U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Announces Finalists for 11th Annual Hiring Our Heroes Awards

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced this year’s recipient of the President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement and the finalists for the 11th Annual Hiring Our Heroes Awards. Those being honored have demonstrated leadership in addressing the challenges faced by veterans, transitioning service members, military spouses, and military caregivers in their search for meaningful employment.   

“Every one of them has had a tremendous impact on the military community through innovative employment programs and initiatives for military-connected talent,” said Eric Eversole, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of Hiring Our Heroes. “They have demonstrated leadership in creating long-term economic opportunities that allow transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses, and caregivers to thrive in their career.”  

The Honorable Robert A. McDonald will receive the President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement. A United States Military Academy graduate, McDonald graduated in the top 2% of his class and served with the 82nd Airborne Division. As the 8th Secretary of Veterans Affairs, he focused on putting the needs and interests of veterans and their families first. By the end of his tenure, veterans at all VA Medical Centers had access to same-day services in primary and mental health care. McDonald’s service to the military community continues. An advocate for issues facing transitioning service members, he is dedicated to ensuring veterans reach their full potential.  

Hiring Our Heroes will present awards in six additional categories: Individual Excellence in Veteran Employment; Military Community Nonprofit Leadership; Military Spouse Employment and Mentoring; Post 9/11 Veteran Employment; Small Business; and Veteran and Military Spouse Employment. 

This year’s finalists are: 

Colonel Michael Endres Leadership Award for Individual Excellence in Veteran Employment, presented by Cheryl Endres, to an individual who has gone above and beyond to make a difference in employment opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, and spouses: Beau Higgins, Amazon; Laura Schmiegel, Booz Alen Hamilton; Mike Immler, First Command Financial Services; and Sean Passmore, Wells Fargo. 

Lee Anderson Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award, for overall excellence in hiring and retaining veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses: Booz Allen Hamilton, Comcast NBCUniversal, and Wells Fargo.

Military Community Nonprofit Leadership Award, presented by Comcast NBCUniversal, for demonstrated commitment to supporting veteran and military spouse employment and economic opportunity: American Corporate Partners, Military Officers Association of America, NextOp Veterans, and Student Veterans of America. 

Military Spouse Employment and Mentoring Award, presented by USAA, for demonstrated leadership and commitment to hire military spouses and empower them as they search for meaningful careers: LinkedIn, Salesforce, and T-Mobile.   

Steve Robinson Post-9/11 Veteran Employment Award, presented by Prudential Financial, for effective and sustained efforts to enhance the ability of post-9/11 veterans and transitioning service members to find meaningful employment: Brazen, Indeed, Verizon, and Wells Fargo. 

This year’s small business designation goes to Freedom Learning Group, a veteran-owned small business dedicated to employing veterans and military spouses.  

The awardees in each category will be announced during the 11th Annual Lee Anderson Hiring Our Heroes Awards Gala presented by USAA on November 17, 2021. Those interested in watching the event can do so by registering at HiringOurHeroes.org/gala.