Saluting our military veterans today and every day

Susan Simpson

Adaptability, accountability and commitment to excellence are a few of the attributes our past and present service members bring to Williams.

Qualities that are well regarded in our nation’s military forces also are key to success in a dynamic workplace like Williams, said Bill Bates, a former U.S. Army engineer and manager of projects for Williams.

“Every veteran has pride in what they’ve done in the military and brings that to Williams every day,” he said. “We never quit and do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission.”

Bates helps lead Williams’ Veterans Employee Resource Group, which brings together those who have served or still serve, as well as their allies. The employee-led group’s mission is to advocate for all military veterans and service members within Williams and to positively impact community organizations across our footprint.

Jamie Conrad, also an Army veteran, said the leadership skills she developed in the military eased her transition into the energy industry and Williams, where she currently serves as a manager of contracts.

“Anybody that’s ever been in the military understands the sense of camaraderie and family you feel,” she said. “Through the ERG, we continue this support for each other. We are very service oriented as a group and are constantly working for ways to help others, not just ourselves.”

On this Veterans Day, the ERG planned and/or facilitated gatherings of company leaders and veterans across the enterprise, as well as organized employee participation in a parade in Tulsa and several 5K runs that support nonprofits helping veterans.

One of the events that employees marched in was the Tulsa Veterans Day parade with Eagle OPS, a nonprofit organization that connects veterans to resources and assistance to ensure healthy transitions when they return home from deployments.

Construction supervisor Richard Powell, who ran in a recent 5K in Houston to honor 9-11 First Responders, said he’s proud to work at Williams and thankful the company prioritizes community support and employee well-being.

“Williams is a great company for transitioning vets. Every single employee I met was willing to give a helping hand and answer all my questions,” said Powell, who served in the U.S. Navy.

Williams employees also serve as volunteers for other nonprofit organizations that assist veterans.

Army veteran William De Los Santos is on the board of the Coffee Bunker, a Tulsa meeting place for veterans and service members transitioning to civilian life.

“In our continued efforts to reach all veterans, we find it important to meet them right where they are in their lives,” said De Los Santos, business development lead for our New Energy Ventures team.  “We want them to know there is a special place to call their own.”

He said helping others is natural because many veterans have a determination and desire to do something bigger than themselves and to keep serving even when they no longer wear a uniform.