There isn’t just one attribute. There are many.
Determination. Integrity. And purpose – to name a few.
All are at the core of how veterans approach their work. All are valued by Regions Bank. And all are reasons why Regions is doing more to serve as an employer of choice for military members when their time in the active service concludes.
Recently, Regions was recognized as a 2021 Military Friendly Employer by Military Friendly®, an organization that measures the commitment of companies to create professional opportunities that leverage military experience.
Consider the experiences of Chace Watson and Rishika Blevins. Both were searching for the right fit as they moved from military careers to the private sector. Both found it at Regions.
From his home office in Atlanta, Watson – a Navy veteran who served as a cybersecurity expert for the National Security Agency – discussed a three-month fellowship with Regions Bank that he secured through Hiring our Heroes.
“I wanted to use my cybersecurity experience in support of the private sector,” Watson shared. “One of the best places to do that is with the financial sector. There is a lot of focus, funding, and research and development going toward protecting bank customers, and I wanted to help out.”
The fellowship led to a full-time job with the bank.
“When my search had come down to a company in Maryland and then Regions, honestly, I really wanted to pick Regions,” he said. “I was fortunate Regions wanted me also. Once Regions gave me the green light, it was a no-brainer.”
From her home in St. Louis, Blevins shared how she and her husband moved to the Midwest after she concluded her service as a financial management technician for the U.S. Army at Fort Drum in New York.
“I had my degree in finance, and I’ve always been interested in the banking world,” Blevins explained. In the Army, her role focused on financial services for military members. In St. Louis, she now shares her experience with Regions customers as a financial relationship specialist.
Like Watson, Blevins saw potential for growth.
“I really like the risk-management aspects of the business, specifically the investigation of fraudulent activities,” she said. “I feel like I have a knack for catching a fraudulent transaction if someone brings in a suspicious check or something that doesn’t seem quite right. That’s an area that I’m interested in focusing on.”
Along the way, Blevins and others have access to mentors within Regions who help veterans immerse themselves in the company. The mentorship program is called Building Regions’ Associate Veteran Experience – or BRAVE. Regions plans to expand the program in 2021 to include military spouses as well.
Blevins’ mentor in the BRAVE program is a fellow veteran, Les Amidon, who served in the Air Force for over 20 years. Amidon has now been with Regions for 12 years and is a learning and development administrator for the bank’s Human Resources group in Birmingham.
“The program is tailored to each person and their needs and goals,” Amidon said. “We sit down at the beginning and set objectives for the mentorship. Our focus is to help associates not only in the current roles they are in, but also to give them an eye to the future.”
That can mean connecting veterans with business groups across the company, including discussions with senior-level executives to chart a course for professional growth. It also means ensuring veterans have connections, like Amidon, who understand what it means to have served and who made the transition.
“One of the things we do well as a nation is train our people to go and serve. But what we don’t do very well is help them come back,” Amidon said. “Anything we can do to help our veterans transition into the workplace environment – and have someone they can talk with and relate to – I think makes a significant difference.”
Amidon, Blevins and Watson all agreed veterans offer unique skillsets.
“When it’s time to get something done; we get it done,” Blevins said. “When I’m told to do something, it’s, ‘Okay; got it. I’ll get it done.’ That’s something I bring from my military side.”
Watson said another benefit is leadership experience.
“For me, starting off in my first role as an officer, I had a division of 100 sailors,” he said. “Understanding and learning your leadership style early on is something that’s unique. I probably wouldn’t have received that if I’d joined the private sector right after college.”
Both Blevins and Watson joined Regions at a time when workflows and office setups were being adapted to meet the challenges of COVID-19. While Watson’s role has him working from home amid the pandemic, he thinks back to his fellowship in Regions’ Midtown Atlanta offices in 2019. Leading up to Veterans Day, he had an experience that was entirely unexpected – and still leaves an impression.
“People who worked around me knew I was, at the time, active-duty military,” Watson said. “They all made cards for me and cupcakes and had a small party and lunch for me as a surprise. And it really hit me – it’s just what they wanted to do. It was genuine. And that was one of the main reasons I decided Regions was the place for me.”
Here at Regions itself, my mentorship is very helpful. Those are connections I’ll have for a lifetime.
Rishika Blevins, Regions financial relationship specialist
Watson and Blevins now find themselves sharing their experiences with former military colleagues who are looking ahead to their own transitions to the private sector.
“I always tell people to make use of the resources that people are willing to offer because there are so many people who offer résumé building, interview techniques, career fairs and more,” Blevins said. “And here at Regions itself, my mentorship is very helpful. Those are connections I’ll have for a lifetime.”
“When you become the kid who makes it, you become the number-one resource for different people,” Watson added. “In the military, everything has a very clear path, but career paths in the private sector aren’t always so clearly laid out. So I help people figure out what areas may be the best fits for them.”
The intangibles ingrained by military service help veterans at Regions make a distinct difference.
Still serving. Still helping. With determination, integrity and purpose.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $145 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,400 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.
Bring Your Whole Self to Work
Regions Bank has a passion for creating an inclusive environment that promotes and values diversity of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sex, pregnancy, and many other primary and secondary dimensions that make each of us unique as individuals and provide valuable perspective that makes us a better company and employer. More importantly, we recognize that creating a workplace where everyone, regardless of background, can do their best work is the right thing to do.
Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans
About Military Friendly®
Military Friendly® is the standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefit for the military community. Only about 15 organizations competed for the Military Friendly® designation upon its founding in 2003. Today, that number is over 1,500. Military Friendly® ratings are owned and produced by Viqtory, Inc., a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business founded in 2001. They are not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Department of Defense or the federal government. The data-driven Military Friendly® lists and methodology can be found at www.MilitaryFriendly.com. Data calculations are evaluated for completeness and accuracy by Ernst & Young.