Diversity is key to success

CMSgt Eric Johnson, 82d Training Wing Command Chief and Brig. Gen. Michael Fantini, 82d Training Wing Commander stand with the National Employment Disability Awareness month discussion panel planning committee. The panel was held at the Solid Rock Cafe on Oct. 29.

Planning Committee Members: 
SrA Gil Campos, 82nd Force Support Squadron (Chairperson)
A1C Christian Leon, 982nd Training Group (Co-Chairperson)
A1C Juan Vanegas, 82nd Force Support Squadron 
A1C Sibastian Bythewood, 82nd Force Support Squadron
SrA Latrice Lewis, 82nd Force Support Squadron
A1C Louvie Ables, 82nd Force Support Squadron

CMSgt Eric Johnson, 82d Training Wing Command Chief and Brig. Gen. Michael Fantini, 82d Training Wing Commander stand with the National Disability Employment Awareness month discussion panel planning committee. The panel was held at the Solid Rock Cafe on Oct. 29. Planning Committee Members: SrA Gil Campos, 82nd Force Support Squadron (Chairperson) A1C Christian Leon, 982nd Training Group (Co-Chairperson) A1C Juan Vanegas, 82nd Force Support Squadron A1C Sibastian Bythewood, 82nd Force Support Squadron SrA Latrice Lewis, 82nd Force Support Squadron A1C Louvie Ables, 82nd Force Support Squadron

CMSgt Eric Johnson, 82d Training Wing Command Chief and Brig. Gen. Michael Fantini, 82d Training Wing Commander present National Employment Disability Awareness month discussion panel guest speaker Mr. Timothy Shatto with a certificate of appreciation on Oct. 29 at the Solid Rock Cafe.

CMSgt Eric Johnson, 82d Training Wing Command Chief and Brig. Gen. Michael Fantini, 82d Training Wing Commander present National Disability Employment Awareness month discussion panel guest speaker Mr. Timothy Shatto with a certificate of appreciation on Oct. 29 at the Solid Rock Cafe.

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Last month I had to opportunity to help plan a discussion panel for the National Disability  Employment Awareness (NDEA) month. It was a great opportunity to be part of the planning process for the panel; the national campaign taught me valuable information of what makes a diverse organization unique and successful.

On Oct. 29, the 82nd Training Wing hosted the discussion panel, at the Solid Rock Café, to help raise awareness of employing individuals with disabilities. The event was conducted as part of the Department of Defense's NDEA month campaign.

The purpose of the panel was to provide information to promote the employment of workers with disabilities, and it aimed to increase awareness, mutual respect and understanding of individuals with disabilities.

Made up of employees and hiring officials (listed below), the panel discussed issues and programs relating to employees with disabilities. The event also included a guest speaker, Mr. Timothy Shatto, Texas Workforce Commission Veterans Representative. The panel was a way for myself and others to learn about the importance of a diverse workforce.

We all have something to contribute no matter what our circumstance may be, diversity only makes us stronger and better.

Additionally, the event highlighted the importance on implementing inclusive workplace policies and practices. Ensuring these practices are woven into the fabric and culture of our military organization by maintaining an environment that encourages all employees to work to their full capacity and contribute to the organization's success is a responsibility we all share.

It's about having a variety of people who make our Air Force better every single day. No matter whom they are and what capabilities they have, it is very important that we acknowledge that workers with disabilities are capable to contribute to our military organization and our beloved country.


Panel Members
Mr. Chris Alonzo, 82nd Force Support Squadron, Food Services
Mrs. Deborah Vaner, 82nd Force Support Squadron, Food Services
A1C Tray Woodfork, 982nd Training Group
Mr. Kenneth Hamilton, 82nd Force Support Squadron, Food Services Contract Manager
Mr. Phillip Cardinal, 82nd Force Support Squadron, Food Service CPK Manager
Ms. Melody Bernal, Work Services Corporation Human Resources Representative
Mrs. Sandra Brooks, 82nd Force Support Squadron Civilian Personnel Officer
Mrs. Deborah Reser, 82nd Force Support Squadron NAF Human Resources Officer