Infor veterans apply military skills to careers in technology

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May 27, 2020

May was designated Military Appreciation Month by US Congress in 1999 to shine a spotlight on service men and women and their spouses. At Infor, we also salute our Veterans Infor Network (VIN) employee network, a community of veterans who provide mentorship to their colleagues as they transition from active service to careers in technology---while also advocating for active recruitment of veterans.

James Hannay: Applying leadership skills

VIN members strive to generate awareness about the many military skills that translate well to the private sector, especially careers in technology. James Hannay, EVP, sales and sponsor of VIN employee network recently recorded a video on this topic. James spent over 11 years in the British military involved in intelligence and special operations, focusing on satellite images, digital mapping, and analysis of terrain. He served in the first gulf war and traveled extensively applying his mapping expertise.

“My experiences in the military provided excellent training for selfless leadership and a career in technology,” says James. “Everything in today’s world is changing so fast. The military helps you stay grounded in the face of change, not making knee-jerk reactions, but thinking through the options and consequences,” he says. In business context, this type of training can help you to focus on complex tasks or goals—such as targeting a new market or region, he adds.

To veterans, James offers this advice, “Recognize the core values and strengths developed in the military as they offer great value to any path you choose in life.” He adds, “Have confidence in the significant difference you have made throughout your service and how you can continue to make a difference in the future as your experiences are invaluable.”

John shorter: Volunteering for families

John Shorter, VP, sales, is a relative newcomer to Infor, joining the Americas sales team early in 2020, following a lengthy stint at GE. John also has an impressive service history with the US Navy. He was a Lieutenant Commander in the submarine force and deployed seven times. John was injured during a chemical spill that left him blind for six months and led to his medical retirement. His has regained his eyesight and was able to take advantage of navy programs to attend graduate school and earn three graduate degrees before he retired from the Navy.

John says that during his service --and later during his recovery and visits to the VA hospital -- he saw first-hand how debilitating the injuries could be for wounded soldiers and their families. Despite that brutal reality, he says his belief in the military has not waivered. “I was there because I truly believe in the country and that someone has to step up to defend it. And that hasn’t changed.”

Now, John’s contribution is through volunteer work with Folds of Honor, a not for profit that strives to support the families of service men and women killed or injured in the line of duty. “It’s important that we stick with these families. It’s our duty to support those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We can’t replace the one they lost, but we can supplement. Folds of Honor provides scholarships for children of lost service members. “But we can’t just send one kid to college, feel good about it, and forget about the family,” he adds. “We have to remember to act, to do something, not just talk.” John has been active in mentoring students and bringing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses to this interested in technical careers.

Marianne Tovo: Encouraging recruitment of veterans

“Marianne Tovo, solutions consultant, Human Capital Management (HCM), was in the army for five years—but learned a lifetime of skills. As a Human Resources officer and military spouse, she was stationed in several locations, including Washington, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Germany. She still resides in Germany with her spouse who continues to serve on active duty.”

Marianne joined Infor in 2016 and immediately became involved in VIN, working to encourage the recruitment and hiring of veterans within Infor. She knows from her experience that military skills translate well to careers in civilian life.

“I think the hardest part of deciding to leave the military is in finding another purpose, something to provide meaning. Since I was young I was raised to value the importance of service. For me, working with VIN has provided the chance to continue serving,” says Marianne.

VIN has three parts to its mission: recruiting/hiring, onboarding, and internal/external communications. Marianne says that educating hiring managers about the soft skills of veterans is something she feels strongly about.

“Veterans are hard-working individuals, highly disciplined, highly motivated, with a great deal of integrity and adaptability,” she says. “They are always eager to contribute and step up to the challenges of today’s ever-changing environment.”

Learn more about a post military career at Infor here.

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