Efforts to connect military community to civilian employment opportunities hailed
Sandia talent acquisition specialist Tony Lona was named a 2022 Veteran Champion of the Year in Corporate America by G.I. Jobs magazine.
The award is presented to those who champion the recruitment, hiring, retention and career advancement of U.S. military veterans in corporate America. The magazine is owned and operated by VIQTORY, a veteran-owned business that pairs veterans with corporations.
Tony is one of 30 national champions recognized for their advocacy on behalf of America’s veterans and military employees in helping to establish and grow long-term sustainable opportunities, services and programs.
“This recognition is, by far, one of the most significant honors of my professional career,” said Tony, who retired from the Marine Corps in 2014 and joined Sandia that same year. “Being trusted to support our nation’s veterans and their families as they transition from service to corporate America is truly a profound honor.”
In addition to recruiting and hiring initiatives, Tony’s advocacy work includes onboarding and mentoring programs, veteran network and affinity groups, bridging the cultural gap between veteran and nonveteran employees, recognizing and celebrating military service within the organization and working with veteran service organizations and other community groups. Award winners do not have to be veterans.
“Tony and I met through Sandia’s Exceptional Warrior Career Development Program, which helps combat-injured service members complete their education, enhance their skills and identify meaningful employment opportunities,” said retired Army 1st Sgt. Michael Scarlett, who joined the Labs in 2021 as a deployed security professional.
“He contacted me, matched my skill sets with what Sandia needed and helped me through the interview process. Tony has a heart of gold and a real knack for what he’s doing,” Michael said.
Brian Carter, Sandia’s executive champion for the Military Support Committee and chief human resources officer, said, “Sandia values the sacrifices and contributions made by our service members in advancing our national security mission. Our recruiting programs and passionate advocates like Tony demonstrate our dedication to those who have served our nation.”