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Tom Wolfe is an author, columnist, career coach, veteran, and an expert in the field of military-to-civilian career transition. During his career he assisted thousands of service members in their searches for employment, placing more than 3000 in their new jobs.
Prior to civilian life, he graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy and served as a surface warfare officer, tactical action officer, and admiral’s aide.
Tom was a founding partner of Career Development Corporation, one of the first and most highly respected firms in the military-to-civilian career transition industry.
He teaches transition courses, gives seminars on career and job change, writes about the career transition process, and continues to counsel current and former military personnel.
Tom is or has been a regular contributor to Military.com, Stripes.com, Military Transition News, Civilian Job News, Stars & Stripes, TAOnline.com, Military Wife Network, and Veterans of Modern Warfare.
His book, Out of Uniform: Your Guide to a Successful Military-to-Civilian Career Transition, Second Edition, was published in 2018 by University of Nebraska Press/Potomac Books, as a follow-up to the first edition which was published in 2012.
Tom lives on the North Carolina coast with his wife, Julie. He is president of his community veterans club, volunteers at veteran-centric events, and serves on the board of directors of Listen Up Brunswick County! He enjoys running, bicycling, kayaking, Scrabble, poker, craft beers, and walks on the beach.
Andrew Miller is an economic development and entrepreneurship consultant, start-up CEO, and instructor at Western Washington University’s Karen Morse Leadership Institute. A former global team leader at Amazon, Weyerhauser and Military Recruiting Program.
Jared earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He commissioned into the Marine Corps in 2002 and served as an Infantry Officer in the 1st Marine Division. After leaving the Marines in 2009, Jared served as a Green Beret with 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). He transitioned from active duty in August 2016 and completed FourBlock DC’s Career Readiness Program in the Spring of 2017.
He is pursuing a M.A. in Security Policy Studies and will graduate from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in May 2018. Jared will join Deloitte Consulting in the Fall of 2018, focused on applying data analytics to enhance enterprise-level decisions in the national security sector. His strengths lie in strategy development, dynamic problem solving and collaborating in a team environment. Jared strives to improve veteran career readiness through encouraging relationships and fostering partnerships in private industry.
Roger Roley joined the Army where he served for 24 years and retiring as a Command Sergeants Major. After retiring from the Army, Roger’s career has spanned numerous industries including Ferrellgas, Cintas, Osprey Biotechnics, Inc., and Corporate Leads, Inc. where he has led in roles from manager, director, vice president, to senior partner.
Roger most recently joined the Building Global Leaders Team in December 2014 as Vice President of Operations and Partner. Building Global Leaders’ mission is to develop future business leaders utilizing business training, leadership training and mentorship. In his mission to develop future business leaders in the veteran community as well, Roger joined Four Block as the Atlanta Program Director.
Joanna is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. She served as a Field Radio Operator and as a Recruiter. She served honorably from 1998-2007 as a Staff Sergeant and deployed in suport of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 with Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, 3rd Marine Air Wing.
Having overcome her own transition obstacles, Joanna made the commitment to help other veterans transition more successfully. She became a well-known veteran advocate in the Arizona community with her previous work at ASU's Pat Tillman Veterans Center (2012-2015) and her many involvements in the nonprofit space. She works tirelessly to help bridge the divide between transitioning veterans and the civilian community. She serves as a voluntary board member with ASU's Veterans Chapter of the alumni, S.E.E.4 Vets, and the AZ Veterans Court Mentor Project. She volunteers to help raise funds for the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund - AZ Campaign, and is a member of the Jar Head Professionals group.
Joanna is married to Mr. Joblin Sweatt since 1997 and they have three beautiful children, Jeriah, Joblin Jr., and Jordin.
Kevin served as an infantry officer in the US Marine Corps from 1979 to 1984. He is a member of the American Legion; is on the Board of Directors of VETLANTA, a group dedicated to the welfare of transitioning veterans; and is the VP of the Community Assistance Center (CAC), the emergency relief agency of Sandy Springs/Dunwoody.
Kevin is a lawyer in the UPS Real estate department and writes historical fiction as a hobby. He has published two books: The March of the 18th and The March of the Orphans. Kevin gives half of all royalties from his two books to charities for veterans.
Tom has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and served as an officer with the U.S. Navy Seabees in Vietnam in the early 1970’s. He was Bravo Company Commander of Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 301 in Chu Lai and then Officer in Charge of Construction of elements of a new Intermediate Support Base in Thuan An in the Northern I Corps Tactical Zone.
When he left the service, Tom pursued a career in the infrastructure engineering and construction industry where he earned professional engineering licenses in New York State and elsewhere. In 1990, he was one of the original founders of AECOM, a company that would grow to become the world’s largest design engineering firm according to Engineering News Record magazine. AECOM is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and is ranked among Fortune’s largest 200 firms in the U.S. with annual revenue of about $20 billion. AECOM has also been listed among the world’s Most Admired and Most Ethical firms.
Tom retired from AECOM as a Corporate Vice President in July 2016, and a month later joined FourBlock as an Associate Instructor in New York City. In September 2018, he also joined the Adjunct Faculty at Fordham University.
Michael Pett is a Disabled Veteran of the US Army with over 18 years of total service. He is still currently serving in the Illinois Army National Guard as a Sergeant First Class. Stationed at Schofield Barracks with the famed 25th ID, Michael attended Air Assault School and deployed to Iraq from December of 2003 until March of 2005. While deployed, Michael operated as a Casualty Operations Specialist with the 225 FSB, Michael was pushed throughout theatre processing wounded warrior and local nationals from point of injury to combat support hospitals located within Iraq, Germany, and the United States.
Michael is a graduate of the University of Illinois where he earned a degree in Sociology. He is the national Student Veteran Recruiting Lead at Accenture. Since beginning his career, Michael has created two initiatives focusing on the growth and professional development of student veterans and spouses. Each program is tailored towards student veterans and spouses, providing them with tangible tools to succeed in the ever changing corporate climate.
Mick served in the U.S. Marine Corps and has been involved in efforts to connect service members to major corporations in the Seattle area for the past 6 years. He is currently working with Starbucks Coffee where he led efforts for the commitment to hire veterans and military spouses and has served as the President of the Starbucks Armed Forces Network.
