National Vision Attends 2016 Veterans Initiative Summit

On November 14 – 15, 2016, National Vision representatives attended the second annual Veterans Initiative Summit in support of the hiring and retention of America’s veterans.

Jeff and Forrest during breakout session, coordinated by Michael McDermott, Blackstone.

Jeff Busbee and Forrest Tennant during a breakout session, coordinated by Michael McDermott – Blackstone. Photo by Beatrice Moritz Photography.

Hosted by investment firms KKR, Blackstone, The Carlyle Group, TPG, and Apollo, the two-day summit builds from last year’s inaugural event, providing further resources to help the portfolio companies hire and retain veterans and military spouses.

It was an honor to have National Vision representatives at this event. As one of the largest optical retail companies in the U.S., we are a pioneer in our industry, placing an emphasis on the hiring of veterans and military spouses. We have committed to hiring a minimum of 500 veterans and/or military spouses over the next five years across all of our retail brands.

About This Year’s Veterans Initiative Summit

Jeff Busbee, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, and Forrest Tennant, HR Generalist and Manager – Veterans Inclusion and Partnership, represented National Vision at this year’s Veterans Initiative Summit, held in New York City.

Keynote speaker Brad Snyder - US Paralympic Gold medalist, Navy veteran, author - Fire in My Eyes. Photo by Beatrice Moritz Photography.

Keynote speaker Brad Snyder – US Paralympic Gold medalist, Navy veteran, author – Fire in My Eyes. Photo by Beatrice Moritz Photography.

This year’s summit featured in-depth, small group discussions on steps that can be taken to expand veterans’ initiatives to help the portfolio companies hire, attract, and retain more veterans. Topics included how to ensure a positive transition to civilian life and effectively using career mapping.

Both Jeff and Forrest had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions focusing on veteran hiring and integration, and veteran career development and retention. These topics are directly related to veteran inclusion and partnership at National Vision.

There were also speakers who shared the operational improvements that these programs have had on their businesses.

Speakers included Frank Bisignano, Chairman and CEO of First Data; Eric Eversole, President of Hiring Our Heroes and Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Colonel William T. Johnson, Joining Forces Executive Director; General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus, Member and Chairman of the KKR Global Institute; and Brad Snyder, US Paralympic Gold Medal Swimmer and Navy Veteran.

Forrest Tennant and Col. William Johnson, Executive Director of the Office of the First Lady's Joining Forces Committee. Photo by Beatrice Moritz Photography.

Forrest Tennant and Col. William Johnson – Executive Director of the Office of the First Lady’s Joining Forces Committee. Photo by Beatrice Moritz Photography.

Testimonials

When asked for his thoughts on this year’s Veterans Initiative Summit, Jeff Busbee said,

“Hiring our nation’s veterans makes a ton of sense – not just for our veterans, but for National Vision!  Veterans have the skills and qualities National Vision needs: teamwork and leadership, decision making and sound judgement, and the ability to work with diverse groups of people. Participation in the Veteran’s Initiative Summit provided an opportunity for companies to share best practices and learn from one another to accomplish our common goal of attracting, retaining and promoting veterans to improve our businesses.”

Keynote Speaker Frank Bisignano, CEO - First Data Corporation. Photo by Beatrice Moritz Photography.

Keynote Speaker Frank Bisignano, CEO – First Data Corporation. Photo by Beatrice Moritz Photography.

Forrest Tennant added,

I am proud that National Vision – a leader in the optical retail industry – continues to strengthen its involvement in this growing commitment to hire veterans and military spouses. National Vision realizes the direct impact that the qualities of our service men and women offer to our nation’s organizations and we are excited to welcome them into the optical retailing industry.”

More About The Veterans Initiative Summit

General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus - Member and Chairman of the KKR Global Institute.

General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus – Member and Chairman of the KKR Global Institute.

The Veterans Initiative Summit was designed to promote the sharing of best practices and open dialogue about challenges and opportunities when working with veteran employees. Topics such as sourcing and hiring, integration, career development, and retention are all focus areas for the portfolio companies.

While many organizations have already hired veterans, the summit is a concentrated effort to help these valuable employees bring their unique experiences, skills, training, diversity, and values to our businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica Altamirano

Jessica Altamirano

Communications Specialist at National Vision, Inc.
Jessica Altamirano is a proud Veteran spouse who has worked for NVI since 2014. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. Jessica is passionate about corporate-nonprofit partnerships, philanthropic efforts in developing countries, Veteran recruitment, and creating a culture of health and wellness in the workplace.
Jessica Altamirano