Carrying over professional passion by providing scholarships to support post-military careers
Larry Chase leads Humana’s Enterprise Resiliency Office (ERO). His team is responsible for shaping an enterprise-wide crisis and event response framework across the disciplines of crisis management, business continuity, disaster recovery and emergency response. Larry is also an Air Force veteran.
Recalling his own transition to a professional civilian career after leaving his role as a military intelligence leader, when an opportunity arose to help other veterans make that same transition, he wanted to help. Larry accepted the volunteer role of Chairman of the Veterans Outreach Program sponsored by Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRI) – the premier professional association in the field. In this position, he has led development of the DRI Foundation scholarship program, which provides funds to deserving veterans so they can achieve certification in Business Continuity. The certification enables veterans to pursue a rewarding, lucrative career path, and find a new professional community after separating from the military.
His work with the DRI Foundation provides for more than the scholarships. “We wanted to remove any barriers for these individuals and provide them a path forward. While our scholarships supplement GI Bill funds to help cover expenses like travel and materials during the certification process, we also get recipients plugged into mentoring and internship programs, which will further support their career growth,” Larry explains.
In February, after working on the initiative with a team of volunteers for over a year, Larry had the honor of appearing at DRI’s Annual Conference and Awards of Excellence Gala in Las Vegas, where he announced the very first scholarship recipients. After a presentation of colors by the Nellis Air Force Base Honor Guard, Larry took the stage to recognize active duty members and veterans, then named the six individuals whose lives would be changed by the scholarships.
During the week of the DRI conference, resilience professionals participated in other activities and donation efforts supporting a food bank and local Veterans Village, which provides housing to homeless veterans. The pinnacle of the week for the Veterans Outreach Program occurred following the scholarship announcements, when an auction raised an additional $20,000 to fund future recipients.
“It was an emotional week – certainly some tears were shed. What’s more, the activities generated a great deal of attention, resulting in doubling the number of volunteers involved in the program. I’m happy to say Crystal Witt, a Program Manager on my team here at Humana, has joined the mission.”
The mayor of Las Vegas proclaimed February 25 “DRI Foundation Day” in recognition of the support DRI volunteers and the DRI Foundation provided to the community.