From soldier to civilian: How Hyland helps veterans bridge the gap

As May was National Military Appreciation Month in the U.S., we would like to thank all our veterans at Hyland for their service.

Veterans are an important part of the #HylandLife and strengthen our organization in all areas. That’s why we offer many resources to help and encourage success as they transition from military to civilian life.

One of those resources is our Veterans Employee Resource Group (VERG). This community is dedicated to veteran and military employees to help ensure they have the resources they need to utilize their unique talents at Hyland. Comprised of software developers, account managers and other departmental employees across the organization, the group meets monthly to welcome new Hylanders, talk about important topics such as VA benefits during open enrollment, listen to guest speakers and support veterans in the community.

In the spirit of camaraderie among veterans here at Hyland, we would like to highlight a few stories from two of our very own vets: Raquel Rivera and Rich Ventresca. Their journeys are different, but they share the common bond of serving in the U.S. military and being an important part of the Hyland family.

Bridging the gap from soldier to civilian

One of the most challenging things for any veteran to do is translate what they did in the military to a civilian role.

“I went from combat to healthcare to technical, corporate-level tasks. It was a huge transition I wasn’t prepared for,” said National Guard Veteran and fellow Hylander Rich Ventresca. “My job was not technical in the military, it was all combat related.”

Being able to help veterans bridge the gap into civilian life is an important part in our recruiting process. So when Ventresca was ready to transition from soldier to civilian, he found help from a fellow Hylander.

“I completed two tours in Afghanistan, came home and went to school for software development,” he said. “One of my instructors was also a veteran who moved on to Hyland and reached out through email about employment. He even took the time to help me prepare by doing mock interviews.”

For Raquel Rivera, Coast Guard Veteran and QA analyst, her introduction to Hyland came from a business class at Baldwin Wallace University.

“I was part of a veterans group and learned that there was a veteran career fair happening,” she said. “I attended the event and realized how much Hyland really cares about veterans.”

One of the first things we do when veterans begin employment is give them a dedicated veteran mentor. We match service for service and department for department.

“Having a veteran mentor made it easy to fit in quicker here,” said Rivera. “My mentor introduced me to the VERG and provided information about everything Hyland does for veterans.”

Our mentors serve as guides for things like finding veteran discounts in the area, programs to get involved with outside of work and activities that are centered around the military.

“Having someone to go to made my transition here that much better,” said Rivera.

The power of VERG

The VERG provides a place for our veterans to utilize the resources they need and share their experiences while transitioning back to civilian life.

“The opportunities, the people and the experiences are what make VERG great. The military never leaves you, so you just have to cope,” stated Ventresca.

There is an abundance of veteran experience and resources here to help support our veterans. Sometimes, it’s as simple as showing we care.

“My job in the military was not technical, so when I heard people talk about their military experience being more tech-focused, I was afraid to talk about my experience, that it wouldn’t get me far in life,” said Ventresca. “I attended a Hyland VERG presentation where the speaker talked about his combat experience and living with PTSD. Hearing him talk about it hit me, so I reached out to the VA after that and now I get treatment three times a month.”

For Ventresca, there is comfort in knowing he can focus on himself.

“Knowing that I am in a safe environment and I can say ‘I have to deal with this outside of work,’ VERG has helped me and my family tremendously,” he said. “The fact that I can get the help I need is huge. The flexibility is truly helpful for people struggling with family issues and PTSD.”

Veteran life at Hyland

“The biggest way Hyland supports vets is recognizing the value we bring from our military background. I have a degree, but Hyland looks beyond that to understand I bring more to the table with my experience,” said Rivera. “In my department, R&D, things change quickly. With a military background, I have the ability to adapt to changing environments to get things done.”

But it’s not all about what our veterans can provide us, it’s also about how we can help them.

“Hyland donated to my unit two years in a row,” said Ventresca. “We were short on funds and Christmas was coming up. They sent 500 dollars to my unit, which helped cover gifts for the kids.”

In some organizations, military support is hard to find. We recognize the sacrifices our vets make and structure our perks as a way to show our appreciation. We support employees who are called to serve on active military duty by paying the employee their regular salary for up to 30 days while they are out.

“The 30-day paid military leave is a huge benefit and there’s never any issue when I have to go,” said Ventresca. “My military friends at other companies have to either use their vacation time or just skip out and not get paid. So the military pay at Hyland is huge.”

Hyland continually tries to show our appreciation for our vets every day. And sometimes, it’s the little things that mean the most.

“I’m not going to lie,” said Rivera, “I love the veteran’s t-shirt that we get. It just makes you feel extra special coming here.”

As we reflect back on National Military Appreciation Month, thank you to all the men, women and their families who have sacrificed so much. We are proud you are part of our family.

Kathleen Vegh works in Hyland’s Human Resources department as the director of employee experience, a position she’s held since February of 2008. In her role, she leads a team that is responsible for attracting and retaining top IT talent. The team’s goal is to create meaningful and unique experiences that engage, connect and develop our workforce in pursuit of increased employee satisfaction, productivity and retention. An Ohio University graduate, she lives in Bay Village with her husband Dave and their three daughters.
Kathleen Vegh

Kathleen Vegh

Kathleen Vegh works in Hyland’s Human Resources department as the director of employee experience, a position she’s held since February of 2008. In her role, she leads a team that... read more about: Kathleen Vegh