The VALOR Program: Helping Veterans Transition into Business, Civilian Life

The VALOR Program: Helping Veterans Transition into Business, Civilian Life

In honor of Veterans Day (Nov. 11), we would like to recognize one of our integral veterans’ programs, the Veterans Advancing Leading and Optimizing Results (VALOR). Our company employs more than 400 veterans, so it is imperative to foster initiatives such as this. Making the transition from military service to the corporate world and civilian life can prove challenging for many service members, but with VALOR’s assistance and resources, these veterans thrive at work, home and in the community.

From our company: Thank you to all veterans for your service and sacrifice!

A Resource for Veteran Employees

The VALOR program is designated as the primary veteran employee resource at our company and serves veteran employees transitioning to a post-military career. VALOR does this by assisting their integration into the company culture through mentorship, empowerment and building community.

It further accomplishes this by focusing on three objectives:

  • Onboarding -- Partnering with Human Resources and Staffing departments, VALOR supports veteran employees through the initial transitional period in adapting to our company’s workforce and culture. 
  • Development -- VALOR hosts engaging professional networking, training, and mentoring events and opportunities throughout the year to build community and share knowledge across our organization. 
  • Outreach -- Through our Community Relations department, VALOR members collaborate and give back through outreach to local service organizations, veterans and their families.

VALOR History

VALOR was founded in 2018 by company employees Hector Padilla and Daniel Dietmeyer, in collaboration with colleagues Sara Langill and Mary Elliott, to address the three aforementioned primary objectives in the military community and company at large.

I believe in giving back to people and have a profound sense of responsibility to the military community,” said Dietmeyer, Senior Engineer System Protection, Automation & Control Engineering at SDG&E. “I was brainstorming new ways to give back and was invited to begin working with a small group of company veterans and the Diversity & Inclusion Manager to explore our ideas. What became of those meetings turned into two of us taking these ideas forward and founding VALOR for SDG&E.”

Dietmeyer also takes pride in the community outreach and service work that the program is widely recognized for.

One of the most memorable projects I have worked on through VALOR has been a food distribution event at the ASYMCA,” Dietmeyer said.  “We organized a large group of company employees, VALOR leadership, executive sponsorship and some family members to volunteer time in bagging and distributing groceries to local and needy military families. It felt fantastic to provide a smile, some care and a few groceries to families that were in real need, despite their commitment to serving our nation.”

With the holidays approaching, VALOR will be working hard to support the military community via toy and food drives, executive partnerships and volunteer work. What’s astounding is that these folks continue their service work long after their military duty is completed. And this sense of responsibility and leadership remains at the forefront of their lives.