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Updated May 26 @ 10:26AM
 

Veteran uses company to put veterans to work

Millennium Security Services gives military service priority

HATCHER HURD/Herald
Michael E. Mizell, a retired lieutenant colonel and owner of Millennium Security Services, makes a point of hiring as many veterans as he can.
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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Michael E. Mizell, president and CEO of his company Millennium Security Services, doesn’t just hire veterans because it is patriotic, he hires them because it makes good business sense.

Mizell retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel and returned home to Atlanta in 1994 – a most fortuitous time for him as it turned out.

His former commander, retired Gen. Michael Spiglemire, had just become deputy director for operations for the Atlanta Olympic Committee. Part of his job was to provide security for the work site and he needed a right-hand man to do the day-to-day management of securing 21 acres of Olympic property under construction.

After the Olympics, Mizell helped launch a start-up security company, Millennium Security Services, that he built up quickly to $1 million in revenues with corporate clients that included Cousins Properties.

The recent recession was hard, but Millennium Security is bouncing back. But always Mizell was looking to hire veterans. Being ex-military himself, he understood a veteran’s sense of duty, work ethic and dependability.

“I always made it my rule to hire a vet first. Not the least of which is it is good business. When you hire a veteran, you are getting a person who understands how to follow orders, how to fit in under a chain of command and how to take instruction,” Mizell said.

You can tell Mizell is just a guy who likes soldiers.

“Right now, I would say 72 percent of my employees are vets,” he said.

Many of them start out as $10 an hour personal entry attendants – they’ll man a gated entry. But for many, it is just the beginning of bigger things.

“I remember one guy we had who worked as a guard during the day at Coca Cola and went to school at night,” said Mizell.

“The day he got his diploma, Coca Cola had a personnel man at his graduation and presented him with a $55,000-a-year job as a data technician.”

Days like that give Mizell a lot of satisfaction in what he does.

“I get a lot of satisfaction out things like that. All of my people are aiming for something bigger. I love being the platform that launches them into a new career.”

The Georgia Department of Labor has recognized Mizell six times as Georgia’s Small Business Veteran Employer of the Year. He has been named National Veteran Employer of the year four times.

“I like getting awards, but the real thrill is seeing these vets turn their lives around,” he said.

With a down-sized military and still maintaining global commitments, Mizell says we are asking a lot from our servicemen and women.

“Sending people off for five and six tours not only creates fertile ground for PTSD and creates havoc for families trying to stay together,” he said.

“We need to do a better job of helping these vets when they come back and make sure they get any help they need.”

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