Ep 46 Craig Jones and Terra Thrash with USAA and Kandi Tilman with Kandi Tilman Consulting
Are you a Veteran or do you know a Veteran struggling to transition to the civilian workforce? What services are available for our Veterans, Military and Veteran Spouses and Servicemembers to assist with the transition? Listen to this episode to hear Kandi Tillman, Terra Thrash and Craig Jones discuss the challenges and opportunities that face our Veterans with this transition.
Kandi is a Veteran Spouse and advocate who discussed several tools available to help such as Skillbridge, LinkedIn, and Mentoring. She also provided great insight to the nuances and differences between a Military Spouse and a Veteran Spouse.
Terra is a Project Manager at USAA and also still active duty within the US Air Force. She shared her story and the challenges as a 17 yr old recruit working her way into leadership roles within the military. She speaks to the importance of building relationships within the military and how those relationships will be important for the transition.
Craig shared his story with his transition from the Marines to now working as a Program Manager at USAA. Craig provides great perspective on why a civilian Project Manager role is a great career choice for a transitioning Veterans. He shares to “start with the end game” as advice for Servicemembers to think where you are headed and not just where you are today.
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The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a San Antonio-based Fortune 500 diversified financial services group of companies including a Texas Department of Insurance-regulated reciprocal inter-insurance exchange and subsidiaries offering banking, investing, and insurance to people and families who serve, or served, in the United States Armed Forces. At the end of 2017, there were 12.4 million members.
USAA was founded in 1922 in San Antonio by a group of 25 U.S. Army officers as a mechanism for mutual self-insurance when they were unable to secure auto insurance because of the perception that they, as military officers, were a high-risk group. USAA has since expanded to offer banking and insurance services to past and present members of the Armed Forces, officers and enlisted, and their families. The company ranked No. 100 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
Craig Jones retired from the United States Marine Corps in 2010 following his service during Operation Iraqi Freedom that resulted in extensive combat wounds.
Along with the award of the Purple Heart, Craig also earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a combat distinguishing device among his many unit and individual awards. Craig began his civilian career in the public safety sector where he led operations, programs, and projects in support of emergency first responders.
Presently, Craig is a Program & Project Manager that leads key strategic initiatives in support of governance, planning, and controls for USAA; along with leading their veteran’s employee resource group, VETNet, for the Phoenix Region. Additionally, Craig is the Founder of & Chief Consultant for Corps Consulting, the Founder of & Organizer for Vets Meet-Phoenix, and a mentor for Veterati.
A native of Ohio, Craig moved to Arizona with his family as a child and made it his home. He holds a Master’s degree in Personal Financial Planning, a Bachelor’s degree in Operations Management, and is certified as a Project Management Professional, SAFe Agilist, and in change management.
Connect with Craig on LinkedIn.
Terra Thrash has been a USAA member since 2004 and had been a USAA employee since 2010. She is currently serving as an IT Technical Project Manager II. Before moving over, she was a Senior Processor in the Real Estate department for 9 years.
Terra graduated from Arizona State University in December 2018 with a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice. She is currently serving in the United Stated Air Force as a Security Forces member. She joined the Air Force May 25th, 2004, only 5 days after her high school graduation. Terra has been deployed to Iraq once and has been stationed in at Kunsan AFB, Korea and Luke AFB, Arizona.
Terra also serves on core team for VETNET. She is the Diversity & Inclusion Lead as well as the marketing and communications lead. She is also a member and supporter of the multiple DBG groups across campus.
Terra was recently accepted into Manager Candidate School 2019
In Terra’s free time she loves spending time with her family and coaching competitive cheer.
Connect with Terra on LinkedIn.
Kandi Tillman helps organizations identify and activate opportunities, partnerships, programming and messaging that drive social impact. She is focused heavily within the military veterans space and works closely with partners to drive community engagement and workforce development.
Kandi’s background includes 20 years with Fortune 100 companies including Procter & Gamble, Henkel, Oracle and SAP across strategy, biz dev, eCommerce, brand launches & activation, solution marketing, strategic partnerships & organizational readiness.
Kandi’s husband is a veteran of the U.S. Army and with her experience in Corporate America, she and many others directly supported his 2-year transition into steady civilian employment. Based on this personal knowledge and eager to learn the landscape of veterans support, she made a significant career shift herself in 2 years ago and took a staff role with the congressional office of Kyrsten Sinema as the lead of veterans outreach.
She translated that into consulting with employers and organizations that directly serve veterans and just completed a large project consulting with ASU across all veterans initiatives at ASU, including student services, career placement, research/curriculum opportunities & community engagement.
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