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Military Spouse Initiative
Providing a workplace that attracts, supports, and retains military spouses
Through the Military Spouse Initiative, military spouses can lean on each other and utilize Deloitte resources to not just have a job, but have a career.
- Sylvia Taylor
- Quiana Downie
- Heather Kuzio
- Jennifer Balester
- Awards & accolades
- A day in the life
- Learn more
- Related topics
About the Military Spouse Initiative
Deloitte is a leader in practices that support military spouses with our four-tiered approach:
Ambassadors that offer onboarding and transfer support when military spouses are hired and/or transitioning into a new area
Informed Talent leaders that offer relocation, tax, and staffing support for military spouses as they onboard and transfer at Deloitte
Quarterly events and newsletters that connect military spouses across the nation on updates, hot topics, and volunteer opportunities
Attendance at job fairs and a referral process specific for military spouses through Deloitte’s Veterans Recruiting and Retention program
Keep reading to learn more about our professionals who are a part of our Military Spouse Initiative.
Jennifer Deutsch’s journey to partner has not been a straight line. She graduated from the University of Michigan. Moved with her Marine husband to San Diego. Graduated in 1996 from San Diego State University with a Masters in Accountancy. Then took a position with Deloitte Tax LLP. She says of Deloitte Tax LLP, “I loved the people; I loved everything about it.”
She would also come to love that the Deloitte network has an international presence and entrepreneurial culture, because she proceeded to advance her career even as her family moved “at the discretion of the US government.” They’ve lived in San Diego, Washington DC, Emerald Isle, NC, Orange County, CA, and even Frankfurt, Germany, all coinciding with her husband’s military assignments. For most of that time, Jennifer held positions across the Deloitte network, though she did leave for a period to take a position in course development and instruction for the Becker Professional Review.
Fittingly, Jennifer understands that professionals go through different career cycles and that it’s important to own your career. “I still see a lot of folks who narrowly look at their skill sets as opposed to seeing how they might be applicable in different situations.” Through the twists and turns of her career, her own mentors have often helped her get past similar hurdles, showing her that she’s capable of even more than she thinks. She works to do the same for others.
Read more about Jennifer's career journey.
Cassandra Sullivan is a Senior Consultant at Deloitte Consulting LLP. She has focused her career at Deloitte on redesigning business functions and managing the global impact on the workforce through organizational change management practices and training. She is also passionate about public and private sector partnerships and applies her mission-oriented focus to pro bono projects via Deloitte’s skills-based volunteering programs.
She managed four military-ordered moves in under four years at Deloitte and co-founded the Military Spouse Initiative (MSI) when making her first transfer. Alongside her client service, she serves as the Program Manager for MSI and works out of Deloitte’s office in Seattle, WA; she was previously assigned to Deloitte offices in New York City, NY, Atlanta, GA, San Francisco, CA, and Washington, DC. Her husband is currently serving as a Submarine Officer.
Cassandra shares, “The incredible support that I received from colleagues when I underwent my first relocation inspired me to start a program to support others. Deloitte’s culture helped enable our team to build this program from the ground-up, and we’re so proud that Deloitte provides a workplace that helps enable military spouse ambitions, while honoring military commitments.”
William Helstowski, a Senior Consultant in Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Risk and Financial Advisory practice, joined the organization in September 2013 upon attaining a Masters in Accountancy. Currently, he serves clients in the Energy and Resource and the Consumer and Industrial Products industries. Most of his client service work has been in the Internal Audit and Assurance market offerings.
Originally from Long Island, New York, spent most of his childhood growing up north of Atlanta in the Woodstock and Kennesaw area. This is where he met his wife, who is currently serving our country as an Airman. During their time as a military family the Helstowskis have experienced three moves from Kennesaw, GA to Monterey, CA, San Angelo, TX, and now reside in Augusta, GA.
Throughout these moves William has been able to continue to further his career at Deloitte thanks to the support offered by Deloitte leadership and his colleagues, as well as the Military Spouse Initiative (MSI). William is also serving as the Risk and Financial Advisory Military Spouse Ambassador for Deloitte’s MSI where he assists other military spouses in continuing their careers at Deloitte while navigating the events and potential obstacles of maintaining a full-time position while being a military spouse.
In 2006, five years into her first stint at Deloitte, Sylvia left Deloitte when the military relocated her husband Patrick, a US Navy pilot, to rural California, where she opted for a local industry position. “Despite being a Navy base, many are built out in the middle of mountains and desert, rather than near the coast.” After California, they moved again to the high desert of Nevada, placing her hundreds of miles from the nearest Deloitte office. Forced to leave her industry job, she took advantage of this time to start a family while pursuing a professional certification as well as her master’s degree.
Still, Deloitte remained on her radar. “I always said that I’d like to try to come back.” So when circumstances took her family back east to the DC area, Sylvia applied to Deloitte’s Encore program, an 11-week course for people who’ve left the professional world for an extended period of time. Encore hones skills, builds professional confidence, and prepares people for the return to a high-performance environment. The program rekindled Sylvia’s passion for Risk and Financial Advisory and for Deloitte. Following it, she immediately stepped into a senior consultant role in Deloitte’s Richmond, Virginia office.
Her return to Deloitte has been far less turbulent than when she first walked into the Houston office back on September 10, 2001. Yes, the day before 9/11. A short time later, after several industries experienced a regulatory fallout and their bankruptcies created more turbulence, auditing and consulting were changed forever. That combination of events shaped her work, with much of it being focused on early compliance with the 2002 federal law known as Sarbanes-Oxley.
