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Shining a Spotlight on 'Heroes Who Work Here'

Military veterans’ structure and discipline helps them succeed in biotech.

Wall of Service at CSL Behring's Kankakee, Illinois, facility
CSL Behring's "Salute to Service" wall at its leading-edge manufacturing site in Kankakee, Illinois, honors employees who have served in the military.

As the United States observes Memorial Day, I am grateful to the men and women who have bravely served in the military and also want to acknowledge their loved ones. Because my father, brothers, son-in-law and now son have all served, or are currently serving, I know that the impact of military service extends beyond individual servicemen and servicewomen themselves.

A Promise to Protect

I was raised in a military (Marine) household that instilled in me the importance of structure and discipline, all of which prepared me to lead the world’s fifth largest biotech company. And while the focused discipline was very real to me at an early age, my Dad instilled something else in his eight children that I didn’t fully recognize until I grew older: When my Dad made a promise, he followed through. Eventually I came to appreciate just how meaningful that was.

Delivering on promises is what we do at CSL Behring. Starting more than a century ago in Australia, we made a promise to save lives and protect the health of people who were stricken with a broad range of serious medical conditions. Today, that same promise has never been stronger, as our medicines treat patients in more than 60 countries and we employ more than 20,000 people.

Our strong heritage would not have been possible if we didn’t keep our promises. The veterans whom we employ know what it means to make and keep a promise to protect the lives of others.

Introducing Heroes Who Work Here

Dave Atkinson from our leading-edge production facility in Illinois is a perfect example. Dave is a quality systems manager who served in the U.S. Navy and is quick to welcome other veterans in the workplace. He credits a “Salute to Service” photo wall in the corridor at work for helping to identify and recognize employees who have served from all branches of the military.

You can learn more about Dave in another piece here on Vita, our online news hub channel. And because we are immensely proud of our servicemen and servicewomen, we plan to spotlight more “Heroes Who Work Here” in the coming months.

Veterans Bring Invaluable Experience to Innovative Companies

CSL Behring eagerly hires U.S. military veterans like Dave, who have been critical to our company’s past accomplishments and will be key contributors to our bright future. And through my role on the Board of Directors of Bunker Labs Philadelphia, I hope to help illustrate the value that military experience brings in developing innovative companies.

For veterans who may be reading this post and wondering how your service relates to the civilian workforce, I’ll echo what I shared recently at a Bunker Labs event:

“Each of you knows the importance of focusing on the mission, and chances are, you’ve had to inspire and lead others in very challenging circumstances. You know better than most that nothing good is gained without sacrifice.”

If you are a veteran with an innovative idea, I encourage you to connect with Bunker Labs to learn more about how to turn your idea into a potential business venture. To all current and former military men and women, thank you for your service and sacrifices. I look forward to shining the spotlight on more “Heroes Who Work Here.”


Paul Perreault is CEO & Managing Director of CSL Limited.