Mick joined the Marine Corps serving on active duty and deploying in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Mick graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA and following active duty, returned to Seattle, WA and joined Starbucks Coffee. He has held a variety of roles in his years at Starbucks, primarily leading teams in Starbucks Field Operations and Starbucks Seattle Support Center. Mick’s advocacy for veterans led to a natural transition onto the Starbucks Global Responsibility team where he helped launch the Veteran Initiative. Over the past three years, Mick has helped build many of the foundational pillars of the Starbucks Veterans Program. These include Roll Call which allows Starbucks to recognize and engage veteran, military spouse and advocate employees, Military Immersions that connect field partners with their local base and veteran service organizations, and the model for both Military Family Stores dedications and Military Mondays. Most recently Mick helped launch the Adopt A Unit effort to help connect partners and customers with units serving overseas and their families at home.
Andy McCarty is the Director of Northeastern University’s Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Servicemembers, serving student veterans online and at campuses in Boston, Charlotte and Seattle. He is also an Air Force veteran (2000-2004) with two deployments to Africa and the Middle East and is the founder and staff advisor for the NU Student Veterans Organization. Andy serves on the board of the National Association of Veterans Program Administrators and joins the FourBlock Boston community as an associate instructor.
WES S. WESTON is an Independent Consultant supporting the Department of Defense with developing and deploying alternative and renewable energy solutions for military Installations and operational forces. Wes is a retired Marine Corps Colonel who served as an Armor Officer and Logistics Officer. With more than 28 years of service, he commanded at the Platoon, Company and Battalion level leading Marines in both combat and humanitarian operations. He has lived and served in Europe, Asia, and throughout the Middle East and the United States. In his civilian career, Wes was a Team Lead for Booz Allen Hamilton where he developed a global energy support program that helps the military reduce the cost of operations while improving energy resilience.
Wes is also an avid volunteer. In his spare time, Wes is the Whatcom Country Toys for Tots Coordinator, a Red Cross Volunteer and a speaker at Memorial Day and Veterans Day events. Wes spends his free time traveling and camping with family across the United States. He is committed to helping our nation’s military and veterans make a successful transition into society and finding employment that fits their career goals in the private sector.
Wes holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Washington University, is a graduate of Command and General Staff College and a Level 2 Acquisitions Professional. He lives in sunny Ferndale Washington with his wife Teresa. They have four children.
Anna Hopkins began volunteering with FourBlock Atlanta in the spring of 2016, its inaugural semester. Her initial role was to teach the “Dress for Success” portion of the program. After attending that first meeting, she knew she wanted to be a part of the FourBlock program and assist veterans to transition successfully to civilian life. After volunteering for two semesters, she was invited to officially join the team as an Associate Instructor in 2017.
Anna is a civilian with a strong connection to the veteran community. She works as a Technical Recruiter for an IT staffing firm, and operates Elevated Image, an image consulting practice. Her unique background provides FourBlock veterans a strong resource for a variety of the skills they will need to make a successful transition from military and university life to the civilian workforce. As a technical recruiter, Anna offers expert help with resume writing, interviewing skills, job searches, and networking. As an image consultant, she teaches enrollees the importance of a professional image and brand, and instructs them on how to achieve both.
She is committed to helping as many transitioning veterans as possible, and to helping FourBlock build a strong community in which veterans succeed and thrive.
Anna is an Atlanta native. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University where she earned a BA in Spanish with a concentration in Business and a minor in Italian.
Chris Casey is an Air Force Veteran (2002 – 2008) and current Vice President at J.P. Morgan. Chris started on Wall St. six years ago in JPM's first Military Veteran Internship Program and has held Banker, National, and International Strategy roles in various major markets (New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles). Prior to his employment with JPMorgan, Chris worked at MTV and Inked Magazine.
In his time in the Air Force, Chris was in a highly specialized unit where he rapidly deployed all over the world to quickly open airfields and establish, expand, sustain, and coordinate air mobility operations.
Chris is a voracious reader, traveler, filmmaker/photographer, and has been been involved in a number of Veteran Mentorship programs across the country. In 2017 his first short film, which focuses on a snippet of his perspective on transition to civilian life, was featured in an exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). He also loves his dog, Bronson, and graduated from Fordham University.
James is a veteran of the United States Army, serving as an Unmanned Aircraft Systems operator and instructor from 2003-2011. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008. While serving, James graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelors in Science.
After separating from the military, James attended New York University, first earning his Masters in Public Policy from Wagner School of Public Service, followed by his Masters in Business Administration from Stern School of Business. Aided by the skills James learned at FourBlock, he is currently a Program Manager at The Walt Disney Company where he oversees process improvement strategies for the company’s global charitable programs.
James continues to be an active member in the veteran community. He is an active volunteer with The Mission Continues, and has run the NYC marathon with Team Tillman NYC four times, personally raising over $15,000 for The Pat Tillman Foundation. He is also on the leadership council for SALUTE, the Disney military veteran employee group.
Pete is a Navy & Marine veteran with a voice and a passion for helping other US veterans to be successful. After serving eleven honorable years in the military, providing leadership, logistics, management, and IT support, he transitioned from being a United States Marine to an Information Technology professional and a community leader. His passion and primary focus is helping veterans build a brand, network, find a new career, or start a business.
As a veteran, Pete understands making that transition can be difficult. He dedicates time to training, mentoring, and assisting transitioning military personnel and veterans who have already transitioned to find the right connection or resources they need. He believes that helping a fellow veteran make the right connection can make all the difference in the world.
Arnon Kraft has over 15 years of global business and technology leadership and management, mainly in the consumer electronics industry. For the past six years, Arnon has been with Microsoft in Redmond, currently as General Manager for Strategic Sourcing & Partner Management. In addition to his role, Arnon is taking a leadership role in the college and military veterans hiring efforts at Microsoft. Prior to that, Arnon held several executive level positions spanning from Sales & Marketing to Business Development to Technology and Operations in various consumer electronics companies such as SanDisk, modu mobile and msystems. Arnon has given a TEDx Talk titled “Innovating Talent Development – The First 90 Days” and is also a guest speaker in the fields of Operational Strategy, Management & Leadership Excellence and Talent Development in various forums.
