Alumni Network Spotlight - Hector Perez


June 30, 2021

Theresa Ludvigson
& T.J. Vilardi


“Veterans Have Experience You Can’t Teach”

Our next #SalesforceAlumni Spotlight is here! Hector Perez’s story is one that you will not want to miss. Hear what he has to say about his time in the military, his time at Salesforce, and what he is doing today.

Straight to the Air Force

Hector Perez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He joined the Air Force, as a combat medic and nurse, two days after graduating from high school because as he told us, “I had no idea what I wanted to do and really needed some direction in my life.” Hector also joined the Air Force because he thought it would give him a chance to travel the world and experience new things. However, Hector wound up stationed in his hometown of San Antonio. “I didn’t travel far but I got to learn from leaders with critical thinking skills and discipline that I definitely needed in my life at that time,” said Hector.

After his time in the military, Hector decided to take advantage of the GI Bill and went on to attend the University of Texas in Austin. During that time Hector knew a career change was in his future. After a few years he graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration and later found himself at Dell in Austin working as a product manager. “My time at Dell was critical to both my professional and personal life. I was able to climb the ranks and get really good experience under my belt,” said Hector. He continued, “I got exposed to Salesforce in 2007 when my team was rolling it out. We were able to see the power of the platform immediately.”

Salesforce and the Start of Something Special

In 2014, after nearly 10 years at Dell, Hector joined Salesforce as a Solution Engagement Director where he was responsible for setting customers up for accelerated long-term success to maximize business value from Salesforce. However, as Hector told us, his most important work might have come in the shape of a community he helped start that is now called Salesforce Military. “I was there in the beginning of Salesforce Military. I was part of the group that helped stand it up and build out the community. Our main goal was to get free Salesforce training for veterans and military spouses,” said Hector.
After Hector received his golden Trailblazer hoodie!
Then in 2015, Hector had what he called an “inflection point”. He reflected on his time in the military and wondered how he could give back to something that meant so much to him. Realizing there is such a large veteran population in Texas, Hector decided to start a 501c3 called Merivis. Merivis supports veterans preparing for their next mission through training, mentorship, and job readiness for Salesforce cloud technology careers. “Everything I learned to start this foundation was from my time at Salesforce. When we started the first cohort at Merivis there were 14 people that took a chance on the organization. I pulled on my networks to get people to come in. From that first cohort, we were able to get a veteran hired at Dell. It was this moment where I knew things would work. We knew we could transform lives in a positive direction,” said Hector.

Today, Merivis has now helped over 600 military veterans and spouses through over 35 different cohorts. Hector told us, “Merivis continues to grow. It is exploding in a great way. We are now spreading across the country and have been able to bring a few staff members on board to help. We have our Merivis Alumni at all sorts of tech companies with about 8-10 of them at Salesforce today.” So what sets veterans apart from your average job candidate? Hector told us, “I think it is a lot of things but at the core, veterans have experience that you can’t teach — including drive, passion, teamwork, and performing under pressure just to name a few. When things go wrong you know veterans will keep their cool and won’t buckle. The experience they bring to the table is simply invaluable.”
Do you want to get involved in Merivis and help veterans and their spouses in your local community? Hector told us, “If you know a veteran or spouse that is struggling, share the Merivis story with them. Send them to our website so they can find resources and stories. There are many stories where you can find veterans who are wildly successful in the industry today. You can really transform someone’s life.”

Life After Salesforce

After Hector’s departure from Salesforce in 2016, he found himself at Fidelity Investments and Amazon Web Services before landing at his current role as a Senior Director of CRM Applications at Elastic. Hector told us, “I am at a smaller company now but get to work with the Salesforce technology every day.” Hector credits his time at Salesforce for the reason he is finding a lot of success today with his current company. “I was exposed to different enterprise customers that were at different stages of adopting the Salesforce platform. I got to see behind the curtain at the complexities that different companies were facing. I have been able to use this in my career and that has been instrumental in how we have set up our own instance at Elastic and how we work with the technology day in and day out,” said Hector.

With his day job at Elastic and being on the board of Merivis, Hector lives quite a busy life. However, he makes sure to keep wellbeing top of mind for him, his team, and his family. “Living in Seattle we are able to get to national parks, we go hiking, we unplug, connect with nature, and travel as much as we can within the current guidelines. It is very important to take intentional time off to get exercise. Whether that be a physical or mental exercise. I do not shy away from talking about mental health. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health,” said Hector.

The Salesforce Alumni Network

Hector has been a #SalesforceAlumni since 2016 and has seen what working at Salesforce has done for his and his former peers’ careers. He told us, “We all worked at Salesforce. We know what it is like working for a very successful company and other companies want to hear what we have to say. We instantly have good street cred with people when they see the Salesforce logo on our resumes.” He continued, “I have really good friends that I made while at Salesforce and they remain friends as alumni today.”

Want to learn more about Hector’s career journey? Connect with him on LinkedIn! Or, if his story has piqued your interest in careers at Salesforce, go ahead and explore open roles today.


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