In celebration of Veterans Day tomorrow, we asked our team members to submit stories about what it means to work at Levy as a veteran and with veterans. We received incredible stories from our veterans and those who work with them about their years of service, their career paths with Levy, and how being a veteran has shaped them into the people they are today.
We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who submitted a story, and we want to thank all of our veterans who work at Levy for their service!
J.R. Brockman, Director of Human Resources at Barclays Center, Veteran of the U.S. Army
As a veteran of the U.S. Army, I am proud to say I was in the company of heroes. As a Levy employee at the Barclays Center, whenever we have a service member in uniform here in the arena, I always stop and say, ‘Thank you for your service.’
Jarvis Holloway, Assistant Director of Operations at Capital One Arena, Veteran of U.S. Navy – E8
Working for Levy as a veteran has allowed me the opportunity to apply my organizational leadership skills in an everyday setting that requires attention to detail, time management, and a quick action to service. I am able to interact with all levels of management and distinguished guests due to the strict discipline I received in the military from higher-level officials such as Admirals, Commanders and Heads of State. Being a leader for Levy at Capital One Arena has been effortless and rewarding. Employees respond to the everyday challenges without push back because they are firsthand witnesses of me throwing myself into a situation to help them accomplish the overall goal of Winning One Customer at a Time! I am proud to have served my country, work alongside the very best in the community as a service member and apply the first class training I received from the military to raise the level of excellence and instill pride in other Levy team members.
Asha Haywood, Human Resources Manager at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Veteran of the U.S. Army
From the beginning of my experience with Levy, the company has had a unique culture when it comes to honoring and valuing veterans. Many companies talk about hiring veterans, which is greatly appreciated by everyone who has ever served. But we don’t want to just simply be hired. We want to be brought into an organization where our military skills and experiences can be put to good use to make it a better place. Levy does just that! As a Platoon Sergeant in the Army, I was in charge of managing people. I was focused on executing a mission while taking care of my Soldiers, both physically and mentally. The managers at Levy did an outstanding job throughout the hiring process recognizing that taking care of people while getting the job done is exactly the skills and abilities that anyone in the Human Resources department or any manager should have. Because they were able to truly recognize my experience, visualize how my experience could be an asset, and honor me as a veteran, I now get to serve alongside some great people doing an awesome job with a company that I love.
Kathy Griswold, Location Controller at Wisconsin Center District, Veteran of the U.S. Navy
I still remember the Saturday in April 1985 when my mom drove me to the Navy recruiter’s office. I could have driven by myself but the Navy needed a parent’s permission to allow me to enlist and I wasn’t 18 yet. I spent my summer between my junior and senior year of high school at boot camp in Orlando Florida. I don’t regret for one minute giving up that summer; my experience forever changed who I was. I came as an adult with a very different view on life. I grew up in a rural community with no diversity. Boot camp is designed to break you then build you up together as a team. See, in the military you may be an individual, but nothing happens without a team effort. While being part of a team is something that is part of most industries, in the S&E industry, team has a whole different meaning. In addition to having the perspective of being in the military, I have also worked in many different industries including manufacturing, non-profit and retail. Since working for Levy, while I work in finance, I have washed dishes, plated food, hostess, cashiered, run product and a lot of other jobs. In order for us to be successful, we need to Win One Customer at a Time and that means stepping in when and where we are needed. Working for Levy gives me a sense of team and diversity that was ingrained in me when I signed the dotted line to become part of the U.S. Navy––and still lives in me everyday.
Samantha Fergus, Human Resources Coordinator at Oregon State University, Veteran the U.S. Navy
I joined the Navy in 2008, right after I graduated high school. I am originally from Virginia and when I saw that I could travel the world and that was my ticket out of Virginia, I took that opportunity. I served 6 years and 11 months active duty. I applied for Levy when I heard that they needed a Human Resources coordinator here at Oregon State. I got hired and when I first started, it was a transition for me. I was looking for something that I could make a living out of while attending school, but also trying to understand that I did not have to come to work in my uniform any more. I chose Levy because I like the culture that they provide for their team members and the location was perfect for me. I also chose this job because it was a foot in the door for the civilian side of jobs and to further my HR education and career. We are a small group here at Oregon State and we work hard. I like the team mentality that my Director of Operations has and how everyone does the best they can to make sure that the ship runs smoothly.
