About Us

Welcome to Microsoft 365 Chicago Community Days – where innovation meets community!

Microsoft 365 Chicago Community Days isn’t just another event; it’s a vibrant community of professionals dedicated to advancing their knowledge and skills in Microsoft Collaboration and Cloud Technologies. Our events are driven by a passion for learning and sharing, bringing together experts from various fields to educate and engage members of the local technical community.

Chicago Bean photo

Meet some of our esteemed event volunteers who play pivotal roles in shaping our gatherings:

It is where Microsoft 365 specialists, Cloud IT administrators, Power Platform administrators, end users, architects, developers, and other professionals that work with Microsoft Collaboration or Cloud Technologies meet to share the latest information for working with anything and everything related to Microsoft 365 and Power Platform.

The events are community-led, dedicated to educate and engage members of the local technical community. It draws upon the expertise of IT Professionals, Microsoft MVPs, Developers and Solution Architects who come together to share their real-world experiences, lessons learned, best practices, and general knowledge with other like-minded individuals.

Come to our events and get warm and fuzzy with:

  • Teams
  • Power Platform
  • Employee Experience
  • User Adoption & Productivity

Thanks again to all who have attended, participated, asked questions, bantered, presented, supported, volunteered and liked our past sessions! Remember to engage us in social media so we can keep this going!


Heather Ackmann (MVP)Instructional Designed and Co-Founder – AHA Learning Solutions

Heather Ackmann is an instructional designer, Microsoft MVP, and author for LinkedIn Learning and Pluralsight. She recently completed an MS degree in HCI at DePaul University. She loves helping people communicate and connect better through technology. In her spare time, you can find her pulling weeds on her Animal Crossing island “Coronomore.”

Twitter: @heatherackmann
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heatherackmann/

Michael Blumenthal (MVP)Office 365 Platform Lead

Michael is a Microsoft Office 365 MVP and the Office 365 Platform Lead at a large Financial Services Company. He helps teams of business people be more productive and ensures that the organization gets value from its Office 365 investment. As a technical community leader, he is one of the organizers of the M365Chicago events. As a public speaker, he can be found speaking on business technology topics including employee experience, the modern workplace, business productivity, collaboration, knowledge and expertise management, communication and content management, cloud adoption, and Office 365. Hear him year-round at technology events and user groups as well as national conferences such as Microsoft Ignite and SharePoint Fest Chicago.

Twitter: @michaelbl
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelbblumenthal/

Hal Hostetler (MVP)Senior Consultant for Roland, Schorr, & Tower

Hal is a retired Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer, Microsoft M365 Apps and Services MVP, and Senior Consultant for Roland, Schorr, & Tower, an MSP firm. He worked for KVOA Television in Tucson Arizona for 34 years and has been a Microsoft MVP for 25 years. His passion is pulling stone walls out of the paths of oncoming foreheads. He is an avid bowler, an Amateur Radio operator, a technology enthusiast, and loves cats.

Twitter: @TVWizard
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hal-hostetler-514420a/

Craig JahnkeCustomer Engineer – Microsoft

Craig has been interested in technology since getting a Commodore 64 for Christmas. He has been working in professionally in the technology field for the past 12 years. He started working with SharePoint as a side project to his main job about 15 years ago and been working primarly with SharePoint for the past 10 years. He is a member of several user groups and loves to get together with others and talk about technology and how it best can be used to solve business problems.

Twitter: @TechJahnke
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/craig-jahnke/2/b0/49/

John “Jay” Leask PMP (MVP)Director, Strategic Accounts & Services US Federal – AvePoint Public Sector

Jay has been in software & web development since 1998. His varied experiences include Project Management, Architecture, Graphics Design, Front End Development, Back End Development (including PHP, ASP, .NET, TSQL, XML & BizTalk) … and Sales. His time in the industry has offered many opportunities for growth but his favorite task is helping with planning and problem solving around digital collaboration and stakeholder engagement.

Twitter: @jayleask
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jleask/

Shari L. Oswald, MCT, MSOMChief Experience Officer for PowerUP!Learning

Shari is a Microsoft Certified Trainer, a Microsoft Certified Specialist Master, consultant, presenter, author and evangelist. Her focus is the “People Side of Change”. As a Microsoft 365 Solutions Architect and Consultant that grew up right along with SharePoint, Shari’s practical knowledge of the Microsoft Productivity stack coupled with a passion for empowerment via learning makes her an excellent resource as a consultant and evangelist for Microsoft 365. When not architecting SharePoint magic as a consultant, she in the classroom or creating online learning for LinkedIN Learning, ClipTraining.com and Pluralsight.

Twitter: @ShortcutShari
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shortcutshari/

Ralph Rivas (MVP)National Solutions Architect/Office 365 Champion – Sogeti

Ralph is a seasoned professional with nearly two decades of experience delivering quality software and solutions. He is also the co-host of the online (light) blue collar video blog/podcast https://www.cloudtalkshow.com. He helps run the Chicago Power Platform User group in addition to being a speaker for events such as SharePoint Saturday and other virtual venues. He is active in the PnP community with some modest contributions to docs.microsoft.com and some bits (ideas and support) with the Power Platform Center of Excellence kit.

Twitter: @bigpix2000
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ralphrivas/

Join the Team!

At Microsoft 365 Chicago Community Days, we believe in the power of community-driven learning. Join us and be part of a dynamic network of professionals shaping the future of Microsoft technologies.

M365 Chicago Community Days
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