Gene Anderson serves as Operation: Job Ready Veterans Executive Director. His primary responsibility is to develop strategies to achieve company goals. These goals include developing relationships with businesses, partnering with organizations, and facilitating corporate sponsorships. He is also responsible for creating a culture in which the organization may be successful.
Gene brings a wealth of knowledge to this position after successfully serving as a regional director in the corporate environment. Gene’s dedication in serving veterans directed him on a path to work for the Department of Workforce Development, where he served as a Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER) and was awarded LVER of the Year for his outstanding service.
Gene is a United States Air Force veteran who served many years in an elite unit, which included joint operations with the various military branches. After honorably discharging from the U.S. Air Force, Gene continued to work closely with veterans in various locations around the world.
When he is away from the office, Gene spends his leisure time with his family and also serves on several veteran committees. Through his volunteer endeavors, Gene participates within numerous organizations that assist veterans and their families.
His certifications include Orientation to Veteran Services, Labor and Employment Specialist, Offender Employment Specialist Building Bridges, Promoting Partnerships to Employers, and Veteran Case Manager.
Lindsey Banter serves as Operation: Job Ready Veterans Director of Planning & Development. She is an active-duty military spouse with over 12 years of in-depth knowledge of the military culture, lifestyle, and community. Over the past 12 years, she has served in various roles within the Indiana National Guard Family Programs Department, the American Red Cross, and Operation: Job Ready Veterans. Within these roles, she was responsible for the development and oversight of the Service to the Armed Forces and International Services business lines within the American Red Cross, as well as the Warrior and Family Integration Program, which focused on educating new recruits and their families on the benefits and resources available to them. In each of these positions, Lindsey focused on intense case management for military service members and their families within all branches of service. Lindsey is extremely embedded within the military community and brings a great deal of knowledge to Operation: Job Ready Veterans.
Lindsey earned her B.S. in Business from International Business College in Fort Wayne, Indiana and her M.S. in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University in Orange Beach, Alabama. She is also a Certified Wedding Planner (CWP), earning her certificate from the Wedding Planning Institute.
Lindsey currently serves as a board member for the Indiana Blue Star Military Family Program and committee member for the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). Her main focus is to ensure that veterans, service members, and their families are being provided the opportunity to utilize all services and benefits they have earned by serving our country.
Her certifications include STAR Behavioral Health (Tiers 1 & 2), Tricare Fundamentals, Army Family Team Building Program Net Trainer Online (Levels 1 & 2), and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).
Maddie Farris serves as Operation: Job Ready Veterans Office Manager. She has served in the Indiana Army National Guard for over 11 years, just recently reenlisted, and plans to continue her military career until retirement. Throughout most of her military career she has been attached to an aviation unit, and has completed two overseas tours, one in Kuwait and one in Cuba while holding a Secret Security Clearance. Maddie has also been a military dependent, and follows in both of her parents footsteps, who combined have over 25 years of service.
Additionally, Maddie has over 11 years of human resources experience, with special emphasis in finance. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a Minor in Sociology from IUPUI.
She is currently a member of VFW Post #261, where she is currently in the officer positions of trustee and guard. When she is away from the office, you can generally find Maddie volunteering at her post, cooking in her kitchen, traveling, tending to her garden, spending time with friends, or shopping online.
Beverly Fitch served seven and a half years in the United States Army Reserve and twelve and a half years in the Active Guard Reserves. After retiring from the Army Reserve, Beverly pursued an Advanced Certificate in Baking and Pastry at Washburne Culinary School in Chicago, IL. While pursuing her certificate, she volunteered at Helping Hands, where she helped cognitively delayed adults train for the Special Olympics.
Prior to employment with Operation: Job Ready Veterans, Beverly worked as a computer lab assistant in the Compensated Work Therapy Program at Hines Veterans Affairs Medical Center. There she assisted veterans with resume writing, job searching, and interviewing techniques.
She is currently a member of the 478th American Legion, where she was recently appointed to the position of adjutant.
Beverly’s certifications include Peer to Peer Support Mental Health First Aid and an Advanced Baking and Pastry Certificate.
Beverly has a passion for helping others, baking, cooking, and, most importantly, for serving the Lord.
Mike Espinda honorably served with the Indiana Army National Guard for over 27 years of service, including 26 years on active duty. He retired at the rank of sergeant major. Mike is a disabled veteran and enjoys serving those who have served alongside him and fought for our country’s freedom. As OJRV’s Training and Recruiting Manager, he manages Veteran Employment Transition Seminars (VETS), including the coordination of VETS graduations and hiring fairs; First Impressions Workshops; and Federal Resume Workshops. Mike also assists veterans, service members, and military families in seeking meaningful employment by discussing transitional issues, networking, resume writing, and interview techniques and by providing one-on-one coaching support to graduates in overcoming barriers to gain meaningful employment.
