Yelp’s mission is to connect people with great local businesses, so it should come as no surprise that we celebrated Veterans Day with a beer tasting from a local veteran-owned business: Ferment Drink Repeat – FDR Brewery. We talked to Karan Dinghra, the leader of VetConnect (Yelp’s veteran employee resource group), about how we support veterans at work and why it’s so important.
Who are you and why did you come to Yelp?
I am an Army veteran who joined Yelp about six months ago. I have been serving in the Army for the last ten years, so transitioning out of the Army was a tough decision for me. I wanted to join a company that would value my diverse experience and skills, and I was fortunate enough to find my dream job and my dream team at a company that appreciates my unique experiences and supports my ongoing service in the Army Reserve.
Why did you decide to lead VetConnect in San Francisco?
When I received Yelp’s welcome packet, I was surprised to see all the different groups at Yelp, including the veterans group, VetConnect. After an overwhelming first day, I emailed the VetConnect group and four different members reached out to me with happy smiles and a big welcome. I found out that the group hadn’t been very active recently, which gave me a reason to revive it. I met with all the veterans in the San Francisco office and really enjoyed listening to their experiences in the military and now at Yelp. Army has always been my second family, and I was worried that I would miss it after leaving. The veterans group helped me bridge that gap and gave me a way to hang out with our amazing veterans and allies in a Yelpy way.
Let’s talk about the beer tasting event–what was this all about?
Kevin Inglin is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, and owner and head brewer of Ferment Drink Repeat – FDR Brewery. He gave an overview of the ingredients that provide beers their unique characteristics and what defines various brewing cultures around the world. Kevin, who is also a nationally-ranked beer judge, highlighted numerous beer styles and what makes them similar to and different from one another. But most importantly, he talked us through a sample flight of five different beers and throughout the discussion we gained an appreciation for why certain people like certain beers over others. Oh, and we ate delicious pretzels from Hahdough, a German bakery that will soon open their first shop in the Panhandle neighborhood of San Francisco.
Why is it important to have a veterans group at Yelp?
As per Linkedin’s Veteran Opportunity Reportthere are approximately six million U.S. veterans, or 6% of the country’s population, who are eligible to work in the U.S. Yelp’s veterans group serves as a welcoming community where you get to meet other employees you normally wouldn’t interact with because of this special bond we all have with our unique experience serving our country. The veterans group is also a place for all Yelp veterans to help and mentor each other.