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September 24, 2015 Breakfast Program - Military Recruiting
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Military Hiring - MODERATOR Carl Kutsmode, Managing Partner, TalentRISE PANEL Erica Jeffries, Director of the IL Department of Veteran Affairs (IDVA) Mike Bavaro, Divisional Vice-President, Human Resources, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) Christine Hendrickson, Senior Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw LLP Len Harris, Director of Veterans Programs at National Able Network

When: 9/24/2015
8:00 until 10:00 AM
Where: LinkedIn
Chicago, Illinois 
United States
STAR Chicago Headquarters (312) 442-9079

Online registration is closed.
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September 24, 2015 Breakfast Program

Military Hiring

STAR Chicago Member: $40 | Non-Member: $65  

8:00 - 8:15 AM | Registration, Networking & Continental Breakfast 
8:15 - 8:30 AM | Announcements

8:30 - 10:00 AM | Presentation

NEW LOCATION: LinkedIn, Chicago, IL

NOTE: Walk-ins will NOT be allowed, you must be on the Security List to be admitted. Registration will be closed at 12:00 PM on 9/23/2015.



Ready, Aim, Hire!  Time to Recalibrate your Military Veteran Recruitment Efforts

Perplexed by the lack of direct translation of military skills and experience into your specific open job requirements?

Q: Don’t know where to begin or why your current veteran outreach strategy isn't working?

Q: Is the 7% of workforce veteran mandated hiring goal for government contractors keeping you up at night?

Rest assured, you are not alone! If you answered YES to any of the questions above, you should definitely attend this engaging panel discussion of distinguished panelists representing four, uniquely different perspectives on the hot topic of military veteran recruitment best practices, do’s and don’ts.   

Many employers take the approach of Fire, Aim, Ready as they rush into military recruiting applying their proven, traditional recruiting strategies of posting jobs, mining resumes and networking to recruit Military talent. Unfortunately, most quickly realize that recruiting military talent is DIFFERENT! ...And those that come to this conclusion also realize they need to do some things DIFFERENT in order to be successful in their overall military recruiting efforts.   

Panel facilitator, Carl Kutsmode, from TalentRISE, will pose the questions many employers committed to recruiting, developing and retaining veteran talent are struggling with today. Attendees will learn the WHY, and the HOW, so that you can recalibrate your approach and make the necessary changes to your veteran recruitment strategies to ensure future success. Please be sure to come prepared with your most pressing questions so that we can make this discussion as interactive and engaging as possible.


Carl Kutsmode, Managing Partner, TalentRISECarl Kutsmode, Managing Partner, TalentRISE

Carl is currently the Managing Partner at talentRISE, a talent acquisition management consulting and recruiting services firm based in Chicago that helps growing companies to transform their business through talent. Carl and his team at TalentRISE specialize in addressing corporate talent acquisition challenges and are often engaged as  management consultants to assess talent acquisition related business risks and operational gaps. As expert recruiting professionals, TalentRISE also provides retained executive search and managed “On-Demand” contract recruiting services to help employers meet the rapidly changing talent needs of their business. Through a Partnership with, TalentRISE provides solutions to employers seeking to optimize their military veteran recruitment efforts.

Carl is a graduate of Loyola University with a B.S. degree in Psychology. In 2010 he was awarded the Staffing Management Consultant of the Year award by the Chicago Area Minority Recruiters association. He  has been an Invited speaker and corporate trainer at numerous industry related events, trade shows and private corporate annual meetings including topics relevant to talent management operations, recruiting best practices and trends.

In his off hours, Carl’s passion for helping employers and job seekers connect effectively extends to his volunteer work with the STAR Chicago as an active volunteer and past board member. Carl also serves on the Chicago Leadership Advisory Board for which helps new immigrant professionals successfully navigate a US Job search in order to secure meaningful employment in their professions. In 2013 Carl was asked to join the corporate advisory board of the Center for Research and Service at Illinois Institute of Technology to provide market insights into future corporate talent management trends and best practices.


Erica Jeffries, Director of the IL Department of Veteran Affairs (IDVA)Erica Jeffries, Director of the IL Department of Veteran Affairs (IDVA)

Director Erica Jeffries Erica Jeffries was announced as the Director-designate for the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs by Governor Bruce Rauner on Jan. 16, 2015, and was confirmed on March 19 by the Illinois State Senate.

An Army veteran, Jeffries comes to the IDVA with over fifteen years of corporate, government, and military experience.

