Cultivating Inclusion & Belonging for the Veterans at ActiveCampaign

Anthony Papini, our Director of DEI, sat down with newly formed Veterans of AC co-chairs to talk about the importance of this community and how it fosters a sense of belonging within our military community. Security Manager Chris Ganz served as a Sergeant in the Marine Corp from 2006-2013. Jyn Kim was enlisted in the US Army Reserves MAVNI for international students who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. educational institution. She was a Motor Transport Operator in Illinois for 6 years.

Jyn and Chris both share that the formation of the Veterans of AC provides a sense of belonging for those individuals who served. Veterans of AC serves as a space to share stories and a safe space to speak. 

Why a Veterans ERG? 

Prior to the creation of Veterans of AC, ActiveCampaign did not have many resources dedicated to military veterans. Thus, it is important for those serving in the reserves or previously served to cultivate that culture of belonging and provide greater visibility and resources. As the company invested in providing a meaningful and inclusive workplace, we started to ask, “How can managers better understand veterans and their needs?” We began to explore what hiring and performance management specific to those who were in the military looked like. 

Cultivating Inclusion and Belonging 

Our community of veterans is an amazing place to hire. There are both active duty members and veterans who bring remarkable experience and qualifications. But sometimes managers overlook veterans because they don’t understand how skills or experiences from a resumé translate. We formed this employee resource group (ERG) with the intention of building greater visibility and are beginning to work on a program that helps educate managers on the experiences and benefits of veterans on the team. 

Support from people across ActiveCampaign

I was also amazed at the selflessness of Chris and Jyn. When asked why they wanted to serve as co-chairs, Chris shared, “I didn’t know what ‘ERG’ even meant prior to ActiveCampaign and was excited when I learned that groups exist for members of specific communities.” As a veteran, he wants to help build the group from the ground up and create a space for his community. 

Jyn added she wanted to get engaged with active duty and veteran colleagues. “I wanted this community to exist and had questions myself when I was on active duty.” While navigating unclear leave policies, she worked with her manager to help establish a clearer process at ActiveCampaign for military leave. She sees this as helping others who serve by educating and creating resources. The attributes and skills she learned in the military contribute to her success in the job.

The Veterans of ERG Executive Sponsor, Olivia Wong, is interestingly not a veteran. She is a strong ally who volunteered to do this because she believes in the community and had employees on her team who were veterans. She saw the challenges they faced navigating leave and integrating into the team. She volunteered to help educate and provide feedback from a manager’s perspective to establish a military leave process. In the true spirit of allyship, Olivia has also built time for employees to recharge upon return from drills or deployment.

What we hope to achieve

Employee resource groups create greater visibility for a community. They support strong engagement and help educate the broader ActiveCampaign community of the needs, concerns, and experiences of particular groups. Veterans of AC is an open space for those who served, have family in service, or want to support Veterans. As Jyn put it, “All are welcome!” 

Here at ActiveCampaign, we are honored to recognize our active duty and Veteran ACers and thank them for their service. We are proud that Veterans of AC is our newest ERG and look forward to the incredible community they and our other 7 ERGs bring to our company through cultivating inclusion and diversity every day.

Never miss an update

Comment section