Veteran Hiring and Business Strategy
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When: Thursday, September 19, 2019
3:15 to 3:30 pm -- Registration 3:30 to 5:00 pm -- Program 5:00 to 6:30 pm -- Networking
Where: Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP
2 North LaSalle Street, 17th Floor
Chicago, Illinois  60602
United States
Contact: Chicago SHRM Headquarters
(312) 368-0188

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Veteran Hiring and Business Strategy

This is a free event open to the community, but we are accepting donations for the SHRM Foundation. 100% of donations will go to the SHRM Foundation in support of military veteran scholarships, professional development, education, hiring and career services.


American businesses rank veteran recruiting as a priority to meet workforce needs at all levels of the organization, including the C-Suite.  Successful HR leaders know that hiring veterans is a strategic talent acquisition initiative.  This Executive Insight gathers four leaders who are experts in this subject and three are also veterans.  From their different organizational perspectives, they will discuss how to build a business strategy for hiring veterans, notably the executive level; what specific initiatives have been successful in driving business success; the range of alliances and resources business can build into their strategy; and ways to navigate uncertainties (or biases) by bringing data to the forefront.

Learning objectives/takeaways:

  • Identifying steps to link veteran hiring to talent acquisitions and business strategies
  • Describe best practices that have been successful and lessons learned by organizations when implementing strategies to increase veteran hiring
  • Learn various resources and alliances organizations can build into their talent acquisitions strategy


Christian Anschuetz, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, Underwriter’s Laboratory
Christian Anschuetz is the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for UL (formerly known as Underwriters Laboratories) where he is responsible for identifying, prioritizing and embedding technology innovation and digital trends into the vision, strategy, and operating models required to sustain and accelerate the company’s growth. Before assuming the role of CDO, he served as UL’s global Chief Information Officer (CIO). Prior to joining UL, Christian was the CIO for Publicis Groupe, the 3rd largest communication company in the world. In addition to holding several other executive positions, Christian also founded a technology services boutique focused on providing cybersecurity services to firms as early as 1998. Christian holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Stayer University. He is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the founder of the innovative nonprofit startup, Project RELO.


Branden Marty, Partner Veteran Roasters Cup O’ Joe Coffee and President Rags of Honor
Branden Marty is a Navy veteran with experiences across a range of challenging environments—from the flight decks on naval vessels to the corporate C-suite to the boot-strapped startup.  He is a strategist, a collaborator and an operator.  Every assignment throughout Branden’s career has been imbued with the same ingredients—a dedication to community service and advocacy.  For example, the Department of the Navy (DoN) asked for Branden’s assistance in submitting a bid from the City of Chicago to host the 2017 Warrior Games.  Branden voluntarily led the effort to build public and private sector support and brought DoN leadership to meet with Chicago leaders.  It led directly to the awarding of the Games to Chicago.


John Lavorato, SVP and General Counsel - Madison Industries/Filtration Group Corporation.  

Prior to his current role, Mr. Lavorato was the Vice President of Global Sales Operations at Dell Inc. and held various domestic and global leadership roles within the Legal and Operations functions. This included legal support for public (Federal, State and Local, K-12, Higher Education, Healthcare) and commercial customer segments, global contracts, global proposals, learning and development for 4,000 employees, the change agent network and customer experience. John also served on various corporate boards including Dell’s Political Action Committee, Veteran’s Employee Resource Group and the inaugural membership to Men Advocating Real Change, an initiative of Catalyst. Prior to those roles, Mr. Lavorato spent three years at the national law firm, Seyfarth Shaw, in Washington, DC, focused on litigation and national/international commercial matters.  Before joining Seyfarth Shaw, John served six years as a United States Army Judge Advocate in the Republic of Panama, Republic of Honduras and the United States National Capital Region.


Megan Everett, Director, Veterans Programs, The Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Megan Everett, Director of the Veterans Program for the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is a former Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy serving from 2000 – 2006 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. As Director of the Veterans Program, Megan manages a grant portfolio focused on veteran employment to include education and entrepreneurship, behavior health and wellness, and systems navigation. Megan graduated from Cornell University and holds masters’ degrees from Penn State University and Northwestern University.


Shelli Nelson, Managing Director, Talent Acquisition, Madison Industries and Past-President of Chicago SHRM
Shelli is Managing Director of Talent Acquisition at Madison Industries. Shelli has excelled in her career in Human Resources because she understands business strategies, building organizations that are structured to excel, recruiting and developing outstanding talent, and designing and executing innovative programs. Shelli formerly served as President of the Board of Directors for the Chicago Society of Human Resources Management (Chicago SHRM). SHRM is the country’s largest human resources professional society and a leader in the advancement of human resource management. In addition, Shelli led HR teams at Spot Trading, Ibbotson (Morningstar) and Legacy Marketing Partners. She is a Board of Directors for Project RELO, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating business executives on the benefits of hiring military veterans. Shelli is also a member of Forbes Human Resources Council. Shelli graduated from Drake University and earned a master’s degree in HR Management from Keller Graduate School.