NYC Summit Post-Event Testimonials

The Riverside Company, the 9th of November

Following the detailed discussions by each business unit at Riverside, additional industry professionals joined us for a networking lunch. Our Members discussed their backgrounds and aspirations before dispersing to network among the incredible group of business leaders that attended.

The Riverside Company hosted the first events of the 51 Vets NYC Summit on the 9th of November in their offices. Bob Landis, a 51 Vets Advisory Board Member, started the day with an overview of deal origination, followed by his investment and fundraising teams, human resources, and finished with a surprise visit by Bela Szigethy and Stewart Kohl, the founders.

Sean McIlroy

Wharton ’24, former Green Beret

“The 51 Vets event in NYC exceeded all expectations. I was exposed to a variety of careers that I have previously known very little about. On top of that, we were introduced to a group of first-class business leaders that take a hands-on approach to helping Veterans. It’s a great thing to donate to a veteran nonprofit, but 51 Vets supporters do more by also opening their network to us – it is incredible. The 51 Vets group is special: it is a selective group from within the most selective of military organizations. I am excited to see where this group goes in the next 5-10 years and I could not be more appreciative to be included.”

Sean is currently an MBA Candidate at Wharton in the class of 2024. He is interested in pursuing a career in private equity through business development roles and starting a self-funded search fund at some point in the future. 

RSE Ventures, the 9th of November

Matt Higgins of RSE Ventures leads a discussion about the relationship between his firm and its portfolio companies. In this case study we learned about this relationship from the founders of Performance Drone Works.

Following the case study and panel discussion from RSE Leaders and Performance Drone Works, Matt Higgins and his team hosted us for a social event at All & Sundry where additional leaders across a variety of industries came to meet and mix with our Members and Mentors.

“The NYC Summit in November 2022 was what I needed during the final days of my transition from military to civilian. I have been a member of 51Vets for the past year, and this organization provides ample information about different careers in finance, consulting entrepreneurship, and real estate. In addition, the organization has provided opportunities to travel to other cities to network and meet mentors in those industries. The NYC Summit gave me a fuller understanding of the industries in which I am interested and direct mentorship from leading professionals in those industries. Additionally, the summit allowed me to connect and network with mentors I hope to one day include on the advisory board of my future business endeavors.”

Scott recently retired from the Navy after a 20 year career and is pursuing an executive MBA in Southern California. He resides in San Diego with his wife and children and is looking for operations roles in private equity or venture capital firms upon graduation.

Scott Rathke

Form Navy SEAL, separated from the service in November of 2022

Ben Brettmann

University of Denver Daniels MBA ’21, former Green Beret

“Time and time again, through transitioning my career, I have heard, “We are always looking for talent.” from decision-makers in organizations. Yet, they often bring intrinsic bias to their hiring process and discount Veterans for myriad reasons. The firms that sponsored the event in NYC have hired countless Veterans (Including some of our members) and can attest to the value a Veteran hire adds to their organizations. The Special Operations community is highly selective; once given the opportunity, these Veterans will usually excel in their new careers due to their high emotional intelligence and self-awareness. I can assure you that almost all of the men that pass this selection will bring that same value to your firm.”

Ben resides in Denver and is searching for investment banking roles in the TMT or FinTech sectors either in the Denver or NYC areas. He runs an investment management firm, Cherusci Holdings, that focuses on residential real estate acquisitions and is active in the Jewish community across Colorado.

Consulting Panel at PwC, the 10th of November

Advisory Board member and PwC Partner, Steven Won, led a consulting panel with Lew Emery of McKinsey & Co on the 10th of November at the PwC offices in NYC.

Following the consulting panel, 51 Vets hosted another networking lunch in which an informal panel discussed deal-making. Rob Dixon of Kirkland & Ellis, Jennifer Lu, a placement agent at Credit Suisse, Brian Choi, the private credit representative from A1A Partners, and Nume Briet, representing private equity from Cathay Capital, discussed how they would all interact from start to finish in a deal.

“Although I am new to 51 Vets, having the opportunity to attend the NYC Summit on short notice was a no-brainer. The support given to our group over the two days was something I had never witnessed as an active-duty soldier or veteran. Mentors’ willingness to help members of 51 Vets has already paid dividends for me in reaching out to the connections I made in NYC, along with recommendations for people to connect with in LA. For example, one of our advisory board members, Jeremy Holland from the Riverside Company, recently spent an hour with me on the phone to help develop a networking game plan to find investment banking careers in LA. As a result, when I spoke with Clay Bryan, a Managing Director at FocalPoint in the Financial Services Group, he ended our call by saying, “Why don’t you just come work for me this summer?” I can’t thank 51 Vets and its Mentors enough. The doors opened in such a short time show how well respected 51 Vets is due to the high-quality members who continually hold themselves and their peers to a higher standard. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the group and hope to continue to give back to future 51 Vets members.”

Carmen is in his first year at USC Marshall and is looking for investment banking careers in the LA area. He is the AVP of Veterans Affairs in the Marshall Finance Association, a member of the Veterans Association, and the Marshall Golf Club.

Carmen Cimini

USC Marshall ’24, former Green Beret

400 Capital Management & Bank of America

400 Capital Management led an informational session at their offices on the 10th of November and has since become a Silver Tier Corporate Sponsor of 51 Vets. 400CM leaders discussed alternative asset management and fund strategy as well as skillsets valuable to their firm.

At Bank of America, leaders in the Veterans Associate Program and others from across the bank discussed careers in finance. Bank of America is a leader in veteran hiring, with multiple programs to bring veterans in at higher levels through critical mentorship and training programs.

Johnny Todd

Active Duty Green Beret and MBA Applicant

“The 51 Vets NYC summit confirmed or denied my interest in several career paths I had been considering through direct mentorship from leaders in the finance, consulting, PE, VC, and Hedge Fund industries. No other organization I have participated in has the access to leaders of this caliber in these target industries, nor the ability to organize events this informative and effective. This two day event changed my trajectory and will drastically improve the quality of life that me and my family will enjoy in the future. I, personally, was put in touch with individuals who can help mentor me into my desired internships pre- and mid-MBA, and have already helped expand my network in the careers that I intended to work toward. Our advisory board, staff, and mentors were all instrumental in providing me with those contacts that will lead me to success in the private sector.” 

Johnny is currently applying to top MBA programs as he finishes his time on active duty. He is also the acting 51 Vets Chief of Staff and enjoys helping his fellow transitioning veterans map their paths toward success.

ACG New York Wine Gala and Veterans Day Lunch

51 Vets Founder, Jordan Selleck, speaks to the Veterans Day lunch crowd at the Yale Club on Veterans Day 2022. Many firms do not know how to recruit top veteran talent and Jordan laid out his methodology to get exposure for vets and companies alike through internships and direct engagement with 51 Vets.

Dr. Mike Lorence of ACG New York announces their new Veterans Initiative that solidified 51 Vets as the preferred veteran nonprofit partner to ACG NY and includes 51 Vets in all four annual events.

Veteran attendees of the ACG New York Veterans Day lunch at the Yale Club were recognized in front of audience after our founder, Jordan Selleck, and a veteran panel discussed the value that top veteran performers bring to firms.

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