Welcoming Trish Perkins as Our Newest Sherpa

Database Sherpa is excited to share that a new Sherpa has joined the team! Please join us in welcoming Trish Perkins. Trish is based here in the United States, but her consulting and traveling adventures have taken all over the world since the 1970s. She is deeply committed to caring collaboration with her clients and has long been a kindred spirit of Database Sherpa. We're honored that she would take this next step to join our team, and we can't wait to share her expertise with all of you. 

A Hello from Trish Perkins

Our Newest Database Sherpa

 

Twenty years ago, when I was in my early 50s, I heard about a program at my local university: Management of Information Systems. I went to an information session, ostensibly to encourage my son to major in Computer Science, and came away ready to make some changes in my life. I have always been good at organizing closets, mine and other people’s, and database work is so much like that – putting stuff that looks alike together in a box, labeling the box, putting it back in the closet with the label showing. I leapt—into taking university courses and finding my community in the nonprofit world. 

My first client was in Nepal. The organization is called Lumanti in Newari, “Memory.” It provides shelter support across the Nepalese landscape, often working with squatter communities. I made every mistake a consultant can make with them, slavishly following my “Project Management” course, insisting that I knew what they needed better than they did, and arguing for my own agenda instead of really listening. I learned a lot of hard lessons from that experience. 
Fast forward: Through VISTA volunteering, through local consulting, through working for a high-powered for-profit consulting company, to owning and operating my own Salesforce consulting company, Worldstouch. The generous community of dedicated nonprofit admins and the consultants who serve them helped me be recognized as a Salesforce MVP, a Much-Valued Partner. 

Somewhere on that journey, my path crossed that of Ashima Saigal and Database Sherpa. I liked the spiritual approach to data I found on the Database Sherpa website. I breathed a sigh of relief when Ashima sounded her little finger gong for mindfulness practice at the start of a Salesforce nonprofit gathering. I am intrigued with the Sherpa approach, teaching their clients to do it themselves, to learn their own systems deeply and well. Teaching, coaching, and walking along with clients is such a logical approach to technology project work. 

So often, the consultant takes on a project, spends several hours getting the lay of the land, and then disappears into “building” and “configuration.” The client sits back, waiting for the date of “delivery,” when they will be gifted with a shiny new system, all ready to use. And then…deafening silence. There is too much to learn to make the nonprofit’s new system really serve, and the staff has been too hands-off to understand how to use the data to further their mission. And so…on to crash-course training! 

I’m so glad to be at the beginning of a collaborative journey with Database Sherpa. I’ve got my hiking boots all waterproofed and my walking sticks leaning up against my pack. I’m a born traveler at heart anyway—my international practice feeds my soul already. I’m ready to learn more about this innovative and interactive way of working with my clients. 

Excited to be here. Looking forward to contributing. 

Offering Trish's Skills to the Sherpa Community

More from Ashima saigal, founder of database sherpa

 
 

So, how did Trish come to join Database Sherpa despite having her own healthy consulting practice? Why would she do that? Well, first of all, she doesn’t need to change anything in her own consulting practice. She will continue to do her work as Traveler Trish. But we have found that there is some synergy that we’d like to tap.

It began with a simple conversation while we were traveling in South America. Trish was spreading the word about Database Sherpa and how we do things here and I realized: she admires the work we do. She has already begun doing things the Sherpa way for some of her clients -- coaching and guiding rather than doing.

While we were discussing ideas and ways to work with clients, I happened to say, “Do you want to come and join us at Database Sherpa?” She looked at me, surprised. “Let’s talk about it more,” she suggested. And thus, the conversations ensued. We talked, discussed and threw ideas around us. And we decided that Database Sherpa is another space for Trish to hang her hat with a team of fellow Sherpas. She has joined our community where we all work toward coaching and guiding our clients, building our client’s skills and capabilities.

When I returned from my trip, Bhanu, Gabriel and I discussed this at length. And both were as enthusiastic as I was to have Trish join us. There was very little convincing needed, as they both saw the value it would bring to our team.

Personally, it’s exciting to have a friend who I’ve admired and respected for so long join us. Trish is an amazing individual who has transformed herself multiple times throughout her career. She’s more apt to say “Yes, we can do that.” or “I’ve never done that before, but let’s try.” than saying no. But mostly, I am excited for her skill set. She’s an amazing thinker and has pushed and pulled on many ideas with me over the years that we’ve known each other, helping me to transform my thinking and the vision for the business.

Trish is an unbelievable administrator of Salesforce, something that's essential to every project but that we'll be drawing on especially for the growing Outpost programShe knows the little oddities in the system that still perplex the most skilled admin. She has been an administrator in instances and has a wealth of experience in guiding organizations when their admin has transitioned.

I hope you are as excited as I am about this amazing human joining the Database Sherpa team. Welcome, Trish. I am honored and so grateful to have you along on this journey!