Christine Collins, 42
Director of incident response and investigations, KAR Global
Military branch: Navy, Navy Reserve, Indiana Army National Guard, Army Reserves
Christine Collins has served her country in two branches of the military and in the FBI.
Collins, director of incident response and investigations at automotive remarketing company KAR Global, served in the Navy and Navy Reserve, including during the Afghanistan War. After attending college, she entered Officer Candidate School for the Army National Guard and has risen to the rank of captain in the Army Reserve.
She currently is on Individual Ready Reserve and plans to return to service when her children are older.
In the meantime, she supports service members and veterans at KAR.
Collins, whose day job involves overseeing cybersecurity responses and fraud investigations, said she has worked “pretty heavily” with the company’s [email protected] Employee Resource Group.
KAR Global spokeswoman Jill Trudeau said it’s one of multiple employee resource groups the company has created to “foster a culture of belonging” for workers — in this case, the company’s military and veteran community.
One of the group’s initiatives is to bring a “missing man table” to KAR dining areas, Collins said. The empty table with a formal and symbolic place setting is meant to represent prisoners of war and missing-in-action personnel.
Collins also has focused on mentoring service members and veterans, particularly former enlisted personnel.
“I’ll mentor everybody,” she said, but added that her time as a captain and senior enlisted officer allows her to have the largest impact on that group.
Collins said her guidance centers on encouraging veterans to maximize the benefits available to them. Many service members will use medical benefits due them but overlook other opportunities, she said.
Education is one example. Collins used three separate GI Bills to pay for college.
She said many officers helped her during her career, and “I’m just paying that forward.”
On top of being the right thing to do, “it makes me feel better, and it gives the work force a better service member,” she said.
— John Huetter