In the corporate world, Jeffries joined Exelis Inc., a global aerospace and defense corporation, as a Corporate Executive in June 2012 and was the Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer for the more than 10,000 Exelis employees worldwide. While there she was responsible for all training, learning and development relating to diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. She also developed and led the Leveraging Military Leadership Program, Exelis’ signature corporate philanthropy program.

In government service, Jeffries served as a White House Fellow (2010-2011), and worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where she focused on building domestic and international public-private partnerships. Her primary role was in developing investment strategies with international corporations to provide sustainable solutions at the state and local levels. She later received an appointment to serve as the Senior Advisor to the EPA Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to her White House Fellowship, Ms. Jeffries was an Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton where she specialized in defense strategy and national security policy supporting government clients both domestically and internationally.

Following her graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Jeffries served as an active duty Army aviation officer. She was a platoon leader and an Executive Officer in an Aviation battalion as a UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter pilot, and later as the Assistant Secretary of the General Staff (ASGS) for all of III Corps and Fort Hood, one of the Army’s largest installations. Ms. Jeffries was medically retired in 2003.

Jeffries holds a Bachelor of Science in International Relations and Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point; a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; and a Master of Business Administration from the Pamplin School of Business at Virginia Tech University. Jeffries established her home in Illinois in 2014 and currently resides with her family in Chicago.

Gordon Paisley, Talent Committee Chair, United Airlines

Gordon is the Talent Committee Chair for United Airlines’ Veterans Business Resource Group, United for Veterans.  In this capacity, he leads United’s veteran recruitment strategy in conjunction with Talent Acquisition.  He is also the Program Manager for a multi-year efficiency, process improvement and cost-reduction initiative within HR at United Airlines.  This role includes leading a team of project managers running a range of projects within and across HR.  Gordon joined United Airlines as Black Belt in September of 2006.  At United he has led process improvement/efficiency projects in Purchasing, Revenue Management and Maintenance.  He has also worked in Recruiting as a services manager for global recruiting and manages United global mobility program.


Prior to coming to United, Gordon worked as a Black Belt and global process owner at GE Insurance Solutions.  Gordon has also been the manager of project management at Nexterna, a technology startup company in Omaha, Nebraska.

Gordon served in the US Navy as a submarine warfare officer in Norfolk, Virginia and as the Command Center program manager at the US Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska.


Gordon received a BA in International Relations from American University and an MBA from the University of Nebraska.

Christine Hendrickson, Senior Partner from Seyfarth Shaw, OFCCP ComplianceSyfarth Shaw, LLPChristine Hendrickson, Senior Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Christine Hendrickson is senior counsel in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where she is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment OFCCP Compliance, Affirmative Action & Diversity Team.

Ms. Hendrickson assists clients of all sizes and industries in matters involving OFCCP proceedings, including audits, enforcement actions, and other litigation. Ms. Hendrickson also works with clients to revamp their personnel practices; build “best practices;” and ensure compliance with mandates impacting recruitment, hiring, promotion, compensation, performance evaluation, discipline, and termination. In addition, Ms. Hendrickson provides strategic advice and counseling to employers on diversity programs, reductions-in-force, pay equity and employment compliance diagnostics. She also represents employers in a range of litigation matters challenging pay, promotion, hiring, and other personnel decisions.


Len Harris, Director of Veterans Programs at National Able NetworkLen Harris, Director of Veterans Programs at National Able Network

Len Harris recently joined National Able Network as the Director of Veterans Programs. Mr. Harris is responsible for oversight of the Veterans services programs, including the development of training and services to assist clients in setting goals and overcoming barriers to employment. He also works in collaboration with local companies to develop placement leads, and support Veteran employment with retention services.

Len HarrisMr. Harris retired from the U.S. Army as a Command Sergeant Major in 2014 after 22 years of military service. In his role as a CSM, he was a trusted advisor to senior leadership, and a coach and mentor to the service members throughout the organization. Mr. Harris’ military specialty was public affairs, where he led internal communications initiatives as well as outreach efforts within the civilian community.

Len HarrisMr. Harris’ military career spanned four continents.  He had multiple assignments to Asia, Europe and Central America, and deployed in support of operations in South America, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Egypt. He also deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in 2006-2007 during “The Surge”. His final assignment was as Command Sergeant Major for the 24th Press Camp Headquarters at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Ms. Harris earned a BA in Theater Arts from San Jose State University, and an MBA from Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, Arizona.



NOTE: Walk-ins will NOT be allowed, you must be on the Security List to be admitted. Registration will be closed at 12:00 PM on 9/23/2015.

Event cancellations must be received by email to, 3 full business days in advance to qualify for a refund.