Image from Disability:IN North Carolina's Thought Leader Luncheon which depicts (left to right): Saima Cardwell, SAS Disability:IN North Carolina Board Member, Beth Butler, Executive Director Disability:IN NC, Kevin Rumley, Veteran and Purple Heart recipient and Keynote Speaker, Pat Keul, Disability:IN NC Operations Director, Margaret Millett, MetLife Diverse Abilities Co-Chair, Cami Turcotte, Disability:IN Supplier Diversity

Disability:IN North Carolina recently held a Thought Leaders Luncheon, focused on mental health awareness at work and military veterans. Disability:IN Affiliates mobilize local corporations to be more inclusive to people with disabilities. Through events like these, affiliates are raising awareness of how corporations can join IN for inclusion.

As the spouse of a retired Naval Flight Officer, I understand the unique challenges, military service has on both a family, community and the individual serving. I recently sat on a panel about mental health awareness and the veteran community.

This panel was comprised of two veterans (one of which is currently a student) and myself (the veteran spouse), as well as two women who sit in corporate America, both in different positions with each sharing distinct perspectives and experiences. This created an informative setting, that allowed for knowledge sharing between both the panelists and the audience.

We shared personal stories and examples about each of our experiences, and addressed how we felt businesses and individuals could approach improving the mental health crisis we as  families, employers, friends and a country are facing. We need to work together to help find ways to share with those who cannot help themselves, that we are here to help them.

Image from Disability:IN North Carolina's Thought Leader Luncheon which depicts a check presentation with the following people (pictured left to right): Cris Rogers, Beth Butler, Jim O’Donnell, Margaret Millett, Kevin Rumley and Tim McClain

To add to the positive success of the event, MetLife Executive, Jim O’Donnell, along with MetLife Diverse Abilities ERG Co-Chairs, Margaret Millett and Cris Rogers presented Disability:IN North Carolina with a $5000 check demonstrating MetLife’s commitment to investing at the local Affiliate level.

Congrats, Disability:IN North Carolina!