The Fall, 2020 EMPLOYING U.S. VETS Virtual Conference

Hosted by VETS Indexes, this bi-annual conference includes discussions of best practices and challenges related to veteran employment, recognition of companies going above and beyond for vets and their families, and lots of opportunities to network. The conference is designed to offer attendees actionable tools and information to establish and build upon veteran initiatives. It will also provide a great opportunity to network with peers from leading companies.

Welcome and Opening Remarks – VETS Indexes

Recruiting Student Veterans

For many veterans, the first step of transitioning out of the military is using their GI Bill benefits at a college or university, before they ever send a resume. If a company is just focused on recruiting vets and not on recruiting student vets as well, they may miss these highly talented, highly educated veteran job candidates. Our panel of experts will explore how recruiting vets in higher education is different than other vet recruiting, best practices and lessons learned including those unique challenges that have emerged with the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.

Moderator: Jared Lyon, President – Student Veterans of America
Sultan Camp, Veterans & Military Spouse Programs – Newport News Shipbuilding
James Perduto, Senior Talent Acquisition and Diversity Executive
Randy Gómez, Senior Director of Admissions​ – Berkeley College
James Beamesderfer, Vice President, Veterans Initiatives – Prudential Financial Inc.

The Military Spouse Talent Pool

Just as the rigors of military service gives troops a unique set of skills, the military spouse lifestyle comes with its own challenges and skills. With the possibility that their spouses could be deployed overseas – or that new orders will require the entire family to relocate – military spouses must acquire a host of skills, such as adaptability, multi-tasking, time-management, problem solving and others. This may all be on top of the technical skills that they have already developed as part of their careers. But the same obstacles that confront military spouses, can make employing and retaining military spouses very challenging for companies. This expert panel will discuss ways companies overcome those challenges, especially in light of the current pandemic, to better capture the military spouse talent pool.

Moderator: Brando Benedit, PMP – Nasdaq Fixed Income (NFI) Product Management – Nasdaq
Chuck Bunch, Military Relationship Director, Military Advocacy – USAA
Christopher Plamp, Senior Vice President, Operations, Programs, & Entertainment – USO
Lucienne Piper, MSW, Military Spouse Program Coordinator – American Corporate Partners (ACP)
Gerry Borja, Senior D&I Program Manager, Veterans, Interns and Impact Event – Oracle

Morning Break

Military Training for Your Employees: The National Guard and Reserves

Many employers view the time employees spend training with the National Guard and Reserves negatively, as detracting focus from regular job duties. Such companies may fail to consider that this professional military training can help with civilian job duties. This panel of experts will examine the ways that training given to members of the Guard and Reserves can be applicable to corporate America. We will also evaluate what companies can do to make themselves more attractive to Guard and Reserve employees, through policies such as continuing pay during military duties, continuing benefits and extra support for reservists and their families when they are deployed or called to active duty.

Moderator: Bruce Townshend, Chief of Employer Engagement – Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR)
James Tongate, Vice President of Government Relations – BeneLynk
Lacey Golonka, Inclusion & Diversity Consultant, Veterans & Diversity – Xcel Energy
Michael Bianchi, Senior Director | Education & Career Training – Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)
Jim Morbach, Vice President Field of Government Recruiting – Werner Enterprises

How Veterans Fill a Unique Space within Diversity and Inclusion

Companies often house their veteran departments within their diversity divisions and seek to hire veterans in representative numbers just as they seek to hire ethnic minorities and other people from other historically disadvantaged groups. Notably, the U.S. military has one of the most diverse workforces of any organization, so a vet hire is also more likely to be a diversity hire. But in many ways, vets are unique – they are a self-selecting group, they have established themselves as committed to public service and teamwork and they all bring significant skills acquired as a result of their military service. This expert panel will examine the ways in which veterans are different from – and similar to – other “diversity” groups and what lessons that holds for companies.

Moderator: Lorraine Wilson, Director, Investment Products – JUST Capital
Andrew R. Morton, Director, Veterans and Certification Affairs- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Mercedes Elias, Head of Veteran Engagement – AmeriVet Securities
Harris Morris, Senior Director, Veterans Initiatives – ADP
Meg Hendricks, Senior Director, Corporate Citizenship, Head of Military and Veterans Affairs – Fiserv
Steven Hall, Director, Mayor’s Office of Veterans and Military Affairs – City of Houston

Closing Remarks

** The Expert Series reserves the right to alter the agenda without notice including substitution or cancellation of speakers and topics.