Archive for April, 2014

Controversial? A Millennial’s Take on Politics and Religion

Written by Mike Petro on . Posted in VPI Blog

456870_10151805183920472_1430841136_oI am a GenY, aka Millennial. Born in 1987. Completed college at 21. Moved across country (twice). Been unemployed (twice). Debt? How about an emphatic YES. Unprepared for today’s challenges? No doubt.

More than any other generation, Millennials seem to be a burden to work with. I consistently hear about how people can help “deal” with my age group through various classes, seminars and the like. I want to tackle some of the results from recent research and explain them from my point of view. Hopefully, this will help shed a light on the method to our madness…or at least mine. I will try and limit my sarcasm. Insert emoticon.

For those who are unaware, GenY stems from 1981-1996 which would make the ages from 18-33.

Pew Research released new findings for our generation recently. Let’s start out with the big topics. Politics and religion. In future articles, I will touch base on other interesting statistics about GenY.

The research shows that 50% of GenY has no political affiliation and 29% are not affiliated with a religion.

Millennials on Politics

The political results are not surprising for anyone who has a child who is my age or knows any Millennial. We became young adults in the heart of the recession with a Republican in office. We were an overwhelming majority to vote in a Democrat due to the lack of trust for the Republican Party. The economy is said to be slowly on the rebound but there are a lot of false promises from the current administration. This begs the question: Why would I trust one party over another? Neither has worked out particularly well in our favor. I can tell you when 2016 comes around my generation will vote to whomever they feel they can trust more. They will vote based off of the values of the party member and not the political party they affiliate with.

The research suggests we are still mostly Democratic. I agree but only in the sense that we are more liberal than our predecessors. We believe in the gay rights movement and are more lenient on issues such as drug legalization.

Why? Maybe the question should be why not? I’m not going to argue in favor or against drug legalization as I don’t have a preference for either. I know plenty of people who do/have done drugs and it will always be an issue. So if we can tax it then maybe that will benefit the economy (who knows).

I am married, son just born. Why can’t those who are gay, lesbian or transsexual have what I have? Because of a genetic predisposition? That’s not fair. If I had blue hair should I not be able to get a driver’s license? It’s an American right no matter how different that American is. GenY believes in that. It’s not so hard to see why. The earth will not shatter and set on fire because of that. Perfect setup too…

Millennials on Religion

The religion results are surprising to me. I fully expected the number to be far greater but perhaps that will happen with the newer generations. My generation does not take the answer “because I said so” too well. We question EVERYTHING. I don’t like to be told what I need to believe in. I can figure that out on my own. If not, then I certainly don’t need to have a preacher breathing down my neck or, my favorite, people ringing my doorbell to sell me Jesus. That actually happened. I answered my door to someone trying to sell me on religion. Mind = blown.

The research goes on to say that 86% believe in a God but only 58% are “absolutely certain” there is one. I would safely say that more people are moving more towards the “everything happens for a reason” view. At least that is for the people I know my age.

I strongly believe that the younger generations will move these numbers lower for religion by the time they are my age. People, like me, will raise their children with the intent to have them believe what they want to believe and to not accept anyone’s perceived answer for literal truth.

Until next time.

VPI Strategies Announces Comprehensive Talent Management Services

Written by Miki Jo Resto on . Posted in VPI Blog

Talent Management Services – How it all began

In 2008 Sherri Petro, President of VPI Strategies, and Miki Jo Resto, leader of Conduit Careers, Inc., began partnering to create deeper and more comprehensive solutions for clients by combining each firm’s consulting specialties. At that time, VPI was focused on Executive and General Management strategic consulting. Conduit Careers was a strategic Talent Acquisition and Talent Management firm. For over seven years, they’ve worked together to pool expertise and resources that have just the right impact needed for each client.

Merging Talent Acquisition Strategy & Talent Management Resources


Now, in 2014, all consulting services between the two firms have been joined for greater partnering and seamless delivery. Miki Jo has joined VPI Strategies as Vice President. She brings the expertise and consulting resources for VPI to offer a comprehensive suite of services for Talent Acquisition and Talent Management.

VPI Strategies’ talent experts master the puzzle of people. Here are a few of the questions:

  • How is the best and most affordable talent found?
  • Is the interview and hiring process helping or hindering?
  • What’s the right way to set new hires up for quicker success?
  • How to keep team members and grow employee loyalty?
  • What motivates different people and different generations?
  • How is a better culture of performance and productivity created?
  • What employee development programs are needed to compete and grow?

Why is Talent Management especially important in 2014? Click here to read more

Helping companies and clients who want MORE

MORE is found at the intersection of purpose – where brains, creativity, competence, and intention meet. Talent means anyone and everyone – joined as a team at this intersection – that can make your company more innovative, more competitive, create more growth and more of anything good. When talent is ignited by purpose it is energized. Effort turns into reward for employees, the company, and the community.

VPI Strategies has the expertise to help business leaders create something more. These comprehensive Talent Services are designed to assist just in time, at the right time.

What is Talent Acquisition Strategy?

  • Sourcing Strategy and Building Candidate Pipelines
  • ATS Technology and Workflow Integration, Project Management
  • Recruitment and Hiring Processes
  • On-boarding Program Development

What is Talent Management?