Throughout his career, Arnon focused on and developed an expertise in strategic planning and execution, team & talent development, organizational leadership and building partnerships. Arnon is passionate about mentoring and is currently working with a few mentees at Microsoft as well as external. In the past, he has taken an active role in Tel Aviv University’s Recanati MBA mentorship program as a mentor to students and new graduates. Arnon has served in the Israeli Navy as a Lieutenant Major in the Navy’s CIO unit, holding technological and leadership positions. He holds an MBA from the Tel-Aviv University and a BSc in Industrial Engineering from The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.
Jonathan Granata was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. In 2008, Jonathan enlisted in the United States Air Force and flew on C-130s as an Aircraft Loadmaster. Jonathan was stationed at Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas. Jonathan participated in two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Hope. After exiting the military in 2013, Jonathan returned home to Dayton where he received his undergraduate degree in Organization Leadership from Wright State University. During his time at Wright State, Jonathan sat on the student government, worked as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Veteran and Military Center (VMC), and was the Student Veterans of America (SVA) Chapter President. Upon graduation, Jonathan moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the National Student Veterans of America as a Development Specialist. As a Development Specialist, he was in charge of raising money, creating new partnerships and building and strengthening existing relationships with government, corporate, and nonprofit partners.
While working for SVA, Jonathan continued his education and completed a master's degree in Organizational Leadership & Learning from The George Washington University. After completing his degree, Jonathan received and accepted a job offer from Accenture, where he is a Management Consulting Senior Analyst based out of Chicago, IL. While at Accenture, Jonathan has been working on projects in the areas of information security, training & development, next-generation communications, employee experience, and HR transformation. Jonathan believes that helping veterans succeed to, through, and beyond college is part of his life mission. He is part of the Military Employee Resource Group (MERG) and works with both the local Chicago office as well as the National MERG.
Eric W. Stetson is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and is a native of Haverford, PA. He graduated from Lafayette College and served on active duty in the Army from June 1991 until September 2015. His final military assignment was as the Professor of Military Science, University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign. Eric attended the University of Louisville earning a Master’s degree in Human Resources Education and is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS. His military experience included a wide range of assignments including Battery Commander, Brigade Rear Detachment Commander, Biometrics Team Chief for Regional Command East – Afghanistan, and Deputy Brigade Commander for a separate Infantry Brigade. Eric deployed to Bosnia, Kosovo, Qatar, Iraq and Afghanistan in various leadership positions. Upon retiring from the service he founded his own consulting company specializing in leadership and team performance development and he consults for Ennea International as an Executive Faculty Lead for North America. He also conducts corporate training and work-shops on various subjects and volunteered with FOURBLOCK during the Spring 2017 semester as a guest instructor. Eric has a passion for supporting fellow veterans and he thrives in collaborative environments where he can help others realize their full potential! He also serves FOURBLOCK as the Director for Employee Learning and Development.
Kyle attended Radford University from 2008-2012 where he graduated with a B.B.A in Business Management. Upon graduation, Kyle commissioned as an active duty Army Officer and served four years in the 1-325 Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division across a variety of leadership positions. After completing his service with the Army, Kyle began his career at KPMG in the Washington D.C. area. Kyle currently works as a management consultant in KPMG’s Customer and Operations service line.
Dennis is a Marine Corps veteran who served as an infantry officer and recruiter. After seven years of service, he joined General Electric on its Junior Officer Leadership Program. During the past nine years with GE, he has held leadership positions in several of the company’s industrial businesses. Dennis graduated from the US Naval Academy and Universities of Maryland and Pennsylvania with degrees in mechanical engineering and business. He and his wife, also a Marine veteran, live in Phoenix, AZ with their six children.
Mike Dunford is a retired Marine Corps Reserve Officer and veteran of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon, and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In addition to his role as a veteran advocate, Mike is currently a leadership and human resources consultant, who served as the CHRO and Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Covidien, an $11B global medical device company with 38,000 employees operating in more than 70 countries. Following the acquisition of Covidien in 2015, he founded the Dunford Consulting Group focused on executive leadership coaching and the development and execution of HR and talent related strategies.
Mike serves as an advisor and member on several boards to include Mercy Health in Cincinnati, Edge4Vets, The Human Resources Leadership Forum (HRLF), Year Up Providence, and the Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center in Massachusetts. Mike also serves on the steering committee of the Greater Boston Veterans Collaborative and leads the employment work group.
Jack Finan is currently a Deal Execution Lead within Accenture’s Resources Practice. Prior to joining Accenture, Jack served for five years in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, NY. While there he served as a Rifle Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer. He commissioned from the United States Military Academy where he received a B.S. in Management. Jack lives in Chicago and enjoys sports, working out, and reading.
Tony is a Director of Health Plan Solutions with American Well, a telemedicine company. His prior corporate experience included roles in sales, marketing and strategy at Merck pharmaceuticals, and as a Healthcare Practice Advisor at Cisco Systems. Tony serves in the Navy Reserve as a Judge Advocate, where he is in command of the Navy Reserve Region Legal Service Office, Southeast, located in Jacksonville, Florida. He was mobilized in 2009, where he served as a legal advisor to the Criminal Investigative Task Force in Fort Belvoir, VA, and as Officer in Charge of a Prosecution Task Force at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Tony takes most satisfaction out of mentoring his junior colleagues, whether they are in the civilian or military sectors.
Joshua Perschbacher is a Veteran of the United States Navy (2009-2013) having made two WESTPAC deployments aboard the USS CARL VINSON in support of OEF/OIF/OND. After separating in 2013 Josh moved back to his home state of Illinois and enrolled at Northern Illinois University where he completed his Master’s in Higher Education Administration/Student Development focusing on Hyper-Masculinity and the Privilege of Conferred Dominance. In 2016 he began working at Northeastern Illinois University where he now serves as Acting Director for Veterans Services.
Since moving to the Chicago area in 2013 Josh has ingrained himself in the Veteran community. This experience led him to create The Vetwork, a Veteran networking collective which fosters connections and communication between veteran serving organizations while maintaining an events calendar for all things Veteran in the Chicagoland area.
David Rader is a Manager at Ernst & Young with a primary focus on Transaction Advisory Services. Prior to joining EY, David was a Vice President at J.P. Morgan in the Corporate & Investment Bank. David served four years as an active duty enlisted infantryman in the Army with the 25th Infantry Division. He has a BA from the University of Arizona, a JD from Michigan State, and is currently pursuing an MS in Finance from Johns Hopkins University.
