Salute Military Community: Erich Sanchack

Salute Military Community: Erich Sanchack

From Marine Corps to CEO: A Journey of Leadership, Legacy, and Giving Back
Erich Sanchack Military Community

What is the Salute Military Community?

The Salute Military Community is a unique cohort of veterans and the military community who serve as examples of the value their experiences bring to our industry. The Military Community supports Salute’s mission and strives to achieve our shared vision of providing veterans and military spouses career opportunities in the data center industry. We are proud of the military community for giving back to other members seeking to start careers in this industry.

Lee Kirby, Salute Co-Founder, and retired Army colonel, interviewed Military Community member Erich Sanchack, Chief Executive Office of Salute and US Marine Corps veteran.

Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood “backstory”?

I was born in Dallas, and my family moved around quite a bit when I was younger. However, my formative years were spent in the Philadelphia area, which explains my strong connection to the region’s sports teams. I spent my collegiate days at Penn State, and later embarked on a professional journey that took me across the Eastern U.S., with occasional stints in Texas, where I am today.

And what are you doing today?

Currently, I serve as the CEO of Salute, a role I find incredibly fulfilling. Being part of the digital infrastructure landscape allows me to shape the legacy we leave for our children and future generations. It’s a responsibility I take to heart, influencing how my children and subsequent generations will navigate their daily lives.

Erich Sanchack podium speaking

 
Can you tell us a bit about your military background? 

At Penn State I was studying Electrical Engineering – but I realized that I did not actually want to be an electrical engineer when I graduated. I felt like that just didn’t resonate with me. And my family had a history of service, so I joined the Marine Corps officers’ program or Platoon Leaders Class (PLC). When I joined PLC, I underwent training and then was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. My military journey took me to various parts of the world, including deployments in Serbia, Albania, and the West Coast of Africa. Interestingly, an event from my time in Monrovia, Liberia, even inspired a movie, “Rules of Engagement.” 

While I enjoyed my military career, I was not one of those people that was either upset to leave or happy about it. It was bittersweet for me, but by that time I knew I had achieved everything that a young man would want to achieve in serving their country and wanted to start building time with my family. I ended my military career after about five years of active duty. 

Do you have a memorable story from your military career that taught you valuable lessons? 

I think one of the most remarkable achievements a leader can have from the military is bringing their people home safely. I took on very, very tough missions and that was one of the points of pride that I had coming out of service.

Having said that, there was a time where they wanted me to get some poorly conditioned Marines back into shape, because they were not ready for combat. Typically, officers would come into that situation and simply make them double their daily running. But I wanted to approach it differently. I challenged them to run a marathon within six months. We all worked relentlessly and got it done. Witnessing their determination and pride upon completing the 26 miles reinforced the importance of teamwork and resilience. That experience taught me the power of setting ambitious yet achievable goals, as a team.

Erich Sanchack, Dash Jamieson, SMA Jack Tilley, Krystyna Witt, and Dr. Paul Lawrence for a panel on veteran careers in digital infrastructure.

Do you think your experience in the military helped prepare you for business or leadership?

Absolutely. Leadership, as I’ve learned, transcends the pages of textbooks. I believe my time in the Marine Corps was a large contributor to understanding the attributes of strong leadership. The responsibility of achieving whatever mission you have, while taking care of your team and supporting their welfare becomes extremely apparent in active duty. 

These principles resonate deeply with what we are building at Salute, where we not only help our customers achieve their goals but also create a nurturing environment for our team members. 

Is there someone you are particularly grateful to for helping you reach where you are today? 

In anyone’s lifetime, there’s a spectrum of influential people that helped shape and develop who we become. And of course, we have a large say in our own development too.

But I would say the strongest influence on my life is my father, who was a captain of industry himself. He served in the Marine Corps, as well. His exemplary work ethic, consistency in leadership, and ability to inspire loyalty have left an indelible mark on my approach to leadership. His legacy continues to guide me in my professional journey.

Why is helping the military community and veterans get into this industry so important to you? 

There are several factors that make this important. The transition from military service to civilian life has historically been challenging. And I think a civilization should be measured by factors like how well they take care of veterans, the elderly, etc. I want to contribute to the cause committed to doing better by our people.  

On the whole, military personnel have been tasked with great responsibility. They’ve served in positions where they see how their work contributes to the benefit of the whole operation. They have a great foundation of transferable skills – and they transfer seamlessly to the data center industry. The fact that they’ve worked with such a high degree of accountability and responsibility affords them the ability to assimilate into the data center infrastructure space readily.

There is a good match between what the veteran community has to offer and what the digital infrastructure industry needs. It makes for a mutually beneficial partnership. 

If you could inspire a movement, what would it be?

Individual health is something that lingers in the back of our minds for a lot of us. It’s important for me to bring it back into awareness for as many people as possible. 

I’d like to inspire a movement that contributes to people’s longevity. Small, consistent actions focusing on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health can significantly impact society. Encouraging these choices, such as opting for a short walk over a close parking spot if you’re able, can collectively transform our community’s health landscape. 

Before we wrap it up, is there anything you think we missed that you wanted to highlight?

I find it inspiring that veterans are assuming leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies at a rate disproportionate to their population size. Their understanding of individual accountability’s crucial role in operational success is a valuable lesson that can benefit various sectors. Encouraging this operating model in the private sector and civilian life is a goal I am deeply passionate about. 

How can our readers follow you online?

https://www.linkedin.com/in/erichsanchack/

If you are a veteran or military spouse looking for an exciting career in a growing industry, contact us at Salute. We can help put you on the path to success.

If you are looking to close the data center talent gap with individuals committed to bringing military precision to their careers, contact us. Employ the heroes of today, tomorrow.

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