  • Performance Management
  • Leadership Development and Executive Coaching
  • Employee Training and Team Development
  • HR Transformation
  • Strategy for Total Rewards / Compensation and Benefits
  • Career Track Development and Succession Planning
  • Employer Branding and Marketing
  • Competitive Intelligence / Talent and Organizational Development

It’s easy to reach out to an expert at VPI who understands where to begin and how to build the organization’s path to health, vitality and greater profitability. Feel free to email any question to Miki Jo Resto at

“Make for yourself a Mentor”: How Millennials should approach a Baby Boomer Mentor

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in VPI Blog

Ilana Herring Marketing StrategyGUEST POST BY: Ilana Herring 

“March Mentoring Madness” Blog Series Continues Another Month!

Last month I had coffee with a friend of mine. A smart, talented 29-year-old ambitious attorney. He expressed frustration. He wants to move up in his profession. Despite being employed at a New York law firm, he needs to move out in order to move up.

Since it’s not just what you know, but who you know, I suggested he get a Baby Boomer mentor. Someone with a law career he admired and respected, and who was willing to show genuine interest in him. Although mentoring is not a job interview, it would expand his network. I had suggested a Baby Boomer mentor because Millennials tend to relate well to Boomers, who are often in positions of leadership.

My friend is extremely good at socializing and networking. Yet, he confided in me that while he is great at networking with people his own age or younger, he struggles at networking “upwards”. He even implied that he had found older people less interesting. I on the other hand happen to enjoy networking with Baby Boomers. I shared with him some pointers from my experiences to help him build up his “matured” network:

Attend Networking Events

There are endless types of networking events; alumni, industry, vendor, professional associations, religious group events or meet ups. Find any that catch your interest, and are also attended by potential Baby Boomer mentors. Attend these events regularly. Once you notice the same people, begin to form casual connections. Find the Baby Boomers who have the potential to be your mentor.

Ask “How?” and “Why?”

Everyone loves to share his or her own experiences. Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie to gain techniques in handling people. Always ask questions such as: Why they had chosen the field of law they practice? How did they get interested in law? What is the biggest lesson learned so far in their career? Do they have anything that they would have done differently in their career? Ask questions and then listen.

Make for Yourself a Mentor

My experience is that sometimes it is helpful to specifically ask someone to be your mentor. In other situations, you don’t need to explicitly ask them. In that case, you call or meet them when you have something specific on your mind to ask. It is up to you which of the two routes to go. Trust your instinct to choose which route.

A mentor should be someone you both like and respect. Its very possible you might be nervous to speak with them about becoming your mentor. That is okay. It’s probably a good thing. There should be a healthy sense of awe. They have something you don’t have (yet) and you should respect them for it.

If you are going to ask someone directly to be your mentor, here is (an embellished) sample to help guide your conversation:

Ms. Fabulous & Wise Baby Boomer Attorney, I have really enjoyed getting to know you at the XYZ networking events. I admire your commitment to professionalism, ethics, and public service. I have put a lot of thought into the fact that I would really like to have a professional mentor. I’d like someone whom I admire and respect and who can help me become a better lawyer and professional. Would you be willing to be my mentor?

Its up to both of you how formal or casual you want to be. Ask how often your mentor is available to meet. You can set goals and expectations. The most important part is that both people benefit. It ought to be a win-win for everyone.

I am extremely grateful to have been blessed with several Baby Boomer mentors. I hope that both my friend and readers of this blog have the good fortune to have meaningful relationships with Baby Boomer mentor, too.

Southwest Airlines: A Lesson in Mentoring and Mergers

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in VPI Blog

terryGUEST POST BY: Terry Cunningham

“March Mentoring Madness” Blog Series Continues Another Month!

When I first started doing fundraising and grant writing in the 80’s, someone suggested that I talk to Father Joe Carroll of St. Vincent d’ Paul’s. That was an invaluable meeting.  He told me to always look for opportunities to not only raise funds, but also to look for creative ways to utilize products that might become available.

He related that when he heard of the proposed merger of PSA and Southwest Airlines, he called Southwest and asked what they were going to do with all of the products they had with the PSA logo. They did not know so he told them he would take all of the napkins, plates and any other products they were going to get rid of for his programs. He saved Father Joe’s Village a great deal of money on disposable dinnerware and Southwest received a tax write off for their donation. This created a win/win situation. I have remembered that story all these years and still look for creative solutions because of this amazing mentor.

This is what Gen X is looking for in a Mentor

Written by Sherri Petro on . Posted in VPI Blog

jenniferwhitneyGUEST POST BY: Jennifer Whitney

“March Mentoring Madness” Blog Series Continues Another Month!

1. Trust – a person I might build a supporting relationship with. I need to rely on, and trust they will help guide me/support me in my career. Is dependable and on time. It is comfortable to have a simple conversation with them.

2. Expertise/Experience – someone who can be a positive role model. Has the history and understanding needed to help push me in the right direction.

3. Get to the point! – I would like a Mentor to stay on task and not take the longest road in explaining how to get the job done or what areas to avoid. I do not need “when I was your age…” story telling.

4. Measurable results – seeing the benefits of having a mentor. Do I gain understanding, different perspectives or processes from this mentor? Do they take the time to analyze me or ask me questions to open up different areas to work on?