Y. T. White has been a leader in learning and development for over 20 years. She has held roles addressing all aspects of the employee life cycle, including hiring and onboarding, job skills training and leadership development. T currently supports the USAID Food for Peace office as a Training and Development Specialist. Prior to relocating to the DC area, she managed several organizational effectiveness processes with Koch Industries.
Her career in the United States Air Forces began as an Aviation Resource Management Apprentice in 1995. In this role T provided guidance to aircrew members and unit commanders on aviation management regulations and policies through training sessions, squadron briefings and post flight mission review. She still serves in the Air Force as a reserve member at Joint Base Andrews as the First Sergeant for the Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.
T is passionate about helping other’s reach their full potential by supporting holistic training programs such as FourBlock, Junior Achievement and Youth Entrepreneurs. She has also served on the Diversity & Inclusion Board at the University of Arkansas and was a member of Tulsa’s Regional Chamber diversity business council.
T holds a B.A. in English from Friends University and her graduate studies are in Business Law.
David Connors has been a financial advisor with RBC Wealth management since 2012, and has been working in the financial services industry since 1999. Before that he served for eight years in the U.S. Navy onboard the USS Gunston Hall as a Radioman and in the U.S. Navy Reserve attached to Naval Weapons Station Earle, NJ and Naval Special Warfare Unit 8 out of Panama. David has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from The University of Central Florida.
David lives with his wife and three young sons in Bethlehem, NY. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family partaking in a variety of activities that include marital arts, hiking, and baseball. Additionally, he likes to keep active by training in Jiu Jitsu. He also spends as much time as he can helping various local veterans organizations, not only by donating time and capital, but also helping to maximize their philanthropic endeavors.
Lauren was commissioned in the Marine Corps shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks and served on active duty for six years, which included deployments to Iraq as a Close Battle Coordinator and then again as a Senior Air Director. After leaving active duty, Lauren attended Texas A&M University graduating with an Advanced Certificate Degree in International Relations and Columbia University graduating with a Masters Degree in International Affairs.
While attending graduate school and then immediately after, Lauren was activated from the Marine Corps Reserves to support media relations as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs in New York City and then as the Director of Public Affairs for Marine Forces Europe and Africa. During her time in Europe and Africa Lauren led all media operations for the first deployment of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response and supported operations throughout Africa and Europe. Lauren then led Community Relations for Headquarters Marine Corps at the Pentagon, Washington D.C.
Lauren is currently the Executive Director of FourBlock, where she supports a team that delivers a semester long university accredited career readiness program for transitioning service members across the nation.
Lauren remains a reservist working in community relations for the Marine Corps and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, is a mother of three young children and married to a Naval Officer.
Dr. Amanda King is a Sr. Director of Breakthrough Technology at Honeywell Aerospace. She is an Army veteran, who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom twice; once as a Soldier and once as a civilian. She graduated from the College of Doctoral Studies at Grand Canyon University in 2017. Her husband is a Marine Corps Reservist Master Sergeant and state trooper and they have two boys. They are active in the veteran community striving to increase veteran employment, retention and promotion. She spends her free time conducting research, teaching her children about science and technology, and enjoying family time.
Rebecca founded Feaster & Associates after working in a variety of strategic communication leadership positions in the United States and internationally. She has facilitated and presented seminars and training around the world, and is known for her high-energy presentations and workshops. Rebecca specializes in “best-in-class” crisis communication and leadership communication training, developing communication training curriculum, facilitating community engagements, and providing cultural awareness on Islamic issues and sexual harassment training programs.
Prior to opening her own firm, Rebecca served with a diverse number of organizations, including the City of Rockville, MD as the city's public information officer, spokesperson for Virginia State Police and as a communications consultant in the Middle East. While in the Middle East she worked as a reporter for Associated Press and Bahrain's Ministry of Information. She also spent time as a public affairs officer in the US Air Force, at bases throughout the US, and in Saudi Arabia and Puerto Rico. Rebecca is an Operation Desert Storm veteran. She holds a Master of International Policy from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Tufts University, and is a certified mediator in the State of Virginia. In 2007, Ms. Feaster completed her fellowship program on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University. Rebecca is the wife of Retired Navy Rear Admiral Hal Pittman and has a college aged son, Evan who attends Brown University.
A Bay Area native, Dirk served in the Air Force from 2005-2009 as a KC-135 Inflight Refueling Specialist. After spending four years flying missions from Okinawa, Hawaii, Wake Island, the Azores, UK, Turkey, Qatar, and Kyrgyzstan, and serving four deployments supporting aircraft over Afghanistan Dirk made his way to New York City to use his Post 9/11 GI Bill and better understand the events and community of which he had been a part.
After completing his degree in Political Science at Columbia University, Dirk stayed on as an Admissions Manager for its School of General Studies, guiding fellow adult and military veteran students through the competitive college application process. He recently transitioned into a staffing position in Silicon Valley, and is excited to join FourBlock San Francisco for its Spring 2018 class.
John Tien currently serves as a Citigroup managing director and is the head of Operations, Technology, and Business Solutions Management for Citi’s largest American Express co-brand portfolio. John’s prior roles include head of operations for Citi Retail Services largest co-brand MasterCard portfolio and chief administrative officer for the head of Global Consumer Operations and Technology and where his responsibilities included oversight of all consumer bank related training for 75,000 employees, implementation of a global business goals process that evaluated operations in 40 different countries, and reporting and strategic analysis for all of Citi’s global functions including credit assessment, fraud protection, debt collections, and payment utilities.
As a retired U.S. Army Colonel and Citi’s senior military veteran employee, John also serves as the Consumer Bank leader on the firm-wide steering committee that oversees the Citi Salutes program (www.CitiSalutes.com). In this role, John provides senior-level guidance for Citi’s support of military veterans, military family members, and active duty, National Guard and Reserve members both internal and external to the firm. Nationally, John is the Chairman of the Board for the veterans non-profit, The Mission Continues (www.MissionContinues.org), an organization which focuses on helping transition military veterans from military service to community service in their local neighborhoods. Locally in Atlanta, John is a board member of The Warrior Alliance (www.TheWarriorAlliance.org), an organization which focuses on bringing together the services and resources veterans need in one location to help optimize the transition process for veterans in the greater Atlanta area.
