Alfonso Batres: Leading Is Listening, Educating

Recipient of the 2011 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals Career Achievement medal, Alfonso Batres has worked to expand medical centers for the nation's veterans. 

What's the Latest Development?

Alfonso Batres has worked to expand the number of community-based Veterans Affairs' Centers from 200 to 300 over the last six years and is the 2011 recipient of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals Career Achievement medal. "Vet Centers provide a safe confidential environment where combat veterans and their families can receive prompt professional services," Batres says. "Many of our Vet Center staff are veterans themselves and understand and appreciate the veteran's service to country."

What's the Big Idea?

Batres says he has learned what it takes to be a leader over the course of his career. It requires a lifelong commitment to education and a willingness to listen to people's true concerns. And being in the service industry means having satisfied employees is doubly important. "I became very interested in that fact that if you really want to provide quality care to veterans, than you better have a top notch, happy, satisfied staff that is well-trained and well-organized. I think that has helped me a lot to make the organization work more effectively."

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