nCino’s affinity groups are organic and employee-led, with a focus on building connection and belonging among employees while providing resources to the broader nCino community. Recruiting diverse talent, professional and leadership development, mentoring and community outreach are also core purposes of the groups. Each affinity group includes executive sponsorship and a connection to the Diversity and Inclusion Council.
In this series, we’re excited to offer a deeper dive into the members and goals of each affinity group. In celebration of National Veteran and Military Families Month, we’re highlighting the Veterans Network.
The Veterans Network was founded by Mark Rothschild in 2021 and is currently led by Manny Sable, Joel Williams, Kevin Keim, and Josh Blickhan with help from a key group of supporters. The mission of the Vet-Net is to provide a welcoming and uplifting community for the empowerment, enrichment, and advancement of nCino’s military-affiliated employee population and their allies. Aiming to bring cultural awareness and education to its members and the broader nCino team, the Veterans Network also offers a safe space for dialogue and support. While programming is specific to the needs of the military-affiliated employee population (veterans, currently serving military reservists, and family members of active-duty military, veterans, and reservists), membership is open to all nCino employees.
“I wanted to start the VetNet because I experienced first-hand how difficult it is to transition to civilian life,” says Joel Williams. When in college, I saw countless veterans struggle with adapting to civilian life. At nCino, when I began my internship, I saw the strengths that veterans possess but find difficult to tap into. Many veterans, too proud to reach out, struggle silently and often alone.”
“I saw the disconnect that some vets feel they have with their co-workers,” continues Williams. “I saw the need for an avenue of communication, a place where veteran’s felt they could indulge in their humor, but also engage in meaningful conversation around their struggles and successes. I wanted to help foster this communication and engagement however possible.”
The Veterans Network works closely with The Honor Foundation, a nationwide nonprofit serving transitioning special operations forces with the goal of preparing participants to enter into a career following their service. nCino employees support this organization by taking part in mock interview and coaching sessions, guiding participants through the process of job interviewing. A grant from nCino also helps provide the ability to offer career assessments to those going through the program.
For employees, the VetNet is also focused on fun, physical activities that promote connection and teamwork.
“We want to continue to provide opportunities for veterans to participate in events that foster the camaraderie that was once a key component of their livelihood,” says Kevin Keim.
Some of those activities include a monthly Ruck, where members participate in a 3-mile walk with, or without, a backpack. One particular ruck started before the dawn and was followed by a beach cleanup at Wrightsville Beach.
Earlier this year, in celebration of Memorial Day, the group participated in The Murph Challenge, a famous fitness challenge in honor of Michael Murphy, who died serving in Afghanistan. The “why” of this event was to challenge oneself mentally and physically while engaging with friends and remembering those who have sacrificed. The challenge consists of two one-mile runs, 100 pull ups, 200 pushups, and 300 squats, while wearing a twenty-pound vest. The Murph was scaled down to each person’s fitness level, allowing for greater participation.
In honor of PTSD Awareness Day, military spouse and Technical Writer Kenna Stacks partnered with the Veterans Network to host a PTSD Awareness Field Day, which consisted of “battle buddy” style activities where each game required collaboration and teamwork. Paws4People attended the event as well, educating nCino employees on one of their programs called Paws4Vets, which provides assistance dogs to veterans who have physical, neurological, psychiatric, or emotional disabilities. The Field Day raised $630 for various PTSD and Mental Illness charities.
“PTSD is something I’m very passionate about because I have so many vets in my life and because I was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago,” says Kenna Stacks. “I wanted to hold this event to help bridge the gap between veterans and civilians, to both support the Vet Net while also breaking the stigma that PTSD is only service related. PTSD is the wound we don’t see. It’s hard to talk about because of the stigmas around trauma and asking for help, especially for those who have or are still serving. PTSD Awareness Field Day was an event to illuminate those struggles and build on nCino’s values of community and fun.”
To celebrate Veteran’s Day this year, members of the VetNet are participating in the Veterans Day 5K Race sponsored by Paws4People on November 6. Participants can run or walk either alone or with their “furry friends”! Later this year, the group plans to collaborate with nCino affinity group Mi Gente for an panel event that will include a discussion centered around Hispanic/Latinx/Basque/Spanish veterans or relatives of armed forces members.
“The VetNet, at its core, is a sounding board to share our collective experiences,” says Manny Sable.