Here’s a little bit of uplifting news to kick off the year. Specialty chemicals provider, Nouryon, has partnered with New York-based American Corporate Partners (ACP) to provide mentorships that assist post-9/11 veterans transition from active military duty to civilian careers. The U.S. Department of Defense estimates that approximately 200,000 members of the armed services exit active duty each year and transition to civilian life. These veterans are highly skilled and educated, but are not always accustomed to working in the private sector. ACP and its partners provide one-on-one mentoring, networking and online career advice to help returning veterans and active-duty spouses find their next careers.
I reached out to Nouryon to learn more about this partnership. Regina Tracy, Head of Communications, Americas and Performance Formulations, told me that this alliance with ACP is a great fit for their company. Working with veterans who are poised to enter civilian life supports the continued development of Nouryon’s high-performance culture, and makes for a collaboration that benefits both organizations, especially in the areas of STEM. “It makes really good sense for us to help high-performing military personnel transition into high-performing business roles,” she said.
ACP Chairman and Founder, Sidney Goodfriend, said of the partnership, “Adding Nouryon to our list of partners is exciting and important. Nouryon is a world-class organization with leaders in a wide variety of business careers, including management, chemistry, logistics, engineering and manufacturing. Their skills can help our veterans further their careers through one-on-one mentoring.”
Heading up the mentoring program at Nouryon is John Callaway, Project Manager and Director of the company’s Veteran Network Program. A retired Navy Captain himself, Callaway joined Nouryon a little over a year ago. He was mentored during his career transition by Nouryon’s Chairman and CEO, Charlie Shaver, who had become acquainted with Goodfriend and his mentoring program. As a mentor, Shaver was able to connect Callaway with a number of business contacts, ultimately leading to Callaway’s new role at Nouryon.
As someone who has received the mentorship himself, Callaway has a unique perspective on the value that the ACP brings. “The differentiator for the American Corporate Partners program is its direct access to business leaders. The program is able to connect people that do not have any business contacts with a network that can help them find their way,” he said. Callaway is excited that Nouryon is taking its relationship with ACP to a corporate sponsorship level, which essentially means the company will offer 25 mentors from within the organization, as well as a donation to ACP to fund their efforts.
According to Callaway, veterans offer unique skills and qualities that will be beneficial in the corporate world. Many vets have literally been battle tested. “We tend to have a lot of leadership experience at a younger age. We have a lot of deployed experience – have travelled internationally – and have an expeditionary mindset of having to work with the people around us, be it international partners or host countries. We are also familiar working with a defined end state, a short timeline and without many resources. We have had to make decisions and prioritize.”
What a great program! If your company is interested in learning more about ACP’s Veteran Mentoring Program, click here.