In this article

  • Started in 2012, the mission of HPE’s Veterans Program is to “create sustainable and meaningful benefits for military veterans and family members”
  • The program focuses on dedicated talent matching, the veteran mentoring program, the Veteran Employee Resource Network (VERN), and VetAdvisor Services for veterans and their families
NA Managing Director Dan Belanger shares his perspective on HPE’s commitment to our veterans community

There are many occasions to feel proud and grateful to work in my position, like when I watched Antonio Neri talk on stage during the Discover Madrid general session about the edge-centric, cloud-enabled, data-driven enterprise of the future and how our customers and partners are using our technology to make the world a better, cleaner, safer place. Or when HPE was awarded two CRN 2018 Tech Innovator awards for SimpliVity 2600 and HPE Nimble Storage Flash. However, that sense of pride and purpose really comes home when I think about the work HPE does with its Veterans Program.

HPE’s commitment to our veterans community brings me more pride than just about any other part of our culture. I see parallels between my leadership style and military characteristics, where organization, teamwork, and taking responsibility are all important. Every time I contribute to veterans projects, I’m personally struck by the sacrifice made, not only by people in the military, but also by their families, and I’m filled with gratitude. We could never fully repay for the sacrifices made in their service, but I am so incredibly proud of the breadth of the initiatives driven by HPE for Veterans and military families to give back - even just a fraction.

Behind every business – and military – campaign there is a mission. The mission of HPE’s Veterans Program is to “create sustainable and meaningful benefits for military veterans and family members.” Started in 2012, the program focuses on dedicated talent matching, the veteran mentoring program, the Veteran Employee Resource Network (VERN), and VetAdvisor Services for veterans and their families. It’s brought HPE many notable honors since inception, and we were recently awarded Military Friendly® Company Designation for 2019 – the standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefit for the military community. This is a huge testament to HPE's commitment to veterans and their families, and I couldn’t be prouder.

Our dedicated recruiters help veterans make the transition to a civilian career. The talent brought to the company through this process aligns with so much of what we do; specialist military training, plus the dedication, discipline, organization, teamwork, and accountability that’s vital to service men and women aligns with our business principles here at HPE.

Veterans and their spouses can also take advantage of VERN - a network which offers support and benefits ranging from development programs like Vet2Tech Sales, to advanced mentoring and management courses. These initiatives make HPE an attractive employer for veterans, provide the company with top talent, and promote a culture of innovation through creative ERG offerings.

This investment in the community is one which pays back double. Not only does the community benefit, but it provides veterans with career opportunities and development, while also giving a competitive advantage to HPE. It combines corporate social responsibility with talent acquisition - truly a win-win.

Above all though, contributing to veterans programs is an experience which is both inspiring and humbling. Back in August I jumped at the chance to contribute to the Hiring our Heroes initiative which offered internships and training to people coming off active service and resulted in seven offers and three fantastic new HPE employees. Then, in November, when we had 200 of our U.S. sales managers in Florida, we took the opportunity to participate in Operation Military Care and prepared care packages. The experience was not only inspiring, but it also provided a great team-building activity for our sales teams resulting in two pallets of military care packages for our men and women in uniform. We always try to incorporate community service into every team trip, but when that service involves a military element, the reaction is always something extra special.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention our recent Home of the Brave event in November, which saw more than 400 HPE employees volunteering across 122 VA Medical Facility sites in support of Veterans Day. The engagement was amazing, but I know we can top that in 2019. 

I’ll carry this pride forward as we continue to develop our partnerships with veteran organizations. The future will see us doing more, continuing to feed the engine of diverse talent into HPE. Supporting Armed Forces and their allies plays very strongly in all aspects of my life. When my family prays before dinner, we remember and recognize what we are thankful for, and I remind my children of the gratitude we have for veterans. My family knows about my passion for the veteran community, but I was incredibly honored when HPE asked me to share my thoughts on the subject in a blog post. All employees who contribute to making HPE a Military Friendly® Company can proudly tell their children about it. These youngsters may not be able to explain the technicalities of what their parents do at work, but they can proudly say that their parents make a difference in honoring those who have sacrificed so much for our safety and our freedom.