Mark Sullivan – Working Together for our Veterans

The description below has been selected as one of 12 finalists for the Next Generation of Government Training Summit Speaker Contest. To vote, simply sign in to your GovLoop account (Not a member yet? Sign up for free now!) and then click the big ‘Awesome’ button at the bottom of the post. Everyone is encouraged to vote for as many lightning speakers as they deem worthy, but only one vote is allowed per description per profile, so don’t forget to tell your friends to offer their support as well!

Personal Information: Mark Sullivan, Senior Workforce Policy Manager, Washington State Office of Financial Management, Office of the State HR Director

Title: Working Together for our Veterans


In February 2012, Governor Gregoire challenged her agency directors to help returning veterans transition back to civilian life. As one of the region’s largest employers, state government is uniquely positioned to support the thousands of returning heroes and their families. Furthermore, the collective resources of our HR, veterans support, and workforce development agencies offer a distinct opportunity to develop robust support strategies.

As the state’s workforce policy guy, I was tasked with organizing our ‘HR’ strategy. Most HR strategies developed in isolation are well intentioned, but neither effective nor scalable. So, instead I reached out to our partners in the state’s Veterans Affairs and Employment Security departments. Working with agency HR leaders, veteran experts, and employment specialists, we developed a comprehensive approach that utilizes our collective expertise that includes:

1. Training that emphasizes cross-departmental collaboration.
2. Creating an interagency veterans’ employee group that leverages our current veteran workforce.
3. Convening networking sessions that involve staff from partner agencies, college veteran specialists, and military transition offices.

Supporting our returning heroes, like many of today’s public policy challenges, is far too complex for any one organization to accomplish alone. The key to ‘real leadership’ is learning how to effectively share the work.

Don’t forget to VOTE for this story by clicking the AWESOME BUTTON below.

Check out the other finalists stories:

Andre J. Castillo – “The Making of a Government Ninja: The Story of How a 25-year-old new Federal Employee Created His Own Empire and Became ‘Famous’.
Michael Gale – “Nature 3.0 – Using Technology to Connect People with Nature
Michael C. Lawyer & Anthony Soriano – “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bureaucracy
Joseph Linhart – “Rethinking the Federal Family
Kerry O’Connor – “Lessons from an Unconventional Career – Follow Your Curiousity, Transform Your Skills and Become a 21st Century Government Innovator
Emily Sadigh – “Put the “Action” in Your Action Plan
Sabrina Segal – “I’m the Superhero of Information Sharing
Teresa Shea – “A Journey Into Blindness: The Blind Professional
Leonard Sipes – “Accomplishing Public Relations Goals Through Podcasting and Social Media: Demystifying the Process
Tiffany Smith – “GovWhispering: How to Be an Effective Enterpreneur in a Bureaucratic Environment
Mark Sullivan – “Working Together for Our Veterans
Allison Wolff – “Failure is an Option

P.S. Hope to see you at the NextGen Training Summit, 7/26-27. 500+ Gen X/Y govies, topics from workplace savviness to public speaking, speakers from OMB to Olympic medal winners.

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Sheila Beaudoin

This just shows how much a priority supporting Veterans is among the Government Workers – 147 views and 4 votes?

One has to wonder why this is so? Especially in light of the fact that Veterans have made (and continue to make) SO many sacrifices for the same people who now are not even interested to give them the time of day.


Peter Gayton

I from the baby boom generation and during Vietnam protests, the military wasn’t well liked. Speaking for baby boomers, what were we thinking? Most of us who had to go are thankful to come back although to this day there are impacts to those who served and their families with injury, disease, illness, poverty. They changed the law so military service isn’t mandatory. Today, we have voluntary military and the most Americans don’t even think about it, blow it off because it’s not them. What about the men and women returning, their children, family? Our society should caring compassion with action and help these people, help the most vulnerable. So, what Mark is proposing is something wonderful. I give him credit stepping up.