University of Wisconsin-Superior
Old Main 118
Belknap and Catlin
P.O. Box 2000
Superior, WI 54880
About the speakers | Veterans Expo 2014
John A. Scocos was appointed the first cabinet Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs by Governor Scott Walker. As the Secretary he is the chief advocate for the nearly 400,000 veterans of Wisconsin. In this capacity he is responsible for the leadership and management of the Department to include strategic and long-range planning initiatives aligning with the Department's vision.
Scocos was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1981 as an Armor Officer. He served more than 31 years of military service and retired at the rank of Colonel. He served on active duty from 1981 to 1990 and then joined the United States Army Reserve. He was mobilized in both 2007 and 2008 for service in Iraq. In 2010 he served as a Military Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Civilian awards include the 2007 and 2008 Military Order of the Purple Heart Department of Wisconsin Outstanding Service Award, 2008 Department of Veterans Affairs of the United States of America Secretary's Award for Leadership and Dedication, the 2010 AMVETS Legislative Advocacy Award, and the 2012 Spirit of Service Award from the Wisconsin Jewish War Veterans.
Scocos' military awards and decorations include: The Legion of Merit, The Bronze Star Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Iraqi Campaign Medal (1 Bronze Star), Global War on Terrorism Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
Dick Gaither is the president of Job Search Training Systems, Inc. During the past thirty-plus years, his peers have dubbed him the Wizard of Work, because he doesn't just believe in job search magic, he creates it.
More than 100,000 job seekers and staff have attended his award-winning job search training seminars. Dick works with every type of job-seeking population and the staff that help them find work: welfare-to-work, ex-offenders, rehabilitation clients (physical & mental health), dislocated workers (blue & white collar), veterans, displaced homemakers, high school, community college, university, vocational, and business school students, and anyone else having trouble finding work.
Dick has been named the National Association of Workforce Development's Career Professional Of The Year, the INET Trainer of the Year and a Veterans Service Award Winner. He is recipient of the prestigious National Association of Job Search Trainer's Wegman Award, the highest honor for a job search trainer.
More than 2 million copies of his training materials are in print and his materials and concepts are integrated into more than 3,500 employment and training systems, internationally. He's also been a Workforce Investment Board member.
Dick Bolles of What Color Is Your Parachute? fame calls Dick Gaither "One of the most riveting job search trainers in the country." Richard Deems, author of Making Job Loss Work For You says, "I consider Gaither the top career coach and most knowledgeable person about job search strategies in America." Even Dick's competition will tell you "Dick can teach you more about looking for work in an hour than most people can in an entire program." - Mike Farr, former JIST President.
A few of Dick's more interesting occupations include: Harley-Davidson builder, Vietnam veteran (he spent more than four years there), elementary school teacher, life-skills and employability skills trainer for rehabilitation clients, older-worker and youth employment program operator, mental health career counselor, undersea cable installer, electronics technician, bar owner, arcade developer, housing contractor, director of career training...and now, president of Job Search Training Systems, Inc.
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