Veterans are all about service. That’s why I think we fit so well in the Kellogg culture. As a socially responsible company, Kellogg is focused on creating better days for people, communities and the planet. This passion appeals to veterans who have served their country. We quickly realize we can continue being of service to others by working at Kellogg.
The military was my first full-time job. After graduating from Michigan State University where I participated in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), I was commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Immediately after graduation, at only 22, I led a platoon of 60 soldiers in combat. I managed receiving and distribution operations for supplies supporting troops in southern Afghanistan. Like Kellogg, I lead with my heart and soul, and I’m proud to say we didn’t lose a single soldier.
Shortly after returning to the U.S., I was assigned to Ft. Carson in Colorado where I met Sean, who would later become my husband and the father of our two daughters, Madeline “Maddie”, 7 and Evelyn, “Evie”, 9 months. We were fortunate to deploy together to Baghdad, Iraq where I again put my supply chain skills to work. After leaving active duty, we chose to continue our military service with the Army Reserve.
After my active duty transition, I held a couple of supply chain and customer service roles before joining Kellogg. As a member of the Supply Chain team, I partner with our sales teams to improve customer service and engagement. I joined the company in 2017 at our Denver sales office and months later Sean’s Army Reserve unit was called up and deployed to Germany for nine months. We knew no one in Denver, I had young child and a new job with a lot of responsibility.
Kellogg talks about being a family-first company and providing a lot of flexibility, and I put it to the test. My colleagues were extraordinary. About a year after the deployment, my colleagues supported us again through our high-risk pregnancy. My work family has become an important part of my work/life balance. I’m not sure I could have gotten through these difficult life events with another company. As a result, I feel incredibly rooted at Kellogg.
This is why I wanted to get more involved with the KVets business/employee resource group that celebrates and supports all who have served in the military. I’d been a member for a while and a year ago I joined the leadership team to help recruit and retain veterans at the company. Doing so is a very big priority for us. We understand that veterans are highly qualified to succeed in the corporate world. Although their experience may be a little different, their skills are immediately transferable.
Early in 2021, we’re launching three new initiatives focused on veterans and I couldn’t be more proud of these efforts. They include:
1. Hiring our Heros training to help managers understand veterans’ experiences and how they translate to the private sector;
2. A mentoring program to make sure we retain our veteran talent; and,
3. Battle Buddies, which pairs new hires with an experienced veteran working at the company to help with their onboarding.
I’ve served in the Army for more than 20 years. It’s shaped me into the person and leader I am today. As a result, I’m passionate about helping other veterans by paying it forward. In doing so, I thank those who opened doors for me. While our background and experience might be a bit different, Kellogg is a place where veterans and all employees are encouraged to bring our authentic selves to work to collectively make our company better.