On May 5, First Lady Obama and Dr. Jill Biden hosted over 50 companies at The White House to celebrate the 5th anniversary of their Joining Forces initiative, a nationwide effort that began in 2013 to support veterans and their families through employment, education and wellness opportunities. The participating companies, including Cisco, committed to either hire or train veterans over the next 5 years.
In connection with the $10 million cyber scholarship program Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins announced earlier this year, Cisco has pledged to train at least 1,000 veterans through Joining Forces over the next two years. Details of the cyber scholarship program, a global program targeting women in tech, early careerist and veterans, will be announced in June.
As part of the Joining Forces program on May 5, the First Lady recognized Amy Gerrie, who has been with Cisco for 14 years, as an example of a military spouse with a portable career. Amy and her three children received a special invitation from the First Lady to attend The White House event.
Amy is a Cisco Business Development Manager living in San Antonio, Texas. She has a degree in computer information systems. After completing her Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) certification, she taught network courses to service members before joining Cisco as part of the Cisco Networking Academy curriculum and assessment team. She has managed her career through five moves, three children, 10 deployments and countless TDY’s.
In January of this year, Amy’s husband, an Air Force officer, died while deployed in Qatar supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Cisco’s Veterans Enablement and Troop support personnel, along with others from the Cisco family, immediately stepped in and provided support.
Amy has expressed deep gratitude for this support, saying, “In all honesty, I cannot think of a better organization for a military spouse or military veteran to work for.”