Wounded Warrior Initative Agenda

7:30 – 8:15 a.m.
Networking & Light
Paul Latture,
Rutherford County
Chamber of Commerce
Many-Bears Grinder,
Tennessee Commissioner of
Veterans Affairs
8:15- 8:35 a.m.
Welcome &
Opening Remarks
8:35– 8:50 a.m.
Labor Market Update: Planning
for Today and Preparing for
the Future
Beth Duffield,
Rutherford County
Chamber of Commerce
8:50-9:10 a.m.
Hiring Veterans: The Best
Business Decision You
Can Make
Jeff Davidson, Retired Colonel,
U.S. Army, Deputy Mayor,
Rutherford County
9:10 – 10:10 a.m.
Soldier for Life: Ideas and
Resources for Hiring Veterans
Steven M. George, Lieutenant
Colonel, U.S. Army, Solider for
Shane Perrett, Master
Sergeant, U.S. Army, Soldier for
10:10—10:30 a.m.
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Veterans in Transition: What
Veterans Want
Employers to Know
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Paychecks for Patriots: An
Economic Opportunity for our
Military Community
1:00 – 1:15 p.m.
1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
A Look at Corporate
Support Group Best
Practices in Hiring and
Supporting Veterans: How to
Make Them Work in
Your Organization
Call to Action: Opportunities to
Connect at Ft. Campbell
Harold Riggins, Ft. Campbell,
Army Career & Alumni Program
2:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Bridging the Gap: Helping Employers
Understand How to
Effectively Hire Veterans
February 17, 2015
7:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Embassy Suites
Murfreesboro, TN
Bridging the Gap will serve as an opportunity for human resources professionals to
explore and understand best practices for hiring, engaging and retaining veterans
in the workplace as a key component of their workforce strategies.
Steve Brophy, Dollar
General Corporation
Melinda Kelsey, Tennessee
Department of Labor &
Workforce Development
This program has been submitted to HR
Certification Institute for review.
Sponsored by:
Fred Bissinger
Attorney, Wimberly
Fred J. Bissinger is a
Regional Managing
Member of the Nashville,
Tennessee office of
Wimberly Lawson, which he
joined in 1999. His law practice includes
emphasis in handling employment
discrimination and wrongful discharge
matters at both the administrative level and
in Federal and State Court litigation.
Steve Brophy
Vice President,
Government Affairs
Dollar General
Steve Brophy serves as Vice
President of Government
Affairs for the Dollar General Corporation.
Prior to taking this position, Brophy served
as Chief of Staff for Congressman Marsha
Blackburn (TN-7) since she first took office
in January 2003. In 2007, Steve received the
Tennessee Adjutant General’s Distinguished
Patriot Medal from the Tennessee National
Guard. He also serves on the board of the
Dollar General Literacy Foundation and
Catholic Charities of Middle Tennessee.
Jeff Davidson
Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired,
Deputy Mayor, Rutherford
Colonel (Retired) Jeff
Davidson is a native of
Nashville, TN and currently
resides in Eagleville, TN. COL
Davidson graduated from Middle Tennessee
State University in 1985 with a Bachelor of
Science in History.
COL Davidson, an Armor and Cavalry officer
with over 30 years in the United States Army
served in a variety of command and
leadership positions.
Lieutenant Colonel
Steven M. George
U.S. Army Soldier for Life Program
Director, Southeast Region
Lieutenant Colonel George began
his military career as an Army ROTC
and was commissioned into the Army
Transportation Corps in 1993. He
holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Technology
from Kent State University and a Master’s degree
in Transportation and Logistics Management from
American Military University.
Commissioner Many-Bears
Tennessee Department of
Veterans Affairs
In January 2011, Governor Bill Haslam
appointed Many-Bears Grinder to be
the Commissioner for the Tennessee
Department of Veterans Affairs. Colonel Grinder
became the first woman in the state to serve in this
capacity. In order to accept the appointment, Grinder
retired from the Tennessee Army National Guard as a
Colonel with more than 35 years of service.
