Making Her Country Proud By Serving A Noble Cause

Meet Kayla Lopez- Director of Military Partnerships at Viqtory, a program that creates civilian opportunities for veterans.

Kayla is a single mother of one with an avid passion to serve those who ‘served’- she is dedicated to leaving the world a better way than she has experienced till now through advocacy and volunteerism. Her current role with Viqtory allows her to work with her country’s largest employers and colleges to assist them in building programs for hiring, retaining, and advancing their Veterans and military-affiliated employees. Her role celebrates those who are leading this charge and using best practices to create strategic roadmaps for evolving organizations. She is also the chairman of a non-profit organisation that focuses on leveraging equine therapy to overcome unique challenges that Military families may face. It is known as The Armed Forces Equestrian Center.

As a child, Kayla’s family frequently relocated to different places due to work requirements. According to her, this kind of constant relocation had both its benefits as well as challenges. It allowed her to understand how to adapt quickly in any kind of environment and be resourceful. She also attributes her mother for being a pillar of strength, showing her resiliency and teaching her to be compassionate. She says:

I have always had a strong belief and desire to help others. I have travelled to several countries experiencing local adventures and connecting with others. Learning about new cultures and personalities gave me a new appreciation for the luxuries in our country, and fueled my passion to help people build a better future and leverage the resources we have.

A few years prior to starting with her current organization, she followed the path of an entrepreneur and started a business. Like many who take this path, Kayla put her heart and soul into it, and also like how it does for many others, it led to a great life lesson her. With a natural instinct, she decided to give up her business and sell it to play the role of being a mother. Motherhood and the lessons that come from her personal experiences had a direct impact on her career. She knew that a work-life balance would have to a priority.

Her latest venture, The Military Friendly® program, creates civilian opportunities for veterans. By setting a standard, promoting it and raising the bar over time, it provides long term, positive reinforcement for American organizations to invest in programs that improve the lives of veterans- it’s all about creating demand for veterans in the private sector. When it was founded in 2003, the number of organizations who competed for Military Friendly® designation was around 20 as opposed to today, when that number has crossed 2,000. For Kayla, this signifies a massive increase in the quantity and quality of demand for veterans in the private sector. “That’s good for veterans, good for the organizations and good for America,” she says.

Her present challenges include having a constant drive for innovation and being able to keep up with it. According to her, finding solutions and advantages in order to improve showcase how organizations create a competitive advantage. Her motivating idea revolves around ‘evolution’.

The employees at the Military Friendly® strive towards and succeed in the areas that matter most in helping veterans and other members of the military community make the transition from the military to satisfying employment in the civilian world. Having this kind of designation shows that these organizations are better for veterans, with the hiring, retention, advancement and employee development programs in place to help them reach their career goals. Kayla feels absolutely proud to have met a circle of peers with the strength and desire to progress change and fuel progress. They symbolize true heroism for her.

For those who aspire to become entrepreneurs tomorrow, she suggests: “Find your tribe, and lift those around you up. The higher you lift others the more the ground beneath you will rise.