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7:00 PM

Veterans in Business: Challenges and Victories

MIKE MURRAY, Director of Government & External Affairs, Verizon (Moderator)
MICHAEL O’GORMAN, Director, Farmer-Veteran Coalition
STEVE PECK, President and CEO, United States Veterans Initiative (U.S. VETS)

A moderated panel discussion featuring successful professionals who are also veterans, sharing the challenges and opportunities veteran’s face when they return to the business world after the battlefield.

Mike Murray
Michael Murray
Director of Government & External Affairs, Verizon

Michael Murray (Mike) has worked for Verizon in California for twenty-five years.  He started in Operations as a departmental clerk and his most recent position is Director – Government & External Affairs for Long Beach and Southern California.

Murray’s term in External Affairs began in 1983 (then Public Affairs with GTE) when he coordinated GTE’s film library, an extensive collection of educational and career films that was used by teachers and GTE employees.  From there, he worked with GTE’s philanthropic program evaluating and managing grant requests submitted to GTE.  From 1991 to 1996, Murray was part of GTE’s media relations team in California.

In 1997 Murray became Public Affairs Manager for Long Beach, Signal Hill and Southeast Los Angeles cities.  With the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic, the position became part of Public Policy and External Affairs.  He has held numerous leadership positions in Long Beach, including Chairman of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce; President of Better Learning After School Today; President of Leadership Long Beach; co-Chair of the Long Beach’s 10-Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness (adopted 2010) and President of the Long Beach Education Foundation. 

In 2003, he was awarded the Long Beach Chamber’s “Dewey Smith Award” for community service.  In 2005, Murray received the Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent’s “Distinguished Community Service Award,” and the “President’s Distinguished Service Award” awarded by the President of Cal State Long Beach.  He was awarded the Leadership Long Beach “Corporate Leader of the Year in 2008.  In the 2009 he received the A Voice for Long Beach Children Award.  Murray was the first recipient of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Spirit Award in 2010.

Murray has a BA from California State University, Fullerton, in Asian Studies.  His interest in Asia began with his thirteen-month tour of duty in Vietnam as a United States Marine.  He also has a second BA from California State University, San Francisco, in History.  While in San Francisco, Murray worked for the San Francisco Recreation Department and AT&T Long Lines.

Murray has worked extensively in recreation and physical fitness.  He managed the Culver City Recreation Department’s weightroom while attending Cal State Fullerton.

Murray lives in Los Angeles, California, and has one son, Nicholas, and a daughter, Kele.

Michael O'Gorman
Michael O'Gorman
Director, Farmer-Veteran Coalition

Michael began farming in 1970 spending 11 years growing the food for a large intentional community in Tennessee. In the 1980’s he spent 4 years on his family’s vegetable farm on the Trinity River, in Northern California and 4 years managing Genesis Farm in Livermore, California. In 1990 he became Farm Manager for TKO Farms in Salinas and spent five years turning it into one of the nation’s largest and most recognized organic farms. After a year as the first organic Production Manager at Natural Selection Foods, he moved to Mexico and put together 1600 acres of organic vegetable production for Del Cabo in northern Baja California. In 2008 he began the Farmer-Veteran Coalition, helping young war veterans find careers and places to heal on America’s farms. The Farmer-Veteran Coalition now works with more than 100 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and has recently received support from the USDA, making it the first time the USDA has recognized the need to reach out to returning veterans.

Steve Peck
Steve Peck, MSW
President and CEO
United States Veterans Initiative (U.S. VETS)

Stephen Peck was appointed President/CEO in August, 2010. He joined United States Veterans Initiative in 1996 to start U.S.VETS’ largest site in Long Beach where he was the inaugural Site Director. U.S.VETS – Long Beach grew to house 550 veterans and is the largest residential veterans program in the country. He also held the title of Director of Community Development and helped start the U.S.VETS program in Riverside. He has initiated several special needs programs for the agency including the Non-custodial Father’s Program, the ADVANCE Women’s Program and the Veterans Re-Entry Project for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Mr. Peck was appointed Senior Vice President in February, 2010.

Along with his work on program design and funding, he develops community partnerships, and advocates on a State and National level to bring attention to possible solutions for homeless veterans. Stephen was a Marine Corps Lieutenant in Vietnam, serving with the 1st Marine Division near Danang. He received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and his Masters Degree in Social Work from USC in 1997.

Among the awards he has received for his work with homeless veterans is the 1993 Public Spirit Award given annually by the national office of the American Legion Auxiliary for distinguished public service, the 2008 David Landry Memorial Community Service Award from the City of Long Beach for Outstanding Community Service, and the 2010 Meritorious Service Award from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Location Details:
College of Business Administration
California State University, Long Beach
Room CBA 139A
1250 Bellflower Blvd., MS - 8501
Long Beach, California 90840-8306

Visitors to the campus must purchase a parking permit at a yellow kiosk for $5.00.

There is a yellow kiosk located in Lot 15 adjacent to the CBA building.

Please park in the multistory parking structure adjacent to the College of Business Administration building on Merriam Way. Campus Map.

NOTE: After purchasing your permit, you may park in the spaces marked "Employees Only" in Lot 15 after 6:00 p.m.

Questions? Contact Sweta Mohandos, Notable Speaker Series Coordinator, smohando@csulb.edu or Alexandra Jordan ajordan3@csulb.edu