Life at Fionta

Featured Fíontan: Meet John Kamman

Photos of John Kamman

What do you like most about working with data?

I love how data can tell a story. I was a biologist in a past life and always loved the way that we could collect little data points in the world that didn’t mean much on their own and pull some reports/charts/analyses to suddenly paint a broader picture of trends, understanding the world a little more clearly.

Tell us a bit about what you did before you joined Fíonta. 

Before working at Fíonta, I was the Managing Director for a science and environmental education nonprofit, Ecology Project International (EPI). I wore several hats at EPI, from defacto Salesforce administrator to operational leadership. The organization worked with wildlife research, threatened ecosystems, regional scientists, and youth throughout the western hemisphere. It was an excellent opportunity to travel and bring science and environmental appreciation (and Salesforce!) to countries throughout North America and Latin America.

Share a bit about a project you’ve worked on at Fíonta that is meaningful to you and why.

I worked with the team from the Sustainable Forest Initiative to help migrate their legacy databases into Salesforce. As a biology grad student, my primary focus was forest ecology – Eastern White Pine growth, specifically – and I enjoyed having my career come full circle from forests to nonprofits to technology and back.

How do you see your role at Fíonta evolving over the next year and beyond?

Salesforce’s introduction of Nonprofit Cloud comes with so many new opportunities for learning. I’m excited to sink my teeth into the new data model, leverage the latest tools, and help support nonprofits and foundations as they implement or transition to Nonprofit Cloud.

If you could work with any nonprofit client, who would it be?

I have always been a fan of the big system-level environmental nonprofits like The Nature Conservancy. Still, I am often drawn to smaller local nonprofits because I can see their work first-hand. For example, there is a small organization here in Missoula, MT, called Free Cycles that embodies so much of what this world needs: Reducing waste sent to the landfill, promoting health/sustainable commuting, supporting low-income access to transportation, skill-building with overlooked parts of our community and even welcoming refugee families into our community. They’re just great.

Which of Fíonta’s core value(s) strikes closest to home for you? Why?

Meet people and organizations where they are. I like to think of technology existing on a spectrum between simple/imperfect and complex/perfect. As someone in the tech industry, it’s tempting to assume that the complex/perfect solution is always the best. Still, that’s not the right decision for many people and organizations. I love that Fíonta makes space to meet organizations where they are and find the right blend of solutions for the moment.

What are your favorite things to do when you aren’t working? Hobbies, activities, passions?

When I’m not working or parenting our 3-year-old daughter, I like to spend my time playing hockey, playing music (piano/guitar/mandolin), and dabbling in woodwork. I live in Montana, so getting out into the mountains and rivers is also an important part of my life.

Hiking or hockey?

Hockey! I still play 2-3 times a week, and hockey is a big part of our family. I even traveled with my brother to India a few years ago for a Guinness World Record for the highest-elevation hockey game!

Lakes or rivers?

Ooh, tough. I’m going to say lakes. I spent much of my life in Minnesota, so lakes always feel like home. In 2019, my wife and I spent a month in a hand-built cedar canoe in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota!

Edible garden or butterfly garden?

Edible! My partner Grace is an avid gardener and worked with nonprofits focused on local food systems for most of her career.

Breakfast sandwich or burrito?


Favorite nut butter?

A nice freshly-ground peanut butter.