After nearly 13 years in the US military and federal government, Matt Williams joined Amazon as he was looking for his next opportunity. “What makes Amazon unique is that it has military skills translated, and that makes it a natural fit for the company,” Williams said.
Williams is a Senior Program Manager on Amazon’s Global Military Affairs team. Company’s commitment to employ over 100,000 U.S. veterans and their spouses by 2024-to Using machine learning to help prevent suicideWilliams and his close colleagues focus specifically on honoring programs dedicated to improving the lives of veterans and their families by helping solve some of the biggest challenges in their communities. I’m here.
We recently spoke with Williams about his time in the military, how it has impacted his work, and how he and his team are giving back to those who have served their country. Did.
What is your role in program honors?
By way of background, Program Honor is a community engagement team within Amazon’s Global Military Affairs. Through partnerships with veteran nonprofits, we aim to use Amazon as best we can, from technology and devices to inventory, food, and more, to support our veteran community. While my colleagues focus on mental health and suicide prevention, food insecurity and homelessness, I focus on helping veterans with disabilities.
We support organizations such as Gary Sinise Foundation, blind veterans uk, and other nonprofits around the world to more easily give back to the veterans community. We help nonprofits close the gap so they can better support and improve the quality of life of those who have served their country.
Can you give an example of how you have contributed to the realization of this kind of support?
A good example is working with the Gary Sinise Foundation. rise (restore independence to support empowerment). They are building specially adapted mortgage-free smart homes for critically injured veterans and first responders.We support this program by donating Amazon smart home devicesfood from amazon freshand from household items amazon homeamong other products, to help these veterans feel at home in their new smart home.
One particular story that comes to mind is that of Romulo “Romy” Camargo, a quadriplegic Army Green Beret whose foundation built a home near Tampa Bay, Florida this summer. In the case of quadriplegia, the diaphragm is often affected as well. Romy can only speak a few words at a time. This means that it is not always possible to provide prompt requests to voice services such as Alexa.
Our Alexa Accessibility team invented the following features: Adaptive listening, which gives customers like Romy more time to finish speaking before Alexa answers. With this feature enabled, Romy can now ask Alexa to open the blinds, turn on the lights, turn on the TV, and more via her connected Smart Home devices. He and his family speak both Spanish and English.When Multilingual mode for Alexa, Alexa can respond to requests in both languages. It’s powerful. Using technologies like Alexa to make your home more accessible and ultimately help promote independence.
Matt Williams and Program Honor leader Charlotte La Belle with Romy Camargo and his wife who received a specially modified smart home.
Romy Camargo and family operate the new Echo Show 15.
That’s why we partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation to support the RISE program. I can’t think of a better example of helping someone regain their independence than getting them to turn on their own lights again.
How has your military career helped you in your job today?
I have to say that working for a company is different than working for the government or the military. however, leadership principles apply to both. Behavioral bias is one, and customer obsession is another. Amazon always works backwards from the customer. When attending a military training course, it all takes planning backwards. In other words, start with the end result you want to achieve and work backwards. I’ve never worked for another company, but I’m familiar with a lot of how things are planned and executed, and this made a natural transition here at Amazon.
Having a military background definitely helped me in certain roles as well. Not only am I a veteran, I was also a military spouse. My wife is a veteran and she still works at Amazon. So I already know some of the things that are unique to working in the veterans support field. I know what it’s like to go to a deployment. I felt what it would be like to lose a spouse. At Global Military Affairs, military families (spouses and children) are just as important as veterans themselves when talking about the military community. These parts of my identity help me connect with the many people I meet in my day-to-day work.
What’s your favorite part of what you do?
We work with one of the world’s most famous companies to help those in need. Sometimes I tell myself that maybe I could work for a company like Amazon and help the community where I come from. The number of people at Amazon collectively addressing these challenges is incredible. I am proud to work here. We don’t just say we are doing something. we actually do that.
Click here for details Amazon Military Initiatives and OpportunitiesAmazon Military Affairs and Amazon Warriors leaders discuss Amazon’s support for the military community.
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