G.I. Jobs Virtual Job Fair   |   June 27

Virtual Job Fair   |   June 27

2022 Employee Veteran Leadership Awards

Employee Veteran Leadership Award

Meet 27 veterans who are making a big difference for their organizations. 

In the June issue of G.I. Jobs we published the 2022 Veteran Champions of the Year in Corporate America list. These ardent advocates for veterans in the civilian workforce did not need to be veterans themselves, only champions of veterans.

This month we bring you the 2022 Employee Veteran Leadership Awards. These 27 individuals are all military veterans, and what sets them apart is the positive impact they are having on the organizations that employ them. They were nominated and selected for the extra effort they extend not only in their regular job responsibilities but in ways that are not expected of them. Many of them also volunteer their time and energy outside of the workplace.

Ryan Groves, for example, works for the National Park Service as the chief administrative officer for Vicksburg National Military Park. But he also volunteers with the Boy Scouts, Hire Heroes USA and works with six fellow Purple Heart veterans in the Warrior Bonfire Program.

“If you are looking for a veteran that still lives the values instilled upon them from the military, who practices and preaches those values, and truly cares about the situations within this country, our communities and tomorrow leaders, Ryan is the vet that exemplifies leadership, teamwork, discipline, adaptability, and can-do attitude both personally and professionally,” wrote his nominator in the essay portion of the nomination process.

Groves exemplifies those selected for the 2022 Employee Veteran Leadership Awards. While we didn’t have room in print for all of the information that was taken into consideration for their selection, you can read much more about each honoree at GIJobs.com/employee-veteran-leadership-awards-2022. Please join us in congratulating these veterans who demonstrate the finest qualities of our nation’s military.

Nominations for the 2022 Employee Veteran Leadership Awards are open to the general public and were reviewed by a selection committee comprising prior award winners, members of the G.I. Jobs Editorial Advisory Council and G.I. Jobs editorial staff.

Ben Gonzalez  |  Senior Program Manager IV  |  L3Harris Technologies  |  Air Force, 1991–2014  |  Major (O-4)

“Thank you for bestowing this great honor with this award recognition which I humbly accept. I will continue to thrive to be of service to my brothers and sisters in the armed forces as they transition into their newly instituted civilian lifestyle. It is my great pleasure as a mentor leading veterans by teaching the necessary skills which can help them meet the demands of an ever changing private sector as they work their way up the civilian corporate ladder. Our veterans sacrifice so much that we cannot look away when they need our help to move forward in life.”

Kyle Hatch  |  Veterans Representative  |  Samaritan Veterans Outreach  |  Navy, 2002–2008  |  Petty Officer Third Class (E-4)

“I want to thank G.I. Jobs for this fantastic recognition. I am blessed that Samaritan Health Services has allowed me to serve our veterans and their families. We created a Veterans Outreach department that focuses on streamlining healthcare and helping veterans file for state and federal VA benefits. It’s been my honor serving this underserved population and I look forward to continuing in these efforts for years to come.” 

Nicholas McKenzie  |  Veteran Service Officer  |  New Mexico Department Of Veterans Services
Navy, 1998–2019  |  Petty Officer First Class, (E-6)

“Being selected to the 2022 G.I. Jobs Employee Veteran Leadership Awards list is an honor. It is a great feeling to know that such a prestigious magazine in the veteran community recognizes veterans who continue to have a positive impact after service in uniform. We veterans and our families carry many loads even after service and I am glad that we are getting recognized for our effort and impact in our local community. Again, this is a great honor and I am looking forward to sharing this with my family, friends and New Mexico Department of Veterans Services. ‘Construimus Batuimus’.”

Rich Fierro  |  Owner  |  Atrevida Beer Co.  |  Army, 1999–2013  |  Major (O-4)

“Combat leadership profoundly shaped me and has made projecting our company mission and intent across the team second nature. We served as a family and we continue to serve as a family through Atrevida Beer Co.”

