Michael Sarraille, VETTED

Posted by on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 in Blog

Reported by Jacqueline Sinex

President Dale Lowe called the meeting to order. David Palmer led the group in pledges, Nadir Abdeladim gave the invocation, and Mary Reynolds led the Four Way Test. Guests and Visitors were greeted at the top of the stairs by Carl Noble and Barry Curlee; and Margaret Curtis introduced all of them.

The club formally welcomed new member Lois Ann Stanton sponsored by Pauline Gubbels.

Past President Sherry Workman shared an update from Fulmore Middle School’s Interact Club with a “thank you” video from the students.

Past President John Braziel told us about his joy of being in the Rotary Club of Austin and especially in serving on the Scholarship Committee.

Mary Reynolds reminded us about volunteering opportunities with the Books for Me program.

President Elect Sara Pantin announced an upcoming Leadership Planning Workshop scheduled for Saturday May 13th with incoming VP’s and committee chairs.

Don Busby invited members to attend his upcoming wine tasting on Friday, May 19th, at the Circle C Community Center featuring food and Texas wines.

The Thank Goodness Basket, led by Michael Don Portman, revealed gratitude from many members. A fun presentation from six of our club’s “7 Dons” was highlighted. Don Grillo announced he is soon to turn 80 years old but doesn’t feel it; Don Busby recognized his “Don” status; Don Tompkins recollected his travel to Europe and 50th wedding anniversary and thanked all mothers for Mother’s Day; Don Ray George made a generous donation to the speaker’s organization VETTED; Don Bledsoe recognized his current age of 90 years old and how much Rotary has been a treasured part of his life; Mary Bird Bowman joined the Women of Heart Song and announced an upcoming concert; “Don” Rick Ravel recently swam in a competition and placed 3rd in his division; Pat Beckham celebrated his golden anniversary; and Dick Brown thanked Allison Allen for helping him purchase his new home.

Shannon Goad presented the featured speaker, Michael Sarraille. Shannon met Michael during an MBA program at the University of Texas, after attempting to transition from retired military service into a new career. He recognized Michael as an entrepreneur mindset who set out to “fix the problem” of veterans struggling with transition to civilian life.

He shared a video introduction about his organization VETTED.

VETTED is a Texas initiative, with an aim to solve the problem on a national level. He initially formed a team of 20 veterans to identify causes and solutions related to veterans in transition. The program is currently a collaboration of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, and others. Rice recently came on board and he expects other institutions to follow.

Most business leaders today are not veterans, and their perceptions of military vets is shaped by the movies or misled. Over 70% of existing military veterans struggle with transition to civilian life and finding a new career path. Today, veteran entrepreneurship is only 4%, a significant dive from statistics in the WWII era.

HR managers and skilled veterans have a language barrier. This prevents HR managers from fulfilling their need or desire to high quality people and it creates a big challenge for veterans attempting to locate a job, despite their skillset and character.

VETTED is the “first veteran state platform”, starting with Texas, to prove the model. Michael believes Texas is the ideal state to run this program and influence other states.

The program includes a 5-stage process. It is unlike any other program available for veterans. Sarraille cited that some available programs are simply too short and do not provide education or preparation the veterans really need to succeed. The five stages include transition and preparation, distance education, residence education, career education and more. It is a “veteran accelerated management program”. Quality persons with the right character and work ethic are ideal for the program. It begins with a 2 to 3 month application process, then a 5 month education program with a Capstone project, and a 2 month education program with other Capstone or entrepreneurial segments. The veterans who complete VETTED will be a better value to a company than employees found using a headhunter firm.

VETTED is in early stages and soon to begin a program this fall. Michael is in the process of raising funds to support the organization’s initiatives. Rotarians and people in the community can help by spreading the word.

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