We love showing off the awesome members of our #SalesforceOhana and sharing their inspiring stories. Today we caught up with San Francisco Solution Engineer (SE) John Withers to get insight into his journey from the Army to becoming an SE here at Salesforce.

Where did you start out?

My lifelong passion for technology led me to computer science classes in high school and a major in engineering at Gonzaga (Go Zags!). After college I wanted to serve our country, so I joined the Army as an Aviation Officer. I began my career as a Platoon Leader, deploying and leading my attack helicopter team to Iraq immediately after finishing flight school. A few years later, I joined the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), which allowed me to work with, and learn from, some of the best pilots in the world.

After a decade of service (and six deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan), I was ready to join the private sector. I earned my MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and joined the team at Apple to work in ecommerce operations strategy. While that experience was rewarding, my passion for being close to technology is what led me to becoming a Solution Engineer at Salesforce.

Why Solution Engineering?

I love that being an SE requires excellence at the intersection of technology, business, and sales, all with the goal of helping our customers transform their businesses. It’s exciting that in order to become a trusted advisor, I’m constantly learning and growing. I work to hone my knowledge of our products, go deeper into the industries that I support, and inspire customers by demonstrating the business value we offer. The best part of my job is showing customers that transformative vision and watching their eyes light up with excitement as they imagine the possibilities for their businesses.

Why Salesforce?

I feel truly fortunate to have joined the #SalesforceOhana! I love Salesforce’s collaborative and supportive environment, excitement for technology, passion for customers, and the drive for success that leads us toward incredible growth. Our constant innovation guarantees that there will always be new and exciting challenges ahead.

And, just as importantly, Salesforce strongly aligns with my values of #EqualityForAll, speaking out against injustice, the importance of diversity, and serving our communities. Not only are we encouraged to volunteer in our local communities, but doing so is celebrated across our entire organization. Salesforce is truly an incredible place to be!

Know someone who’d be the perfect addition to the #SalesforceOhana? Click here.