UM President and Corporate Partners to Present at National Dreamforce Conference

November 15, 2019

UM President Seth BodnarMISSOULA – University of Montana President Seth Bodnar will speak Wednesday, Nov. 20, as part of the massive Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.

This year’s Dreamforce speaker lineup includes former President Barack Obama, Apple CEO Tim Cook, World Cup soccer player Megan Rapinoe and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, among many others. A sell-out crowd of 170,000 will attend Dreamforce, which will include 2,700 information sessions.

Since 2003, Dreamforce has gathered together worldwide users of Salesforce, a cloud computing service that helps businesses connect with customers, partners and potential customers.

Bodnar will present a session titled “How to Build Your Salesforce Army” with LeeAnne Rimel of Salesforce and Sonia Flamm of Advanced Technology Group, a Cognizant Company. They will highlight collaborative education programs created in Missoula to grow Salesforce expertise for local corporate partners.

UM, ATG and Salesforce developed a course for UM’s College of Business – Information Infrastructures: A Strategic Perspective – as well as a 12-week training program titled “All In Missoula (AIM),” which was offered through Missoula College. Both will serve as case studies for the Dreamforce presentation.

Peter Coffee, vice president for strategic research with Salesforce, will introduce the Dreamforce session. He has assisted UM’s College of Business program for several years and consults frequently with ATG, and he praised of UM’s agility and strength in developing the programs.

“The speed and intensity of innovation – in every economic sector and institution of society – require students to master current technology, to engage with new material, to work in diverse teams and to adapt quickly to demands for future-ready skills,” Coffee said. “Public/private partnerships between universities and business and technology sectors will be vital for delivering an education that meets this accelerating challenge.”

Last month, UM launched its Tech Skills for Tomorrow Initiative, an effort aimed at providing education and training to address the high-tech workforce needs of Montana businesses.

“Our collaboration with ATG Cognizant and Salesforce is one embodiment of Tech Skills for Tomorrow,” said Bodnar. “Universities have an important role to play in addressing workforce demands and preparing students for success. We call it a ‘tomorrow-proof’ education – one that empowers students to reinvent themselves and adapt their skills in an ever-changing world. I’m eager to share our experience and learn about new possibilities to expand and build upon our success.”

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Contact: Paula Short, UM communications director, 406-243-5806, paula.short@umontana.edu.