Life After the Military – CORT Honors Military Veteran Team Members

For more than 40 years, CORT has supported and honored military personnel and their families through local community outreach, including its partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation which provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members.

Supporting our veterans and military personnel goes beyond CORT’s charitable giving. CORT understands the unique skills and discipline that veterans bring to the business. Coming from different backgrounds and branches, each veteran CORT employee can attest to how they are able to take the skills they learned during their service and apply them in their role at CORT to achieve success in their post-military career.

As an Army veteran, David Dillon mastered the art of listening during his time in Vietnam. Listening was crucial as a combat platoon leader. He managed 25 individuals, all of which had opinions, suggestions and differing points of view. As a leader, David realized very quickly that it made sense to listen to his platoon members, because they often had better ideas than he did. He also knew that his decision was the final one. This skill easily transferred to David’s life and work as a designer and an architect. “If you listen to your clients and their wants and desires, it is fairly easy to pull together a design that will satisfy all parties involved in the process, resulting in a good-working facility.”

During his time in Vietnam, David realized he was capable of doing things on his own, learning how to identify problems as they would arise and come up with solutions. This experience translated to a simple recipe for success in business and in life.

Senior Software Engineer John Kirchner joined the Air Force after graduating from high school in Tiffin, Ohio, where he was active duty for four years. Joining the military opened up many opportunities for John.  After he finished active duty, he tinkered around with a few jobs, then went back to Ohio where he joined the Ohio Air National Guard (ANG).  During his time in the guard, John used the military GI Bill and ANG College tuition program, along with working two jobs, to pay for his education at Bowling Green State University in Ohio where he earned his computer science degree.

The military taught John that teamwork is the single most important thing to learn while you serve.  It is all about your team and knowing that you have their back and trusting they have yours – no one is left behind.  John has applied this during his tenure at CORT over the last 11 years.  “It is great being part of the team at CORT, knowing that everyone is looking out for each other and will do whatever it takes to get the job done right,” said John.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Charlie Dry, Distribution/Operations Manager in CORT’s Jacksonville District, learned the importance of dedication and integrity. “You learn that your word is like a law-abiding contract. When you say something is going to get done, it will,” said Charlie.

At CORT, Charlie loves the great work environment. Although he is a manager, Charlie has never been someone that sits behind a desk. His coworkers would tell you that he is a ‘roll up your sleeves’ kind of guy that will help get the work done. The military is ever-changing, and Charlie has adopted this mindset at CORT.  Since joining the company two years ago, he has updated numerous processes and procedures to make things flow and function better. He puts a strong emphasis on training and has updated training materials that he reviews with his employees weekly. In the Jacksonville District alone, 80 percent of CORT employees are Veterans, and Charlie is proud to work alongside them.

During his time in the Navy, Charlie remembers his very first supervisor telling him, “There are two things I need you to do – be on time and work hard.” This is something Charlie has used throughout his civilian career and tells everyone that works for him. “I tell my coworkers that it is very simple, and if they follow these two things, they’ll love working at CORT.”

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we salute CORT team members who have served in the military, and all veterans across this great country.

Thank you for your service!