John’s last Army posting was at the White House from 2008-2011 where he was a senior national security advisor to both President Obama and President Bush. At the White House and as part of the National Security Council (NSC) staff, he was responsible for the development and NSC oversight of all U.S. military, political, and economic policy in the countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan for President Obama, and for military operations in Iraq for President Bush. He also served in the Clinton Administration from 1998-1999 as a White House Fellow in the Office of the United States Trade Representative where his focus included the World Trade Organization, U.S. steel industry trade and exports, and President Clinton’s Business Roundtable. John’s active duty military career spanned twenty-four years and included more than a decade of overseas assignments in Europe and the Middle East as well as three combat tours in Iraq. His last military operations tour was as the Task Force 2-37 Commander in Tal Afar and Ramadi, Iraq from 2006-2007, and in Friedberg, Germany from 2004-2007. His military awards and decorations include the Valorous Unit Award, Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, and Combat Action Badge.
John holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy and a Masters of Art degree from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is also a Harvard Kennedy School National Security Fellow and a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. John and his wife, Tracy, are active volunteers in the Atlanta area to include John’s efforts as an alumnus of Leadership Atlanta and Tracy through her volunteer docent role at the High Museum of Art.
Scott Haas is the Director of Talent Acquisition at BGIS, a real estate management services company for the U.S. market, with focus on critical infrastructure/data centers and integrated facility management. One of Scott's many proud accomplishments with the team is taking the organization post acquisition from 18% to over 30% veterans/spouses in BGIS's workforce throughout the U.S. Since joining BGIS, the company has made GI Jobs Magazine's list of military friendly employers for 2017 and 2018 and received the Gold Medallion from the U.S. Department of Labor Hire Vets program from the Secretary of Labor.
He has served on the board for the Washington Career and Technical Education Foundation (supporting students in STEM related programs); served as Executive Board Member with Hire Americas Heroes (since absorbed by Hiring Our Heroes); served as a Board Member, then elected to First Chair with Pierce County Workforce Development Council; held an advisor role with National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), Federal Communications Commission with CSRIC V Working Group 7 (FCC), and Highline College (Cybersecurity & Forensics Program). Scott's a Mentor for Veterati and Associate Instructor with FourBlock since Spring 2018.
Scott has been a part of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) since 2006; a member of National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE); and, since 2016, is a member with Data Center Dynamics, 7 x 24 Exchange (Data Center), and International Facility Management Association (IFMA).
Scott served in the Marine Corps infantry in the '90s and was a part of several campaigns/deployments to Somalia, Bosnia, and Haiti. He even participated in the Navy traditions: Ancient Order of the Shellbacks and crossed the equator (to become a Shellback), along with the transit of the Suez Canal. He received his Bachelor of Science from Organizational Management from University of La Verne in Southern California, along with his Certificate in Human Resources Management from CSU Long Beach. He is also a rugby fan, briefly played in the Marine Corps and in College.
Erin joined the Marine Corps in 2008 and was specially selected as a top performer out of 100 Military Police students to be a Military Working Dog Handler and Military Police Officer. While stationed in Okinawa, Japan, she was assigned to support to the United States Secret Service in direct protection of the President of the United States and his family during his attendance to the United Nations Summit, utilizing her Military Working Dog (MWD) to search for and detect improvised explosive devises. She and her Military Working Dog were also assigned to provide protective services during the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Today, she oversees FourBlock’s National Alumni Relations Program and developing FourBlock’s first Texas Career Readiness Programs. She focuses on FourBlock Alumni retention with our corporate partners.
Joseph Hamm joined the Marine Corps in 2007 and transitioned out in 2015 after eight years of service. He was an Aviation Ordnanceman in his first four years, with a deployment to Iraq for 12 months, and spent his last four years as an Unmanned Ariel Vehicle Operator, with a deployment to Afghanistan for seven months. Currently, he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechatronics Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. He is also participating in a Cooperative Education program with an engineering company called Area-I building drones.
Joseph joined the FourBlock team in March of 2017 as the Southeast Regional Coordinator.
Jordan is a communications specialist and writer from Upstate New York. He graduated from SUNY Cortland in 2017 with a B.A. in Communication Studies. Jordan initially joined FourBlock as its content writer in 2016 after meeting with founder Mike Abrams and learning of the foundation's mission to support transitioning veterans.
Today, he serves as FourBlock's communications manager. He's also a freelance writer for IGN, one of the world's most-visited entertainment websites.
Steve Cannon is the chief executive officer of AMB Group, LLC, assuming the day-to-day leadership of the company’s for-profit businesses. Cannon leads all business operations of the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons; Atlanta United of Major League Soccer; Atlanta Falcons Stadium Company, the developer of Mercedes-Benz Stadium that is scheduled to open in 2017; PGA TOUR Superstore; and Mountain Sky Guest Ranch.
Prior to joining AMB Group, Cannon served as president and chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) and was responsible for leading operations that generated record sales with annual revenues exceeding $20 billion. During his tenure, MBUSA achieved a first-ever No. 1 ranking on the American Customer Satisfaction Index and was also lauded as one of the best places to work by Fortune Magazine five years in a row. Cannon oversaw MBUSA’s successful headquarters relocation from New Jersey to the metro Atlanta area, in addition to crafting a sports sponsorship strategy that closely aligned the premium brand with properties reflective of its category leadership and brand position.
Cannon began his automotive career in 1991 as executive assistant to the president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz of North America (predecessor to MBUSA). From there, he moved to Stuttgart, Germany and joined a small team tasked with the development, manufacturing and launch of the M-Class, the first Mercedes-Benz SUV ever made in, and for this market. Following his time in Germany, Cannon served as director of marketing for Debis Financial Services (later Daimler Financial Services). He also served as principal for The Richards Group, one of the largest independent full-service advertising agencies in the U.S. before re-joining MBUSA in 2007 where he served as the vice president of marketing for MBUSA from June 2007 until he was promoted to president and CEO in 2012.
Cannon graduated with honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point (B.S., Economics). He is Airborne Ranger qualified and served as 1st Lieutenant in West Germany during the fall of the Iron Curtain. During his time in the Army he also served five years as an artillery officer.
