Feature Stories

Inspiration Found from Veterans all Year Long

Nov 11, 2019

We highlight our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion through our employee profile series and recently spoke with Stacie Cornfield, Astellas Hospital, Sales and Marketing, senior executive representative II and cochair of our Military Employee Impact Group(MEIG). As a veteran of the Illinois National Guard, Stacie shares her thoughts about the perspective veterans can bring to the workplace, and why she is passionate about the volunteer efforts of the MEIG.

What is your military background and why is the MEIG an important way to support employees?

I served in the Illinois Air National Guard for six years. Coming from a military family—my father and sister are also veterans—I value acts of service. I bring my daughters with me to prepare and serve meals at the Fisher House, which provides comfort homes where military and veteran’s families can stay free of charge to remain close to loved ones in the hospital. This quality time with my daughters allows them to learn by example and understand that life is not all about them. As exhausting as it can be with food shopping and just struggling to get there, it doesn’t matter. When we leave, we always feel more fulfilled than when we arrived.

Supporting the needs of coworkers and community members who currently serve in the military or are veterans is important for many reasons. Consider the sacrifices made by those who have raised their hand to serve our country. Hard work and self-discipline are skillsets often associated with the military, but they are also key to Astellas’ success. Going from active duty to civilian life is not always an easy transition. This is why having the MEIG is so important. We work diligently to provide needed support. Hopefully, in doing so, we attract military members to join our team because they see they are understood and valued. This is our goal.

Diversity and inclusion are paramount to Astellas’ success. Recruiting and retaining military, veterans and others means a greater breadth of ideas and thought processes that only foster better solutions.

The MEIG is very active in volunteerism and community service. Tell us about some of that work.

Our partnership with Fisher House has evolved over the years with support now including serving meals, providing Hero Miles and Hotels for Heroes points, and Warrior Games involvement.

This is the third consecutive year that Astellas has supported the Warrior Games, which are designed to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded warriors through exposure to adaptive sports. It’s an amazing experience. Seeing our veterans persevere and compete, it’s hard not to be inspired. Whether their wounds are visible or invisible, these people have sacrificed so much. The times you don’t feel like exercising become filled with thinking about the person with a prosthetic leg who trained to compete. You suddenly have a new motivation to push yourself forward. It truly is inspirational beyond words.

As an Air National Guard member, I root for the Air Force at the Warrior Games, of course. But I really support all of our service members.

Tell us about a person who has helped you become the person you are today.

“It’s ok if you get knocked down while trying, as long as you get back up and try harder.” These are the words of my father, who continues to serve as a great inspiration to me today. My father served in the Air Force and taught me through example, not just words.