Keynote Speaker

Michael D. Billok, Attorney
Bond, Schoeneck, & King

A 1996 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and submarine officer in the United States Navy until 2004, Mike is now a trusted attorney employers turn to when faced with a violation of employment law. He has successfully represented employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, OSHA, and various New York State agencies. Mike regularly counsels clients in a wide range of industries—including manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and not-for-profit organizations – providing advice and training on all aspects of the employment relationship.

Mike’s military experience includes serving on the USS NEVADA, instructing students at the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Ballston Spa, and serving as the Submarine Manpower Analyst for the office of the Chief of Naval Personnel in Washington, DC.


Erin Drout, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist
Stratton VA Medical Center

Erin Drout is a Community Employment Coordinator with the Stratton VA Medical Center. She has been with the Department of Veteran Affairs for over 2 years. Prior to being with the VA, Erin worked at Easter Seals of Southeastern Wisconsin assisting individuals with developmental disabilities with pursuing employment. She has her Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She works to find creative ways to help Veterans with engaging or re-engaging in the workforce.

Joe Pennell, Commander, Local Chapter
Disabled American Veterans

Joe graduated from Scotia-Glenville High School in 1982, and very shortly after enlisted in the U.S. Army.  His four-year enlistment took him through Fort Bragg, NC and Athens, Greece in a position repairing communications equipment.  Upon returning to the U.S., he was assigned to an aviation unit at Ft. Campbell, KY in a role in the avionics shop.  In August 1986, he returned to Upstate NY to pursue a degree in Electrical Technology at SCCC.  From there, he transferred to the Rochester Institute of Technology to extend his education to a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering Technology.

Since graduation in 1991, Joe has progressed through career levels in the Information Technology industry.  The early years consisted of support technician roles with small office computer systems, which led to becoming the lead UNIX administrator for Paychex, Inc.  After several years there, Joe spent a year working on contract consulting for Xerox and Eastman Kodak.  Finally, in 1996, Joe moved back to the Eastern side of New York in taking a position with IBM.  Today, Joe works as a Lead Engineer of Infrastructure Products for Ayco.

Joe is also active in the veteran’s community.  He currently serves as the Commander of the local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans, and is in succession line to become the Commander for New York State.  He has taken an active stance on issues concerning our veterans including employment, health care and homelessness.

Keith Prairie, Military Health Care Specialist
Martin’s Point Health Care

Keith is a Navy veteran retired from active duty with 26 years of proven experience in Leadership, Management, Recruitment strategies, Retention, Mentoring, Team Building, and Peer to Peer veteran mentoring, He helps veterans network to find employment and is currently a board member of the Veterans Business Council of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

He has the extensive background knowledge necessary to help veterans transition to civilian life. Keith is able to read their DD-214 or NGB-22 to help the veterans focus on their career field that they did in the military.  He can also help the employers understand what the veteran did for work in the military. He describes himself as the bridge between the veteran and the employer.

For More Information

The VetsBridge Veterans' Employment Symposium is being organized by Interactive Media Consulting, LLC, on behalf of

For information regarding the symposium, please contact Beth Moeller at IMC by email ( or phone (518.587.5107).

For more information about VetsBridge, please visit or contact Matt Weale by phone (518.581.7300) or email (