Veterans in Business: From Deployment to Employment
Our veterans are trained, disciplined and know how to take the initiative. Learn how they can help your business and how you can help them. Join this panel discussion with military and veteran expert on the incentives, opportunities and strengths to hiring a veteran.
- Major General Troy Kok, Commanding General 99th Readiness Division
- Bernadette Blackstock, CEO & President, People for People Foundation
- Paul Garraty, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Vantage Real Estate Services,
- Infantry Rifleman, United States Marine Corp
Major General Troy D. Kok, Commanding General 99th Readiness Division
Major General Troy D. Kok assumed command of the 99th Readiness Division headquartered at Joint Base McGuire - Dix - Lakehurst (JB MDL) on 10 September, 2016. He previously served as the Deputy Commanding General (Support) at the United States Army Recruiting Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky. As the Commanding General of the 99th Readiness Division , Major General Kok is responsible for administrative, logistics, and facilities support to more than 44,000 Army Reserve Soldiers across a region spanning thirteen Northeastern states. He also serves as the Senior Commander of JB MDL and US Army Base Devens Reserve Force Training Area (D.R.F.T.A).
Bernadette Blackstock, CEO & President, People for People Foundation
Bernadette Blackstock is Founder, CEO and President of the People for People Foundation. People for People helps normally self-sufficient families who have fallen on hard times. Today People for People has helped over 11,000 individuals and families through her efforts. Among many accomplishments and responsibilities throughout south jersey, Bernadette is a trained Veteran Service Officer working as a volunteer at the Gloucester County Veterans Affairs office specializing in women’s issues. Bernadette is also a US Department of Veteran Affairs General Council “Accredited Claims Agent” allowing her to represent veterans before the VA Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. She is the founder of the Wreaths of Remembrance project that laid over 10,000 wreaths on the graves of our veterans in South Jersey over the past six years and co-founder of the Annual South Jersey Vets Picnic drawing hundred every year. She is spearheading a project called “Camp Salute” an affordable housing development for low to moderate income veterans and their families. Groundbreaking took place on Sept 12, 2017 on the 76 unit development in Clayton with 19 units for disabled veterans and the balance with a veteran preference.
Paul Garraty, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Vantage RES
Paul Garraty served in the United States Marines, having enlisted at age 17 with parental consent. He served admirably during two deployments, once aboard the USS Kearsarge during the U.S. bombardment of the Qaddafi regime and the second to Marjah, Afghanistan. Honorably discharged as a Lance Corporal, Paul attended Stockton University and earned a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice. He is employed by commercial brokerage firm, Vantage Real Estate Services as the Director of Strategic Partnerships in Marlton. Paul serves on the Atlantic County Veterans Advisory Board. He is a writer for OAF Nation, an online community popular with young veterans. He is currently writing novel depicting the average infantryman’s experience of Afghanistan.