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Vets' Summit Offers Career, Education and Wellness Opportunities
October 12, 2017

Vets' Summit Offers Career, Education and Wellness Opportunities

A statewide job fair for veterans, NYSID Battle Buddy Centers and an inclusive rowing program for people with disabilities were among the highlights of NYSID's quarterly Veterans' Summit on October 11.

Attendees from the Capital Region, Central New York, North Country, Hudson Valley and greater New York City attended the event.

Summit presenters included:

  • Kenneth Williams, executive director of the Division of Service Disabled Veterans' Business Development, New York State Office of General Services; and Mario Cometti, partner, Tully Rinckey PLLC. They are part of an alliance coordinating VETCON 2017 (Veterans in Economic Transition Conference) at The Desmond November 28-29.
  • Paul Quirini, communications and outreach specialist, NYSID. He discussed NYSID's Battle Buddy Centers, which are safe havens for veterans on college campuses to socialize with their fellow veterans and receive services they need. NYSID's 13 Battle Buddy Centers have collectively hosted more than 70,000 visits by veterans since September 2011.
  • Tim Giarrusso, president/CEO, Human Technologies, and co-founder, Rochester Community Inclusive Rowing (RCiR); and Rich Sirianni, RCiR and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. RCiR is aimed at expanding access to individuals with barriers to rowing. NYSID supported RCiR's all night row of 363 miles last August to fund an inclusive rowing center to serve veterans and people with disabilities.
  • David Hernandez, director, Health Facilities Management Group, NYS Department of Health, Todd Rosenfield, project manager, NYS Division of Veterans' Affairs, attended on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Ann Mueller, deputy district director, Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook), and Vinnie Nicosia, deputy director of operations, NYS Senator George Amedore (R,C,IP-46), member of the NYS Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, also attended.

Summit participants included New York State government agencies, not-for-profits, veterans' service organizations, Wounded Warriors, institutions of higher learning, and rehabilitation organizations, including NYSID members.

"I attended my first NYSID Veterans' Summit on October 11. I was warmly greeted by several people and, as the meeting began, we each introduced ourselves. It quickly became apparent that this was a room full of stakeholders who were either veterans or worked with veterans and cared deeply for their particular mission or business," said Suzanne Stevens, director of sales & marketing, Mid-Hudson Works. "The three presentations were professional, empathetic to helping veterans and prepared with videos and stories that have changed lives.

"The wealth of services and support in that room was impressive and clearly heartfelt and genuine. NYSID is skilled at providing an environment to foster ideas and collaboration in a manner that is welcoming and results oriented. This was not just another meeting, it was truly a Summit with the highest level of consideration for our veterans in mind. I encourage anyone who works with or hires veterans to attend the next time."

"While I knew several people attending the Veterans' Summit, I was able to meet and interact with many others whom I did not know," said Robert Volk, program coordinator, Heroes @ Home/Vet 2 Vet Peer Support. "This helped introduce me to programs I was not aware of, many of which are located right here in the Capital Region. I would highly recommend others attend the Summit, based on the ability to network with great people at one location, especially representatives from the state and federal government, and the high level of presentation and program presented."

NYSID assists with veterans' support programs, promoting quality of life for veterans as they reconnect to the New York State workforce.

Join us for our next Veterans' Summit on Wednesday, December 13 from 9:30am '" noon at our Albany office, 11 Columbia Circle Drive.