Celebrating our veterans
At Conduent, we appreciate the service of our military veterans every day. While observances vary in different countries at various times of the year, we’ve chosen the month of November to recognize and celebrate our veterans around the globe. Their dedication and commitment to their country and Conduent make us proud each day. Following are just a few of their stories.
Thank you to all who serve.
Dean Fennell-Connell, Royal Navy, Able Seaman, 2001-2009
Dean Fennell-Connell served as a Communications Specialist, Able Rate, First Class in the Royal Navy for eight years. With military ambitions at an early age, Dean started basic training at just 16 years of age, wanting to travel the world and explore new cultures while also developing his career. Dean joined the Royal Navy on September 17, 2001, at a time of heightened security and a nervous energy about what might happen next after the 9-11 World Trade Center attack. He participated in a variety of missions during his military career, including counter-drug operations in the Caribbean with the U.S. Coast Guard, searching for World War II mines in the Baltic, and supporting NATO operations with 18 other countries. Dean was also on HMS Newcastle when it entered Novorossiysk, Russia to become the first UK warship to dock in Russia since the Cold War. Dean has been with Conduent for more than 10 years. He is part of our Sales team and leads new business generation for Parking Management Services in the U.K.
“My military experience really instilled the values of loyalty, reliability, and the commitment to complete tasks which has stayed with me and carried over into my career at Conduent.”
Walt Frye, Army, Major, 1988-1998
Walt served more than a decade as a combat support military police (MP) officer, reaching the rank of Major in the U.S. Army. As a young cadet attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he found the military structure and discipline difficult but calls it the most formative experience of his life. The challenge was energizing and Walt found purpose and connectedness with others who shared his commitment to serving others before themselves. After becoming an MP in 1988, he was deployed to assignments that included Germany as well as combat zone operations in Panama, Southwest Asia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Walt draws a strong parallel between the constantly changing situations that defined his military career and the “VUCA” (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) in the business world. Also serving as a trainer and operator of a National Guard Leadership Academy taught Walt that the way to win in a VUCA environment is to focus on the mission, be flexible and open to learning new approaches and trust in your training and teammates while demonstrating character through honesty, respect and confident humility. In his role as the head of Business Operations at Conduent, these are principles that have translated to Walt fostering a culture of effective leadership and teamwork across the company.
“My best experiences have been working with other teammates (like my former First Sergeant, pictured here) in challenging environments to achieve unexpected results.”
Stacy Gault, Air Force, Captain, 2001-Present
In the summer of 2001, Stacy Gault decided to join the Air National Guard, following in her father’s footsteps who also served in the Guard as a KC-135 aircraft maintainer. She took the oath of enlistment the week of Sept. 11, 2001, with the terrorist attacks only reinforcing her commitment to serve. As a military journalist and now a public affairs officer, she has spent her military career telling the Air Force and Air National Guard story through photos, video and written words. In 2017, she deployed to Kuwait and Iraq, supporting ISIS combat operations by communicating the commander’s information internally and building strong relationships between U.S. and international military leaders. Currently, Stacy serves as the chief of public affairs for the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va. At Conduent, she is part of our internal communications team, delivering engaging and effective communications to our global employee base.
“Working with military members from other countries really emphasized the importance of communication and relationship-building in any professional setting, whether it’s in a combat zone or corporate conference room.”
Brent MacLean, Air Force, Staff Sergeant, 1999-2004
For Brent MacLean, joining the military was a tradition that started with his siblings. His oldest brother joined the Coast Guard and another was serving in the Air Force. Brent thought it seemed like a great opportunity to see the world and serve his country while further developing skills through training and earning college tuition benefits. He was stationed at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, but deployed to various locations throughout the Middle East and Asia Pacific following the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001. Currently as the Global Head of Conduent’s Commercial Healthcare business, Brent still utilizes the lessons he learned in the Air Force such as working hard, teamwork, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to grow.
“Our ability to handle challenges is a measure of our strength of character, so lead your team and be the better person you are to each individual in your team.”