Read more about Sylvia's career journey.
Quiana Downie’s career path has been a journey full of twists, turns, and pivots. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, her first career was as a Wall Street investment banker in NYC. After the Great Recession drastically changed the industry, she relocated to Nashville to start anew. Years later, as the Army Wife of an active duty officer with experience in banking, accounting, insurance, and government, she still struggled to find a fulfilling role that utilized her education, experience, and skill set. While stationed in Oklahoma, Quiana drove 140 miles daily to pursue her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). She chose to specialize in Information Systems, as she knew this could provide her with an ideal trifecta of marketability, with accounting, finance, business, and technology training and experience.
Upon graduation, Quiana and her family relocated to Washington DC, where she jumpstarted her career as a Cyber Security Federal Consultant for Deloitte & Touche LLP. Eager to prove herself quickly before her family’s next move, Quiana was promoted in a little over a year, leading teams to provide clients with security governance and strategic direction.
During her first few months at Deloitte, she began conversations with leadership that would ultimately lead to Deloitte’s national effort, called the Military Spouse Initiative, a network of hundreds of military spouses, veterans, and supporters, who are committed to improving the ability of military spouses to pursue and sustain rewarding careers. “We started Deloitte’s Military Spouse Initiative to establish a blueprint on how to support and develop an untapped talent pool of military spouses. Armed with a unique skill set, we can thrive at Deloitte as career-focused, game changers, while supporting soldiers who serve this great country.”
Heather Kuzio is an Army veteran, a military spouse, and a mom. She joined the Risk and Financial Advisory practice of Deloitte & Touche LLP during the summer of 2015 while her husband was deployed to Afghanistan. Heather went through a unique journey to find Deloitte.
Heather’s career began in 2002 when she commissioned as an active duty Army finance officer. Her first duty station was Baumholder, Germany where she deployed to Iraq in 2003-2004 and again in 2005-2006. Heather met her husband Chris, an Army infantry officer, during their first tour to Iraq and married shortly after their second tour.
In 2009, Heather left the Army to support her husband. From 2009-2015, Heather and Chris moved 5 times, lived in 4 different states, endured 5+ deployments, learned French, and had a son, Daniel. Heather worked as a defense contractor, directly for the government, and attended a federal linguistics program during this time.
Heather found Deloitte during their short assignment in Northern Virginia. She found a home in the Federal Advisory practice supporting Department of Defense (DoD) clients. Summer of 2016, the Army moved the family to New York City where Heather found a role within Talent as a business analyst supporting the Client Experience and Marketing organizations allowing her to expand her career and network within Deloitte. In the fall of 2017, Heather moved into a role on the Chief Client Officer PMO team where she continues her work with the Military Spouse Initiative (MSI).
During Heather’s journey, she has learned to have courage, be resilient, say “yes, I can do this” as changes and challenges are presented, and to always give back.
Jennifer Balester joined Deloitte Consulting LLP as a property & casualty actuary in 2002 after attaining her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. She later moved to the Boston office to be closer to family. This is where she met and married her husband, who was stationed with the Band of Liberty at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. Shortly after getting married, the unit was disbanded and they moved to Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, where Jennifer worked remotely or traveled to clients.
At 28 weeks pregnant with their first child, they received unexpected notice of Anthony’s assignment to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam in Hawaii. A few short months later, they packed up everything, including eight-week-old Parker, to move across half a continent and an ocean while not knowing where they would live when they reached the other end. It seemed like the only stable thing during this time was Jennifer’s position at Deloitte Consulting and the support they provided.
During their projected three-year tour in Hawaii, Jennifer has cut back significantly on travel and supports her clients remotely. She works regularly with teams across the mainland US and in India, providing true “24 hour service” to their clients. Working remotely has forced Jennifer to develop and hone her communication skills to help ensure she stays connected with her client teams and the practice. She also outfitted her home office with a treadmill desk and a bike desk to keep active while working from home.
Jennifer serves as the Key Spouse for her husband’s unit, acting as a liaison between unit leadership and families, providing access to information and support, and organizing morale events for the spouses and families of the airmen.
Award-winning military support
Deloitte’s commitment to recruiting and supporting military veterans has been recognized with several recent awards:
- Hiring Our Heroes
Deloitte was named the 2018 winner of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring our Heroes - Lee Anderson Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award. This award represents the highest annual honor an organization can receive in the field, and honors overall excellence in hiring and retaining veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.
- Military-Friendly & Military-Friendly Spouse Employer
Deloitte has once again been certified as a Military Friendly Employer and Military Friendly Spouse Employer by VIQTORY, a veteran-owned business. This annual certification is based upon the benefits, programs and development opportunities we offer to active-duty, retired and veteran employees and their spouses.
- Best for Vets
Deloitte was named a “Best for Vets” organization in 2018, due to our commitment to recruiting veterans and service members, company culture, policies, and reservist accommodations.
Deloitte is committed to making America stronger. We've introduced a more integrated, comprehensive approach that looks at military members and veterans more holistically (through both an emotional prosperity and career prosperity lens) and better aligns with military members' and veterans' needs.
Disclaimer: The Military Spouse Initiative (MSI) is a volunteer-supported community created for military spouses by military spouses. MSI does not guarantee military spouse employment. MSI is happy to connect you with a Deloitte military spouse who can offer support and help you search for opportunities. Please reach out to email@example.com with questions, and view our careers site for more information about jobs at Deloitte.