When Lorenzo Rios took over as CEO of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District in 2015, his goal was to foster a collaborative community for veterans.
Rios is now carrying out his mission through the Veterans Roundtable, held on the first Wednesday of every month at the CVMD.
The roundtable brings together local veterans organizations who share their projects, collaborate, and ask for help.
Veteran organizations who attend the roundtable can also get updates on the community calendar while getting a chance to update the community about their own upcoming events.
Rios said he’s especially happy when he sees some organizations rearranging their dates so they don’t conflict with other events on the same day.
“They’re willing to move dates so they don’t compete against each other,” Rios said. “They sometimes collaborate to create a bigger event with less work. That makes the event that much more productive because you don’t have the community split up in two different sections.”
Rios said any veteran is welcome to come in and listen and participate, but five to six members from veterans organizations usually come in to listen and participate.
The roundtable aims to give at least one representative a chance to speak on behalf of the organization.
“They identify programs they are working on or if they are looking for assistance, they communicate that,” Rios said.
When Rios started serving as CEO of the CVMD, he noticed that many organizations wanted to do good in the community, but they didn’t always understand how to come together.
He then started inviting organizations to participate in the roundtable.
“At first, they weren’t sure why we were meeting,” Rios said. “Since then, the more they communicated, the more they trusted each other. The more they trust, the more they collaborate. The more they collaborate, the more these programs grow in their ability to serve the community and understand the need.”