Haynie appointed by Gov. Cuomo to NYS Council on Returning Veterans and Their Families

Mike Haynie, executive director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, has been appointed by New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to the New York State Council on Returning Veterans and Their Families, a group of state agencies and civilians that advises the governor on issues that affect New York's service members. Haynie has been appointed to the council as an academic with expertise in veterans' affairs.

The new council appointments were implemented today (Feb. 9) by Gov. Cuomo as part of his "Experience Counts" campaign to help New York state veterans. The "Experience Counts" campaign was launched on Veterans Day 2011 to help ensure that veterans' valuable and specialized military experience is recognized when they transition to the civilian workforce.

The New York State Council on Returning Veterans and Their Families was created in 2008 to develop recommendations to address the needs of veterans and their families in adjusting to post-service life, which involves a collaboration of federal, state and local benefits. On Veterans Day 2011, Gov. Cuomo called for the council to add representatives from additional state agencies and tasked the council to determine how the state can further recognize and credit military training and experience, especially in licensure and educational credit programs.

"To further help our veterans, we have now expanded the Council on Returning Veterans and Their Families. These appointees will bring their extensive experience serving our nation's veterans to help ensure that New York State provides the highest level of service to our returning service members and veterans," says Cuomo.

"Mike Haynie is a perfect choice for Gov. Cuomo's Council on Returning Veterans and Their Families," says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. "Higher education is a crucial road to success in the global knowledge economy, and Mike has unparalleled expertise in bringing higher education's resources together with the skills and talents of veterans and their families to help them pave the way to successful futures. This is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, as we welcome home thousands of veterans, and we're proud that Mike and SU will play a pivotal role in tackling it."

"It is an honor to have this opportunity to serve the veterans and military families of New York state as a member of the Council on Returning Veterans and Their Families," says Haynie. "Gov. Cuomo's 'Experience Counts' campaign-which among other provisions provides ways for universities to evaluate and award credit to veterans for military training, education and experience, and also for the state to award professional certifications-represents a model program in the context of the national effort to support veterans and their families. I look forward to leveraging my experiences as a veteran and an educator to advance the 'Experience Counts' campaign and contribute to the mission of this council."

A former Air Force officer who served for 14 years both domestically and abroad, Haynie was assigned as a professor of management at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., before joining the SU faculty. The Barnes Professor of Entrepreneurship at SU's Whitman School of Management, he is a sought-after speaker and adviser on issues related to business, veterans and entrepreneurship and serves as an appointed member of the U.S. Secretary of Labor's Advisory Committee on Veterans' Employment, Training and Employer Outreach. In 2007, he founded the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) at SU, recognized as a national best practice by the Secretary of the Army for its provision of world-class training in small business start-up and design to post-9/11 veterans disabled as a result of military service. The program is now offered through a national consortium of universities. Haynie also developed and launched SU's portfolio of veteran entrepreneurship training programs, which includes the EBV, EBV-Families, Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) and Operation Endure & Grow. In June 2011, he was named executive director of the nationally focused IVMF, launched by SU and founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co., to fully leverage the intellectual, human and social capital of higher education in service to America's veterans and their families through the pillars of employment training, educational programs and actionable research.

In addition to Haynie, new appointees to the New York State Council on Returning Veterans and Their Families announced today include Andrew Roberts, director of the Office of Military and Veterans Liaison Services at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, who serves as a representative of an organization that provides behavioral health services to veterans; Suzanne L. Bissonette, executive director of Cazenovia Recovery Systems Inc., who serves as a representative of an organization that provides substance abuse services to veterans; and Todd Benham, a former major in the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Army and chief of the Behavioral Health Department at Fort Drum.

Membership of the council consists of the director of the Division of Veterans' Affairs, the adjutant general of the Division of Military and Naval Affairs, the commissioner of the Department of Health, the commissioner of the Department of Labor, the commissioner of the Office of Mental Health and the commissioner of the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, or their designees and two additional members representing veterans and local government. In November 2011, Gov. Cuomo expanded the council to add other state agencies that provide services to veterans and additional members who have expertise in issues that affect veterans. November additions included the commissioner of Homes and Community Renewal, the president of the Higher Education Services Corp., the commissioner of Department of Economic Development and the director of Office for the Aging, or their designees. A representative of the State Education Department participates voluntarily.