In his current role as the PwC Veterans Advocacy Leader, Chris leads PwC’s ongoing commitment to investing in diverse talent, which includes the implementation of an enhanced strategic roadmap and operational model for attracting, hiring, onboarding and retaining veterans, service members and military spouses. In this role, Chris also collaborates with leaders of the firm’s Veterans Affinity Network (VAN) to mentor new and existing veteran team members, and increase their opportunities for personal and professional development.
Before joining PwC in his current role, Chris was a Senior Director with Kforce Professional Staffing. Prior to that, Crace served 7 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps as an Artillery Captain and primary instructor at The Basic School in Quantico, VA. He deployed in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
The path many veterans face after military service is one Colby knows well. After returning home from Iraq he experienced many barriers that veterans commonly face.
He made a promise to himself to honor his Marines by dedicating his career to making a difference in the professional success of veterans. During Colby’s transition he held various leadership roles in operations management and eventually made his way into Talent Acquisition. In 2014, he joined Amazon where he built several military transition programs and became an expert in military recruiting. Most recently, he joined Chewy.com as a Director of Recruiting and continues to pursue his personal mission to help veterans transition into their civilian careers.
He holds a M.S in Human Resource Management at Nova Southeastern University and a B.A in International Affairs at Florida State University. Colby is an advocate for Student Veterans through the FSU Student Veteran Center, an active leader with Four Block and is a leading board member for the Khe Sanh Peace Garden, a veteran group bringing Warriors together from both sides to change the way veterans reunite.
Craig is a veteran of the United States Air Force, serving from 1981-1989 in the Air Transportation field. While stationed at Andrews AFB, Craig was assigned to Presidential Support Duty, supporting all aircraft carrying the President, Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries, Members of Congress and all Foreign Heads of State.
After separating from the military, it took 5 years to land a career with a Fortune 500 Company, The Home Depot. Craig was promoted from sales associate, to department manager, and spent 14 years as an assistant store manager, responsible for 60 associates, 8 departments, and over $25,000,000 in yearly sales.
Craig is currently retired from the full-time workforce.
Craig is very eager to start giving back and helping veterans to achieve their greatest potential, so they will not have to go through what he did when separating from the military.
Chad Hutchins is a Policy Analyst for Wounded Warrior Transition for the U.S. Navy’s congressional mandated Wounded Warrior Program. He was retired from the Navy in May 2015 as a prior-enlisted, “Mustang”, Lieutenant. As a naval officer, Chad worked in Force Protection, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), ordnance, and as an enlisted sailor he was an Information Systems Technician.
Since his time in the world’s greatest Navy, Chad has served veterans and transitioning military in non-profit, higher education, state government, and federal government settings. He has worked with FourBlock since September 2016 as their Salesforce Administrator.
Chad has a Master of Science in Modeling, Virtual Environments, and Simulation (MOVES) from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Bachelor of Science in Health, Exercise, Sport Science from The Citadel. He also has Joint Professional Military Education Phase I from The Naval War College. Chad was commissioned in the U.S. Navy via the Seaman-to-Admiral 21 Program.
Larry Delgado is currently working for Pierce Transit as the Interim Lean & Workforce Development Manager consisting of the organization’s Bus Safety & Training, Lean & Change Management, Learning & Development and Talent Management departments. Pierce Transit is a public transit agency that has over 960 employees and provides transportation for over 90% of Pierce County, Washington. He designs and implements organization-wide employee training and development as well as employee communication strategies that foster performance excellence and efficiency; partners with the Leadership Teams to develop leader, team and individual performance standards and metrics linked to agency values, goals and priorities; evaluates and identifies individual performance strengths and gaps, and designs individualized, team and system-wide development plans to improve employee satisfaction and develop strong leaders.
Larry also coordinates leadership development programs such as the Diversity & Inclusion Program, the Awards & Recognition Program and the Mentorship Program. His expertise includes Adult Learning Modules, management of Learning Management Systems, team building, change management and organizational leadership.
Larry serves as an Associate Instructor for FourBlock, an organization that is building a community of high-potential veterans and employers in a supportive environment. He also is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), Olympia Chapter, the Association for Talent Management (ATD) and the Training Resources and Information Network (T.R.A.I.N).
Larry retired from the United States Army in December 2017 after 20 years of active federal service as a Human Resource Professional. His military career culminated in achieving the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Three. His accomplishments include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and include three deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and one to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Larry attained a Bachelor’s of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University in December 2017 and is seeking to complete his Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University.
Chris is a Navy veteran with six years active duty and five years reserves, including one tour in Iraq. During his active duty time, he served in intel as a Cryptologist Signal Collector on the EP-3E reconnaissance aircraft. Then, during his time in the reserves, he cross-rated to Master-at-arms and volunteered to go to Iraq shortly after, where he served as a guard for air transports.
After serving his time on active duty, Chris became a Harley Mechanic. Four years later, he knew that path was not going to get him where he wanted to be in life, so he left and went back to his roots of intel and started working at NORAD/USNORTHCOM. Bouncing from government contract to contract, he realized that wasn’t what he wanted and volunteered to go to Iraq. While Chris was in Iraq, he reconnected with an old friend through social media who sent him a couple of books that changed his life. The two books where “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robins and “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. During the rest of his time in Iraq, he read countless other personal development books.
This was the tipping point in Chris’s life. When he got back from Iraq, he started putting all these principles to use and worked his way into a GS-12 position in less than three years. He eventually found himself at another dead end seeing no further opportunity for growth at a job he didn’t really enjoy. At this point, he realized it wasn’t about the money, and he knew he had to find something he was passionate about and something that he’d love doing no matter how much he made. This passion he discovered was helping others by educating them in the financial world and helping them prepare for their financial futures.
Today, Chris is married to his beautiful wife Talia and has two boys, Aurelius and Maximus. He credits his wife with his success and who he is today because she was the one that sent him the books that began his personal development journey. Chris has been in the financial industry as a financial planner and investment professional for three years now. He continues to spend his free time reading and listening to personal development books and podcasts. He also enjoys playing sports, camping, spending time with his family, and riding his Harley. He is a continuous learner and believes that life is a journey—once we stop learning, we stop living. You cannot sit back and let life happen; you have to take control of it and make it happen. He believes that you must know yourself to be able to grow and he has done this by using the Gallup Strength Finder along with his coach. His number one strength is learner followed by responsibility, individualization, arranger and self-assurance.
