Sandia National Laboratories talent acquisition specialist Tony Lona, a recruiter focused on veterans and unique abilities, 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.
Lona is one of 30 national champions being 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 Lona, who retired from the U.S. 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, advocacy examples include onboarding and mentoring programs, veteran network and affinity groups, bridging the cultural gap between veteran and non-veteran 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 First Sergeant Michael Scarlett, who joined Sandia 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,” Scarlett added.
“Sandia values the sacrifices and contributions made by our service members in advancing our national security mission,” said Brian Carter, Sandia’s executive champion for the military support committee and chief human resources officer. “Our recruiting programs and passionate advocates like Tony demonstrate our dedication to those who have served our nation.”
VIQTORY, the veteran-owned business which owns and operates G.I. Jobs, connects veterans with education, employment and business opportunities. Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies and colleges use VIQTORY to promote their employment, education and entrepreneurship opportunities to the nation’s military community of veterans, spouses and transitioning service members.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia Labs has major research and development responsibilities in nuclear deterrence, global security, defense, energy technologies and economic competitiveness, with main facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California.