“I feel like I just won the lottery.” These were the words from transitioning soldier Nicolas Carey after he received a brand-new suit at the Transition Expo in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Sarah Peterman, a member of PPD’s recruitment team, shares what it is like to give to those who serve.
As a talent advisor with the recruitment team at PPD, I have worked on PPD’s veteran hiring initiatives, such as the clinical research associate apprenticeship, but this was my first opportunity to give back directly to those who have served in our military. As a military spouse for the past four years, I know firsthand the commitment and sacrifices that service members make. When I had the opportunity to coordinate the Transition Expo in Fort Bragg on behalf of PPD, I knew this was our chance to make a make a big impact.
A LinkedIn connection first told me about TEAM ADDO, a nonprofit, veteran-led group dedicated to helping veterans and children. James Boggs, the head of TEAM ADDO, started The Veterans Closet out of Tampa Bay, Florida.
“I was on a mission to inspire others as I was inspired by others,” said James. “It became perpetual in giving back. One event lead to another and one person inspired another.”
James has served in the Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. In 2018, he will be retiring from Fort Bragg with twenty years total active duty service. In addition to giving back to veterans, TEAM ADDO also raises money for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
I admired TEAM ADDO’s LinkedIn photos and stories of those who received suits in preparation for their transitions, and I knew there was great potential to branch out beyond Tampa. North Carolina is home to Army, Marine and Air Force bases. James and I teamed up to “suit those who served” and I started my suit collection with donations from family and friends. It quickly doubled in size after I shared my intentions with my PPD coworkers. Kevin Crumrine, a finance manager with PPD, became an additional driving force behind PPD donations.
Kevin transitioned from the Air Force to a finance role at PPD in March 2016. In that time, he has worked on challenging and vital projects that directly empower our organization to fulfill PPD’s purpose and mission.
“PPD has demonstrated time and again how much they value my military background and the unique skills that come with it,” says Kevin. “Joining the team at PPD has enabled me to continue working with people passionate about improving the lives of others and has made my transition from active duty an immeasurably positive experience.”
As we prepared for the USO of North Carolina’s Transition Expo in Fort Bragg, we loaded our cars with suits and excitement, but we had no idea what to expect. Would attendees even stop by a booth with suits? Initially we were approached with hesitation with many asking, “Are you just giving these away?” Soon enough, word spread that representatives from PPD, TEAM ADDO and Men’s Wearhouse were there to help outfit each soldier with a new or gently used suit. The mission was simple: We were giving back to those who have sacrificed for our freedom.
PPD is committed to supporting the military network in the communities they serve. While we’re excited to offer dynamic careers to veterans, our work at Fort Bragg extended beyond hiring. On April 26, in addition to a suit, each solider who visited our booth received a thank you for their service and the assurance that our support is ongoing. Lea Cosentino and Brent Mann, recruiters from PPD, attendees discussed their career goals and interests as they prepare to transition out of the Army. We met individuals with diverse backgrounds in medical, special operations, radio and infantry units.
At the end of the day, PPD and TEAM ADDO fitted more than 80 soldiers, providing vouchers for custom alternations at Men’s Wearhouse.
This event was a humbling experience and a reminder of who we are as One PPD. We are game changers, working to improve health while supporting our communities.
To learn more about PPD’s commitment supporting veteran and military families, please visit our veterans and military families page.