Legendary Podcast: Julie Yack on Value of Welcoming Community, Summit NA Impressions, and D365 Education

Welcome to the “Legendary Podcast,” hosted by Dynamics Communities Editor Cam Sessinger. The “Legendary Podcast” is a video podcast series featuring Community Summit North America Legends, highlighting their career expertise, community involvement, and Community Summit experiences.

In episode 5, Cam interviews Julie Yack, Community Summit NA Legend, COO, Colorado Technology Consultants, Co-Founder and Director of Operations, 365.Training, and Microsoft MVP. The two discuss how Julie came to be involved with the ecosystem, her impressions of Community Summit North America 2023, and the value of a welcoming community.

This episode is sponsored by Community Summit North America, the largest independent gathering of the Microsoft Business Applications ecosystem, taking place Oct. 13-17, 2024, in San Antonio, Texas. Register today to connect with thousands of users across the Microsoft business applications ecosystem at the for user, by user event.


01:32 — Six months after getting married, Julie explains that she and her husband started a consulting business focused on custom software development. Later, she had an injury which resulted in her spending “six months sitting in a chair.” As such, her role in the business — which was predominately around payroll and paying bills — shifted to actually creating the custom software. Fast forward a few years, a client needed a CRM recommendation, to which Julie suggested Dynamics 365 CE/CRM. After connecting the client with a partner, the partner pulled out, leading Julie to finish the project.

“We’re consultants. The answer is ‘sure, of course, no problem.’ And here we are.”

02:58 — Thinking back on her career, Julie explains that attending Community Summit events came later in the progression of her professional career. When thinking back to Community Summit North America 2023, Julie notes how the “Charlotte setup was wonderful.” Additionally, the wealth of innovation, education, and training around Copilot — especially in relation to Power Platform and CE/CRM — was something that stood out to Julie.

“It’s time to figure out how to best use it for our advantage.”

05:33Community Summit North America is a great opportunity for User Groups to get together, network, share knowledge, and learn from one another. Julie notes the importance of a welcoming community, especially as a woman in tech. With a supportive community, the barriers that women in tech face become “irrelevant.”

“I think community is everything. Who knew that we would have this group of professionals who really want to see everyone succeed? It doesn’t have to be a competition, we can all be successful… and community helps us with that.”

06:32 — Speaking about her current roles, Julie explains that a large focus of her job is creating training content for 365.Training. In order to create the training content, “I have to learn the new stuff to be able to effectively present it in a way that others can learn.” Colorado Technology Consultants, Julie explains, is a Microsoft partner and also provides select project work.

07:49 — What tips does Julie have for professionals aspiring to join, or become more involved with this community? “Find your community.” Once you find one that resonates with you, “give back more than you take.” Additionally, she encourages people to be mindful of finding a balance between personal and professional careers.

“It’s kind of a combination of being responsible for your own personal life, but also working in an environment that encourages you to have that personal life.”

09:38 — In closing, Julie speaks to the importance of educational content in this community. With the plethora of free and paid content available for D365 and Power Platform users, “you’ve got to find your own best source of information. Becoming a member of a trusted community who can help you sort through that is key.”

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