In this episode of our Solidarity of Service podcast, host and Operation Gratitude CEO Kevin Schmiegel speaks with two current Starbucks employees with different, but equally important backgrounds in service. Matt Kress is a Marine Corp veteran and also worked as a firefighter before eventually becoming Senior Manager of Military and Veteran Affairs with Starbucks. Nikki Young, a veteran spouse, formerly worked as a Starbucks Military Family Store Manager and is now a part of the company’s Talent Acquisition Team. Together, the three cover the power of service, gratitude, and community, and the human connection that can be made through conversations that happen over a cup of coffee.
To purchase a Starbucks Military eGift card visit: https://www.starbucks.com/gift/category/military-month
“Service is doing your part to make the world a better place. Most of us are serving in some way or have the ability to serve. It doesn’t have to be signing up for the military and giving 4 to 20 years of your life. It can be little acts that you’re doing on a daily basis in your community.” (Kress)
“That’s what makes it a military store—our partners, our customers, our veterans and spouses that work. We’ve created a safe space for our community…It was important to me to create that awareness for my team. Being (in this role with Starbucks), I felt a sense of duty to ensure that our community was supported.” (Young)
“There’s a recognition when we bring communities together in service that people are there for the same reason. They’re there to serve whether they’re in uniform or not and they’re serving together. There’s a recognition that they all want to make their communities stronger.” (Schmiegel)