INTEGRITY, HELPING OTHERS,
AND BEING OF SERVICE
Combined Insurance finds success
with veteran recruitment program
By Christopher W. Cook
A 2021 Best Employer for Vets in Military Times. A 2021 Best of the Best Award winner for being a Veteran-Friendly Company in U.S. Veterans Magazine.
A 2022 Top 10 Military Friendly Spouse Employer and the number one Military Friendly Employer according to VIQTORY, a data-driven military marketing company, and the publisher of G.I. Jobs© and Military Spouse© magazines.
These accolades didn’t come over-night. But for Combined Insurance, a Chubb company, which is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, the recognition comes after the organization established a military hiring program more than a decade ago. Combined provides individual and group supplemental accident, disability, health, and life insurance products, serving individuals and families throughout North America.
“[W]e’re committed to a culture and a holistic approach that is welcoming, celebrates veterans and their achievements,
and fosters trust.”
National Military Recruiting Program Manager
“We’ve hired 5,500 veterans, spouses, and family members since starting the program in 2010,” says Combined’s National Military Recruiting Program Manager William Pishotta, who spent five years in the U.S. Army, completing his service as a Specialist (E-4) with the754th Explosive Ordinance Disposal. “We are strongly committed to providing veterans, military spouses, and family members an opportunity for meaningful employment.
“The recruiting program is multi-faceted. To begin with, we actively participate in numerous veteran career fairs throughout the year. In addition, we partner with several organizations—such as the Department of Labor, Recruit Military, Hiring Our Heroes, and Military Spouse Employment Partnership—to help veterans transition into the civilian workplace.
“It’s important to note that Combined also is a military spouse-friendly employer. Being a military spouse brings valuable strengths and unique skills to our organization.”
On top of hiring veterans into the industry, the company also supports the military community through nonprofit grants and by organizing staff volunteer opportunities. “We give back to organizations such as the USO of Illinois (the state where Combined is headquartered), Luke’s Wings, Fisher House, and others; it’s a focus and commitment in which we take great pride,” Pishotta says.
Not only does the company bring veterans on board, but it also makes sure they have a successful transition to their new careers.
“It’s critical to help military members transition into the corporate world, which can be a challenging opportunity; in other words, we can’t just hire veterans and have our engagement end there,” Pishotta says. “We want to help enable a successful experience.
“Therefore, we’re committed to a culture and a holistic approach that is welcoming, celebrates veterans and their achievements, and fosters trust. First off, we encourage job candidates to self-identify as veterans when applying for a role. That’s not only important in the recruiting process, but also for support services and opportunities for the veteran once hired.
“We also offer dedicated training and mentorship opportunities for veterans. For example, team members who are veterans can participate in an employee resource group called SALUTE, which offers mentoring, professional development, and volunteer opportunities.”
A successful transition
Kyle Addy, senior vice president, sales execution at Combined Insurance, says, “Like a lot of vets, I suspect, it wasn’t clear to me exactly how my military experience translated to the private sector. Being in the insurance industry wasn’t necessarily at the forefront of my career plan.
“Veterans bring great leadership skills while also being the
consummate team players. We know
the importance of serving with integrity, particularly when our customers are experiencing tough times.”
Senior Vice President, Sales Execution
“Fortunately, I happened to send my resume to a senior leader at a local, well-known insurance company,” he adds. “As it turned out, he was a retired Air Force veteran familiar with my military role and progression and saw insurance as a perfect fit for my skills and that I could fill a need for his company.”
During his time in the United States Air Force, Addy was stationed in Texas, Colorado and Kansas. “Several of [the locations] were training assignments, so I had a bit of travel and exposure to new experiences. It was an experience of a lifetime, for which I am eternally grateful.
“My permanent duty station hosted strategic assets,” he continues. “We ran a 24/7/365 shop and had numerous deployments and alerts regularly. My role was in the logistical field, so there was a lot of planning and preparation to maintain readiness for what might come our way.”
As previously mentioned, Addy’s military skills were praised when he first entered the insurance industry; he brought over 30 years of experience when he joined the team at Combined.
“During my service, I met people from many walks of life and was entrusted with a great deal of responsibility early in my military career,” Addy says. “Our mission was clear and there was always tremendous alignment to it. Every individual and team contributed, and I knew from the start that my service counted.
“Having an opportunity to work with many skilled leaders, I learned to be strategic, thorough, and thoughtful, and to become a servant leader. The mission and service orientation I gained, as well as seeing the power of serving a greater cause, has made the insurance industry a terrific fit for me.
“The experience gained and the skills learned continue to serve me well,” he explains, “because this industry and our company have a higher purpose of offering peace of mind and helping people during times of great need.”
For veterans contemplating a career in the insurance industry, “it’s a great industry because it offers a thoughtful environment that aligns with our dedication to quality and service,” Addy says. “In turn, the sector values what veterans bring to the table in terms of commitment, operational discipline and focus, as well as diligence.
“Veterans bring great leadership skills while also being the consummate team players,” he notes. “We know the importance of serving with integrity, particularly when our customers are experiencing tough times.”
Pishotta echoes his statements. “Insurance offers a meaningful profession. We help people in times of need, and that’s a good fit for veterans who take pride in working with integrity, helping others, and being of service,” he concludes.
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