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.
Mike Espinda honorably served many years on active duty with the Indiana Army National Guard. Mike is a special disabled veteran and enjoys serving those who have served alongside him and fought for our country’s freedom. As an Employment Transition Manager, OJRV enables him to assist veterans, service members and military families in seeking meaningful employment by discussing transitional issues, networking, resume writing, interview techniques, employer connections and providing one-on-one coaching support to graduates in overcoming barriers to gain meaningful employment.
After a successful military career, 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. Mike 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 many leadership development courses to further his leadership skills. Mike earned his BS 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). Mike volunteers for the Indiana Blue Star Salute where he serves as Secretary. While away from the office, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, is an avid bowler, enjoys golf, camping, wood working, and other outdoor activities.
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.
Darron Hardy serves as Operation: Job Ready Veterans Employment Transition Manager. He honorably served in the United States Army Reserves for 33 years and 10 months which is inclusive of seven years of active duty. He retired at the rank of Sergeant Major. His last two roles of leadership include Directorate Sergeant Major and Interim Command Sergeant Major. Over the past 5 years, he has served in various roles within state and federal military programs for career readiness counseling and Veterans Administration benefits. Within these roles, he was responsible for providing Army National Guard service members and their families the knowledge and skills to achieve their civilian career goals through employment and education opportunities. Instructed Service members and dependents on all VA benefits and programs for which they may be eligible in a group setting and one-on-one individual assistance appointments. In addition, he mentored new team members as part of their onboarding and orientation.
Darron earned his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and his MBA in Human Resources Management from Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He earned a certificate in Project Management from Villanova University, and Business Administration and Human Resources Management from Colorado Technical University. He completed the VA’s Training, Responsibility, Involvement and Preparation of Claims (TRIP) Program.
His focus is to ensure that the service demographic always receives the best service possible to further their lives both personally and professionally as it relates to known resources and tools for success.
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.
Ryan Lonergan serves as Operation: Job Ready Veterans Employment Transition Manager
in Brillion, Wisconsin. Ryan has served the military and veteran community of
Wisconsin for the last 13 years in various capacities, including working for the
Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veteran Outreach and Recovery Program
and assisting homeless military and veteran population throughout the state of
Wisconsin with homelessness, AODA, mental health, transition assistance, education,
employment, VA claims, suicide prevention, and community services. Ryan has worked
alongside county veterans service officers, student veterans, and nonprofits focused on
leadership and development. For the last two and a half years, Ryan was a DoD Career
Readiness Counselor for the Wisconsin National Guard assisting with employment and
financial literacy skills for service members, veterans, and families.
Ryan served honorably in the Wisconsin Army National Guard for six years. Ryan was
an infantryman with A Co. 2-128 th INF RSTA, deployed to Iraq in 2009-2010 with A. Co
132 nd BSB. He then reclassed after deployment to ammunition specialist. During and
after service, Ryan attended college using his VA education benefits and earned two
technical diplomas in welding, an associate degree in criminal justice, and a Bachelor of
Science degree in sociology with a minor in criminal justice; additionally, he is 19 credits
from his Master of Social Work degree.
Ryan’s certifications include VA claims, both in Wisconsin and nationally, and he is also
QPR certified. Ryan is extremely active in his local military and veteran community in
Wisconsin. Ryan is the former director of Dryhootch Rock County, former president of
Desert Veterans of Wisconsin-Fox Valley Chapter, and former senior vice commander
of VFW Post 2778. Ryan was awarded the Future 15 Award in 2019 as one of the top
15 Young Professionals in the Fox Valley in Wisconsin. When Ryan isn’t helping his
fellow veterans, he is spending time with his four-year-old daughter, Ava, working out,
or practicing at the shooting range.
James Rogers serves as Operation: Job Ready Veterans Employment Transition Manager for the state of Kentucky. His role allows him to assist veterans and their families who are seeking gainful employment by working with the veteran to overcome employment barriers and build career goals. James will assist with the veteran`s transition into civilian employment by providing guidance on networking, interview strategies, and resume writing as well as one-on-one coaching.
James served honorably in the U.S. Navy as a Master-at-Arms, then became a Command Career Counselor and Education Services Officer where he worked with sailors to meet their military career goals. He was in the Command Career Counselor role for the remainder of his Navy career. Upon transitioning out of his active-duty role, James found it difficult to obtain meaningful employment. He worked in manufacturing and logistics while in college. James obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration then continued to obtain his MBA.
Since obtaining his MBA, James has worked within the community through non-profit and grant programs focusing on employment resources for veterans and youth with barriers. He has held various functions including: Veterans Outreach Coordinator, Youth Talent Development Specialist, and Career Transition Specialist over the past 6 years. James understands the difficulties that veterans face when transitioning out of their military career and is eager to assist other veterans through their transitions.
James is also a proud father and husband to his Wife and four children. He vows to raise his children with compassion and integrity, and to instill in them the will to help others in need. He also enjoys extracurricular activities; his favorite family activity is kayaking. James also enjoys his role as a youth travel softball coach. James embraces the opportunity to work with fellow veterans and their families.
Recently welcomed as an Employment Transition Manager, Deborah continues to serve in the Air Force Reserves. She honorably served on active duty initially as a medic and then Boom Operator for the past 11 years, before being commissioned as a Chaplain Candidate. An ongoing passion for Deb is to encourage resiliency and spiritual strength among Veterans and their family members. She is excited about facilitating opportunities for Veterans and their loved ones, as they seek community resources and meaningful employment while overcoming transitional challenges.
Additionally, Deborah joins the team with a background in Music, Education, and Divinity possessing both Bachelor and Master level degrees in Music. Her education allowed for opportunities to teach at Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne, and Elmhurst University. Currently, she is completing her Master’s in Divinity with a concentration in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling. Deborah seeks to humbly and compassionately provide for: Veterans, family members, and current service members. She enjoys serving in the community, with her local church, and volunteering. She is a member of Team Red White and Blue, I Run for Michael, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion. Deborah and her family live locally, and enjoy the outdoors, aviation, and travel.
Jocasta Weber serves as the Administrative Assistant for Operation: Job Ready Veterans. Jocasta brings over 15 years of knowledge and experience with a healthcare background. She has served on many different sides of the healthcare field helping others in different ways. She has 3 years of Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery Services, 10 years of patient care, and 7 years of Healthcare Administration.
Jocasta attended Ivy Tech Community College and finished with an Associates in Business Administration with the concentration of Human Resource and a Technical Certificate in Accounting. She is very driven, dedicated and passionate about serving service members, veterans and their family members. Her leisure time is spent with her family, baking, cooking, drawing, hiking and listening to live music.
John Zeigler has been associated with Operation: Job Ready Veterans (OJRV) since 2015. John’s current role as an Employment Transition Manager for OJRV allows him to work directly with Veterans and their family members to get them much needed assistance. Whether that assistance is educating clients on career enhancement skills, linking them to community partners, assisting with resume development / interview preparation or providing employer introductions John continues his passion of serving others. He also serves as a recruiter for candidates to attend our monthly Indianapolis-area transition seminars by frequenting community partner events, networking opportunities and job fairs.
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 and overseas. He has a Bachelor’s in Computer Science from Monmouth College (IL) and earned a Master’s in Adult Education from Kansas State University. John continues giving back to the community through numerous coaching and volunteer experiences – most notably with his annual involvement coaching volleyball at Avon High School, Ben Davis High School, and with the Circle City Volleyball Club. His family includes his wife (Stephanie) and three boys (Jarrod, Alex, and Quin). John also supports veterans through his active involvement in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Wish 4 Our Heroes, and Team Red White & Blue.