2018 Veteran’s Summit


April 12, 2018
8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Groupon
600 W. Chicago Avenue
3rd Floor Suite
Chicago, IL 60654


Theme:

Elevate, Empower, Employ our Veterans


 

#Boots2Suits


The Illinois Diversity Council presents the inaugural Veterans Leadership Summit. Born out of our member-focused vision, this summit will include two best practices panels: one led by veterans themselves, and the other by veteran employers, recruiters and workplace initiative leaders. A collaborative and robust dialogue will focus on the most-effective best practices regarding veteran hiring, transitioning into a civilian workplace along with professional development opportunities. Human resource professionals (including recruiters), ERG/BRG leaders and business strategists will find value in this impactful half-day educational forum. Be prepared to Elevate, Empower, Employ our Veterans!


Title Sponsor

Groupon

Moderators

Landon Starr

Landon
Starr
Network Systems Engineer
Groupon

Air Force Certified Professional Network Engineer with five years of progressively responsible experience while serving the United States Air Force and Air National Guard. Individually recognized and awarded with the Air Force Achievement Medal 2 times for superior quality of work. Experienced in routing, switching, security management, network documentation, change management processes, and customer support at home-station and high stress, high tempo deployed environments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Resolute Support.

Cisco Routing – Devices: 7200, 3900, 3800, 2900, 2800
Cisco Switching – Devices: 2960, 3560, 3750X, 3650, 4507
Secure Military networks – Taclanes, Antivirus
Protocols – OSPF, EIGRP, BGP, IPV4, IPV6, IPSEC w/ GRE Tunneling, HSRP,GLBP,VRRP, VTP, Multicast, QOS, Trunking, 802.1x, port-security, VPNs, Port-Channel, STP, RSTP, SNMP, TACACS
Media – Copper and Fiber patching(Single and Multi-mode w/Multiple connectors)
Tools: Ciscoworks, Solarwinds, HP Openview
Computers: Troubleshooting, building, networking
Specialties: Networking management, Computer troubleshooting, customer service, management

His compassion for the veteran and military community has broader horizons than the Midwest. Bernard has been instrumental in bringing awareness for suicide amongst our veterans, military first responders and the community at large by initiating a 22 mile suicide awareness walk from Naperville, IL to Hines VA hospital (Maywood, IL) and Jesse Brown VA hospital (Chicago, IL)to encourage veterans and military to seek the help that they need. In 2017, Bernard received an award for his work with veterans and military thorough the state of Illinois American legion state convention.

Jasmine Cowo

Jasmine
Cowo
Sr. Account Manager, ERG Co-Chair
Groupon

Panels

  • Panel 1: Recruiting, Leveraging and Retaining Veterans; Translating Veterans Skills
  • Panel 2: Transitioning to the Civilian Workforce; What Happens after the Hand Shake and Hire

Speakers

Ariel B. Shivers-McGrew, M.A,CNP, QBHP

Ariel
B. Shivers-McGrew
Community Outreach and Support Manager
Bunker Labs, HQ

Ariel Shivers-McGrew is the Community Outreach and Support Manager for Bunker Labs, HQ, where she assists in actualizing the vision to ensure every person who served in the military has the community, the requisite network, and the resources to realize their full entrepreneurial potential. She is the former Associate Director, Veterans Programs/Director, Women Vetrepreneurship Program (VBOC@WBDC) who worked with Veterans of all eras, Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard and military family members to start or grow a small business. In addition to serving as a Solider for Life TAP Lead Career Counselor for a little under 3 years. She is a 9 year careerist in the United States Army Reserves, holding multiple additional duties while still wearing the Uniform today.

She is the author of two young adult fiction novels (Original Compositions by a Girl Named Nicky and Deeper Meanings by a Girl Named Nicky), a 2008 Youth Ambassador for Peace nominee and recipient, former Miss Black Utah 2010 Delegate at Large, an official Semi-Finalist for Miss Veteran America 2017, a general member of the Illinois Veteran Advisory Council and the September 2017 Military Woman of Substance.

Ariel is certified nonprofit management and leadership professional - the only nonprofit management credential in the US, an event designer and event planner, and GrowthWheel trained business advisor, not to mention a qualified mental health professional. She holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from University of San Diego and Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Counselor Education and Supervision at Adler University with an interest in workplace incivility and career counselor preparedness.

Bernard Coffee

Bernard
Coffey
Chief Executive Officer
All Veterans Consulting, LLC
The Bernard Coffey Veterans Foundation

Bernard Coffey is a hard man to forget. From his time in the military to his sons, Bernards number one priority has always been the community. Certified in leadership development and youth mentoring and coaching, Bernard has worked as an insurance producer, business owner, motivational speaker and life coach within his professional career.

