Serving up success at Amazon: Q&A with veteran Eric Antinucci
Q: In what capacity did you serve in the U.S. military?
A: I commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant from Temple University in May 2009. I spent about eight years on active duty, with overseas rotations in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Guyana, prior to transitioning to the Reserves in September 2017, where I am currently assigned as a Civil Affairs Officer.
Q: When did you join Amazon? What is your current position in the company?
A: I joined Amazon in April 2018 as an Area Manager, Inbound Stow at ABE2 (a fulfillment center in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania).
Q: How has your military background helped prepare you for your current job?
A: Throughout my career in the military, I served in different leadership positions in a variety of different units and mission sets. These experiences provided me with countless life lessons that helped make me a better, more agile leader. From working alongside local and national level leaders to combating narcoterrorism in South America to serving as a General’s Aide, I learned the importance of proactive listening, engaged leadership, following through on promises made, and possessing an understanding of different cultures and beliefs. All of these lessons have helped me in my role as an Area Manager.
There are many achievements from my Army career that I am proud of, but there is one specific event that I would like to share from when I was deployed in South America as a Civil Affairs Team Leader. In Colombia, I led a four-man Civil Affairs team that was partnered with an element of the Colombian Navy, as well as the Colombian equivalent of USAID. Our mission was to improve the relationship between the Colombian government and the population, in the hopes that this improved relationship would foster trust and negatively affect the FARC’s ability to influence the population and produce illicit narcotics. After the FARC blew up a portion of the Transandino oil pipeline, contaminating the main water source for over a million people, my team went to work and quickly developed a plan of action to alleviate suffering and provide potable water. In a remote fishing village in Southwest Colombia, inaccessible by motor vehicle—the only way in or out was via either a 90-minute boat ride or helicopter—my team partnered with an international NGO, Waves for Water, to help this impoverished community. Receiving approval for a $15,000 investment from the U.S. government, we purchased 220 water filters and brought the filters to the community. Just one of these filters provides 200 gallons of potable water per day, enough for 10 people. Easy maintained and durable, these filters had an immediate impact by reducing gastrointestinal problems by 75% throughout the community. A short video of the project can be found here.
This project taught me the importance of following through on promises. Once the local government delivered on their promise to restore fresh water, the relationship between the population and the government was almost instantly improved.
Q: How does Amazon support your career goals?
A: When I left the military, I was looking for a career where I would constantly be challenged and never have to settle for the status quo. I wanted to be able share my experiences with others and learn from the experiences of my colleagues to grow not only as an employee, but as an individual. I found exactly that at Amazon. Amazon is a company that provides its employees with unlimited potential for individual growth. If you are willing to work hard, have fun, and make history, you will be successful, and that’s what I love about the company.
Q: What's the best thing about coming to work each day? Is there a "perk" to your job that might surprise people?
A: The best part about coming to work every day are the people you work with. Amazon is a diverse company that attracts people from all walks of life. It is awesome getting to talk to people every day and learn about different cultures and ways of life.