Brian Kent  |  Vice President/Regional Operations Manager  |  JLL  |  Army, 1989–1997
Army National Guard, 1997–2010  |  Staff Sergeant, (E–6)

“It is an honor to be nominated for the EVLA, and I hope that with all the efforts that are now going into helping veterans find jobs after their military service that it makes their transition a little easier than when I parted from active duty. My transition was so overwhelming at times with little or no help from the military or others. I am glad that I can play a role in making the difference and maybe a little easier for other soldiers as they depart into the civilian world.”  

Abrahm McCann  |  Soldier and Family Readiness Program Manager  |  Arizona Army National Guard
Army National Guard, 2002–2006  |  Sergeant (E-5)

“My passion is connecting veterans and their families to careers that can provide life changing opportunities. I have utilized my experience in the United States Army and my diverse professional background to help employers better understand the military life cycle, the value of bringing veterans into their organization, and how to develop programming to retain veteran talent long term. Thank you to G.I. Jobs for recognizing my efforts and for providing a platform to highlight the value of veterans and veteran spouses in the workplace.” 

David West  |  Veterans Service Officer  |  Nevada County (Calif.)  |  Marine Corps, 1996–2001  |  Sergeant (E–5)

“Receiving recognition such as this is amazing, and not something I sought. It was truly an honor to be nominated for this award by our local VFW Chapter 2655, and an even greater honor to be selected as one of 27 for this recognition. However, this recognition would not be possible if it was not for the full support of my county leadership and the daily efforts of the staff who I work with. I only hope that I can continue to live up to the standards of the other 26 Veteran Leaders who were also selected for this award.”

Jason Kelley  |  Managing Partner, General Manager, Global Strategic Partners  |  IBM*  |  Army, 1990–2003  |  Captain (O-3)

“Receiving recognition for working with our veterans, serving those who have served, feels a bit like being thanked for my service as a vet, but even better. And in all sincerity, I feel slightly embarrassed because I feel like I’m being recognized for something I’m just supposed to do. As the saying goes, our service is just paying rent for living the way we do as Americans. Being recognized for doing what I can to help people who see serving their country in the same way that I do is one of the highest honors I can receive.”

Patricia Saint  |  Senior Portfolio Manager and Team Coach  |  Roche Diagnostics  |  Marine Corps, 1979–2009  |  Colonel (O-6)

“Roche Diagnostics proudly recognizes the service and sacrifice of our veterans along with their servant leadership and commitment to our core values that are embedded throughout the organization and among our customers and patients. I am deeply humbled and honored to receive this award. Additionally, I appreciate the longstanding engagement of the Roche Veterans Business Resource Group to work closely with the corporate recruiting teams and hiring managers to assist with the translation of veterans capabilities and skills during their transition to Roche.”

Sean Flanagan  |  Senior Product Development Engineer  |  Modular Services Company
Army National Guard, 2006–2013  |  Corporal (E-4)

“Since joining Modular Services Company in 2014, I have taken advantage of my unique military experiences to adapt to several different roles within the organization. I provided an example of how well military skills translate to the civilian workforce through my leadership, teamwork, discipline, and determination. Award opportunities such as this provide excellent motivation for exceeding expectations in the workplace and are why I continually advocate for the hiring of veterans. I intend to be fundamental in creating future opportunities for recruiting and hiring veterans within the company.”

William Pishotta  |  Military Recruiting Program Manager  |  Combined Insurance*  |  Army, 2003–2008  |  Specialist E-4

“I am honored to be a recipient of this award. That’s because my time in the military was foundational to who I am. I can’t even fully express my gratitude for having been able to serve my country. I now have the opportunity in the corporate world to continue to serve, give back, and further support the military community, and that is why receiving this award is particularly meaningful to me. It’s really a testament to the hard work, dedication, and support that goes into our military hiring program by the entire team at Combined Insurance.”

