Viacom Salutes Veterans

Chanel J Cathey 1 by Chanel Cathey, Viacom

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Across the country, from Paramount Pictures’ studio lot to Viacom’s headquarters in Times Square, Viacom employees are commemorating Veteran’s Day and thanking those who sacrifice to serve and protect. Viacom employees were busy packing  goody bags for the troops in lower Manhattan, throwing a celebrity studded Veteran’s breakfast at Paramount and Spike’s Hire A Veteran initiative rang the NASDAQ opening  bell in Times Square.

KISS' Gene Simmons and actor Jon Voight at the Veteran's Breakfast With the Stars

Gene Simmons and actor Jon Voight at the Veteran’s Breakfast with the Stars (Getty)

Last week, Paramount Pictures and the Disabled Veterans Business Alliance hosted a ‘Veteran’s Breakfast with the Stars’ on the famed studio lot to salute veterans and those in active duty around the world. Several Viacom veteran employees joined numerous celebrities including actors and actresses: Jon Voight, Richard Roundtree, Lou Diamond Phillips, Shannon Tweed, Robin Weigart, and Francis Fisher to name a few. This Vet Breakfast provided a unique forum for retired veterans and those in active duty serving the US in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard to meet and even share stories.

Rock icon and KISS bassist Gene Simmons was recognized and shared the emotional story of how his family immigrated to New York; his mother was the only member of her family to survive the Holocaust. U.S. Navy Retired Veteran Antwan E. Rolle, a Payroll Operator at Paramount, attended the ceremony and expressed how it was one of the most exciting days of his life. “The main event was seeing Gene Simmons’ speech about how his family made it to the U.S during war time” Rolle said. “His story made me even more proud to be a U.S service man; Mr. Simmons had the room in tears. His story was very powerful and should be heard by all.”

Over the weekend, Paramount also hosted a screening of “Star Trek Into Darkness” for veterans and their families. This J.J. Abram’s film is dedicated to our post-9/11 veterans with gratitude for their inspired service abroad and continued leadership at home. Paramount Chief Marketing Officer Josh Greenstein was on hand to personally welcome the veterans and thanked them for their service.

On Veteran’s Day, NASDAQ held a tribute breakfast and opening bell ceremony to recognize companies that pledge support to veterans through hiring initiatives and educational programs. NASDAQ recognized Viacom and Spike’s Hire A Vet initiative and other military and veteran affairs teams at Avis, Sears, JP Morgan Chase, CITI, Verizon and L’Oreal. Spike’s Niels Schuurmans, Executive Vice President, Brand Marketing and Creative, and Lamar Jones, Vice President, Hire a Vet  joined James Bombassei, Senior Vice President, Viacom’s Investor Relations to ring the opening bell.

Spike's Lamar Jones, Vice President, Hire a Vet, Niels Schuurmans, Executive Vice President, Brand Marketing and Creative, Spike and James Bombassei, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, Viacom

Spike’s Lamar Jones (Vice President, Hire a Vet), Niels Schuurmans (Executive Vice President, Brand Marketing and Creative, Spike) and James Bombassei (Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, Viacom) rang the NASDAQ opening bell on Veteran’s Day.

Hire A Veteran celebrates companies dedicated to hiring vets and is committed to helping them find jobs here at home. The Hire A Vet website is an interactive hub for vets to find information, resources and where connections can be made. Today, Hire A Vet, Viacommunity and Operation Goody Bag teamed up to mobilize Viacom employees at the 345 Hudson office to pack goody bags to ship to those who served and continue to serve. It’s important to reflect on the the importance of Veteran’s Day and to give thanks to the men and women who serve.

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