Detroit Regional Chamber > Governor’s Summit on Veterans Talent

Governor’s Summit on Veterans Talent

Vet Summit

The Detroit Regional Chamber, in partnership with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, hosted the 2013 Governor’s Summit on Veterans Talent, making the case for employers to implement veteran-hiring programs. The event marked the successful completion of an item on the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List, as it brought together veterans and business leaders to facilitate connections.

Military veterans possess specialized training unlike any other segment of America’s workforce.

These individuals demonstrate reliable work ethic and self-motivated productivity in a diverse workforce environment. Thousands of Michigan veterans are currently unemployed or underemployed, with thousands more expected to return to Michigan in the next few years.

Supporting Sponsors

  • General Motors Company
  • Michigan Dental Association
  • Michigan Health and Hospital Association
  • Michigan Manufacturers Association


8:00 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:30 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Richard Manoogian, Chairman Emeritus, Masco Corporation
Timothy Wadhams, President and CEO, Masco Corporation

8:40 a.m.

Veteran Talent Opportunities: Governor Rick Snyder

Governor Snyder will address Michigan’s efforts to match veteran talent to employer needs and make the economic case for employer participation.

9:20 a.m.

Veteran Bill Signing

9:35 a.m.


9:50 a.m.

Training Veterans for Michigan Jobs

This panel will discuss the best practices of Michigan companies and university curriculum focused on training veterans for job creation opportunities in new economic development sectors.

Moderator: Lisa Baragar Katz, Executive Director, Workforce Intelligence Network


Jeff Connolly, Vice President, West Michigan Operations and Managed Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Thomas Haas, President, Grand Valley State University
Brent Knight, President, Lansing Community College
Michelle Salvatore, Director, Recruiting, Quicken Loans

10:35 a.m.


Jeff Barnes, Director, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency

10:45 a.m.

Keynote Address: Salvatore Augustine “Sal” Giunta

Former U.S. Army soldier and Medal of Honor recipient, the U.S. military’s highest decoration for valor.

11:30 a.m.


11:40 a.m.

National Corporations Connecting Veterans to Jobs

Hear from representatives of national corporations with a significant commitment and successful experience in veteran talent programs.

Moderator: Rich Homberg, President and CEO, Detroit Public Television


Seth Bodnar,Executive, Global Locomotive Operations, GE Transportation; Former Major, United States Army
Paul Demetter, Senior Director, Regional Human Resources, Walmart
Barry Melnkovic, Chief Human Capital Officer, Amtrak
Peter Pace, Vice President, Investment Management, Goldman Sachs; Former Captain, U.S.M.C.
David Ritter, Project Manager, AT&T; National Secretary, AT&T Veterans; Former Captain, United States Air Force

12:45 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Learn About Advocacy

Learn how the Chamber is advocating for business in Detroit and Southeast Michigan.