We’re excited to spotlight Diane Kerr, Simplus’ Delivery Operations Lead, as our next employee feature! Diane has been with Simplus for almost three years and from day one she has been invaluable to accelerating our Salesforce delivery expertise and credentials. We wanted to take some time to get to know this incredible team member—both professionally and personally—even more.
What do you do at Simplus?
I am very fortunate to wear a couple of different hats:
— I contribute to our Delivery Playbook: managing our delivery methodology, the related practice site, creating/collecting/updating templates, accelerators, tools, best practices, etc. I recently became part of a small team coordinating the move of our IP to Cobalt, an Infosys knowledge management tool, and working to get our Simplus users access.
— I assist our amazing Operations team i.e. as a Jira admin, voucher program owner, delivery lead contact for related SOPs and FF features
— In my L&D role I work closely with Salesforce (and other partners) to stay on top of the latest learning and certification opportunities. I provide onboarding to our Delivery new hires, host Lunch & Learns, and most recently I have been involved with the revitalization of our PM CoP as well as a brand new program to bring in talent new to the Salesforce ecosystem. Also, I have authoring capability in LEX (Infosys LMS) to share our learning opportunities with both Simplus and Infosys.
What are some achievements of which you are most proud? Both professionally and personally.
First and foremost, I am proud of the compassionate, responsible beings that my five children have become. I am probably more proud of their achievements than mine. I am equally proud of my three joyful, highly energetic grandchildren.
Professionally, a couple of highlights in a long, winding career…
1. Getting a handshake (and a monetary award) from the President of Federated Dept Stores for delivering a multi-million dollar AP/GL/Vendor CRM system used by all divisions (i.e., Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Lazarus, Rich’s…)
2. Meeting with and convincing the CEO of Nucor, the largest steel producer in the US, along with his leadership team (25 businessmen and me in a crowded conference room in NC) to stop managing their scrap inventory on scraps of paper and adopt JDE’s Supply Chain Management. It was a little terrifying. 😊
3. Being selected for a small team reporting to the Duke Energy CIO to organize and lead two significant merger/acquisition efforts.
4. With a coworker, successfully rescuing some wild ducklings trapped in an enclosed atrium while being attacked by several nearby geese (unrelated to the ducklings) in the rain and wind, in skirts and heels – only to look up and see our entire office including the VP watching through the surrounding glass panels of the atrium.
What are your hobbies?
Golf, softball, volleyball, hiking, and cooking would normally top my list but over the last several years I have become involved in the black hole that is Animal Rescue. To date, I have fostered over 50 cats and over 30 dogs plus the occasional rat, rabbit, and hedgehog! So my other hobbies often take a back seat.
Why do you like working at Simplus?
I love the small company feel with the big company benefits—such an amazing talent pool, accessible leadership I fully trust, the focus on our common goals, the transparency, to name a few.
But my favorite thing is the collaboration and support I see happening every day, all day. I have never seen a group of people from the Chief Marketing Officer to the Chief Strategist or the Director of HR down to very busy consultants who make time to respond to questions and step up to help without a moment’s notice. And that includes our amazing PH leadership team. Every time I reach out, they never fail to impress.
Tell us a little bit about your professional background.
My career trajectory is the poster child for seeking opportunities wherever you can find them and enjoying the ride! I graduated with a History degree and went to UC Law School. It took me a couple of years to realize that wasn’t the right path so I jumped into Operations Management. I was super lucky to gain experience as a people manager in union and non-union settings – during peak seasons, I was responsible for 300+ hourly and salary employees. And for the next several years I worked for a number of large companies trading one job title for another as I gained experience in multiple industries…retail, transportation, financial services, manufacturing, energy, insurance as examples. I spent a good chunk of time as a project manager, program manager, organizational change agent, and PMO manager which eventually led me to the Salesforce ecosystem and to my current role at Simplus.
What do you feel are your greatest contributions that help make Simpus the best consulting firm?
Soliciting input from my co-workers and hopefully providing information and IP to make their jobs a little easier. And building collaborative relationships with Salesforce product enablement teams.
If you are playing Two Truths and a Lie, what answers stump people every time?
I was a bartender, a waitress, a greenskeeper, a phlebotomist, an inner-city boys/girls club education director, an admin for a bunch of crazy tree cutters, a clerical for a high-end women’s clothing store, and a short-order cook all before I graduated college.
I was a pool shark in college, had my own cue, and almost never had to buy my own drinks. 😊
I can’t play a single musical instrument.
At one insane time, we had 34 dogs (32 of them were Irish Wolfhounds).
Congratulations again, Diane! We are so thrilled we get to call you part of our Simplus family!