[Interview] Part 1: Teresa Hennig, International MS Access Authority

This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with leading professionals.In this series of blogs, I have an exclusive interview with Teresa Hennig. Teresa is an international authority on MS Access, a top user group leader, a best selling author and a recognized and profiled MVP.

Enjoy! Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., MVP


The Life of an MVP

clip_image001I wanted to capture Teresa's work and life in her own words…

"I love Access because its powerful and intuitive user interface makes it so easy to manage, extract and manipulate data. The first time I used Access, I decided to become a business consultant and Access developer. That was 9 years ago, and I still love it! In fact, I'm even more excited now because Access 2007 is going to appeal to the masses. I want to help new users become fluent with Access so that they can quickly enjoy its power and benefits.

For several years, I've been honored to be president of the Pacific Northwest Access Developers Group and of the Seattle Access Group. Running 24 meetings a year, publishing 2 monthly newsletters and maintaining the SAG site (www.SeattleAccess.org) keeps me very busy - especially because our meetings actually include two sessions and cover so much content. The meetings don't just focus on technical presentations; they help create a sense of community and belonging. So I ensure that our meetings provide a welcoming environment that fosters networking and the open exchange of ideas. It is exciting and fulfilling to be able to use my skills to help others learn about Access and to provide them with opportunities that they otherwise would not have had.

In 2005, my community leadership earned a scholarship to TechEd, where I was immediately recruited to INETA's Community Activities Team. We serve over 800 user groups and 450,000 UG members. In 2006, we initiated the INETA Live webcasts. In addition to being the project lead, I am also privileged to host our monthly webcasts.

As the lead author of "Access 2007 VBA Programmer's Reference," I was privileged to invite new authors to our team. I was the coordinating lead author for the 2003 version, but that didn't prepare me for this edition. With so much many new features, it was essentially a total rewrite and consumed twice as much time as anticipated. This will finally hit the stores in May. While that was wrapping, I recruited an author and was consulting for another book, "Expert Access 2007 Programming." I recently teamed up with two Excel MVPs to write yet another book, but we're keeping the title under wraps for now. I'm very fortunate to have great support from my publisher, which allows me to help some really great developers make the step into becoming a published author.

I seem to thrive on challenges, new adventures and project management. And the books certainly provide all that. My next exciting prospect is to create Access training videos. I have a screen test in New York later in April. Then, if all goes well, we should have an Advanced Access training video ready in July! Now that's an aggressive schedule! I've never done anything like this, and it feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - that will hopefully be repeated with several variations.

I also have time for my clients. Actually, I'm as passionate about my clients and their projects as I am about my groups. As a consultant, I am incredibly fortunate to get to work on projects from a wide spectrum of industries. Every project provides new challenges for finding ways to manage data, streamline and automate. Understanding my client's industries, operations and needs, I feel like I'm their partner and it is important to provide cost effective solutions. With the savings and benefits, my solutions typically pay for themselves in a matter of months. My biggest reward is knowing that I truly made a difference.

But my life is not just consumed with Access and user groups. I have a wonderful family and really great friends. They share in my adventures and have learned that I truly enjoy my roller-coaster ride of a life. Actually, my family, friends, user groups and clients have all pulled together to share my excitement and challenges. They have been especially supportive of my fund raising drives, such as climbing Mount Rainier for the American Lung Association of Washington and Riding from Seattle to Portland for SCS research. That drive is ongoing.

In 2006, I joined the STP and rode 220 miles - on a borrowed bike and with minimal training. But, my goal was enough incentive to finish. That was 10 miles for every year that my brother has been in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. I haven't quite reached my goal of $10,000, but I will in time for Kirk to present the check to Spinal Cord Society at our annual golf tournament in June. 100% of this money will go to research a cure for paralysis. Please visit http://www.DataDynamicsNW.com/ride for more information and to make a donation."

Look for more with Teresa in the next blog.
I also encourage you to share your thoughts here on these interviews or send me an e-mail at sibaraki@cips.ca.

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