Bernard takes his experience as a community member and a leader in order to bring together an entirely new community as an on-air radio host and personality for Fox Sports and WBIG 102.3 FM; 106.3 The Veterans Show Radio where he assists veteran, military families and the community at large with resources and referrals. He is a star on veteran television and radio programs in Illinois and Indiana.

His compassion for the veteran and military community has broader horizons than the Midwest. Bernard has been instrumental in bringing awareness for suicide amongst our veterans, military first responders and the community at large by initiating a 22 mile suicide awareness walk from Naperville, IL to Hines VA hospital (Maywood, IL) and Jesse Brown VA hospital (Chicago, IL)to encourage veterans and military to seek the help that they need. In 2017, Bernard received an award for his work with veterans and military thorough the state of Illinois American legion state convention.

Kandi Conda

Kandi
Conda
CEO
Life After Sports
KcBizBoss

Kandi Conda is an Entrepreneur, Hall of Famer, Brand Consultant and six time Author. "KC" is also the CEO of KCbizBOSS Entre-Tainment, which provides ala-carte Branding Solutions for Entrepreneurs, Entertainers, Authors, Athletes and Celebrities. This helps entrepreneurs to "Brand-Grow-Reinvent" their business. Kandi is a six time author and is prevailing her newest book on tour traveling the country, speaking to women's groups, athletic groups and entrepreneurs motivating them to follow their dreams and complete the mission they started - by any means necessary. Kandi is the CVO (Chief Visionary Officier) of Kandi Komrades Business Influencers.

For her Hall of Fame induction, she was acknowledged by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and recognized in an official ceremony at City Hall.

April 2015. Kandi has recently been honored by the Women's Blue Chip Basketball League, (WBCBL) along with Lisa Leslie, Lynette Woodard, Tamika Catchings, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, E.C. Hill and Robelyn Garcia for being a woman trailblazer.

"It's Your Go Season! Time to Execute Your Game Winning Plan" chronicles Kandi "KC" Conda's 15 year journey to the Hall of Fame and is a motivational tool for women, athletes and entrepreneurs. After being honored by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998 for being the First African American Woman to Manage a Women's Pro Basketball Team (Chicago Twisters / WBA), she was vetted for inclusion in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. Kandi was inducted into the African American Hall of Fame in February 2014.

Kandi has created My Hall of Fame University and KCBizBOSS University workshops that will EMpower, ENgage, ENrich, ENcourage and ENlighten everyone with ways to fulfill their dreams. Kandi has workshops and does speaking engagements for youth groups, women's organizations, athletic groups, churches and schools. She is and Air Force Veteran and graduate of SIU, Carbondale, Illinois.

Kat Schaeffer

Kat
Schaeffer
Program Manager, Veterans Forward
National Able Network

Kat Schaeffer is the Program Manager for the Veterans Forward team at National Able Network. Mrs. Schaeffer joined National Able Network as a Career Coach with the Veterans Forward team in September 2015. Her work is supported by her passion for and background in community advocacy and outreach. As Program Manager, Mrs. Schaeffer is responsible for managing the Veterans Forward program and program staff as well as providing training, coaching and professional development to veteran clients looking for new positions in many different career fields. She also facilitates the Veterans Job Search Work Team, which serves as a project management group for job seeking veteran clients.

Prior to working with National Able Network, Mrs. Schaeffer worked with a national, grassroots non-profit where she served as a Legislative Campaign Director, organizing, managing, and training campaigners on several legislative issuess. She later went on to serve as Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

Mrs. Schaffer served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an FA-18 Ejection Seat Mechanic at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California. During that time, she completed two seven-month tours in the Western Pacific, where her unit completed peacekeeping missions and multi-national joint training exercise. Mrs. Schaeffer also participated in training exercises in Alaska, Nevada, Florida and Guam. As an Ejection Seat Mechanic, she not only served as a maintenance technician, but also as a maintenance quality inspector, trainer and mentor.

Mrs. Schaeffer’s Marine Corps service, grassroots background and passion for community advocacy has prepared her to handle the unique challenges that many of our job-seeking veterans face. She uses her diverse professional background to ensure that the Veterans Forward program stays relevant to job search in today’s job market and efficiently uses all of its resources to maintain a successful program. Mrs. Schaeffer stresses the value of having a strong core message and well developed job search plan. She also uses her experience in hiring, training, and staff development to help clients improve upon their professional image, interview skills, and communication skills, which better prepares these veterans to demonstrate their ability to meet the challenges of today’s civilian workforce.

Mrs. Schaeffer earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Edwards University in Austin, TX in 2014.

