Union Bank is not the largest bank around. But, on any list of financial institutions based on their commitment to veterans, look for them on top. Our National Veterans Foundation has worked closely with leading corporations in every major industry. We have learned that for any corporation to create a serious initiative with benefits and opportunities for our veterans, it takes a supportive senior management and a bulldog point person who is informed, experienced and passionate.
Julius Robinson is a Managing Director of Union Bank and the Chairman and CEO of the bank’s Foundation. He is highly respected for assisting a wide network of significant community projects. His bulldog is Richard Chacon, the bank’s Director of Supplier Diversity and Development Corporate Social Responsibility, who is uniquely qualified to craft and executive the bank’s new 5-year Veteran Support plan.
Of the 3 million American military deployed to Viet Nam in the sixties, among the best and the brightest were those who brought their pre-Nam military experience to the battle. Richard Chacon was among them. Like most of us when we came back from Nam, his hair was too long and the welcome too short and not that sweet. But, quicker than most, he became an expert in a growing field—diversity in business.
America was waking up to the need, responsibility and advantages of providing jobs and business opportunities to women, minorities and, of course, veterans. In his 18 years at Union Bank, he has crafted a program that is openly copied by other banks and corporations in support of Supplier Diversity.
“Richard has achieved a national reputation for Union Bank particularly with respect to assisting veteran owned firms in becoming successful suppliers,” said Brian Tippens, Vice President and Director of Diversity for HP Enterprise and a new member of the Board of our National Veterans Foundation.
The newly expanded plan at the Bank calls for both innovative financial assistance and an outreach campaign to guide volunteerism and guidelines for the Bank’s foundation in helping veteran causes.
It has started with a series of face to face sessions with the leaders of some 19 veteran organizations comprising the California State Commanders Veterans Council and military base visits to meet with those transitioning to civilian life. Each group is asked, “How can we best help?”
The results include opening doors for vet loans from approved non-banking organizations without the stringent regulations governing all banks.
Meanwhile, a grateful veteran community has repeatedly recognized Union Bank with awards including those from the Jewish War Veterans, Vet Matchmaking and Disabled Veteran Business Alliance.
At the NVF, we’re eager to see what other companies will follow Union Bank’s lead. If you know a veteran who needs help, here’s our vet-to-vet Lifeline for Vets crisis and information number: 888.777.4443
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The worst part of war should not be coming home.