2020 has been a memorable year for all of us. From the start of a global pandemic to the Black Lives Matter Movement and the election of a new president, there has been an abundance of change. With all that’s going on, we felt it necessary to bring you a special edition of our VIP Spotlight, which focuses on two incredible individuals who are working to facilitate meaningful conversations about social justice issues within corporate America through their new podcastUntold Stories – No Longer Untold.” 

We first met show hosts Deepa Patel and Eric Dreshfield the way all good Salesforce professionals meet, through the Salesforce ecosystem. Deepa is a Metazoa VIP, and is a consultant that utilizes Metazoa Snapshot for her clients. Eric is an all around Salesforce mover and shaker, whose initiatives Metazoa helps sponsor. 

Deepa has made a name for herself within the Salesforce ecosystem by starting the Salesforce Certification study group and writing her own book Beyond CRM Basics – An MVP Guide To Expand Your Knowledge And Grow Your Career. Eric is best known for launching Midwest Dreamin’ and starting the Southern Indiana Salesforce User Group, now called the Evansville Admin Group. Deepa and Eric have been Salesforce MVPs since 2012 and 2013 respectively, and both have spoken at Dreamforce multiple times. If they aren’t in your contacts list, these are two people you need to get to know…    

We recently sat down with Deepa and Eric to learn more about their stories, their new podcast and what prompted them to take up the fight for social justice; giving a voice to those who do not always have one.

Meet Deepa Patel and Eric Dreshfield  

In a world where Uganda-born women usually don’t dominate the Business and Technology Consulting, Project Management, and Software Sales professions, Deepa has had over thirty years of successful professional growth. All this despite some of the sexism, nepotism, ageism and workplace microaggression she has experienced.

Knowing she is not the only one that has faced these obstacles, Deepa was inspired to create a platform where others could safely and anonymously share their stories without fear of retaliation. Her hope is that having conversations about these issues will create more solutions, and help others remedy their own difficult situations.

When brainstorming ideas and potential partners for the podcast, Deepa could think of none other than Eric Dreshfield as the perfect compliment to be a part of

this passion project. Eric currently serves as Product Marketing Manager at ActiveCampaign, managing its relationship with Salesforce as a company and as a community. Eric has years of experience in business intelligence. 

Deepa, who moved to the United States from India 34 years ago, and Eric, living in Indiana since 1999, have been a part of the Salesforce ecosystem for more than ten years. At a Salesforce event in 2012, they instantly connected through their similar interest, and love of all things Salesforce. 

When Deepa called Eric to pitch the podcast idea, he was immediately in, without hesitation.. And so began the journey of Untold Stories – No Longer Untold.” 

While both Deepa and Eric have been guests on podcasts, neither had produced their own until now. As hardworking, committed individuals eager to make a difference, this did not inhibit them one bit.

“Our first podcast that we recorded, both of us failed miserably [. . .] we had too much written down, so we did it all again, scrapped all the notes, and just had a conversation, and it turned out great,” Eric said.

Many of the skills they have built up over time came into play for the project. As an artist, Deepa was able to take on the branding work using her photoshop skills. Eric was able to leverage his connections from organizing the first Midwest Dreamin’ to find sponsors, Midwest Dreamin’ and Metazoa being two of them.

After a little trial and error, the duo’s introductory podcast aired on November 14, 2020. It was a smashing success for a first run, and the next episode will air in the middle of December. The greatest takeaway from the podcast, to make change.

“If you want change, you have to bring awareness,” Deepa said. “We know that this exists, but no one wants to talk about it. If we can start this conversation and bring this awareness, like how the Black Lives Matter Movement started, this will create a desire for change, more than what is now. If the goal is to change, we must start with awareness. And if we can influence this, I feel like I’ve done something good for someone else.”

The podcast is not Deepa’s first rodeo as a social justice warrior, however, she has always been dedicated to helping the community and has worked for the non-profit organization, National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

This podcast’s topic hits home for Eric as well; he has a personal connection to diversity through his family of three daughters and two granddaughters. Eric also has a special connection to Project Night Night, an organization that provides childhood essentials to homeless children, and he supports this cause often.  

Deepa and Eric take pride in their partnership through this experience, and both have unequivocal passion for what is to come.

“This is not going to happen overnight [. . .] Eric and I will keep at it over and over again,” added Deepa.

Both show hosts describe the process as an incredible learning journey. Short-term goals for the podcast include engaging a bigger audience and finding annual sponsors. And, at some point, the show hosts would love to do a TED Talk. No matter what, for both individuals, the most important thing is to not give up.

“Who knows what tomorrow will be like; maybe we’ll be successful, maybe we won’t, but at least we have started the conversation for change,” said Eric.

Passionate and driven, these VIPs are the perfect team to take up the gauntlet and inspire change. We are rooting for you Deepa and Eric!

To support the movement for change, check out: https://nolongeruntold.com/ or stream on Apple or Google podcasts.