WWJ Newsradio 950 celebrates Black History Month by recognizing local young African American professionals and their heroes. 

DETROIT (WWJ) – He’s the man behind the surge in military veteran hires at Quicken Loans.

Retired Air Force Master Sergeant John Gardner says he loves his job; especially when his air force recruits become his Quicken Loans recruits.

Gardner talked to WWJ Newsradio 950’s Stephanie Davis about hiring one young woman from Monroe.

“She joined, served about four years, and then she transitioned from the military back home,” he said. “She was looking for a job and at the time I’d just retired for the military. I told her about the opportunities at Quicken Loans, and now she’s here as a team member at Quicken Loans doing some great things.”

Thanks to Gardner, Quicken Loans employs about 300 military veterans.

He says two people in black history serve as his inspiration: President Barack Obama, and the first African American Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair, Colin Powell.

“I was early starting my military career when that happened, so it just kind of let me know that I could have a career and in the military,” Gardner said. “And then, obviously, President Obama being elected as the president … I was at the pinnacle of my career, about to transition, and he was actually elected president and he signed my retirement orders.”

Hear the complete interview:

Note: WWJ reporter Stephanie Davis and John Gardner are related by marriage.


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