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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Richmond International Motor Speedway – ASUG Virginia/North Carolina Chapter Meeting Recap

At first, I didn’t think about attending an ASUG Chapter meeting…then I saw Jonathan Reed of @jonerp was coming so I simply had to attend.  Then I saw it was going to be at Richmond International Motor Speedway.  I simply had to come, having never been at a NASCAR track before.


Kudos and thanks to Rudy Hendricks, ASUG Chapter Chair volunteer, for putting together such a great event.  He explained that ASUG Volunteers do this work on their own time, and they start out with a zero budget, relying on sponsors to help support the meeting.  I carpooled to Richmond with a co-worker.

We find the place, and immediately run into Jon Reed.  We get off the elevator and are greeted by Cheerleaders from the Richmond UFL Destroyers


It was also great to finally meet Kristen Scheffler of SAP Business Analytics Support in person too. 


This is Kristen with Jon Reed

The ASUG Volunteers kick off the day with drawings from the Cheerleaders.  Jon Reed wins a hat:


Dennis Bickmeier, President of the Richmond International Motor Speedway, welcomed everyone to the event.  The speedway holds 93,000 people!  He explained their upcoming NASCAR race September 8th.


Timothy Coffman of SAP Business Analytics Support was up next discussing Remote Support with BusinessObjects (now called Business Analytics).  It was very interesting, as I’ve used these tools and it was great hearing a “behind the scenes” story on support.  I think I will write a separate blog on this. 

We started into the next session but then the fire alarm went off which forced everyone outside in the 100+ heat.  We had to wait for the all-clear from the fire department before we went back in.  I liked how Rudy termed it an “impromptu” networking session.  During this time, I spoke with Tim and Jamie Bridwell, SAP Business Analytics Support, and they both confirmed they will be attending the ASUG BusinessObjects User Conference in Orlando in September.

We had a great lunch, followed by Jon Reed’s session on “Honey I Shrunk the Support Package”.  Jon engaged the audience about using Panaya software to help with upgrades and support packs.  He was also great at engaging the audience: we learned that not many customers are taking advantage of the testing component of Solution Manager.  Once customer, who just went live on SAP this year, expressed concerns about implementing their first support package in the system.

I want to thank the ASUG Volunteers for the Virginia/North Carolina Chapter, especially Rudy Hendricks.  Rudy told me he’s been volunteering for different organizations for over 30 years.  He has a great passion for volunteering.

I also want to thank the sponsors of this chapter meeting:

DataXstream, EPI-Use America, Etiah, excel4apps, Open Text, Panaya, Worksoft

I also want to thank Kristen Scheffler, Jamie Bridwell and Tim Coffman of SAP Business Analytics support for attending and all of the other great speakers (including Jon Reed).

Lastly, Rudy confirmed that there will be another chapter meeting at this same location next year, so if you are in the area, I encourage you to come check it out.  At the end of the day, free pace car rides were offered to those brave souls who were willing to sign a legal waiver. 

It was great, unique, one-of-kind event.

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      Author's profile photo Martin English
      Martin English

      Obviously, I wasn't present (long way from Australia !!), but I must congratulate Rudy Hendricks, and the rest of the Virginia / North Carolina ASUG team, for looking outside the box in their search for venues and sponsors. As Tammy shows, it provided just that little extra incentive to get along to the meeting. Of course, the challenge, for both this chapter and others, is to to meet or even raise the bar !!


      PS would be nice if I could like this twice, once for Tammy posting it, second time for Rudy and his team - I clouldn't find Rudy via the SCN Search, maybe we need to reach out !!

      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author

      Martin English

      Thank you for commenting

      I will try to ask Rudy to join SCN

      He is a very passionate volunteer


      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for highlighting this ASUG Chapter Meeting, and the continuous efforts put in by ASUG Volunteers all year round.  It just goes to show - ASUG Annual Conference isn't the ONLY place to get good customer/SAP/partner info - and Chapter meetings are local (low travel expense) and free!

      Similar, in fact, to SAPInsideTracks - which are also a huge win-win for everyone.

      Rudy, we would like to see you on SCN!

      Author's profile photo Kristen Scheffler
      Kristen Scheffler

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for sharing this out with the community.  It was a great event, and I am continually amazed by the volunteers in ASUG. What a phenomenal group of individuals.

      This was a wonderful time, and we just couldn't beat the location!  Rudy and team did it right!

      Looking forward to seeing you again soon. 🙂