U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Announces 4th Annual Hiring Our Heroes Award Winners

November 13, 2014

U.S. Army Announces 20 National Transition Summits to be Held on Military Instillations Across America and Overseas in 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program today announced that Capital One; USAA; Anthony Odierno of JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.; FASTPORT; and Frank Bisignano of First Data Corporation received top honors at the 4th Annual Hiring Our Heroes awards. The winners were chosen in six categories for their demonstrated leadership in addressing the challenges faced by veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses in their search for meaningful employment.

“These six award winners have proven that they are committed to recruiting, retaining, and advancing veteran and military talent at their respective companies,” said Eric Eversole, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and executive director of Hiring Our Heroes. “These six winners have set the standard this year, and as a result, we have seen real progress and momentum in the effort to create incredible economic opportunities for veterans and military spouses. Connecting the men and women who have served to such opportunities is not only good for their business, but good for our country.”

Senior leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors were present to hear Lieutenant General David Halverson, commander of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, announce a major expansion of the transition summit model developed by Hiring Our Heroes, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Army, and the White House’s Joining Forces initiative in 2014: “The U.S. Army plans to host at least another 20 national-level summits in 2015, beginning January 21st and 22nd at Fort Stewart, Georgia.”

In his keynote remarks, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson commended the work of the U.S. Chamber and its Hiring Our Heroes program, singling out Career Spark—a first of its kind resume engine built exclusively for military spouses by the Chamber, Toyota, and Blue Star Families. Deputy Secretary Gibson highlighted the VA’s plan to adopt Career Spark data into its Veteran Employment Center (VEC), the federal government’s single authoritative online source for connecting transitioning service members, veterans, and their families to meaningful career opportunities.

Awards were presented in the following categories at last night’s dinner:

Lee Anderson Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award—Capital One received this award for overall excellence in hiring and retaining veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses. Other finalists were Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Ryder, and Union Pacific Railroad.

Steve Robinson Post-9/11 Veteran Employment Award—USAA received this award for effective and sustained efforts to enhance the ability of post-9/11 veterans and transitioning service members to find meaningful employment in the private sector. Other finalists were The Home Depot, Lockheed Martin, and Verizon Communications. This award is newly named after Steve Robinson, a 20-year Army Special Forces veteran and veterans' advocate who passed away unexpectedly in June 2014.

Don Weber Recovering Warrior and Military Caregiver Employment Award—Anthony Odierno, vice president of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, received this award for demonstrated leadership in addressing the unique challenges and demands for wounded warriors, spouses, and caregivers in their search for meaningful employment. Other finalists were Deloitte, Southwest Airlines, and Volt Workforce Solutions.

Military Spouse Employment and Mentoring Award—Toyota received this award for demonstrated hiring and support of military spouses in their search for meaningful employment in the private sector. Other finalists were the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and USAA.

Capital One Award for Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment—FASTPORT received this award for demonstrated leadership by a small business or organization (less than 500 employees) in hiring veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses. Other finalists were Afterburner, Inc. and Lock-n-Load Java.

Colonel Michael Endres Leadership Award for Individual Excellence in Veteran Employment—Frank Bisignano, chairman and CEO of First Data Corporation, received this award for an individual who has gone above and beyond to make a difference in employment opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, and spouses. Other finalists were Derek Blake, vice president of Marketing and Military Programs at La Quinta Inns & Suites; Chris Phillips, military recruiter, PNC Bank; and CSM(R) Robert Van Pelt, program coordinator of Family Programs for the New York National Guard.

The 22 finalists were chosen from a competitive field of nominees. The winners were selected by the Hiring Our Heroes Awards Committee. Judging was based on criteria such as innovative recruiting and retention strategies, military community engagement and leadership, as well as an ongoing commitment to hire veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.

Hiring Our Heroes launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the goal is to create a movement across America in hundreds of communities where veterans and military families return every day. To date, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 800 hiring fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, helping 25,000 veterans and military spouses find jobs.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment.