Houston, TX, USA
Phoenix, AZ, USA
How long have you been with Citrix, and what is your job?
Bill Kennon: I am an SE working with Enterprise customers in the South Central. I have been with Citrix for 12 years, working throughout the area as a Sales Engineer. Much of what I do is customer awareness for new products and enhancements, as well as helping answer those difficult questions that our customers have about Citrix technology. I’ve seen Citrix grow from MetaFrame days through Presentation Server and branching out to virtual desktops with XenDesktop. Now, the Intelligent Workspace is a new major growth area for us as Citrix matures from just publishing applications to providing a secure, intelligent workspace for all work. I am proud to be part of that growth.
Roy Tokeshi: I am a Principal Sales Engineer working with Commercial customers in Las Vegas and Arizona. I have been at Citrix for 16 years this April 1st (fill in your own joke here) and was in the partner channel since I started doing WinFrame to MetaFrame migrations in the late 90s. This was when the icon on the “Save” button was an actual “diskette” that WinFrame Licenses came on. My activities include hanging out with the awesome customers and partners in this area and talking about solutions made possible by Citrix products.
Talk about your involvement with CUGC. What do you enjoy most?
BK: CUGC is extremely important as it provides a community for our Citrix administrators, partners, and leaders to communicate “how to get it done.” I look forward to every meeting: there are always interesting and informative discussions around how to get things fixed, done, and innovative ways to improve the user experience. Helping customers, staying connected, and understanding the customer perspective is vital to our roles as SEs. Nothing accomplishes those goals like a user group meeting.
RT: I have been lucky enough to be embraced by the local CUGC communities in Las Vegas, Phoenix and the Southwest. Citrix users have always been a passionate and collaborative group. From the “Thin List” email group from the 90s to the incarnations of community-led local and national Citrix User groups, Citrix users have always been willing and eager to help each other out. Personally, I have been humbled by the people I’ve met, and careers I have followed as they have grown and moved around the country and world.
What was the largest implementations in the world in the 90s are now large medium business implementations. What I get to see, and hear about in CUGC meetings are the best and most innovative of these implementations. Sometimes the early warnings of possible issues in a particular tactical use case will pop up as well. It is the easiest way to find out about troubleshooting techniques, testing methodologies and network with other people inside and outside your vertical market.
What's your best advice for getting involved with CUGC or running a great meeting?
BK: There is no formula for success. Every user group I have been to throughout our area is a little bit different. I advise to be as active as you can. A great meeting is one where customers do not complain, but one where they actively discuss new and better ways to support their users. We as SEs facilitate that by attending as many meetings as possible. It fosters our role as “trusted advisors."
RT: The easiest way to get involved in the CUGC is the same way in any community. Enter with a goal of service. Greeting members, introducing people, working a check-in table, or even getting plates and napkins for the ubiquitous pizza buffet are great places to start. Look for ways to connect people who can help each other. Is a member new to MCS? Find a matching customer who is successful at it. Want to get certifications? Pair up people that want to start a study group. Every time you introduce people facing the same challenges or commonalities, it is an easy way to build your value to the community.
What's the biggest benefit from attending a CUGC event?
BK: For our Citrix admins out there, I would say there is no better place to meet your contemporaries. It really is a community. Even in a city as large as Houston, the Citrix admins “all know each other” and CUGC is a great way to maintain the community and grow it.
RT: James Garner once said, “You can never have too many friends.” Oprah said, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” CUGC meetings are filled with people making the journey in limos, busses and everything in between. Universally in every group, I’ve found people trying to help each other. It takes effort to take yourself from work or family for a meeting. That bar alone sets CUGC members as people who go the extra mile.
What do you enjoy outside of Citrix and CUGC?
BK: I love photography, and I am a voracious reader of anything and everything technology related (yes even outside Citrix). I love cycling (the pedal type) and enjoy time with my family. As much as I travel as an SE, I enjoy travel with my family and recently have done several European cruises (including a river cruise on the Danube).
RT: I love the maker community, IoT and DevFests. I recently dove into laser cutting. I was able to make some nifty cell phone holders for the CUGC-XL in San Diego. I like to try to beat my daughter in chess, (something I haven’t done in 6 years). I also like to try to beat my wife in tournament and cash game poker. (Something I have never been able to do. In fact, my mother-in-law, my wife, and my 4 daughters can all out play me. Luckily, I can still outplay my sons and our new dog Cerberus, although the dog is getting better fast.)
Laser-cut phone stands for the CUGC XL: SoCal Event, made by Roy.
Roy's daughter Kylie at a hackathon building a Raspberry Pi powered Google Home with an AI Chat-bot.