The Florida Diversity Council held its first Florida Veterans Summit on November 1st at Florida Blue’s Conference Center in Jacksonville. This event is targeted towards business leaders and strives to teach organizational representatives how to develop best practices that cater to Veterans in the workplace. The room was filled with approximately 100 attendees from various organizations, including ADP, Aerotek, BI-LO and Winn-Dixie, CSX, Deutsche Bank, FIU, Florida Blue, Ford & Harrison LLP, FSU, JM Family Enterprises, Morgan Stanley, Nielsen, Orlando Utilities Commission, Saint Leo University, Shands Jacksonville, SHRM, UCF, UNF, Verizon, VT Group, Walmart, WorkSource Florida, Wounded Warriors, and Wyndham Vacation Ownership.

The program included a keynote speech by Dan Nevins, Director of Warriors Speak at Wounded Warriors and then various panel topics led by individual business leaders throughout the United States: (1) Keith Brandon, Local Veteran Employment Representative at WorkSource Florida, discussed Challenges Veterans Face when Transitioning into the Civilian Workforce; (2) Betsy Williams, SVP of Staffing & Diversity at Nielsen, led How to Develop and Launch a Veterans Program within an Organization; (3) Aaron Lofton, Talent Acquisition & Staffing Specialist at CSX, focused on Recruitment Best Practices: How to Become a Leader in the Veteran Recruiting Community; (4) Celeste Purdue, HR Manager at Verizon, discussed Career Progression and Advancement: How to Capitalize on Veterans’ Leadership Skills in the Workplace; and(5) the event closed with Scott LePage, VP at Wyndham Worldwide, who spoke about The Veteran Transition to Business: A Personal Perspective.

We look forward to continuing to provide business leaders throughout the nation with best practices about catering to Veterans’ needs in the workplace. If you would like to become more involved in next year’s Veterans Summit or the local Jacksonville chapter, please contact sammy.wann@nationalveteranscouncil.org.