Military members from around the globe gathered in San Francisco for another epic year of learning, connecting, and career support at Dreamforce '18. Vetforce, Salesforce's free training program for veterans and military spouses, sponsored 50 of its 12,000 members to attend this unique opportunity and network in person at the largest technology conference in the world.
Worried you missed out? No fear, we've got you covered. Here's a sneak peek at some of the top Vetforce Trailblazer moments from Dreamforce '18:
Army Captain Florent Groberg shared his journey “from the ghetto to the White House,” telling his story of immigrating from France, serving his new country as an U.S. Army officer, and earning the Medal of Honor — the highest award bestowed upon an individual serving in the U.S. Armed Services — for tackling a suicide bomber in Afghanistan and saving the lives of several of his men. Everyone in attendance was left in awe. His authenticity and unwavering dedication to his country inspired us to believe in something greater than ourselves.
Together with our partners, customers, and nonprofits, we have created a comprehensive support network for our Vetforce community. This year, we recognized four organizations that have played a key role in helping our vets and military spouses launch their careers within the Salesforce ecosystem:
Nonprofit of the Year: Merivis Foundation
Through its comprehensive training program, Merivis has helped five classes of students become Admin certified or attain advanced credentials. The foundation and its incredible board have created a recipe for success via its deep learning, mentoring, and employment support. A huge thanks to the Merivis Foundation's Executive Director, Kate Perez, and Co-founder, Hector Perez, for their vision and continued energy to help others.
Pledge 1% Company: Cloud Co-op
David Franklin is the Founder and CEO of Salesforce Consulting Partner, Cloud Co-op and a U.S. Navy veteran. His inspiring commitment to using business as a platform for change is evident through his “Pledge 1%” support of job training through the Vets2Cloud apprenticeship program. He has helped dozens of transitioning veterans launch their careers, giving them their first paid opportunity to put their Salesforce skills to the test.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Cloudpathfinder
Jesse Grothaus' inspiring career journey is a perfect example of the career possibilities that exist within the Salesforce ecosystem. Jesse found Trailhead after recovering from a car accident and traumatic brain injury. He sailed from Salesforce certifications to a job, eventually venturing out on his own to start a systems integrator (SI) business. Not only is he committed to hiring Vetforce members to join his team, but he is also the first Vetforce member funded by Salesforce Ventures and the Social Impact Fund. Congrats to this inspiring CEO and Founder with nothing but incredible things ahead.
Hiring Partner of the Year: Polsource
PolSource was selected as the Vetforce Hiring Partner of the Year after hiring not just one, but two Vetforce members. They continue to champion the Vetforce program by consistently seeking out Vetforce members to fill open positions on their team and share their Vetforce hiring success stories with the world. A big thanks to the entire PolSource team for their ongoing support.
#AwesomeAdmin and Vetforce grad, Katherine Clark runs the technology that makes it possible for Vetforce to meet its goal of training 35,000 military veterans and spouses in valuable Salesforce skills. During the Salesforce for Admins Keynote, Gillian Bruce highlighted the innovative new features on the brand new Vetforce Lightning community. We also hosted two other related sessions presenting a deep-dive into human-centered design and an overview of new features that allow us to scale and innovate with ease. Check out how we redesigned and launched our new Lightning Community here.
Among the new Vetforce features shared at Dreamforce '18, these topped the list:
50 Vetforce members connected with Salesforce partners and employers at an exclusive Dreamforce '18 networking event, as well as a career fair hosted in collaboration with Trailhead. These networking events were valuable opportunities for our members to meet with potential employers and even interview for Salesforce-ecosystem jobs on the spot. A few of our trailblazers have already received job offers as a result of these Dreamforce events!
“This was a fantastic experience that propelled my career more than I can describe. So much of my Salesforce journey is now 'before Dreamforce 2018' and 'after Dreamforce 2018'; it had that large of an impact.” — Robyn Provost
During Dreamforce '18, we hosted the largest gathering of our military community to-date, for a night of celebration, ping pong, and general camaraderie. This year's event provided our community with a meaningful opportunity to connect with one another in person, network with employers looking to hire veterans and military spouses, and spend some quality time with entire Salesforce Ohana. Huge thanks to all who made Vetforce at Dreamforce '18 a huge success!
Interested in helping Vetforce members reach their goals? Here's how you can help: