Jonathan Morrison works to make a difference in veterans’ lives
“I have a heart to serve veterans and transitioning service members however I can,” said Jonathan Morrison, Synovus data analyst. After joining Synovus in August 2020, he became the first Veterans Employee Resource Group (ERG) leader. He hit the ground running by introducing himself and welcoming the new members.
“Being involved with the Veterans ERG is a way to connect with others, and I jumped right in. It’s been terrific,” Morrison shares. Morrison joined Synovus after serving eight years in the U.S. Army National Guard. Military service is in his blood. The father of three is setting an example of leadership and loyalty for his children, community and team members.
Morrison’s inspiration to join the Army came from the men of his family, and their legacy is nearly one century old. “Enlisting gave me direction when I was unsure what I wanted to do,” he remembers. “It was a sense of carrying on my family’s long line of military service.” His grandfather served in WWII in the Army, a great-uncle served in the Army under General Patton, his dad served in Vietnam in the Air Force, and 28 years later, Morrison and a cousin served in the Army National Guard.
During his service, Morrison deployed for a year and a half to Africa and then 11 months in Iraq. He completed his service in 2013. After joining Synovus and taking on the leadership role of the Veterans ERG, Morrison related effortlessly to the mission and purpose of the ERG. He shares that military service is not a prerequisite to joining the group. All you need is a heart for service and a love of country.
When it comes to team member engagement, Morrison says there has been an overwhelmingly positive response, with nearly 100 veterans and allies joining the ERG. The group’s mission is to strengthen Synovus’ relationship with the veteran and military communities with goals to recruit, network and volunteer to support veterans. The group’s community work is a way for team members to gather, network, grow and retain team members. They share stories, and much-needed friendships develop within the group, already bonded through military service.
“Enlisting gave me direction in life when I was unsure what I wanted to do. It was a sense of carrying on my family’s long line of military service.”
As a member of this distinct family, Morrison knows firsthand that camaraderie makes all the difference when transitioning back into civilian life. The Veterans ERG empowers veteran team members and allies to focus on supporting and helping other veterans in their communities. “I think it’s important to connect,” Morrison shares. “There is a brother and sisterhood for military members, and we know the challenges each other faces that aren’t necessarily visible to others.”
Members have participated in community service by partnering with local chapters of national organizations, such as The GallantFew and Columbus, Georgia-based, House of Heroes. “The GallantFew helps us with veteran recruiting and events in the community. We also have several members on the board in Columbus,” Morrison says.
Brian Abeyta, an Air Force veteran and Synovus enterprise business architect director, sits on the board for House of Heroes. This Columbus-based nonprofit supports military or public safety veterans or their spouses who need financial and physical assistance with home repair. Abeyta introduced House of Heroes to the Veterans ERG. House of Heroes plays a vital role in how the ERG expresses its gratitude for veterans. Volunteers work on home repair projects to help homeowners maintain their homes. “With House of Heroes, we do outreach projects, and we’re looking to grow our engagement throughout areas where Synovus has a presence,” Morrison shares.
The Veterans ERG bridges a gap veterans face to live in a safe, secure home that enables them to reach their full potential. “I think serving veterans and service members is a way to provide insight and helpful experiences of going through similar things, and it goes back to the brother and sisterhood,” Morrison says.