Mike Kelley, Hourly Concessions at StubHub Center, Veteran of the U.S. Navy
I joined the Navy in February of 1986. I did my basic training at Great Lakes, Illinois. I served onboard the USS Ponce (LPD-15), the USS Pensacola (LSD-38), the USS George Washington (CVN-73), and the USS Mitscher (DDG-57). I served in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield and Operation Iraqi Freedom. I saw lots of places: Cuba, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Italy, Spain, France, Malta, Portugal, Belgium, Israel, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. It was in the Navy that I learned to work as part of a team, and I try to bring that experience to every Levy workplace I work at.
This photo was taken of me at my last command, the Naval Reserve Center in Houston, Texas. It was from there that I retired after 20 years of service. I retired a Damage Controlman 1st Class.
Kristen Kull, Seasonal Part-Time Team Member, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Veteran of the U.S. Air Force
“If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out!” Lt. General Jay Silveria, USAFA Superintendent, recently delivered this message and his words resonated through social media. Levy embodies this concept and I have always felt like a valuable team member. I am a disabled veteran with over 17 years in the Air Force. Working as part of the Levy organization, I have never been given any treatment that segregates me. I have witnessed every employee – full time, part time, or volunteer – being treated with professionalism and integrity. In return, this same courtesy, equality and attitude matriculate through the entire “family.” I have never felt demeaned for my physical restrictions nor felt special accommodations because of veteran status. Levy is a great organization to be associated with because they treat everyone with dignity and respect. Everyone should experience the treatment received by this establishment. They should be the work model all other companies should try to emulate. Levy is the standard and they set the bar high.
Chris Gordon, Concessions Manager at Churchill Downs, Veteran of the U.S. Air Force
I joined the Air Force at the young age of 27. I was a chef and my nickname was Grandpa (for obvious reasons). It was hard for me to get into the military due to having four previous knee surgeries, but I was determined to do it and after three trips to medical in Columbus, Ohio I finally received a medical waiver to get in. It was very tough to leave my family especially my two-year-old son but I knew it was the right thing to do. The best memory I have is when I returned home from basic training from Lackland AF base in San Antonio, Texas. I only told my sister that I would be returning, and we went straight from the airport to my son’s school where I walked into the lunch room and he looked up at me and ran into my arms and squeezed me with such joy that his dad was home.
Working for Levy is my dream job, and being previous military has taught me many things that I was able to bring with me to my career including dedication, a sense of urgency, and compassion to name a few. With Levy, I have traveled all over the country and had the pleasure of working with many different kinds of people. You have to be able to adapt to the environment, and the different personalities of both employees and guests. I feel that being a veteran has set me up for success with this amazing company, and I look forward to many more enjoyable years to come.
Back of House Culinary Supervisor Mark (Levi) Johnson self-identified as a Veteran. We see how his military background has moved forward into his Levy career, which started in October 2014. Levi is a dedicated Supervisor that gets the job done. Levi has great attention to detail, which is an asset to the team. When giving direction in the kitchen, Levi works and communicates well with his team members, which only brings positive things. Levi remains calm when things get hectic which helps others follow suit. Levi is an asset to our team at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Senior Purchasing Manager Carol Garland served our country in the US Air Force from 1976 to 1988. During her 12 years of service she was in both a Communications and a Drill Sargent. She is proud of her military service and the accomplishments she made during that time. Carol joined Bradley Center purchasing team in 1990 as an hourly team member and has worked the last 27 years in this building. In 2005, Levy came on board and Carol’s Levy career began. Her discipline, leadership skills, attention to detail and strong communication skills has made her the leader she is today. Carol is a great asset to our team and without her dedication and hard work we would be at a loss.