The U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented custom Bennett recognition trophies to the winners of its 3rd annual Hiring Our Heroes Awards. These achievement awards recognize employers and individuals who have gone above and beyond expectations to hire, retain, and honor U.S. veterans and military spouses. Award winners were chosen in six categories based on their demonstrated leadership in addressing the challenges faced by veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses in their search for meaningful employment.
The six category award winners were as follows:
Lee Anderson Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award—USAA received this award for overall excellence in hiring and retaining veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses. Other finalists were Bank of America and General Electric.
Post-9/11 Veteran Employment Award—Toyota Motor Sales, USA received this award for effective and sustained efforts to enhance the ability of post-9/11 veterans and transitioning service members to find meaningful employment in the private sector. Other finalists were Lockheed Martin and Volt Workforce Solutions.
Don Weber Wounded Warrior Employment Award—Operation PAVE, a program of Paralyzed Veterans of America, received this award for demonstrated leadership in addressing the unique challenges and demands for wounded warriors, spouses, and caregivers in their search for meaningful employment. Other finalists were The Boeing Company and U-Haul International.
Military Spouse Employment Award—La Quinta Inns & Suites received this award for demonstrated hiring and support of military spouses in their search for meaningful employment in the private sector. Other finalists were Military Spouse JD Network and Wittenberg-Weiner Consulting, LLC.
Capital One Award for Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment—The International Franchise Association received this award for demonstrated leadership by a small business or organization (less than 500 employees) in hiring veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses. Other finalists were CK Mechanical Plumbing & Heating, Inc. and RecruitMilitary.
Colonel Michael Endres Leadership Award for Individual Excellence in Veteran Employment—Evan Guzman, head of military programs and veteran affairs for Verizon Communications, received this award for an individual who has gone above and beyond to make a difference in employment opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, and spouses. Other finalists were Tim Mote, director of talent acquisition and university relations for Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and Val Nicholas, vice president at NBC News.
For these recognition awards, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce commissioned Bennett Awards to design and produce a new, unique custom award design. These custom trophies feature a figurative sculpture in the shape of a combat serviceman on patrol. These sculptures are cast in bronze, and feature a gold/brown patina finish. The sculptures are mounted on hand-made wood bases that feature personalized engraved plates with the U.S. Chamber’s logo, the award name, the recipient name, and a short explanation of the purpose of the award.
These trophies were presented to the award winners at the Hiring Our Heroes Award Dinner, held November 12, 2013, in Washington DC.
Hiring Our Heroes launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the goal is to create a movement across America in hundreds of communities where veterans and military families return every day. To date, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 640 hiring fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, helping 21,600 veterans and military spouses find jobs. More information on the Hiring Our Heroes program can be found at: www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes.