Employing U.S. VETS Conference

Hosted by VETS Indexes, this semi-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 Employing U.S Vets conference is designed to offer attendees actionable tools and information to establish and build upon veteran initiatives. It also provides a great opportunity to network with peers from leading companies, non-profits, government agencies, and others seeking to employ veterans.


(All Times Are Eastern Time)


Welcome and Opening Remarks

George Altman
President | VETS Indexes

Morning Keynote Address

Kimberly Mitchell – Senior Advisor and VSO Liaison, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Veterans Affairs Department

Kimberly Mitchell charted an unlikely and amazing path to a life of military service and supporting veterans. Born in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, Mitchell was an orphan adopted by a U.S. airman, then raised in Northern Wisconsin. She went on to serve in the Navy as a surface warfare officer, and since transitioning out of the military, she has dedicated her life to supporting fellow veterans, taking leadership roles in several veteran nonprofits before joining the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where she is currently Senior Advisor and VSO Liaison for the Office of the Secretary.

5 Star Employer Best Practices for Supporting Guard/Reserve Employees

Hiring members of the National Guard and Reserves allows employers to benefit from the critical soft skills and cutting-edge technical skills they have acquired — and continue to gain — from military training. But sharing your employees with the military also comes with challenges and rules. This panel, comprised of 5 Star VETS Indexes Employer Award recipients and an expert from DoD’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program, will detail how employers can best support their Guard/Reserve employees, stay in line with federal rules, and leverage these service members’ wide-ranging skills.


George Altman
President | VETS Indexes


John Perez
Head of Military & Veterans Affairs | Johnson & Johnson

Gary Patton MG (Ret), USA
Vice President, Veterans & Military Affairs | CACI International

Peter Bermont
Global Business Resiliency Fellow | Fiserv

James Combs
Board of Directors, National Vice Chair Strategy | ESGR

Morning Break and Networking Session

How To: Help Your Veteran Employees Network Better

Sponsored by GXO Logistics

Service members come in contact with a huge network of talent in the military. Yet they often have trouble utilizing and growing their networks through the professional networking skills that have become critical in corporate America. We will explore how to help your veteran employees improve their networking and how doing so can benefit them, as well as your organization.


Lida Citroën
CEO and Founder | LIDA360, LLC


Ed Dixon
Director – Business Continuity/Risk Management | GXO Logistics

Jhansi Nalla
Engineering Group Manager- Software Defined Vehicle | General Motors

Evan Guzman
Founder & Chief Military Advocate | The MiLBRAND PROJECT
Head of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships | Veterati

Charles Spence
VP Technology Strategy, Government Business Segment | Cigna Healthcare

Finding Military Spouse Talent through Government Programs and Other Resources

While veteran hiring programs have grown exponentially in recent years, military spouse hiring has generally gotten less attention — even as military spouses must contend with unique challenges. In this panel, we will discuss how employers can leverage programs such as the DoD Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program, the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, and others to take their military spouse hiring to the next level.


C. Eddy Mentzer
Associate Director, Military Community Support Programs | Office of the Secretary of Defense


Lydiah Owiti-Otienoh
Program Manager, Military Spouse Professional Networks (MSPN), Military Spouse Program | Hiring Our Heroes

Karla Langham
Chief of Staff | Office of the Assistant Secretary, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), U.S. Department of Labor

Lacey Raymond
Principal | Deloitte

Miranda Jones
Manager, Military & College Recruiting | PenFed Credit Union

The Best Practical Steps for Employee Referral Programs and Resource Groups for Hiring Veterans

Sponsored by Spectrum

For some organizations, the people who bring in the most veteran recruits aren’t actually recruiters at all — they’re veterans telling their old battle buddies about their new civilian jobs. For this discussion, panelists will detail how employers can best leverage their existing veteran employees to find more top talent from the ranks of the military.


John Lees
Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition Outreach & Sourcing | Serco


RJ Williams
Vice President, ISP Operations | Spectrum

Greg Renz
Veteran Recruiting Program – Mission Systems | Northrop Grumman

Justin Henderson
Senior Vice President of Sales | RecruitMilitary

Susan DeWitt Christ
Diversity and Inclusion Consultant | Oracle

Afternoon Lounge & Networking Session

Sponsored by GXO Logistics

Lounge Topic/Title: Changing the Game: A Lens on Your Military Community
GXO Veteran participants from each military branch will talk about how they are continuing their mission at GXO


Ed Dixon
Directory, Risk Management | GXO Logistics

Samantha Goetz
Senior Manager, Technology Infrastructure | GXO Logistics

Nathan Wilson
Manager, Business Continuity | GXO Logistics

Michael Aldrich
Vice President, Inventory Control | GXO Logistics

Scott Steiner
Manager, Regional Safety | GXO Logistics

Michael Lott
Senior Manager, Inventory Control | GXO Logistics

“Broken” or Superheroes: Combatting Misconceptions and Stereotypes about Veterans

In a nation where just 1% of the population serves in the military, the only knowledge about service members that many civilians have comes from inaccurate portrayals in mass media. These representations often depict troops in the extremes — as superheroes kicking down doors and saving the day or as troubled people struggling with PTSD, TBI, or other issues. The reality is often nowhere near any of these stereotypes. Educating your civilian workforce on the realities of military service and who veterans really are makes for a much more welcoming workplace, where top veteran talent can thrive.


Shawn Dawley
President | OT2 Consulting, LLC


Monique Ruiz
Veterans Liaison | Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Ross Dickman
Chief Operating Officer | Hire Heroes USA

James Fitzgerald
Strategic Communications and Engagement Associate | AmeriVet Securities

Marco Bongioanni
Readjustment Counseling Therapist | Bronx Vet Center

Thought Leadership Roundtable: How to Keep Your Veterans Program from Fading over Time

Employers launch veteran hiring initiatives with great fanfare and publicity. But too often, the focus on these programs fades as leadership changes, budgets are reduced, and other initiatives are given the priority. Our panelists will discuss strategies for maintaining a top-tier veterans program year after year, regardless of changing circumstances and priorities.


Eddie Dunn
Founder & Executive Director | Civilian Ready Foundation


Matt Disher
Executive Director, Military & Veterans Programs | Cushman & Wakefield

Kevin Traw
Vice President, Customer Service Optum Financial | UnitedHealth Group

Sara Blewett McNamara
Founder and Principal | Transition Strategies Consulting

Retaining Veterans in Their First Year

Hiring veterans is great — but it doesn’t help anyone if your new hire pipeline becomes a revolving door that veterans walk right back out a few months after their start dates. Research shows that more than 40% of veterans leave their civilian jobs within the first year. Here’s how your organization can improve retention of veteran employees during that crucial first year and help them develop into senior leaders.


Bob Wieczorek
Chief XP3RT | Training and Consulting Consortium


Jonathan Zimmer
VP, National Program Manager – MOLP | Citi

Eric Stetson
Director of Engagement and Enrollment | FourBlock Foundation

Anthony Chiocchi
Lead Veteran Talent Program Manager for Military and Veterans Affairs, DEI | JPMorgan Chase

Ken Mayes
Employer Relationship Navigator | D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), Onward to Opportunity program, Syracuse University

Drew Mogren
Vice President | Goldman Sachs

Closing Remarks

Nicholas Antaki
Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director | VETS Indexes