Thomas Smith  |  Chief Information Officer  |  JCTM  |  Marine Corps, 1997–2017  |  Master Sergeant (E-8)

“At JCTM we often say ‘Strength in Numbers’ as we remind ourselves to band together to solve problems both large and small. Similarly, the positive impact that the combined veteran community has on their local communities and corporations is immeasurable and I take great pride in being a small part of that. However, being nominated for recognition as a small piece of that legacy is a humbling reminder that there is always more that can be done to ‘Pay it Forward’ and I am blessed to be part of an organization that helps make that possible.”

Michael Revis  |  Operations Manager  |  Builders FirstSource  |  Army, 2012–2015  |  Specialist (E-4)

“It is an absolute honor to receive this award. To be nominated to represent veterans across the country is a feeling I can’t describe fully. Every day I aim to contribute to my team and be the best I can be. It was my dream to serve this nation and it has been an amazing feeling knowing that I am a veteran my company and leaders are proud of. To be in this group with so many other veterans who lead from the front is a humbling experience. Every day it will always be ‘Climb to Glory’.”

Charles Bunch  |  Relationship Director | Military Advocacy  |  USAA*  |  Air Force, 1993–2013  |  Master Sergeant (E-7)

“I am extremely honored to be recognized for the G.I. Jobs Employee Veteran Leadership Awards and be highlighted along with several impactful veteran leaders. I am tremendously grateful to be on the USAA team, where I am afforded the opportunity to continue my service and be surrounded by remarkable teammates that inspire me to be my very best. As a veteran, paying it forward is vitally important to me and this esteemed selection helps illustrate my devotion to our beloved military community.”

Javier Andreu  |  Benefits Program Supervisor/Analyst  |  Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
Army, 1980–1986  |  Private First Class (E-3)

“Thank you, VIQTORY, for this special honor and selection to the 2022 G.I. Jobs Employee Veteran Leadership Awards list. Also, thank you William Schultz for nominating me. Winning this award confirms a leadership role that inspires confidence, trust and has a powerful positive impact on other people. It also encourages me to continue developing individual to be the best they can be.”

Tricia McMillin  |  Reentry Affairs Coordinator-AEP Recruitment & Outreach Coordinator  |  Federal Bureau of Prisons  Army National Guard, 1998–2003  |  Army, 2003–2005  |  Specialist (E-4)

“It is an honor to be selected as a 2022 G.I. Jobs Employee Veteran Leadership Award recipient. My service to our country did not end when I transitioned out of the military, it had just begun. The military provided me with positive examples of leadership, pride, sacrifice, and honor that I carry with me in every aspect of my life. My role within the federal government sector has placed me in a position where I can encourage and motivate other veterans while assisting with many aspects of their careers and life.”  

Greg Brittnacher  |  Veterans Service Officer  |  Calumet County (Wisc.)  |  Air Force, 2003–2007  |  Senior Airman (E-4)

“I am honored to be receiving the 2022 Employee Veteran Leadership Award. I am grateful for the recognition I have received for my dedication to the veteran community. I am privileged with the opportunity to work with my fellow veterans on a daily basis. It is impossible to measure the intangible rewards that come from helping veterans get connected with their federal and state VA benefits, as well as helping them thrive in civilian life.” 

Ryan Groves  |  Administrative Officer  |  National Park Service  |  Army National Guard 1997–1998
Army, 1998–2019  |  Sergeant First Class (E-7)/Chief Warrant Officer 3 (W-3)

“Being nominated and selected for this award shows one person can make a difference and influence change. While the transition from military to civilian life is difficult, this award shows other veterans and soon-to-be veterans life after the military can still be meaningful if approached in the correct manner. Always lend the helping hand to others, especially fellow soldiers. Please embrace the skills learned while in service and articulate them in civilian terms, build a network now, always give back to the communities served, and embrace your time in service to influence your future.” 

Todd Taylor  |  Manager, IT Direct Hire Services  |  Horn Solutions  |  Marine Corps, 2006–2014  |  Staff Sergeant (E-6)

“While serving in combat as a leader, our tasks and responsibilities revolved around two things: mission accomplishment and troop welfare. As a veteran our tasks and responsibilities are similar in that once we accomplish our primary objective to transition successfully, it’s our job to help our fellow service members do the same.” 

