Veterans find next mission in serving clients

Copy - Mike Caplice

Some are drawn to military service by family tradition. Others are drawn to it for opportunity, and end up creating a family tradition of their own.

Charles Schwab is fortunate to have examples of both among the ranks of employees who have spent time in the armed forces.­­

For Mike Caplice, service is a tradition handed down from father to son.

During World War II, it was his grandfather who answered the call and joined the U.S. Army. During Vietnam, it was his father. And when his time came, after graduating from Bentley College with a business degree in 2004, Mike joined the Army, as well.

“Obviously, I grew up with a deep appreciation for the military,” said Mike, who now works as a financial consultant for Schwab in central Phoenix. “My father and grandfather did not talk much about their experiences, but they both heeded the call of our nation during times of war. It was a transformative experience for both of them, and I wanted to continue that tradition.”

After serving as infantry platoon leader during Operation Iraqi Freedom V (a phase of the war that ran from June 2006 – June 2007), reaching the rank of captain and serving at a variety of posts around the world, Mike decided it was time to explore new opportunities.

So, he left the Army and moved to Arizona, where he earned an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. After graduation, he launched his career in the financial services industry, eventually landing at Schwab.

“Working at Schwab combines my passion for the stock market with my passion for helping people,” Mike said. “I get the most satisfaction out of my job by helping people make good financial decisions and watching those decisions turn into great outcomes.”

Photo - Mike Caplice

 

"The best thing about Schwab is our reputation. Clients enjoy doing business with us, and they refer their friends and family because they know they will be well taken care of."

Mike Caplice

Mike C. in his military uniform.

Copy - Nilsa Swift

For Nilsa Swift, who works in planning and operations on Schwab’s Digital Investor Solutions team in Austin, Texas, the motivation to serve her came clothed not as tradition, but as opportunity.

“I grew up in a very traditional Puerto Rican household in the Bronx,” she said. “And for my generation, the only way you’d leave home if you were a woman was to get married or go to college. I joined the Navy.”

That challenger spirit proved to be key for Nilsa. She signed up at 18 and initially worked in aviation maintenance. But the path wasn’t always smooth. Along the way, she ran into stereotypes and discrimination, due both to her gender and her heritage.

“A lot of people in the Navy thought I wouldn’t last because I was a female, and a Hispanic one at that,” said Nilsa. “I wanted to prove them wrong. So I pushed through a lot of challenges. I served as long as you can (as a noncommissioned officer) and retired after 30 years of service.

“I retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer,” she said. “During my service, I was married and had three children. I proved (the doubters) wrong, and did my part to change their statistics.”

Photo - Nilsa Swift

 

“I chose Schwab because of the purpose and vision of this firm,” she said. “I did my research and wanted to find a role that mattered to me and provided me the opportunity to keep serving in some way.” 

Nilsa Swift

Nilsa S. in her military uniform.

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During her three decades as a sailor, Nilsa served mostly aboard aircraft carriers in the Western Pacific. She was onboard the USS CARL VINSON (CVN70) on September 11, 2001, and then onboard the USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN76) when Osama Bin Laden was buried at sea.

When she retired from the Navy in 2015, Nilsa stayed home with her children for a short time before going to work at USAA in San Antonio, Texas. She joined Schwab earlier this year.

“I chose Schwab because of the purpose and vision of this firm,” she said. “I did my research and wanted to find a role that mattered to me and provided me the opportunity to keep serving in some way.” 

Even after 30 years of service, the Navy is never far away. Nilsa’s husband is also a retired sailor, while their two adult children are currently serving and a third child is in high school.

“I feel like coming to Schwab has brought my life full circle,” said Nilsa.

Mike agrees, saying the heritage of service he experienced in the Army continues each day in his new career. “The best thing about Schwab is our reputation. Clients enjoy doing business with us, and they refer their friends and family because they know they will be well taken care of.”

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