Ken Davenport is the founder & CEO of Mission Edge, a social enterprise providing consulting and strategy services to nonprofits and social impact organizations. Prior to starting Mission Edge, Ken was a serial entrepreneur who started and ran a number of successful technology companies. He is a past board member at the Travis Manion Foundation and teaches entrepreneurship to transitioning veterans in the Boots to Business program as part of Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). Ken holds a BA in Political Science from UC San Diego, a Master’s in International Management from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego, and a Master's in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
After graduating from Cornell University with a BS and MEng in Operations Research, Lana worked for a year in civil engineering before opting to enlist in the Army as an Intelligence Collector, Interrogator, and CI investigator. During her 10 years of active service, she deployed to both OEF and OIF and was presented a Purple Heart among her other awards. After medical retirement (see Purple Heart), she returned to NYC to build www.pathfinder.vet to assist fellow veterans and families reintegrating after service.
Damien is a Marine veteran who served on active duty from 2003-2012. He is currently a Management Consulting Sr Analyst at Accenture based in San Francisco and was previously the Director of Operations for FourBlock. Damien began volunteering with FourBlock in 2013 as a class mentor & guest instructor, before becoming a staff member in 2015.
Damien joined the Marine Corps in 2003, served in Iraq in 2006 & 2007, and, while deployed, was selected to enter a commissioning program. After earning his degree and a commission, Damien served his final two years of service as a commissioned officer and ended his active service in 2012.
Since leaving the military, Damien gained experience in talent acquisition and program & operations management. While performing his duties at FourBlock, he pursued and completed his MBA at NYU Stern. Damien has helped develop and advise business models for veteran recruitment and retention and currently focuses in technology integration and process optimization.
Kyle received a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2008 and commissioned into the USAF. He served 5 and a half years split amongst Georgia, New Jersey and 2 deployments (Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia) along with numerous TDY’s. He separated in 2013 to join ExxonMobil as a Project Engineer and worked on large oil and gas projects for 3 years. Kyle then left in 2016 to join SpaceX as a purchasing manager working with the company's supply chain team and is currently still loving it. He completed an MBA from Worcester Polytech in 2017.
Sean White serves as Circadence’s Vice President of Cybersecurity Solutions, and as a retired US Navy veteran, brings more than 20 years of hands-on technical and leadership experience. Mr. White excels at building and developing highly technical teams and possesses a comprehensive systems engineering and cybersecurity background.
At Circadence, he leads the Cyber Research & Development, Machine Intelligence, and Information Security and Technology divisions, providing technical strategy, program leadership, and engineering execution support to ensure excellence in support of the Company’s vision and goals.
Mr. White is an avid volunteer in the veteran community, sharing his time with organizations such as FourBlock, VetsinTech, Hire Heroes USA, and youth cyber competitions. In his spare time, Mr. White loves to spend time with his family, and enjoys baseball and motorsports.
Matthew Kramer is a Compliance Program Manager at Brink’s Incorporated in Texas, where he oversees the anti-money laundering compliance review process of financial institutions who want to pursue high-risk cash-intensive businesses. He began his financial crimes compliance career in 2013 with JPMorgan Chase’s Global Financial Crimes Compliance and then moved into Chase Commercial Bank’s High Risk Industry Group. In 2016, he joined Texas Capital Bank’s Financial Crimes Compliance team an Advisor to the business, after which he was asked to joined Brink’s.
Matthew served in the US Army with a MOS of 21U (Geospatial Intelligence Analyst), with deployments to Iraq & Afghanistan and returned to Afghanistan as a defense intelligence contractor. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Pennsylvania State University and his Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University.
Van is a proud veteran who served this great nation for over thirty years as a Medical Service Corps Officer in executive, director and managerial roles. He completed two combat tours to Jordan and Iraq as a Special Operations/Joint Medical Planner. Van is a FourBlock Alumni who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2017. He holds a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Webster University.
Van is driven to live his passion to lead, empower, inspire and serve veterans! As a transitioned veteran, he knows firsthand the trials and tribulations of the military to civilian journey, understands veterans and their barriers, and especially the unique challenges of senior leaders. Currently, Van is working at Amazon as an Operations Team Leader/Process Assistant who supports an Inventory Control Quality Assurance Team (ICQA) in the DEN2 Fulfillment Center, Aurora, Colorado.
Van is honored to join the FourBlock Team as an Associate Instructor. He is very excited to be part of the launch of the FourBlock Career Readiness Program in Denver, teach and manage the program, and share his personal experiences and challenges with transitioning veterans. He is truly committed to driving future success and shaping the future for a new generation of veterans by developing strong business relationships and community partnerships with local corporations, colleges, universities, and military bases to grow the FourBlock program in Colorado as a brand ambassador!
Van lives in Parker, Colorado, with his wife, Jennifer, and two kids, Kiersten and Kade. He is an avid triathlete (two-time Ironman finisher) and Spartan Obstacle Course Racer, as well as a diehard Denver Broncos fan.
Launia joined Day & Zimmermann in September 2016 as the Sr. Corporate Recruiter for D & Z’s Munitions Group. In her role, she is responsible for full-life cycle recruiting of staff employees, diversity recruiting and cultivating relationships between hiring managers, HR business partners and candidates. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from Park University and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Human Resource Development from Villanova University. She is a recently retired Air Force Veteran in which she has over 20 years of recruiting experience.
Recently separated from the U.S. Navy after 8 years of active duty service. Participated in the FourBlock Veteran Career Readiness course as a student and saw how important the mission was to help transitioning veterans. Moved to Austin, TX, upon separation from the U.S. Navy and currently working at Oracle. So many incredible people helped me as I was transitioning. My goal is to help as many veterans as I can with their transitions and their changes in careers.
Andre is a retired Air Force veteran with over 21 years of service in duty stations around the world, including Okinawa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Germany. He is currently a Technical Program Manager at Facebook based out of Menlo Park, California, and first became involved with FourBlock as a volunteer during an onsite cohort at Facebook in 2018.
While on active duty, Andre lead multiple cyber operations teams while specializing in Program Management and Cyber Security. He served from 1995 to 2016 and earned a B.S. in Computer Networks and Security and a M.S. in Information Systems Security before his retirement. He is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Maryland.
Since leaving the military, Andre has worked for companies like Booz Allen Hamilton and Yahoo!, managing security programs and driving cross-functional teams. He is highly involved with organizations such as Veterati, Vets in Tech, and Vetworking, supporting veterans in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco area. His passion is helping veterans get into technology careers.
