STATEHOUSE – INvets announced today that Blaine Zimmerman has been promoted to executive director. This decision follows a nomination by Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, recommendation from INvets’ previous executive director and founder Wes Wood, and approval by the INvets’ board.
“Blaine has been operating as a key leader of our organization since he was hired in 2020,” Wood said. “His leadership ability along with his intimate understanding of our operations make him the ideal candidate to lead the program going forward.”
Under Zimmerman’s leadership as Director of Veteran Engagement, the INvets veteran engagement team has recruited over 5,000 veterans from across the nation to join the INvets network.
Zimmerman’s work at INvets is preceded by six years active duty experience in the Army and eight years in the Indiana National Guard working with Indiana’s veteran service ecosystem. He is a graduate of Butler University’s MBA program.
Wood is stepping down as INvets Executive Director for a new opportunity at Veryable, where he will help manufacturing and supply chain companies address key workforce issues by matching businesses with underutilized talent pools to create flexible capacity and build local manufacturing talent.
After creating and leading INvets for the past six years, Wood said he is is confident that INvets is in a strong position to continue its success.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my time at INvets and the great work that our team has done for veterans as well as Hoosier employers and communities,” Wood said. “It is bittersweet yet exciting to take this great experience to Veryable and continue to help employers connect with underutilized talent pools.”
Wood founded INvets after combining his concern for veterans like himself and his experience in workforce development. INvets soon became the core of Indiana’s Next Level Veterans initiative and works with companies in all industries with the assistance of several state agencies and the leadership of the lieutenant governor’s office. INvets serves over 3,500 veterans each year.
“Our administration continues to attract new jobs to Indiana, and the leadership at INvets has played a critical role in filling some of those positions with highly skilled men and women who are transitioning out of the military,” Crouch said. “I want to thank Wes for his commitment to boosting Indiana’s workforce and attracting our brave veterans to our state. I wish him the best in the next chapter of his career, and I am looking forward to the opportunity of working with Blaine Zimmerman and continuing the success INvets has had in growing our veteran population.”
Last year more than 300 veterans moved to Indiana through the work of INvets.
“I have learned so much and want to thank Wes for his leadership and strategic vision over the past two years,” Zimmerman said. “Our team will carry our momentum forward into 2022 and beyond. We have some exciting projects kicking off this year that will further showcase Indiana as one of the nation’s most veteran-friendly states.”
Former service members transitioning to civilian life and employers interested in getting involved can go online to invets.org.
About INvets: INvets, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, constitutes the private side of the State of Indiana’s public-private partnership initiative, Next Level Veterans. Under Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch’s leadership, this initiative aims to grow and streamline the pipeline of military veteran talent entering the state every year and provide an easy access point for employers of all types.
INvets combines digital marketing tactics with in-person engagement at military installations across the nation to present Indiana-specific career opportunities, communities, and resources to active-duty service members and military spouses. INvets’ website, INvets.org, facilitates connections between veteran candidates and employers throughout the state. Over 3,600 veteran candidates registered with INvets in 2021 alone. Over 350 active employers currently use INvets’ platform.