James Howard
SEAL, U.S. Navy, Retired,
Commercial Lender, Fifth
Third Bank
Jim Howard is in the Commercial
Lending Group at Fifth Third Bank as
an Associate Relationship Manager.
Prior to joining Fifth Third, Jim was a credit analyst at
Goldman Sachs where he covered a portfolio of
technology, media and telecom companies. He
graduated from the University of Kentucky with a
B.S. in Health Science and earned his MBA from the
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Raymond G. Huntley
Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army,
Retired, MTSU Student
Raymond Huntley enlisted in the
United States Army and attended Basic
Combat Training between his junior
and senior years of high school. Upon
completing high school, Raymond transitioned to
the active component in 1994 beginning his 20 year
career as a Power Generation Technician.
Todd Johnson
Major, U.S. Army, Retired,
Financial Advisor, Edward Jones
Todd A. Johnson, Major, U.S. Army
Retired, transitioned in 2013 from the
U.S. Army at Fort Campbell, KY, after
29 years of enlisted and
commissioned military service. He and his family
decided to stay in Middle Tennessee to embark on a
new career focus, moving from helicopter aviation
to the financial industry.
Melinda Kelsey
Constituent & Government
Relations, Tennessee Department
of Labor & Workforce
Melinda Kelsey serves as
Communications, Constituent and Government
Relations Administrator. Prior to this, she served as
assistant administrator with the Employment
Security Division. Kelsey worked in private industry
as human resource director for Big Bend
Technology, an automotive supplier to Nissan.
Avery King
Lead Military Recruiter/
Executive Talent Acquisition,
Hospital Corporation of America
Avery King is a native of Middle
Tennessee and began his recruiting
career in 1988. He started working
for HCA in March 2010. Avery is a United States Air
Force Veteran and Lieutenant in the United States
Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol. He was
instrumental in starting HCA’s Veteran Hiring
Initiative which began in 2011.
Master Sergeant
Shane R. Perret
Office of the Chief of Staff of the
Army Soldier for Life Program,
Southeast Region Deputy
Master Sergeant Shane Perret
enlisted in the Army as a tank crewman in
September 1995, holds an Associate’s Degree in
Applied Science and is currently working on his
Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. Master Sergeant
Perret has attended the Abrams Master Gunner
Andy Rigby
Senior Analyst/Talent
Management, Nissan North
America, Inc.
Andy Rigby is in the Talent
Management group at Nissan
North America where he manages
the Performance Management and
Development (PMD) processes. In addition to
his normal responsibilities in HR, he was elected
by the members of the Nissan Veterans’ Business
Synergy Team to serve as president of the group.
Harold Riggins
Transition Services Manager,
Ft. Campbell, Army Career &
Alumni Program
Harold Riggins is a veteran with
27 years of service in the United
States Army and National Guard.
Enlisting in the Army in 1983 he served for four
years as a Supply Specialist at Fort Riley, KS and
in Germany. Riggins spent his next four years as
a combat engineer in the National Guard while
going to college where he participated in the
ROTC program at Jacksonville State University,
Jacksonville, AL.
Thomas Stoquert III
Sergeant, U.S. Army, Retired,
Fraud Investigator, Insurance
Division, State of Tennessee
Thomas is a Fraud Investigator
with the Tennessee Department of
Commerce and Insurance. As an
advocate for Veterans and Veteran causes,
Thomas assisted in the development of the
Veterans Coalition with his colleagues and
partners at the Department of Labor and the
Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. He
also served as a committee member for the
Warrior Workforce Initiative.
Ray Swatzell
Director, Talent Recruiting and
Systems at Brookdale Senior
Ray Swatzell, LT USN retired,
currently works at Brookdale, the
largest provider of Senior Living
solutions in the United States. Ray has twelve
years experience recruiting healthcare leadership
positions and managing related technology
systems and recruiting processes.