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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.