I know a Vet: a Veterans Day Message

November 11, 2020 Joe Castro


I know a Navy veteran who struggled to find a career after leaving the military.  


I know a military spouse who constantly moved as her husband moved to different Army bases around the world.  


I know an Army veteran who started planning his transition to a civilian career a year before he retired from the military. 


I know a Navy veteran who is now a Trailhead Ranger with 900+ badges. 


I know a Marine Corps veteran with 8 Salesforce certifications, and a Navy veteran with 17 certifications (the Navy vet wanted to make sure I pointed that out to the Marine).


I know hundreds of veterans and military spouses making big contributions to their employers as Salesforce administrators, project managers, developers, and consultants.  


How do I know these incredible people? Hector Perez, a good friend and Air Force veteran, approached me about putting together a training class to help veterans and military spouses looking to transition from the military to corporate life. Together with his wife, Kate Perez, we embarked on a mission to show corporate America the impact our veterans and military spouses can have given targeted training, a proper support system, and a chance to network with veteran-friendly employers and mentors. 


Merivis has grown beyond my wildest imaginations. In 5 years, we have grown from a single cohort (training class), to over 20 cohorts annually. We have evolved from primarily an entry-level Salesforce Admin training curriculum to advanced classes like Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, App Builder, and Einstein Analytics. We have become a champion for over 500 veterans and military spouses. We are a proud partner with the Salesforce Military organization, who has been instrumental in helping us grow and thrive as a volunteer non-profit organization. We have been blessed to get our message out to the world, as we were featured in the 2019 Dreamforce keynote session, where Merivis alumni and board member, Sheldon Sims, shared his amazing journey and success. 


Merivis has had a positive impact on the lives of veterans and military spouses and helped organizations in dire need of Salesforce technical skills. I am proud of what this organization has become, and I am even prouder of the support that many Appirians have given over the years, both financially and as volunteers. Today I would like to thank two incredible Appirian volunteers who have mentored several Merivis veterans over the years: Svatka Simpson and Zach Banks. If you know either of them, you know they (like many of us) are tirelessly helping clients, fighting fires, helping close deals, and juggling personal lives. Yet they take the time out to help explain a Salesforce technology, review homework assignments, show what a career path in Salesforce could be, or sometimes just be there to listen. They may not know the impact they have had on Merivis veteransbut I do. On behalf of the entire Merivis family, I want to say thank you. 


If you would like to get to know a #Merivet (search this hashtag on Twitter and follow @MerivisVets), support the Merivis organization continue to reach hundreds of veterans and military spouses, and/or hire incredible people into your organization, please visit https://merivis.org and let us know how you can join our mission.  


Appirio’s Inclusion in Tech initiative aims to redefine what it means to be in tech and champion a culture of inclusion. Learn more about inclusion and diversity at Appirio! Check out the action by connecting with us on social media and following our hashtag #AppirioForEquality.  

About the Author

Joe is the Chief Technology Officer at Appirio, Co-founder and Board President of Merivis, and a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect. Joe is preparing Appirio to guide its customers through the next wave of technology that will impact their application landscape. In addition to championing Merivis growth initiatives, Joe continues to drive the Merivis technical curriculum and programs that are enabling Veterans and military spouses reach new heights in their Salesforce careers.

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