Many organizations describe their Salesforce experience as a journey they have been on – where they started, where they are today, and, perhaps most importantly, why they decided to make the trek. Telling our story helps us reflect on our experience and share that experience with like-minded peers that are ready to take a similar path.

My personal journey may be familiar to many of you. I started my work in affordable housing in 2007, as a HUD Foreclosure Prevention Counselor at CHN Housing Partners (then Cleveland Housing Network). I transitioned through the organization – homebuyer education, tax preparation, digital inclusion – whatever was deemed a “Special Project”, I was involved!

Tom Tosuksri, HomeKeeper Director

One day, my boss asked me to “help with a report for a funder” since I was “good at Excel.” Next, I was asked to do a company-wide impact analysis of our programs. I pulled data from 10+ databases, working for 4 months to clean and normalize the data, producing one sentence – we served 30,000+ unique households and made $43 million in financial impact. This was valuable, but I knew we could put better systems in place to tell these data stories.

Thus began my Salesforce journey – I discovered a database tool with a friendly user interface and an incredible community of support. CHN started with 4 users in 2 departments and grew rapidly. In 2017, we joined HomeKeeper as an Early Adopter of the Housing Counseling Feature Set and HUD Connect, accelerating our growth and internal management capacity. When I left CHN, we had over 140 users and had added programs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HomeKeeper was vital to my success implementing an integrated system across the wide swath of CHN programming. The HomeKeeper data model provided a foundation, allowing CHN to be creative, while meeting HUD standards. After getting HomeKeeper, we could fully leverage the Salesforce platform and interact with our clients, partners, and other stakeholders, in an intuitive and comprehensive way.

When the HomeKeeper Director position became available, I felt shocked – what will we do without Tiffany?! But it quickly became apparent to me that this role could be a great space for me to step into. With my expertise in Salesforce and in programs centered around housing stability and affordability, I hope to work together with the HomeKeeper community to grow with our industry and deliver our promise of sustainable affordable housing.

Today, the HomeKeeper community is stronger than ever. I hope to build on the foundation Tiffany established to continue our growth. Together, we can add new chapters to the story she started writing, using our data to demonstrate impact and make evidence-based cases to support our work. HomeKeeper will also work as a vehicle to drive Grounded Solutions Network’s bold new initiative, Lasting Affordability in Housing Now, to scale housing programs and build a more just and equitable future. Cheryl, Lindsay, Haley and I are prepared for the challenge! We look forward to collaborating with each and every one of you.

A bit about me – I’ve lived in Cleveland, Ohio for over 20 years with my wife Kate, two greyhounds (Sadie and Ringo), and our cat (Lovely Rita). We live in an affordable home I purchased 7 years ago, in Tremont, a neighborhood that has since seen tremendous interest and development. We are active in our community; my wife has served on our board of directors as President, and I’m seeking a seat for this upcoming term. I’m passionate about inclusion and bringing people together – which is why I love our sports – and look forward to getting back to travelling the world and enjoying the diversity it presents at every turn.