As one of its diversity initiatives, Pepper Hamilton LLP has established a Veterans Affinity Group, dedicated to representing those at the firm who have served their country as members of the U.S. armed forces.
With 22 active members, the immediate mission of the Veterans Affinity Group is to support military members (veterans, active-duty personnel, and reservists) with a program that is designed to:
Pepper's Veterans Affinity Group Chair Jon Kane called to order the group’s first meeting, which took place in Philadelphia on March 13 and included a combination of veterans and immediate family members of veterans. Kane says he has confidence that the members will exhibit passion for the group and its efforts and continue to demonstrate the traits of duty, honor, service, leadership and teamwork they learned in the service as they contribute to the Pepper team.
“As each person in the room introduced themselves and told their story, I was astonished by the collection of incredibly interesting and extremely important things they’ve done in the military,” says Kane. “In addition to having a personal interest in learning more about each one of them, it was clear to me how beneficial their experiences and expertise could be to Pepper.”
Kane served as a special operations officer in the U.S. Army and served a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1971. Through the Veterans Law Clinic at Widener University Law School, Mr. Kane represents disabled veterans pro bono before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Affinity Group Vice Chair Desa Burton is a senior associate in Pepper's Intellectual Property Practice Group. She served nine years in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Navy Reserves, and is a board member of the Veterans Bar Association.
"Looking back, attending the U.S. Naval Academy was one of toughest, most challenging, events in my life and serving in the military definitely shaped the person that I am today," says Burton. "Practicing at a firm that allows me to share my experiences with other veterans from many different backgrounds allows me to give back to the firm in a unique way and brings me closer to my colleagues."
The Veterans Affinity Group is one of many diversity initiatives sponsored by Pepper Hamilton's Diversity Committee to build and strengthen relationships within the firm between people from diverse backgrounds. The Diversity Committee believes that if you bring people together from different backgrounds under a common interest, you will strengthen an already inclusive environment.
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