Veterans Bring Honor and Dedication to ISS

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To recognize Veterans Day and those who served, we asked three of our people to share insight into how their time in the service translates to their ISS career.

Find out more about veterans at ISS

Each year on November 11, the U.S. observes Veterans Day to honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces. Veterans Day, originally celebrated as Armistice Day, falls on the anniversary of the end of World War I.

ISS is proud to have dozens of veterans among our placemakers across the United States and the world. They serve our clients with the same dedication, diligence, and principles as they did their countries, and their strength significantly advances ISS’ goal of connecting people and places to make the world work better.


Agnieszka Grzelczyk

Senior Recruiter

Q: Please tell us about your military service.

I served in the U.S. Navy for 21 years. When I started my service career, I was in logistics as a culinary specialist. I later moved into recruiting and ended my career as a Chief Petty Officer. I served in many locations, including both the East and West Coasts of the U.S., and was deployed to Afghanistan, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa.

Q: Why did you join the military?

My family immigrated to the U.S. from Poland when I was 19. As first-generation immigrants, my parents couldn’t afford to pay for any higher education for me. My dad suggested that I join the military for the benefit of free higher education. While I did that, I found that I really enjoyed the service to others, the camaraderie within my unit, and the many travel opportunities.

Q: What does Veterans Day mean to you?

Veterans Day to me is the celebration of service, sacrifice, and love of country by those willing to be part of something much bigger than themselves by serving in our armed forces.

Q: How did your military service prepare you for your career at ISS?

I believe that my military service prepared me for my career with ISS by giving me an understanding of the value of teamwork and how diverse individuals can work together to achieve goals. I understand the principles of commitment, integrity, accountability and loyalty — and how those build strong teams like one we have here at ISS.


Ryan Norman

People & Culture Business Partner

Q: Please tell us about your military service.

I served in the U.S. Air Force for almost 23 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. During my service, I was able to live all over the U.S. and world, including Alabama, California, Florida, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Texas, Washington (DC and the state), Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, and Italy. Living in each of those places helped me learn about the differences that make our nation a great place.

Q: Why did you join the military?

While there are several reasons why I joined the U.S. Air Force, the main one is that I believe that serving one’s country is an honorable thing to do. About 1% of Americans serve in the military, and that is something I can always hang my hat on. My grandfather served during World War II and my uncles served in the U.S. Army and Navy. These men were my role models growing up. They were the individuals who marched during the local parades and took me to Memorial Day services.

Q: What does Veterans Day mean to you? 

Veterans Day is on opportunity for us to celebrate those willing to be a part of something much bigger than themselves by serving our nation in our armed forces. It also serves as a reminder that there are brave Americans deployed throughout the world protecting the freedoms we hold most dear. It’s not only a time for us to pay homage to those currently serving, but perhaps even more importantly, a time for us to recognize those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Lastly, it is a time when I get to share in the camaraderie of the men and women who have volunteered to serve this great nation unconditionally.

Q: How did your military service prepare you for your career at ISS?

I could go on and on about what military members bring to the fight, but I’ll focus on just a few:

Leadership and teamwork – Service members understand how to earn the respect of their peers and bring people together, and know the importance of gaining support to pursue common goals.

Problem-solving and decision-making – Service members react quickly and precisely, trained to adapt in dynamic, high-pressure situations. This ability is invaluable in our fast-paced work environment.

Honesty and attention to detail – Military service members are often trusted with high levels of security clearance. All are trained to meet the highest standards of ethics, safety, and other organizational imperatives. Veterans meet this expectation in every part of their lives.

Global perspectives – Members of the military typically have years of experience working with diverse individuals from international teams. In a globalizing economy, this is a distinguishable advantage for our team.

Veterans come from a culture built on the mantra: “mission accomplished” – Few cultures have been engineered like the U.S. military’s culture. Even fewer cultures focus entirely on cooperation, personal development, and achieving the mission at any cost.


Shannon Yates

Head of Operational Performance

Q: Please tell us about your military service.

After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, I served as a U.S. Army Infantry Officer from 1990 to 1994, including overseas deployments in support of our nation’s interests.

Q: Why did you join the military?

I grew up in a military family with my dad serving in the United States Marine Corps. He always spoke highly of his time in service, the lifelong friendships he made, the connections he’d made, the places he’d visited, and the humanitarian efforts he helped support. For me, serving in the military was a way to give back to a nation that provides so much to so many.

Q: What does Veterans Day mean to you?

Veterans Day is a time to remember, honor, and thank those who have served in our country’s armed forces in any capacity.

Q: How did your military service prepare you for your career at ISS?

The military instilled innate characteristics that include a bias for action and ability to work calmly under pressure in demanding, complex, highly matrixed, and ambiguous environments. Those transferable skill sets particularly prepared me for the fluid, fast-paced, and company/client matrices that exist in the commercial real estate outsourcing space where ISS operates.