APRIL 13, 2023 | HYBRID



Our Spring, 2023 Conference was a huge success! We encouraged (and always do) feedback from everyone – from vendor, sponsor, speaker and attendee – and all of the comments were positive and lifting. We thank you for such a great event. Below are the highlights!

Registration and Continental Breakfast


Welcome and Announcement of the 2023 VETS Indexes Employer Awards Recipients

George Altman
Managing Director | VETS Indexes

Morning Keynote Address
Dr. Yashika D. Neaves,
Chief, Strategic Plans & Initiatives, Department of Defense

Dr. Yashika D. Neaves leads strategic plans and initiatives for the Department of Defense Military-Civilian Transition Office, under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Her portfolio spans public and private stakeholder engagements; strategic communications; interagency policy and partnerships; public affairs and organizational development related to military pre-separation counseling, psychosocial prevention/interventions, career transition, and reintegration for active and Reserve Components. She is responsible for maturing evidence-based programmatic strategies, operations, and organizational structure utilizing technical authority and subject-matter expertise to resolve operational gaps in the DoD Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP).

5-Star Employer Best Practices in Recruiting & Hiring

A panel comprised exclusively of employers recognized previously with our top award level, 5-Star Employers, discussing the most effective approaches to recruiting and hiring veterans, as well as challenges to overcome and pitfalls to avoid.


George Altman
Managing Director | VETS Indexes


Michael Quinn
Founder and CEO | HireMilitary

Tommy Jones
Associate Director, Talent Acquisition, Military, Diversity & Emerging Talent Recruitment Program | Verizon

Sidney Covington
Associate, Veterans Engagement | AmeriVet Securities

Lauren Moretti
Technical Recruiter, Senior | AMERICAN SYSTEMS

Leveraging the Leadership and Resilience of Veterans

Sponsored by Fiserv

With so many employees today experiencing burn out, anxiety, and uncertainty, employers need the leadership and resilience of veterans now more than ever. This session will focus on how veteran employees are faring in the current climate, analyzing their leadership skills and qualities, and how the resilience learned during their military years can help elevate their civilian employers.


James Hendon
Commissioner | NYC Department of Veterans’ Services


Dan Goldenberg
VP and Executive Dir. | Call of Duty Endowment

Jesse Gemberling-Johnson
Director of Talent Recruitment and Development | MCFA

Jeffrey Harley, PhD
Rear Admiral, US Navy (ret.), Director for Military Engagement | Western Governors University

Seth Peterson
Corporate Citizenship Manager, Military & Veteran Affairs | Fiserv

Morning Break & Network Session

How To: Read a Military Resume and Interview to Hire Great Talent

Sponsored by USAA

When recruiters and hiring managers review a military resume, how do they decode the exportable and transferable skills, experiences and values a veteran candidate will bring to the company? In this panel, we will discuss interpreting MOS (military occupational specialty) codes, understanding how military skills can apply in the civilian workforce, and interviewing military-connected talent to unearth their potential.


Lida Citroën
CEO and Founder | LIDA360, LLC


Tricia McGrath Hess
Finance Project Manager, Treasury – Global Equity,VetNet NYC – Lead | Google

Marcus “Ohley” Ohlenforst
Lead Military Talent Strategist | USAA

Jeremy C. Strathmeyer
Vice President – Client Engagement | Greencastle Consulting

Bobby Thompson
Director of Construction | Caruso Homes

Skills Focus: Veteran Technical Skills in Logistics and Operations

Sponsored by GXO Logistics

Many of the skills most important to military operations are also crucial for civilian employers — and perhaps there is no better example than logistics. This panel will explore how the military-grade training service members receive to handle the armed forces’ enormous logistics and operations challenges can be repurposed to supercharge how civilian employers do business.


Steven Lewis
Division President | GXO Logistics


John Lees
Sr. Manager, Talent Acquisition & Outreach, Human Resources | Serco


Afternoon Keynote Address
The Honorable James D. Rodriguez, MA
, Assistant Secretary, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), U.S. Department of Labor

The Honorable James D. Rodriguez, MA is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Assistant Secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS). He is responsible for preparing America’s veterans, service members and their spouses for meaningful careers. In this capacity and in Fiscal Year 2022, over 2,800 DOL Veterans’ Employment and Training Service staff, contractors, and grantees served more than 440,000 veterans and military spouses across all Agency programs.

Mr. Rodriguez is an executive leader and proud veteran with more than 30 years of experience in the U.S. government, corporate sector, and 21 years in the United States Marine Corps. He possesses a comprehensive background in program management, interagency collaboration, and policy development. He also has extensive senior-level experience building and managing multi-million-dollar budgets and large diverse teams while meeting the expectations of the President of the United States and large corporate enterprises. Additionally, he has demonstrated experience with developing and leading large scale international and national programs with a commitment to operational excellence, risk management and quality assurance.

Mr. Rodriguez’s recent executive experience includes leadership roles within Deloitte LLP’s Government and Public Sector practice and BAE Systems, Inc. Government Relations department. He also previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Office of Warrior Care Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2014 through 2017.

Mr. Rodriguez earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Maryland, University College and a Master of Arts in International Commerce and Policy from the George Mason University, School of Public Policy. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Government and Political Science in the University of Maryland, Global Campus.

How Training Your Nonveteran Workforce Can Create a More Veteran-Inclusive Workplace

Sponsored by GM

There are countless programs dedicated to training veterans to acclimate to corporate culture, but what effort are employers making to train their nonveteran workforce to better understand the military and meet vets halfway? Such training in military career paths, culture, structure and jargon is increasingly common — and can be key to building a workplace that is welcoming to and inclusive of military-connected employees.


Kevin Schmiegel
Chief Executive Officer | ZeroMils


Latoya Roberts
Vice President, Project Manager, Veteran Talent | JPMorgan Chase

Lisa Stern, Ed.D, SHRM-CP
Director of Program Impact & Assessments | FourBlock

Kelly Grivner-Kelly
Serving Spouses Program Manager | Hire Heroes USA

Bruce Townshend
Chief – Employer Engagement | ESGR, DoD

How To: Market & Brand Your Company Around Veteran Employment

Sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal

One of the biggest challenges facing companies focused on veteran employment is how to market and brand themselves to attract and retain military talent. In this panel, we will explore the strategies and tools companies are using to bring in top-quality veteran candidates.


Ed Carr
Sr. Director, Military & Veteran Affairs | Comcast NBCUniversal


Tony Gilbert
Program Manager, Military and Veteran Recruitment | Raytheon Technologies

Blair Ciccociopoo
Senior Specialty Recruiter-Case Management | Select Medical

Jim Lorraine
President and CEO | America’s Warrior Partnership

Patrick Sence
D&I Program Manager | General Dynamics Bath Iron Works

Afternoon Break & Networking Session

Finding Veteran Talent in Apprenticeships and Skills-Specific Certification Programs

Employers are increasingly recruiting veterans on college campuses, but few have recognized the enormous veteran talent pool in non-degree-granting programs. This panel will discuss how to leverage skills-based certification, training, and apprenticeship programs for top-tier military-connected talent.


TJ Cody
Branch Manager Trench Safety- 67A | United Rentals


Steve Bovee
Military Program Talent Attraction Manager | Spectrum

Won Palisoul
Former Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personal & Readiness and Chair | CFANY Veterans Roundtable

Laura Schmiegel
Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships | Orion Talent

Anne Trenkle
Executive Director | NY Helmets to Hardhats

Closing Remarks

Nicholas Antaki
Managing Director and Director of Marketing | VETS Indexes

Networking Cocktail Reception