The Spring, 2020 EMPLOYING U.S. VETS Conference

Co-hosted by VETS Indexes and the Military Times, 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.

Registration and Continental Breakfast – Sponsored by ETF Global

Welcome and Opening Remarks – VETS Indexes

Commissioner’s Address

James Hendon, Commissioner, New York City Department of Veterans’ Services

Morning Keynote Address

Justin Constantine
Chief Executive Officer, The Constantine Group
Chief Business Development Officer, JobPath Partners

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 start sending out resumes. If a company is focused mainly on recruiting vets straight out of the military – and not on recruiting student vets – they’ll miss out on these highly talented, highly educated veteran job candidates. This panel will explore how recruiting vets in higher education is different than other vet recruiting, best practices and lessons learned.

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

Morning Break

The Military Spouse Talent Pool

Just as the rigors and requirements of military service give troops a unique set of skills that civilians lack, the military spouse lifestyle comes with its own challenges that force spouses to learn important 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 soft skills, such as adaptability, multi-tasking, time-management, problem solving and others. This is on top of the technical skills they’ve already developed as part of their careers. But the same obstacles that confront military spouses, such as frequent moves across the country as ordered by Uncle Sam, can make employing and retaining military spouses very challenging for companies. This panel will discuss ways companies can overcome those challenges to better tap into the military spouse talent pool.

Moderator: Brando Benedit, PMP – Nasdaq Fixed Income (NFI) Product Management – Nasdaq
Maggie Hahn, Military Affairs Relationship Director, Military Advocacy – USAA
Christopher Plamp, President & CEO – Hire Heroes, USA
Lucienne Piper, MSW, Military Spouse Program Coordinator – American Corporate Partners (ACP)
Gerry Borja, Senior D&I Program Manager, Veterans, Interns and Impact Event – Oracle

Military Training for Your Employees: The National Guard and Reserves

Many employers view time that their employees spend training with the National Guard and reserves negatively, as detracting focus from regular job duties. But such companies fail to consider the ways that this professional military training can help with civilian job duties. This panel will discuss the ways that training given to members of the Guard and reserve 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, Program Manager of Military & Veterans Affairs – 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

Lunch and Networking Reception

Partner Recognition

Jerry Flanagan, CEO, JDog
Thor O’Connell, Commander, American Legion Post 754
Allison Adams, COO, The Training & Consulting Consortium
Bob Woodruff Foundation

Afternoon Keynote Address

Bruce R. Dorey, PhD, PCC
Executive Coach and Consultant, Bruce R. Dorey Consulting

Breakout Sessions
– Please Choose 2 of the 4 to attend

Breakout sessions are designed to foster open group discussion around the below topics. Each session will feature a “fireside chat” with an expert in the topic area and a Moderator. These sessions are intended to be interactive for all participants.

Olympic Suite 1
12th Floor
Olympic Suite 2
12th Floor
Olympic Suite 3
12th Floor
Main Room
9th Floor
1:40pm-2:10pm How to Start a Veterans Program from Scratch Unleashing the Veteran Entrepreneurial Mindset Optimizing Veterans’ Technical Skills How Local and Federal Governments are Working Together with Corporate America

Breakout Session Details – Please choose 2 of the 4 to attend

  1. How to Start a Veterans Program from Scratch – If your company is new to veteran recruiting – or is trying to bring renewed focus on vets after a period when priorities lay elsewhere – it can be hard to figure out where to start. This panel will focus on answering that question, examining what elements of a vet recruiting and retention program are most essential and should be implemented first and what can be put off until the company’s vet program has had a chance to grow.
    • Moderator: Henry “Hank” Montalbano, Program Officer, Veterans Portfolio – Schultz Family Foundation
    • Eddie Dunn, President & CEO – Eddie Dunn Consulting
  2. Unleashing the Veteran Entrepreneurial Mindset – In the military, service members are often ordered to complete challenging tasks, with limited resources in a short timeframe – then left to figure out the details for themselves. Most troops aren’t just following basic orders like cogs in a machine. This forces them to learn creative problem-solving skills that are very useful when starting their own businesses, and they can also be leveraged by existing companies to create a more dynamic and entrepreneurial startup-style culture. This panel will discuss veterans’ entrepreneurial mindset and how it can benefit companies.
    • Moderator: Nicholas Antaki, Managing Director and Director of Marketing, VETS Indexes
    • Robert J. Piechota, Branch Manager, Long Island, NY Office – U.S. Small Business Administration
    • Wesley Gray, Ph.D., CEO – Alpha Architect
  3. Optimizing Veterans’ Technical Skills – The U.S. military provides world-class technical training in many areas that are also crucial for corporate America. This includes information technology, health care, STEM fields and many, many other areas. This panel will discuss some of the most in-demand skills that service members learn in the military, how company recruiters can learn to recognize and evaluate these skills, and the role that credentials, academic credits and certifications can play in translating military skills into something that civilian employers can work with.
    • Moderator: Karl Snyder, Managing Director and Chief Market Strategist – VETS Indexes
    • Laura Schmiegel, Military Recruiting Lead, Military Recruiting, Specialty Recruiting – Booz Allen Hamilton
      Martin J. Laird, IBM Social Responsibility – IBM
  4. How Local and Federal Governments are Working Together with Corporate America – When thinking of the transitioning veteran, often it’s an either or in regard to what programs are provided by the Federal government and Corporate America. This session will look at how corporations are partnering with the government and what programs are available to those still serving, but near End of Active Service (EAS).
    • Moderator: Quamid Francis, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Partnerships and Policy Development – New York City Department of Veterans’ Services
    • Keith W. Wilson, Lieutenant Colonel – U.S. Army, Soldier for Life
      Karen Hrach, Program Manager, Corporate Fellowship Progream – Hiring Our Heroes
      Bronagh Friel, Program Lead, Grow with Google

Afternoon Break – Sponsored by Oracle

How Veterans Fill a Unique Space within Diversity and Inclusion

Companies often house their veteran departments in 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. Vets face unique challenges when looking for work, similar to people from other groups that diversity departments focus on. But in many ways, vets are different – they are a self-selecting group, they have established themselves as committed to public service and teamwork, and they all come with significant skills acquired as a result of their military service. This 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: Sarah Vieux, Senior Manager, Communities & Human Rights – 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

Closing Remarks

Cocktail Networking Reception

There will be a private reception for attendees immediately following the program.

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