Leslie Drish

Leslie
Drish
Diversity and Inclusion Manager
Tyson Foods

Leslie J. Drish is the Inclusion and Diversity Manager for Tyson Foods, in the department of Organizational Culture. In this role, Leslie ensures that diversity & inclusion is incorporated into all people programs and processes to drive greater understanding and awareness. She serves as a champion and thought leader for diversity & inclusion by sharing best practices, benchmarks, and developing relevant approaches that are aligned to Tyson Foods business strategy.

Leslie has over 20 years’ experience developing innovative diversity, volunteer and educational programs with proven ability to drive performance, program improvement, quality initiatives and quantifiable results. She has been recognized for community outreach and development of programs that engage support for organizational mission, vision and strategy.

Prior to joining Tyson Foods, Leslie was Manager of Diversity & Inclusion at the YMCA of the USA and the Director of Education at the Chicago Urban League. In addition, she was the Manager of Teacher Services at John G. Shedd Aquarium and an Educator at Morgan Park High School in Chicago IL. Leslie earned a Master of Educational Leadership from National-Louis University in Chicago, IL, a Master of Public Administration from University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

Michelle Saunders, PMP

Michelle
Saunders, PMP
Senior Operations Manager, Talent Acquisition & Military Recruiting Lead
United Airlines

Michelle is a combat wounded, retired Army Non-Commissioned Officer. Having personally experienced some of the same barriers that many transitioning service members face, her unique empathy has helped her develop into a dynamic leader in the fight against veteran homelessness and unemployment. She has used her experience as a leader in the Talent acquisition and human resources space to help companies focus on veteran recruiting and other talent related initiatives.

After retiring from the Army in late 2006, Michelle landed her first post-military job with the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training (VETS) team. Little did she know that this would be the catalyst for her career in Talent Acquisition and Human Resource space.

In April 2008, she testified before the United States Congress, House Committee on Veteran Affairs, and passionately articulated her transition challenges as well as a plan to help end homelessness for our Nation’s Veterans. Michelle’s journey in empowering veterans continued as she joined the Hire Heroes USA team in May, 2008 as the Veteran Programs Director. Starting with only four employees, Michelle had the exceptional foresight to see beyond helping veterans and began working with companies that had a vested interest in hiring military talent.

After almost five years with Hire Heroes USA, Michelle was sought out by many companies to help develop sourcing and recruiting strategies and integration training that focused on hiring, onboarding and assimilating military talent.

In 2012, Michelle founded Veteran Empowerment Consulting, a goal with the mission of expediting and enhancing veteran integration into the corporate enterprise and the private sector workforce. Michelle worked with multiple fortune 500 companies and expanded beyond the scope of military hiring to provide consulting services to RPO vendors focused on high volume hiring for frontline operations, production and maintenance technician roles.

In 2016, Michelle worked as an independent consultant with United Health Group supporting their M&A initiatives and focused on building executive sourcing strategies for senior and executive level talent search.

In late 2017, Michelle joined United Airlines as a Sr. Operations Recruiting Manager and Military Recruiting Lead. Originally from Boston, MA and now residing in Houston, TX, Michelle is a heavily networked and passionate Talent Acquisition professional with a strong business acumen, uncompromised integrity and a vision for helping companies become better at finding, hiring, training, managing and developing their greatest assets—their people!

Victor J. LaGroon

Victor
J. LaGroon
Director
Chicago Office of Veterans Affairs
US Army Veteran

Victor LaGroon, a veteran himself, joins the City of Chicago to continue his passion for serving United State veterans after over a decade of working diligently with national and local partnerships to help frame, advance and shape the discussion on veteran’s advocacy.

His military career began in 2003 with his enlistment. After completing his Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Huachuca in Military Intelligence, he was assigned to the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division, Ft. Drum. During his years in the U.S. ARMY, Victor had the privilege to serve honorably as a soldier, Junior NCO and Team Leader. Since being medically discharged he has worked diligently to serve and advocate for the health needs, benefits and resources of military personnel, veterans and their families.

While he fought for the needs of Veterans, he also developed strategies for academic institutions, to ensure that the most vulnerable populations have access to timely health care services. In his most recent role at the University of Illinois at Chicago he served as a legislative liaison for the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Health affairs as well as the Director of Engagement and Strategic Partners for the Director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center.

As Director of the Chicago Office of Veterans Affairs, Victor’s primary role is to identify, establish and manage strategic partnerships and resources with delegate agencies for veterans in the City of Chicago. This includes developing community, county and state level partners to enrich access to quality supportive services as well as developing strategies to improve the resources for veterans, military personnel and their families.

