As 2016 winds down, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish all VETLANTA members a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year and to thank you for the contributions you’ve made to VETLANTA and to the veteran community as a whole throughout the year.
It’s been an incredible year for VETLANTA full of challenges and accomplishments. This year we once again saw tremendous growth in the club. If we had the foresight to accomplish a 10 year plan when we first started VETLANTA three years ago, the progress we made this year would have likely far exceeded those long range plans. I’d like to take this opportunity to review 2016, provide updates on recent progress and cover our plans for next year.
The core of VETLANTA collaboration is our quarterly summits. If you haven’t attended a summit in a while, you are going to be very impressed with the professionalism, size & scope and the amazing opportunity available to network with veterans, members from small, medium and large businesses, non-profit organizations, academia and government. Our average summit attendance has increased from 50 attendees in 2014 to 125 in 2015 to over 275 this year.
Our first summit of the year was hosted by Turner at their corporate headquarters on January 27th. This was an extremely busy summit with presentations from Turner, Sun Trust, Georgia Tech, Coca-Cola, ESGR, Home Depot, Kimberly Clark Corporation, VYD & Associates, UPS, First Data, Southern Company/Georgia Power, Eaton, Lockheed Martin, ADP, Accenture, JWT, Deloitte, McKesson and the Georgia National Guard. My reflection on the summit was the incredible number of examples of how industry is partnering with non-profits and the government to make an impact in our community. It’s clear that with our resources, passion, dedication and collaboration, we can make Atlanta the top destination for Veterans. Having a summit at Turner was a great honor as they are a staple of Atlanta and the Turner team planned and executed this summit with military precision. Thanks to Turner for their warm hospitality.