As we head out to San Francisco next week for Dreamforce 2015, we have some exciting news to share with you. Our support of the Salesforce technology is being extended to veterans through the launch of the Merivis Foundation, a nonprofit that connects Texas veterans to the growing ecosystem of Salesforce careers.
At a Dreamforce keynote three years ago I was introduced to the Salesforce veterans initiative, which later became VetForce. VetForce is a Salesforce program whose mission “is to impact the lives of 10,000 veterans by helping them gain Salesforce training, certification and related employment” in an effort to transition them to a civilian career post-service. Having served as a combat medic in the US Air Force I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of this initiative. I jumped at the chance to pay it forward to other servicemen and have been volunteering with this mission ever since. However, over time I have seen how much of a gap there is in Texas with most of the veteran service organizations (non-profits) based on the West and East coasts. Combined with the tremendous growth in Texas that is creating hundreds of Salesforce skilled jobs, it seemed like a perfect combination since this state also has one of the highest veteran populations. Unfortunately, there has been no one connecting the dots with veterans and the Salesforce need. I have decided to address this gap head on with the Merivis Foundation, meaning “Merit” and “Force.” This nonprofit extends the brand I’ve built with my blog over the past year.
The Merivis Foundation is proud to host the first cohort of veterans in October 2015. We will recruit Texas veterans to participate in a four-week program, which includes a week long sanctioned Salesforce administrator class in Austin. After almost a decade of working with Salesforce and coming from a military background, I see the transition challenges that a veteran will face simply in the new career environment. So in addition to the classroom program, we will add an interviewing skills, mentoring, personal branding and networking and recruitment event with businesses looking to fill Salesforce roles, while being a “VetStrong” for profit company. The ultimate goal is to place these veteran students in full time roles or internships that lead them to new opportunities in the corporate world. You can learn more about the organization, the program and how to get involved by visiting our website (and please pardon the dust) at www.merivisfoundation.org.
We are excited to be given this opportunity to address the needs of Texas vets, and couldn’t have done it without help. Our utmost thanks and appreciation goes to our inaugural class sponsor, UST Global, offering Salesforce and technology implementation services and consulting, as well as my wife Kate Perez, who brings her vast experience in marketing, nonprofits and management to the table as Executive Director and founding member of the Board of Directors. Joe Castro, a certified “Technical Architect” at Appirio and board member, has been instrumental in getting this started. Lastly, we would like to thank Michelle Hardy, Kellye King and Cassie Fulton for volunteering their time to help us get off the ground with marketing, operations and social media. As they say, it takes a village, and supporting our nations military in their next chapters is near and dear to our hearts.
Stay tuned for more details about our inaugural class participants, a launch party later this fall and let me know if you want to be a part of this. Most importantly, if you know a Texas veteran that’s looking to join a growing career field, or a business that wants to support veterans in their transition to civilian life – please send them my way! Thank you again for all your support and we’re excited to start this journey!
Hector Perez Jr.