After retiring from the National Guard, Mike served over two years as a Family Assistance Specialist for the Indiana National Guard Family Programs Department. During this time, he focused on case management for military service members from all branches of service. His duties included locating financial, employment, legal, TRICARE insurance, crisis intervention, and numerous other community resources that supported military service members. Mike focused heavily on creating community partnerships. He is deeply embedded within the local and military community and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Operation: Job Ready Veterans.
While serving in the military, Mike attended the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy to further his leadership skills. Mike earned his B.S. degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University. Throughout his career, Mike has completed numerous classes and seminars that have increased his knowledge to better support veterans within the community.
His certifications include Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accredited representative of the American Legion, STAR Behavioral Health (Tiers 1 and 2), TRICARE Fundamentals, Army Family Team Building Program Net Trainer Online (Levels 1 and 2), and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).
Sheriene Knox has over 20 years of experience working with people with disabilities; she has assisted hundreds in finding and maintaining employment that is the right fit for them. She is a board member and executive board member on the National Employment Network Association (NENA). Sheriene has also co-chaired the annual National NENA Ticket to Work Conference in 2017, 2018 and 2019 along with providing several presentations each year. SSA has published 2 success stories on people whom Sheriene has assisted in returning to work. Through the Ticket to Work program, Sheriene can provide benefit counseling, career counseling, post-employment support, job advocacy, and reemployment assistance.
Wendy Lee has over three years of experience in assisting adults and youth transitioning or returning to work. Her experience with at-risk youth relied heavily on coordinating with parents, schools, and other community resources to augment the youth’s goal of completing a high school education and obtaining employment and/or school or training opportunities. Wendy has worked at the local Workforce Development Office and has become very familiar with services available to youth and adults. She currently works with adults with disabilities who want to return to work full time to become self-sufficient. Wendy assists with understanding how benefits will be affected by returning to work and guides clients during the entire job search process.
John Zeigler returned to Operation: Job Ready Veterans after spending two years at Ben Davis High School on the west side of Indianapolis. John’s primary role as the Community Outreach Manager for OJRV is to engage potential partner organizations, educate them about our mission/goals, and promote veteran assistance. He also serves as the lead recruiter for candidates to attend our monthly Indianapolis-area transition seminars. Finally, he assists in coordinating OJRV events through consistent public engagements to identify volunteers and potential donors. All of these duties occur as he frequents area community service, networking, and fundraising events.
John proudly served over 20 years as an active-duty field artillery officer in light, armored cavalry, and mechanized units stationed all over the United States. He earned a master’s in adult education from Kansas State University and continues giving back to the community through numerous coaching and volunteer experiences. His family includes his wife, Stephanie, and three boys. John also supports veterans through his active involvement in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the 40&8 Honor Society.
Gerrie Jackson serves as the Participant Engagement Specialist for Operation: Job Ready Veterans. Her primary responsibility is to connect with service members, veterans, and their family members who have completed the Veteran Employment Transition Seminar (VETS), First Impressions Workshop, and Federal Resume Workshop and follow up on their progress of securing meaningful employment. Gerrie has over 18 years of call center leadership experience, making her a perfect fit for this position. Gerrie is dedicated and passionate about serving service members, veterans, and their family members.
Gerrie is retired from the Army National Guard. When she is away from the office, she spends her leisure time being with her family, gardening, and volunteering with the Indiana Sports Corporation.
Stacey Malani-Peterson serves as a Supportive Services Specialist for Operation: Job Ready Veterans. Her primary role is to manage the professional attire closet, which is a great resource for the VETS program and First Impressions Workshop participants to utilize to assist with professional attire and healthy living services. Stacey is also an Operation: Job Ready Veterans alumni, graduating in October 2018, and she is passionate about supporting seminar participants along their employment transition journey.
Stacey is an Army veteran, spouse, and dedicated volunteer for several military and civilian organizations for over 22 years, with 30 years of experience within the child-care and service industries. Through each of those experiences, she has gained the skills and knowledge to enhance her passion for helping others and pursue her Associate of Science in human services degree from IVY Tech Community College in 2013. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from Eastern New Mexico University.
Although Stacey is passionate about all her volunteer experiences, she is most motivated by her volunteer experience through the Army Family Programs, where she served in all volunteer positions and assisted as the unit historian for a brief time. Another volunteer position that gave her the opportunity to share her love for helping others was Kindred Hospice of California, where she served as Craft Coordinator. Stacey feels that she was able to show hospice patients and their families support through her cards with a hug inside.
Her other passions include traveling, seeking out new volunteer opportunities to help others, and crafting to include sewing, creating homemade cards, and scrapbooking memories.