#SparkSquad: Featuring Genna Tripoli

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We have a pretty amazing team here at Spark.Orange, so it’s only natural to want to highlight our people! And, what better way is there for you to learn more about who we are and what we do? For this installment in our #SparkSquad series, I sat down with Genna Tripoli, Solutions Architect at Spark.Orange.

First things first: let’s talk about your journey to learning Salesforce and how you landed at Spark.Orange.

A few years ago I worked for a company in Charlotte, NC. They had purchased Salesforce but didn’t know what to do with it, so they needed someone to learn it, implement it and train their sales team on it. They met me and felt I had the right personality for the job even though I had never even heard of Salesforce–I had to Google it. When they hired me, I had 2-3 months to learn how to use Salesforce and figure out how it would fit within the company I worked for. Once those 3 months were up, I had to run a training session on Salesforce for the whole sales team. So to start learning, I used self-led online courses through Salesforce Premier Support (this was before trailhead came about). That level of support also gave me access to live webinars, but they were all on the west coast, so I was working odd hours to learn. As I was learning it I found that I had an aptitude for it and really enjoyed Salesforce, so I continued on as the Salesforce Admin and Business Process Specialist for 3 years. When I moved back up North, another company hired me to be a Salesforce Admin, but they hadn’t purchased Salesforce yet. While they were in talks to buy Salesforce, I got an email from our Salesforce Account Executive inviting me to a Spark.Orange golf tournament. I googled Spark.Orange to see what their association was with Salesforce and saw that they did consulting and they had a job posted on their site. I asked the Salesforce Account Executive about Spark.Orange and he said he knew one of the Co-Founders, Derek, really well and had good things to say. I applied online and Derek contacted me for an interview–now I am here gracing all of you guys with my presence!

As someone who taught themselves how to use Salesforce, what advice do you have for someone else to do the same?

Now that Trailhead exists, take advantage of it! There are a ton of free courses. In addition to that, the best thing you can do is to use the system. Sign up for a free dev org (just google “free salesforce dev org”, it’s basically a pretend instance of Salesforce!), do the challenges on Trailhead and use the playground (which again, is a pretend instance of Salesforce that is hooked into your Trailhead challenges). When I passed my first Salesforce Administrator certification, I didn’t really study, I just knew the answers from using Salesforce. It also helps to go into the Success Community and ask questions!

What are you trying to accomplish at Spark.Orange?

Personally, I love helping businesses grow and helping businesses change, which is what I do for my clients now. Ultimately, on a larger scale, I want to contribute to a good culture here at Spark.Orange. I want to be a part of what we’re trying to build and contribute in a big way. I try to be a positive influence and I want my coworkers and clients to like working with me. I think by doing that, and by building strong relationships, everything else falls into place.

Now, onto some more fun, personal (and random) things:

What’s your favorite place in Syracuse?

Currently, it’s Pasta’s Daily Bread (not to be confused with Pastabilities across the street). They have so many good sandwiches and soups, and it’s right downstairs from our office, so I go there a lot. I also love Blarney Stone and Shiftys.

Your family owns a popular local business. Can you tell us about it?

When I was a senior in High School, my mom came to me and told me she was opening a Subway and an ice cream shop (Mexicone). She’s a 9th and 10th-grade math teacher–I didn’t know she had any aspirations to do something like this. She wanted me to help her and essentially co-own/run the ice cream shop since I had just gotten into business school. Now we’ve been open for 8 years and a lot of my business experience and knowledge has come from that. Seeing a business get off the ground and having real-world application of business practices helped me learn so much. We had no idea what to do we had to when we were first starting out. We had to do things like create sundae recipes and place orders with a vendor with zero food industry experience. It all worked out though and we’ve grown so much–we’re now going through a bit of a rebranding to fit our growth!

What should we order when we go to Mexicone?

Our most popular order is the peanut butter sundae (vanilla ice cream with peanut butter, hot fudge, and reeses pieces). I personally love that we have homemade toppings–like the strawberry rhubarb special that comes from my Grandma’s homemade recipe. You really can’t go wrong with our ice cream because it’s custard, not soft serve mix.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Funny that you ask, because my fiance thinks he is a superhero who hasn’t discovered his power yet. When he figures that out, I feel like mine would be complementary to his. If he never figures it out, I think I’d like to fly. I fly a lot in my dreams and it would make it really easy to visit family no matter the distance!

Tell us something interesting that most people don’t know about you.

I like really really really hate cotton balls. I don’t like touching them and I don’t like when people rip them apart at the nail salon. My dislike of them is so intense that my brother used to chase me around with cotton balls to freak me out!

Genna can be found in our Syracuse office, doing Instagram takeovers and being the source of the entire office’s laugher!