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Zayo’s Veterans Apply Skills On the Job and in the Community

Zayo has a long-standing commitment to veterans, actively recruiting and hiring former military personnel. “Our experience with veterans is that they bring high levels of leadership, integrity, discipline and a focus on teamwork to the job,” said Dan Caruso, Zayo chairman and CEO.

Zayo’s veterans are also actively engaged in the community. That’s the case across our U.S. offices, with veterans volunteering their time to organize events and lend their leadership to veteran groups, local universities and community organizations.

Boulder Veterans
From left:
Jim McGuirk, Erik Thomson, Ben Kraus

In Boulder, Erik Thomson, senior director – strategic partnerships, is working with a University of Colorado Boulder Chapter of Boots to Suits. The program is designed to help veterans transition from the military to the classroom and then from the classroom to the workforce. The launch event for this program will be held at Zayo’s headquarters later this year, and will include veterans, volunteer mentors and businesses.

“The transition from the military back to school, jobs and civilian life can be very challenging,” said Erik, who served in the Marine Corps, was deployed to Afghanistan as a sniper platoon commander and promoted to an operations captain. “Our goal is provide the resources, mentoring and specific support our fellow veterans need to make a successful transition.”

Erik and colleague Jim McGuirk, a former NCO for the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, deployed to Iraq, and now senior manager of training and development for Zayo, are also involved in a new Department of Defense Technology Accelerator MD5. The accelerator is leveraging technology expertise from across the country to develop solutions to disaster relief and humanitarian assistance in dense urban environments. MD5 includes experts from defense and aerospace leaders across the national.

Tulsa Strong
Front Row (from left): David Kirwin, Kederick Grant, Troy Taylor, Brian Karl, Allan Adkins. Back Row (from left): Stephen Vaca, John Howison, Phil Akridge, Antony Lauderdale, David Tobin, Robert Terry, Blake Barnhouse, Frank DeLung, Crosby Lanham

Jim, who earned a mechanical engineering degree from the University of California and an entrepreneurship certificate from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, speaks regularly at veterans’ events, including Vetcon in Silicon Valley and the dedication of the Pleasanton, California, Veterans Memorial. He’s also involved with Team Rubicon, a team that deploys veterans with first responders in disaster situations. The team is currently involved in hurricane relief in Dominica and Puerto Rico.

“One of the greatest takeaways from being in stressful situations with like-minded peers is that you quickly learn how important community is and how powerful it can be when focused on a shared mission,” Jim said.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Zayo’s veterans are involved with local veterans organizations, including the Veterans Resource Center and the American Legion, an organization that supports active military and their families. Among other activities, the veterans have organized a holiday toy drive.