Johnnie Ross  |  Technician Principle, Charleston Distribution Design  |  Appalachain Power
Army, Army Reserve, 1986–2013  |  Lieutenant Colonel (O-5)

“There’s a saying that goes, ‘Reflections of true leadership cannot be planned, it’s done in real-time.’ Receiving this award is just that, sincere appreciation of the leadership it displays. I hail from a military family with 11 members (father, uncles, and cousins) who have served honorably, and one recently joined the Armed Forces. My biggest impact was watching my father in his uniform; I thought that was the “coolest” thing to see all those patches on his shirt. I started my quest in the Cub Scouts, then progressed to the Boy Scouts. The willingness to help a person was molded in my DNA, always trying to provide assistance for a family member or unknown associate. After serving in the Armed Forces for 28 years, it spilled over into corporate America with American Electric Powers’ Military Veterans Employee Resource Group (MVERG), where I currently serve as the chair.” 

Derrick Williams  |  Employee Assistance Program  |  Mount Sinai Health Partners  |  Army, 1989–2003  |  First Lieutenant (O-2)

“This award means a lot to me as it affirms both my ‘military self’ and my ‘civilian self.’ This award also means that someone has appreciated my work, concern, and care that I have for the military community in the organization in which I am employed. I feel as if I’ve made a difference in my military service and my service to veterans in my workplace.”

Anthony Reanue  |  Team Leader  |  Reanue Home Team  |  Navy, 2005–2021  |  Logistics Specialist Chief Petty Officer E-7)

“I am grateful for selection for this awesome award. It is an honor to be nominated. This award means the world. To be considered deserving by a colleague or client means I’m doing something right. As an active duty Navy chief it is my mission and responsibility to take care of my team. Luckily, I have the benefit of doing that within and outside the Navy. I want to thank my real estate team of veterans and civilians who fight for our veterans every day in the housing market. I also would like to thank our clients for their trust!”

Theresa Weber  |  Chief Information Security and Privacy Officer  |  Indian Health Service
Air Force, Air Force Reserve, 2000–2006  |  Technical Sergeant (E-6)

“Transitioning from serving in the military to working for the federal government has led me towards an incredibly successful and worthwhile career in cybersecurity, and I am grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to continue to serve our great nation through civil service. I am honored to be selected among the many hard working veterans who are conscientiously and persistently contributing to the improvement of our communities and workplaces.” 

Jeremy Jacobs  |  Executive Vice President, Managing Director, and Managing Principal  |  Colliers
Army, 2006–2011  |  Captain (O-3)

“I’m eleven-plus years removed from service and wonder every day what more I can do to give back and pay it forward. My work with Colliers’ Veteran Initiative helps fulfill this need for purpose and connectivity to the greater good. I hope this recognition encourages some to continue giving back and others to discover how they can. Our veterans, service members and their families deserve nothing less than our very best.”

Joshua Alfing  |  Senior Enlisted Leader  |  US Navy Reserve – NAVAIRTERM 207
Navy Reserve, 2004–2021  |  Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-7)

“It is my sincere pleasure, honor, and privilege to help those who serve as they strive for excellence. To support them in their civilian and military capacities in any way that I am able.  We all help each other. A rising tide raises all ships.”

Charles Weinberg  |  Test & Evaluation Subject Matter Expert  |  American Systems  |  Army, 1979–1992    Army Reserve 1992–2008 (Military Retiree Recall 2008–2009, 2010–2012)  |  Lieutenant Colonel (O-5)

Michael Shaub  |  Real Estate Agent/Owner  |  Sentry Residential  |  Air Force, (1995-2003)   
Air Force Reserve (2012–Present)  |  Master Sergeant (E-7)

“Being nominated for this is quite humbling. I like to think I just do my job and give back when and where I can. As a MSgt in the reserve and a real estate agent I get the opportunity to surround myself with amazing people every day. Thinking I’m the grown up half the time blows my mind. Apparently just being a positive influence in people’s lives makes mine better. I’m grateful and humbled for my name even being put in for this recognition.”