Jennifer Peña is the Medical Director for Virtual Primary Care at Oscar Health. When I first met her, at a friends’ wedding, she had just finished her role as Physician to the White House and Vice President Pence, a job she took after serving 14 years in the army. She comes from a long line of servicemen and women, including her husband, Brent, who is currently on active duty as a surgeon in the Army.
As Jennifer and I got to know each other, I felt overwhelmed by her sacrifice and by her contributions to our country. But there was one thing I couldn’t get off my mind: how even this strong, experienced veteran felt widely unprepared for the transition from the armed forces to civilian life.
Jennifer and the thousands of men and women like her are the inspiration behind our new BOLD Vets initiative, which I’m proud to say we launched today. BOLD – which stands for Building Opportunity for Leadership and Diversity – has one mission: to influence, inspire, and develop the next generation of ad sales leaders by anchoring diverse, high-performing talent at all levels through volunteerism and mentorship. Veterans have incredible skills, knowledge, and experience, which all companies could gain tremendous value from, and at BOLD, we’re committed to helping them navigate this transition successfully.
For Veterans Day, BOLD Connections (our informational and speed mentoring program) partnered with the VetNet, NBCUniversal’s Veterans Employee Resource Group, to honor, inspire, educate and entertain 20 veterans by providing resources for career opportunities within ad sales.
Long-term, we hope to convert these incredible men and women into positions within the company, but we also want to show our gratitude to them and their service by offering a full day of VIP experiences, starting the morning at the TODAY Show and ending with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Throughout the day, they heard from top brass from the armed forces, from Nightly News anchor Lester Holt and NBC News’ Courtney Kube, and from our Chairman, Linda Yaccarino. We shared with them information on what our jobs are within this division, and tangible career takeaways including how to write a standout resume, interview best practices, and much more.
While our commitment kicked off on Veterans Day, this is only the beginning. We are dedicated to continuing our outreach to veterans with the mission of welcoming them into the halls of our company nationwide. We hope you will join us in honoring our veterans this week and all year long. They keep our country safe, and they make our workforce strong.
Thank you to all the men and women serving today and who have served, and a special thank you to Jennifer for being an inspiration to us all.