Featured Fíontan: Meet Cindy Lackow
You are one of our most long-time employees! How did you first learn about us, and what attracted you to the position?
Networking as a small business owner brought me to Fíonta [then Confluence]. A colleague who had worked with Confluence referred me to Lisa. I started working here as a Salesforce consultant in 2012 and found that helping nonprofits achieve their mission using Salesforce is incredibly satisfying. It wasn’t long before I was impressed with the vision, values, and expertise at Confluence [Fionta]. Within seven months, I became a full-time employee.
Tell me about your professional experience before Fíonta. Have you always worked with data and software systems?
I began my career in sales and sales management. I used a CRM system as an Account Executive in 1986 and never looked back to paper tracking. As a National Sales Manager, I then implemented CRM for a team of 8 regional sales folks. In 2006, I decided to help businesses embrace automation using CRM as a consultant and small business owner. Implementing and/or troubleshooting CRM systems to capture and report on appropriate data properly became my mantra.
You were a remote employee before COVID and before Fíonta became a remote-first company. Do you have any productivity tips or resources that you can share?
Creating dedicated space for my work in my home, which I typically only use during working hours, helps keep work and home life separate.
I always used a calendar to manage my time, adding, rearranging, and updating it as priorities shift.
Doing this also helps me manage to log my time.
I take ‘me’ time during the day to balance work with taking care of myself – typically, a walk or swim midday will give me a break I need to come back refreshed.
Share a bit about a project you’ve worked on at Fíonta that is meaningful to you, and why.
I worked with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) early on. Over the years we worked with them, they were one of the first clients I worked with who experienced a transformation. As they embraced NPSP and the tools available in Salesforce and the App Exchange, their thinking and business processes evolved. Watching the ‘aha’ moments as the organization matured in its use and deployment of NPSP and the Salesforce ecosystem was gratifying.
How has your role evolved over your time here at Fíonta?
It’s been a wonderful journey. When I started, there were just 2 of us working on Salesforce, and I was chipping in everywhere, as needed, although I was mainly doing NPSP implementations and configuration. I earned my Salesforce Certified Administrator certification in 2013; I now maintain 6 Salesforce certifications and will be completing at least one more this year. Today, Fionta has over 70 people, and I’m leading teams of consultants, developers, and data migration specialists on association projects.
Which of Fíonta’s core value(s) strikes closest to home for you? Why?
This is a tough question because I embrace all our values. However, I think one of my greatest strengths is meeting people and organizations where they are. I learned this about myself as a foster parent when each child who came to our home needed something different, and we had to meet them where they were to give each what they needed.
What are some of your favorite hobbies or ways to spend your time outside of work?
I’m an avid hiker, kayaker, and swimmer. I have a wonderful puppy, Reggie [currently seven months], who I take on long walks and hikes. I love the outdoors and welcome time to enjoy nature with my partner, Joe, my son, Andrew, and our families & friends. Outdoor concerts and dancing are also a favorite part of my life, and I’m looking forward to more of that this year!
Mountains or the beach?
Both, but the beach is truly my happy place.
Cats or dogs?
Both! In the early 2000s, I had four dogs & 10 cats living happily together in my house, barn, and 10-acre property.
Christmas or Halloween?
Halloween – I love the variety and ingenuity of kids and adults in costume.
Sweet or Sour?
Favorite nut butter?
Plain ‘ole smooth peanut butter.