce, and how to embed that directly in your org. So a lot of really great learning in a short amount of time. So definitely recommend you check out that video.

Mike Gerholdt: The Tableau stuff just continues to amaze me and all the videos that I watch from J’s put out and some of the previous stuff with John Denby’s really good.

Ella Marks: You can start watching this video and then go down. There’s a lot of other stuff that you can watch with John and his various hats.

Mike Gerholdt: I’m jealous of his hats. Well, there was a ton of great content that was put out on This was just a few of our picks. Of course, we always end a monthly retro with some themed game. And of course with August for many of us, is state fair month, which is walking around sweltering heat, snow cones, Ferris wheels, usually trying to impress somebody with a completely rigged skill game, shooting a water pistol thing at ducks, or the throwing the rings, popping the balloons is always the hard one. I feel like those darts are butter knife dull. But also fried foods of all kinds.

So for this game Ella I put together just a quick list of… These were 2012 of the hottest state fair fried foods. And some are not. So of the choices I’ll have you pick which one you think is actually the fried food, and which one is the fried fooled. Because that fooled sound funnier in my head.

Ella Marks: Sounds good.

Mike Gerholdt: Fooled. Okay. So all of these came out in 2012. First choice, fried bubblegum or fried bacon on a stick? One is real.

Ella Marks: I think I’m going to have to go with fried bacon on a stick being real. I feel like one, I feel like it tastes really good. I feel like maybe I’ve seen it before. I don’t know, I can’t picture fried bubble gum, so I’ll go bacon.

Mike Gerholdt: Okay. I would choose fried bacon on a stick. I mean, that sounds good. I have seen it, but it wasn’t featured in this article. Fried bubblegum interestingly enough, was.

Ella Marks: Wow.

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. So it’s a frozen chunk of bubblegum that they put in batter, deep fry, and then you eat it and then it’s like a blow pop used to have bubble gum at the end. That to me sounds exponentially gross.

Ella Marks: Yeah. Not a huge fan. I’m shocked such a thing exists, but to each their own.

Mike Gerholdt: It’s the State fair, you got to fry everything. Okay, continuing on that theme, fried corn on the cob or fried Jelly Belly Beans?

Ella Marks: Now you’re making me rethink this one. I would say corn on the cob, but I feel like it’s going to be a trick, and it’s going to be jelly beans. So I’ll go fried corn on the cob again because they think it sounds good, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the jelly beans are real.

Mike Gerholdt: Going for the savory part because that makes sense. So I did have fried corn two years ago at the Iowa State Fair and it was corn kernels, like creamed corn mixed in a batter that was deep fried, but it wasn’t on cob. In this article, they actually featured fried Jelly Belly Beans. Same concept as the bubblegum, they mixed it in a sugar batter and made it into little dumpling size things and covered them in confectioner’s sugar because Jelly Belly Beans aren’t good enough by themselves?

Ella Marks: That’s a surprising one. I guess you can fry anything, huh?

Mike Gerholdt: Yes. Okay, last one. Fried cheesecake or fried pizza? You’re 0 for two.

Ella Marks: I know-

Mike Gerholdt: This to get you on the board.

Ella Marks: It’s like a trick too, I’m not good at this game. Okay, I’m going to go cheese stick.

Mike Gerholdt: Cheesecake?

Ella Marks: Cheesecake.

Mike Gerholdt: You are correct. Actually, you would be correct. Ding, ding, ding both ways. But fried cheesecake was one of the featured fried foods in the article. They also did feature fried pizza, which was you buy the pizza at another vendor, they dip it in batter and deep fry it.

Ella Marks: Wow, it’s like a bring your own frying station?

Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. If you’ve ever had a Monte Cristo, that’s what it looked like. It also just felt like an entire afternoon of sleeping.

Ella Marks: Sounds about right.

Mike Gerholdt: Because that much fried things. I don’t know. Have you ever tried anything crazy fried? Bubblegum? Jelly beans?

Ella Marks: Definitely not bubblegum or jelly beans. I think I want to say a fried Oreo might be the most adventurous I’ve ever been.

Mike Gerholdt: That kind of sounds good.

Ella Marks: They’re really good. I mean, it’s the same concept. You got the batter on the outside and a warm Oreo in the middle. It’s very good.

Mike Gerholdt: I did fried butter and a fried snicker.

Ella Marks: That sounds good.

Mike Gerholdt: There’s a picture of me somewhere of trying the fried butter at the state fair. It’s just a big chunk of frozen butter with cinnamon roll dough, deep fried around it. And it ruins you actually for cinnamon rolls because you never have a more buttery perfect cinnamon roll after that.

Ella Marks: Cinnamon rolls are so good. Now I have to try this.

Mike Gerholdt: That was it. So it was fried food or fried fools. I would love if you tweet us some of the crazy fried things that you’ve tried. I was going to put fried pickles on the list, but I figured everybody would get that because those actually really, really good. Not so much.

Anyway, if you would like to learn more about all things we just talked about on today’s episode, minus the fun fried food part, please go to to find those links and many more resources. You can stay up to date with us on social or for all things admins, we are @SalesforceAdmns, no ‘i’, on Twitter. I am on Twitter, @MikeGerholdt. Course my co-host who is currently out, Gillian is @GillianKBruce, and my guest host today was Ella Marks. You can give her a follow on Twitter, @marks_ella. So with that stay safe, stay awesome and stay tuned for the next episode. We’ll see you in the cloud.

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