A Mission to Serve: Making A Difference in the Military Community

with Military Initiatives Program Manager Jennifer Goodman

Guided by a professional and personal passion, Military Initiatives Program Manager Jennifer Goodman is igniting meaningful change at Aramark through the development of initiatives and programs that support the hiring, development, and retention of military-connected talent across the company.

Jennifer Goodman, Military Initiatives Program Manager

For Jennifer Goodman (she/her), Military Initiatives Program Manager, a commitment to serve veterans and military-affiliated talent was a passion long before joining Aramark. For her, this passion is personal. Jennifer is a military spouse, and her husband served for 22 years – 13 years of which he was active during their marriage. In addition, her father was a Marine Corp veteran, and her grandfather was an Army Air Corp veteran.

 

“I’ve been connected to the military community for some time. During the course of my graduate program – pursuing a degree in clinical mental health counseling – I started to gain an interest in military-connected topics, specifically how things like employment affect mental health and how we look at being able to access providers and resources to care for our mental health.”

 

Jennifer’s work in this space is inspired not only by her academic studies, marriage, and friendships with service members transitioning to civilian life, but by the opportunities she’s identified to decrease unemployment/underemployment in the military community and help military-connected individuals excel in meaningful careers. With a professional and personal focus on these issues, Jennifer began her career after graduate school as a Career Counselor for the Army’s Transition Assistance Program before eventually making her way to Aramark Services in March of 2020, where she oversaw related to military recruitment, engagement, retention, and partnerships.

 

According to Jennifer, when it comes to an organization’s commitment to supporting military-connected talent, every company has a “day one” of that journey. While she acknowledges that there are countless opportunities to expand Aramark’s impact in this space, Jennifer takes pride in the substantial strides Aramark has made over the years.

 

“For every organization, there’s always a ‘day one’ and an initial opportunity. Aramark has had a commitment to the military community for years and has lived up to that commitment in a number of ways. Pre COVID, we served as a host company for military interns transitioning out of the military. We have also been involved with nonprofit organizations like Our Military Kids. And I would be remiss not to touch on our partnership that we have with American Corporate Partners, which is a 12-month long mentorship program where over 50 employees within Aramark volunteer their time to provide mentorship to military-affiliated talent.”

 

Jennifer also serves as the Co-Chair of Aramark’s Employee Resource Group Salute. Salute supports Aramark’s overall Be. Well. Do Well. sustainability plan where people, planet, and equity serve as the foundation of our strategy. Salute, in partnership with our 10 other resource groups and our allyship network, supports our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team’s focus on workforce, workplace and marketplace. Jennifer will partner with Salute and the DEI team in implementing initiatives and measuring progress made in the attraction, retention, and development of Veteran and military-affiliated talent and their families in order to cultivate a workforce of capable leaders and contributors, build a diverse and inclusive workplace, and drive value in the marketplace by working with our customers, clients, communities and suppliers.

 

“Through Salute, we’re able to foster camaraderie between military-connected and non-military-connected employees at Aramark. We’re building awareness of the military community and the strengths of having military-connected people within our organization, as well as amplifying the voices of that community.”

 

Due to Jennifer’s unwavering commitment to Salute and the success she saw in her role with Uniform Services, Aramark promoted Jennifer to expand the initiative across the entire organization in October 2021. She is now responsible for all operations related to military involvement, partnerships, and engagement across all lines of business at Aramark.

 

“What we have now is the chance to build something that’s going to be very meaningful. It’s going to support the meaningful employment of the military, and it’s going to amplify some of the needs and areas where we can advocate for the military community and topics most dear to them. We will continue to do this through the nurturing of existing partnerships that I developed and that have been historic to the organization with military bases, nonprofit organizations, and government organizations.”

 

Jennifer believes that Aramark’s commitment to the military community contributes to the organization’s greater diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives by supporting, engaging, developing, and advocating for individuals from diverse backgrounds with unique social identities. Jennifer suggests that Aramark’s decision to empower her to grow and advocate for initiatives that serve military-connected groups speaks to the company’s emphasis on career development at large.

 

“We want to have a career path for everyone, and we want to help them get there. The great thing about that, in combination with the military community, is that it’s what a lot of us are looking for – whether it’s service members constantly looking to advance to the next rank or military spouses hoping to advance their careers while moving from place to place.”

 

As she looks towards the future of her new role with Aramark, Jennifer hopes to create a positive impact on the unemployment and underemployment of the military community through strategic partnerships and reciprocal relationships with other organizations, whether federal, state, or nonprofit.

 

“I think that once we get a foundational structure in place, we can scale it to a point where it’s going to make a true impact across all different groups at Aramark. I think the unknowing of what lies ahead, and the ability to build it, excites me the most.”

Quotation mark Quotation mark

We want to do meaningful things like foster camaraderie between military-connected and non-military-connected employees here at Aramark. We’re building awareness of the military community and the strengths of having military-connected people within our organization, as well as amplifying the voices of that community.

— Jennifer Goodman, Military Initiatives Program Manager

Have a listen

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