Standing Committees

Employment and Careers

The Employment Committee’s mission is to bring together all entities that offer employment initiatives or services for veterans and their families. Ultimately, we aim to make it as simple as possible to identify the right veterans for the right opportunities at the right time, and to prepare veterans and their families for a successful transition by connecting them with veteran-friendly employers, career services and resources in New York City.


Successfully transitioning from the military and identifying all available resources has been a perennial problem for most service members. Many service members attend TAP at the very end of their enlistment, and once they leave active duty they typically no longer have access to base resources. Servicemembers need and deserve a technology solution that aggregates all of the data points that TAP covers related to employment opportunities, education, health care, financial benefits, and more. They also benefit greatly from personal introductions and connections, training and a variety of resources. The Transition Committee’s mission is to harness all such resources in New York City and present them in an organized manner to service members, veterans and organizations.

Small Business/Supplier Diversity

One in seven veterans are self-employed or small business owners, and one-quarter of veterans say they are interested in starting or buying their own business. As of June 2016, there were 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses in America, representing 9.1 percent of all US businesses. When a large business or organization commits to supporting the military or the veteran community, supply-chain diversity can be a part of that commitment. A number of programs and resources already exist for NYC veterans, but it can be overwhelming to find them and understand exactly what to do. The Small Business/Supplier Diversity’s mission is to create awareness and education for large businesses and veteran-owned businesses, and to provide and/or contribute to existing efforts to bring the two together.

Military Families/Spouses

Like our servicemembers and veterans, military spouses are diverse, coming from all walks of life and different stages of career. Being married to someone in the military has most likely affected their life and career trajectory; however, unlike their active duty counterparts, there is very little emphasis on hiring military spouses, and many HR professionals are unaware of their backgrounds or the noteworthy reasons to hire them. Military families face some unique challenges, and harnessing the resources that currently exist in NYC and showcasing them appropriately will provide incredible value. The mission of the Military Families/Spouses Committee is create awareness around resources related to employment, financial literacy, career training and mentorship, and to periodically host events related to these critical topics.

City Wide Veterans Events

One of the benefits of having a technology-based platform is that Empire Vets can easily assemble the various events throughout NYC, especially those hosted by our partner organizations, and promote them in an interactive and modern way. From large, Fleet Week or Veterans Day-related events to smaller resume and interviewing workshops, and everything in between, the mission of the City Wide Veterans Events Committee will be to work with existing programs in NYC to promote awareness of and provide access to those events focusing on community wellness among veterans and their families.

Leadership Committee

Our Leadership Committee is comprised of veterans and allies across industries and organizations throughout New York. Based on their deep knowledge in the veteran transition and employment space, these individuals collectively guide Empire Vets to help ensure New York is the most veteran-friendly state in the country.

Andrew Morton, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Ann Ferracane, Lyft
Anthony Silvera, Northwell Health
Avi Leshes, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Betsy Montanez, NYU
Brandis DeSimone, Nasdaq
Brian Miller, PSEG
Chris Byrne, JP Morgan Chase
Chuck Sevola, Prudential
Dennis Torres, Queens College
Derek Doan, T-Mobile
Ed Lehman, CBP
Harris Morris, ADP
Jack Fanous, JobPath
Jamal Othman, NYC Department of Veterans’ Services
James Perduto, First Data
John Escalante, Marine For Life
John McCaffrey, NYC SHRM
Josh Hartley, PwC
Juan Serrano, Northwell Health
Justin Constantine, JobPath
Kate Migliaro, Apollo Group
Ken Williams, NYS Division of Service-Disabled Veteran Business Development
Liz Salogub, AIG
Lynda Thomson, FDNY
Mark Graham, Vets4Warriors
Mike Abrams, Columbia University
Paul Ortega, Swiss Post Solutions
Rachel Washburn, Academy Securities
Ralph Hernandez, Amazon
Ray Stopinski, USMC
Rich Jones, CBS
Rigo Villalvir, JP Morgan Chase
Rob PIechota, Brooklyn SBDC
Stephanie Martinez, NYNJ Port Authority
Terry Hayes, T-Mobile
Thor O’Connell, Bank of America