Q. Ali, tell us a little bit about your role at Thunder.
I help run client development aka “sales” here at Thunder. This encompasses managing the sales organization across AMER, as well as setup of organizational needs and operations to support this.
I run onboarding and enablement for sales, provide support and operations and work with our practice leads to ensure we’re growing across the cloud practice areas in a balanced way.
I act as executive sponsor on many of our client relationships, which is the best because I can be close to projects working with the C-suite ensuring execution and value delivery.
Q. What made you want to come roll with Thunder?
I’ve known Carter for going on 12 years now. He was my GO TO when he was at his prior SI. Skip ahead too many years and when he said he was back and had started Thunder, I was immediately grateful I would have a solid go to partner again.
After running one awesome deal cycle together, it was clear I had to jump at the opportunity to be a part of this special company.
Q. Before joining Thunder, you came directly from the mothership! Can you tell us about your time at Salesforce?
My near decade spent at Salesforce was absolutely incredible. I used to say working there is like getting an MBA every day. I personally got to work with companies like Mitsubishi, Mindbody, Sonos, Drybar, Disney and many more. At Salesforce you are regularly surrounded by the smartest people in the industry, who just so happen to be so willing to jump in and help each other. It is truly an amazing organization that I continue to feel lucky to be able to work with every day.
At Thunder, I’m so glad that I get to give back to Salesforce by being that solid, go to partner for all their needs who delivers happy customers and ACV.
Q. You are quite the impressive female leader, in fact, we hear outside of your day job that you are the President of The Board Of Directors for the California Federation of Women’s Clubs! Do tell.
Ok I’m blushing, but thanks! I have always been very civically inclined. I stay close to issues that are impacting the city I live in, as well as state & federal legislation. Our organization focuses on education and activation for issues that matter to local Orange County women. It’s super exciting because we get to meet and press our questions to candidates directly, and hear the way they will handle key topics that matter to us. I get to speak a LOT which is fun but also requires a lot of research and prep. We also volunteer regularly and work to improve our local community.
Q. On top of all that you are a mother, wife and avid athlete? How do you do it all?
Caffeine mostly. Specifically Oat Milk Cappuccinos.
No, but really it is manageable. The biggest change I made about 4 years ago is not watching TV. It’s amazing how much time TV and social media will take up of your day. That was a simple switch.
That and getting up painfully early (this never gets easy)! I try to be highly efficient, meaning when I do something I focus and do it, and don’t procrastinate. Then, move on to the next.
Soccer, spin and dance keep me sane and I’m able to squeeze those in a few times a week.
At the end of it there are only a few things that really really matter to me, and by focusing all my energy on those things, you find out that you really do have the time.
Q. Last one! As a leader at Thunder, what are you most excited about this coming year?
Is EVERYTHING an answer? This company is so exciting, every day.
I’m most excited about watching the sales organization grow. We have nearly doubled in size and the talent that we boast is unparalleled! We are going to market with Salesforce in so many creative ways, truly living our values in being a differentiated partner centered on value. So many miss this mark, and we will remain completely focused on just that.
Watching the team continue to learn and grow and thus give that back to the Salesforce teams and their customers is so exciting to see.
I love getting to watch Thunder as a whole get sharper and continue to execute flawlessly as we grow, it’s absolutely been the most fulfilling time of my career!