Each year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative recognizes the tremendous contributions of those who have gone above and beyond to help our nation’s heroes by honoring companies, organizations, and individuals at its annual awards gala.
The 9th annual Lee Anderson Hiring Our Heroes Awards Gala, presented by Toyota, returned to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hall of Flags on November 13, 2019. The evening featured the presentation of seven awards, the celebration of the accomplishments made during the past year, and honoring those who have served and still serve.
Besides celebrating the award recipients, the event highlights included a catered dinner and dessert reception prepared by Chef Robert Irvine, a Royal Navy veteran and founder of the Robert Irvine Foundation, which supports service members and first responders.
U.S. Army General Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service, along with Ed Laukes, group vice president of Toyota Division Marketing at Toyota Motor North America, gave special remarks at this year’s gala.
“Toyota has a longstanding dedication and commitment to training and hiring veterans. In fact, 5% of our total workforce are veterans,” Laukes said. “We are proud to be part of this team assembled in this room that has helped more than 31,000 veterans and military spouses obtain good jobs and employment opportunities through Hiring Our Heroes.”
Navy Lt. (Ret.) Brad Snyder served as the gala’s emcee. Snyder is a five-time Paralympic gold medalist with Team USA and a Hiring Our Heroes and Toyota Personal Branding Ambassador.
The Hiring Our Heroes awards are presented in seven categories: Overall Effort in Veteran and Military Spouse Employment; Nonprofit Leadership in Supporting Veteran and Military Spouse Employment; Post-9/11 Veteran Employment; Wounded Veteran and Military Caregiver Employment; Military Spouse Employment and Mentoring; Individual Excellence in Veteran Employment; and the President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement.
2019 President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement
The 2019 President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to Bonnie Amos, former first lady of the U.S. Marine Corps and Hiring Our Heroes and Toyota Personal Branding Ambassador.
“Bonnie is a national treasure who has helped our program in immeasurable ways. I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of the award,” said Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes and vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
From October 2010 until September 2014, Bonnie Amos served alongside General James Amos while he was the Marine Corps Commandant. Always a staunch advocate for military families, it was during this time Bonnie Amos had the opportunity to influence policies and programs within the Marine Corps and the Department of Defense.
She continues to be actively involved in the military community as an advisor to Veterans Bridge Home, advisor to Thanks USA, and a member of the Semper Fi Fund’s Board of Directors. As a Personal Branding Ambassador, Bonnie Amos works to increase awareness in employment opportunities to both veterans and their spouses.