Kelli Milton, Marine Corps, Corporal, 1993-2001
Drawn to the military to prove her toughness and grit to her overprotective parents, Kelli Milton enlisted in the Marine Corps Oct. 24, 1993. Boot camp was tough and although Kelli questioned her choice throughout her training, she wouldn’t change her decision for anything. She learned discipline, trustworthiness, facing fears, and staying calm under pressure. In addition, The Marine Corps taught her how to lead with integrity while listening to other people’s perspectives, communication, and teamwork. At Conduent, she is a Customer Experience manager for a large Tolling client, where she successfully applies her many military skills, such as managing with fair and equal treatment, developing and growing her team, personal responsibility, and learning from failures.
“I learned the most valuable military lesson as a corporal during my non-commissioned officer leadership class. The motto “Be, Know, Do” means to be the expert, know the job, and do the difficult tasks; your team will respect and follow you, and importantly, will try to emulate you. These lessons helped me grow and prosper in my career outside of the military. Semper Fidelis. (Always Faithful)”
Shalini Narula, Indian Army, Captain, 1999-2004
Serving in the Indian Army was pure passion for Shalini Narula. Nothing comes close. As a lady officer, she faced an uphill task because commanding battle-hardened soldiers was not only challenging, but unheard of during that time. With her constant mental focus “to make the mind win over the body,” she fulfilled her aspiration. She went on to join the Army Service Corps and served in counterinsurgency operations. Shalini’s “aha” moment was when she was selected to be a sharpshooter/sniper and recommended to be aide-de-camp to the president of India. In service, Shalini gained resourcefulness, situational awareness, and tremendous strength – both physical and mental. Currently a Blockchain program manager in Conduent’s Technology organization, she is well known for dependability, dynamic interpersonal skills and teamwork.
“If I were to be born again, I would go back to the services in a blink of an eye. Every fiber of my making owes itself to the Indian Army. We lived by chance, loved by choice, and served courageously by profession.”
Mario Pompeo, Army, Captain, 1991-2005
As an Infantry and Military Police Corps officer, Mario Pompeo served in both the active duty Army and the Army Reserves. He was inspired to join the Army for a variety of reasons. Fascinated by law enforcement and the military as a child, he was also inspired by Ronald Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech as a teenager and, ultimately, wanted a way to pay for college without incurring debt. The Army provided Mario a great deal of responsibility early in his career, leading approximately 200 to 250 soldiers as a company commander. He quickly learned the importance of finding, nurturing, developing and relying upon strong subordinate leaders to be effective. The leadership experience he gained in the Army has directly correlated to his role at Conduent leading the company’s global accounting function of more than 600 employees across four continents.
“I often miss serving in the Reserves. I think about the fact that I worked with teams made up of fellow Americans with diverse backgrounds who all pulled together for a common goal. The teamwork and camaraderie I experienced – that reliance on a co-worker to complete the mission – is something truly amazing.”
Ken Sumrell, Air Force, Senior Master Sergeant, 1980-2002
Ken Sumrell’s childhood interest in aviation and strong desire to have a military career led him to serving in the Air Force after two years of college. He wanted to finish his undergraduate degree and become an Air Force pilot, but life had other plans for him. While he did not become an Air Force pilot due to several circumstances, he proudly remained on active duty as a non-commissioned officer (NCO). After retraining into military personnel and finishing multiple degrees, including an MBA, Ken quickly rose through the enlisted ranks, achieving honor graduate at each level of military leadership school. This led to senior enlisted roles at the European Command Headquarters (Stuttgart, Germany), Air Force Personnel Center (San Antonio, Texas), and Air Combat Command (Langley AFB, VA) as well as assignments all around the globe. As a director of proposal management at Conduent, he leads a team that ensures all government, transportation and health services proposals are fully executed from start to finish.
“When I reflect back on my Air Force career, that truly was my opportunity to develop skills that I would need in my career as a proposal manager, such as leading diverse teams of people, time management, communication, process control, persistence, decision-making, innovation, adapting to change, and most importantly doing whatever it takes to get the job done. It was an honor to serve and I’m truly thankful to the U.S. Air Force for molding me into the leader I am today.”