Victor serves as Chairman of Advisory Council on Veterans Affairs for the City of Chicago and as a Board Member for the American Heart Association, IDVA Illinois Joining Forces Foundation and the National Veterans art Museum.

Victor is also active in mentoring veterans to create and strengthen the next generation of future leaders and social entrepreneurs.


Planning Committee

Cherie Coleman, MSC, CDP

Cherie
Coleman, MSC, CDP
President, IL Diversity Council
Program Manager, Anthem, Inc.

Crystal Odom M.A., CWDP

Crystal
Odom-McKinney M.A., CWDP
Assistant National Director
Easter Seals Inc

Janet Olivo

Janet
Olivo
Inclusion and Diversity Partner
Groupon


Jasmine Cowo

Jasmine
Cowo
Sr. Account Manager, ERG Co-Chair
Groupon

Landon Starr

Landon
Starr
Network Systems Engineer
Groupon

Michelle Saunders, PMP

Michelle
Saunders, PMP
Senior Operations Manager, Talent Acquisition & Military Recruiting Lead
United Airlines

Michelle is a combat wounded, retired Army Non-Commissioned Officer. Having personally experienced some of the same barriers that many transitioning service members face, her unique empathy has helped her develop into a dynamic leader in the fight against veteran homelessness and unemployment. She has used her experience as a leader in the Talent acquisition and human resources space to help companies focus on veteran recruiting and other talent related initiatives.

After retiring from the Army in late 2006, Michelle landed her first post-military job with the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training (VETS) team. Little did she know that this would be the catalyst for her career in Talent Acquisition and Human Resource space.

In April 2008, she testified before the United States Congress, House Committee on Veteran Affairs, and passionately articulated her transition challenges as well as a plan to help end homelessness for our Nation’s Veterans. Michelle’s journey in empowering veterans continued as she joined the Hire Heroes USA team in May, 2008 as the Veteran Programs Director. Starting with only four employees, Michelle had the exceptional foresight to see beyond helping veterans and began working with companies that had a vested interest in hiring military talent.

After almost five years with Hire Heroes USA, Michelle was sought out by many companies to help develop sourcing and recruiting strategies and integration training that focused on hiring, onboarding and assimilating military talent.

In 2012, Michelle founded Veteran Empowerment Consulting, a goal with the mission of expediting and enhancing veteran integration into the corporate enterprise and the private sector workforce. Michelle worked with multiple fortune 500 companies and expanded beyond the scope of military hiring to provide consulting services to RPO vendors focused on high volume hiring for frontline operations, production and maintenance technician roles.

In 2016, Michelle worked as an independent consultant with United Health Group supporting their M&A initiatives and focused on building executive sourcing strategies for senior and executive level talent search.

In late 2017, Michelle joined United Airlines as a Sr. Operations Recruiting Manager and Military Recruiting Lead. Originally from Boston, MA and now residing in Houston, TX, Michelle is a heavily networked and passionate Talent Acquisition professional with a strong business acumen, uncompromised integrity and a vision for helping companies become better at finding, hiring, training, managing and developing their greatest assets—their people!

Vincent Williams

Vincent
Williams
Director of Membership and Business Development
The Executives’ Club of Chicago

Lanre Ogunbufunmi

Lanre
Ogunbufunmi
Senior Program Coordinator
National Diversity Council


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Co-Title Sponsor — $2000 (Or two co-title sponsors at $1,500)

  • Designated as a title (co-title) sponsor for event; this designation will be on all event promotions as well as in the event program.
  • Opportunity to have a representative from your organization give welcome address
  • Corporate logo on all pre-event and event promotional material listed
  • Will publicly receive a recognition certificate at the event
  • Recognition on the website as a sponsor
  • Full-page advertisement in printed program
  • Corporate banner displayed at the event (supplied by your company)
  • Corporate logo on the event program
  • Twenty seats at the event

Gold — Donor Level $1,000

  • Designated as an official sponsor
  • Corporate and logo on all event promotional materials
  • Public recognition at the event as a sponsor
  • Recognition on the website as a sponsor
  • Corporate logo on the webpage and program collateral
  • Corporate representative has podium talk time
  • Fifteen seats at the event

Silver — Donor Level $500

  • Designated as an official sponsor
  • Corporate name and logo on all event promotional materials
  • Public recognition at the event as a sponsor
  • Corporate logo on the webpage and program collateral
  • Ten seats at the event

Bronze — Donor Level $300

  • Five seats at the event

Individual Registration — $69

  • Event registration for a single attendee


 

 

For information about how your business can have a company booth at the summit, please contact Lanre Ogunbufunmi at lanre.ogunbufunmi@nationaldiversitycouncil.org.