Distinguished Service Awards Nominee Q&A

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Three Wire Systems, LLC
Veteran Business Mentorship Nominee
Dan Frank, CEO 

Question: Why do you think hiring & mentoring veterans is important for businesses and the Greater Washington region? 

Answer: A large number of businesses in the Greater Washington region exist to support the federal government, whether through defense contracting or IT services and software development and support. To that end veterans are a crucial employee base who know our market and who are prepared on day one to assist in meeting our corporate mission. But in truth veterans are important assets to any business, whether government contractors or in the private sector. The training and skills acquired in the military make veteran employees both prepared and dependable. Veterans are also successful entrepreneurs and so developing a mentoring relationship with them provides existing organizations with a pipeline of potential partners and collaborators. I’ve mentored veteran entrepreneurs for years and can say from experience that mentoring provides satisfaction both from a personal and business development perspective. 

Question: What makes your company stand out compared to others in supporting & hiring veteran employees? 

Answer: My time in active duty in the Navy and in the Reserves led to a commitment to hiring veterans when I founded Three Wire Systems over a decade ago. I knew, though, that simply sourcing and hiring veterans and then hoping to retain them wasn’t enough. Veterans have specific needs, particularly during their transition to civilian life, and I knew other companies were as interested as I in retaining veteran employees. I founded Three Wire’s VetAdvisor support services as a way to both help veterans during their reintegration and also to help companies source, hire, and retain veteran employees. I’m very proud to say that I’ve met my commitment to veteran hiring; organizationally half of Three Wire’s employees are veterans, and nearly 70% of VetAdvisor coaches are veterans or former Guard or Reserve members. I’m also proud that VetAdvisor has worked with numerous private sector companies, providing assistance in their quest to hire and retain veteran employees, and that since 2007 we’ve provided over 100,000 holistic health and wellness coaching sessions to veterans, helping them succeed in their transition to civilian life. 

​Question: What advice would you give to other companies or organizations who are looking to hire veterans or would like to install a hiring veteran’s employment program within their company? 

​Answer: First, go for it! Highly skilled, dependable, and mission-oriented, veterans are wonderful employees and will be an asset to your organization. One thing we’ve found through our experience helping organizations source veteran employees is that the most successful organizations reach out to veterans where they live. By that I mean, participate in your local VA job fairs and in Chamber of Commerce veteran outreach programs. It’s also important to provide training for hiring managers so that they understand military lingo and job descriptions. It can be hard for civilians to look at the skills veterans possess and translate those skills into the civilian workplace, but this is a problem only of language. Veterans are highly trained and highly skilled, it’s a matter of understanding how to read a veteran’s resume and translating those skills to your organizational needs. A successful veteran hiring program would therefore include proactive outreach to the veteran community rather than just posting an opening on Indeed or Monster and hoping for the best, and would also include training so that hiring managers understand military language and culture. Of course, once you’ve made that effort and have hired veterans, a veteran-centric employee assistance program would be the next step. Helping your veteran employees deal holistically with their specific behavioral health and wellness issues will help you retain those employees and will provide greater ROI on your recruiting efforts.