Queta is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Captain and native of San Antonio, TX. She enlisted in the Marines in December 1991 and spent ten years as an Intelligence Analyst. During this time, she deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia, in support of Operation Restore Hope and went on to serve in numerous locations in the Pacific and Southwest Asia.
Queta was selected to the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) and attended the University of Maryland, College Park, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Government & Politics. She was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in June 2001 and spent the next ten years as an Adjutant and Manpower Operations Officer in support of deployed forces around the world. Her final assignment was as the Manpower Operations Officer at U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command (USMARCENT) where she deployed extensively in support of Marine Forces in Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East.
Following her retirement in January 2012, Queta served as the Bexar County Veterans Service Officer where she oversaw the county’s Veterans Service programs and served as an advocate for military and veteran families. Queta also serves as co-chair for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Community Veterans Engagement Board in San Antonio and volunteers with numerous veterans and community organizations. She is the proud mother of four beautiful children — Derrian, Marisa, Amaya, and Miguel.
Bryan Blochberger currently serves within the University System of Georgia as the Veterans Success Program Manager at Georgia Gwinnett College providing support, advocacy, and access to wide-ranging services of the academic system and community that advance academic growth, achievement, and career readiness to over 500 student veterans and dependents. He adopts a holistic approach to transition, academic performance, career readiness, by engaging and cultivating relationships with federal, state, non-profit agencies, and veteran serving and community organizations, to provide resources involving employment, health and welfare, education and development, as well as community outreach and engagement, to promote the empowerment and success of student veterans, service members, and dependents.
Bryan also delivers training on guest/customer service, team building, and leadership for fellow staff members, and facilitates training on career development topics for student veterans and dependents.
Bryan’s previous roles have been in talent management, organizational and leadership development, consulting, and sales roles at Chick-fil-A and a segment of the Walt Disney Company. Bryan has created legacy talent management initiatives, designed leadership development and employee engagement programs, and developed targeted talent acquisition programs.
Bryan retired from active duty as a Chief Petty Officer (E-7) after 20 years of service and leadership in the United States Navy. Bryan’s final assignment in the Navy was as Human Resources Manager for 2000+ transitioning service members across 11 organizations. Previous to that role, he was the Program Manager, Risk Management & Compliance for a $200 Billion dollar life cycle program between the United States and Pakistan. His experience in international business relations has been as a consultant, advisor, liaison, and has partnered with executives, diplomatic and foreign officials, and with various project teams.
Bryan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal from American Military University. Bryan was introduced to FourBlock in the fall of 2017, and began volunteering after visiting one session. Additionally, he volunteers his time as a mentor on Vetarati, the only digital platform that directly connects veterans and military spouses seeking mentorship with business professionals.
Med Reed is currently serving on active duty in the United States Navy as the Director, Weapons System Support at The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport, WA. Med’s previous assignment was on the Navy Staff in the Pentagon overseeing logistics programs and policy.
Med is a graduate of The University of Memphis with a Bachelors of Arts (BA) in Communications and Liberty University with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). He is also a graduate of FourBlock Seattle.
Med has managed a wide range of logistics operations ranging from naval vessels to small special operations support in Iraq, Africa, Afghanistan, Korea and other locations around the globe.
Med and his family are enjoying the pacific northwest and becoming avid hikers.
Karl Himes is a veteran and served as a prior-enlisted “Mustang” Public Affairs Officer. As a PAO, Karl served in Twentynine Palms, CA, Washington, D.C., Southwest Asia, and New York City. He also served a tour on recruiting duty in Portland, OR. As an enlisted Marine, he served as a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Specialist in California, the Western Pacific and Southwest Asia. Karl was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps via the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program.
Since his time in uniform, Karl has worked in the Banking, Government and Tech sectors, most recently as a project manager with Microsoft Military Affairs. He is a FourBlock alumnus and has been supporting FourBlock as an Associate Instructor since 2018.
Karl has an MBA from New York University and two Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration degrees from The University of Arizona.
Susan was born and raised in Philly where she learned how to hustle. She attended Temple University for her Bachelors and Master degrees to become a high school teacher and college instructor. Throughout her career, she served the community as a teacher, nonprofit leader and volunteer. She is also a military spouse; her husband is an active duty service member in the United States Army. During her free time, she loves to travel, practice yoga and spoil her two dogs, Toshi and Penny. Susan is excited to be a part of the FourBlock team as a Salesforce Administrator where she can combine her passion for serving others and her Salesforce skill set.
Lisa brings three decades of workforce and career development experience to the FourBlock community, including extensive experience executing successful veteran employment programs. Her passions lie in providing veterans with the critical self-advocacy skills they need to be successful and thrive in the civilian workforce, and training employers on military cultural competency. Lisa will focus her efforts on measuring the effectiveness of FourBlock’s signature Career Development Program.
Lisa received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland (GO TERPS!), her master’s degree in Vocational Special Education from The George Washington University, and a post-master’s certificate in Veteran and Military Behavioral Health from Widener University. Frustrated with the negative narratives and stereotypes associated with transitioning service members and veterans, she returned to school, earned her doctorate from The George Washington University in Human and Organizational Learning, and received the 2019 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the University Council for Workforce and Human Resource Education for her research on Post-Military Career Construction. She continues to work on shifting the veteran transition research dialogue from one of career dysfunction, barriers, and problems to one of solutions and positive results.
David Bailey is originally from California and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Southern California. He moved to the DFW area of North Texas in August of 2017 with his wife and daughter. He currently works full-time as a Financial Crimes Compliance Analyst for Texas Capital Bank. David recently completed 10 years of Army National Guard service as a JAG paralegal. While serving in the National Guard, David had several stateside active duty roles, the most recent was for the Counter Drug Task Force as a paralegal and intel analyst stationed with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Major Narcotics Division.
Gretchen is a New York native and graduate of SUNY Oswego, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. After graduation, she began an internship with the New York Football Giants in Community Relations. Through supporting a variety of community initiatives, particularly military appreciation efforts, she became motivated and inspired to do her part to give back.
Following her internship, Gretchen joined Wounded Warrior Project, where she was a member of the fundraising department. She was responsible for collaborating across the organization to raise funds and awareness which fueled life-changing programs for wounded warriors. In an effort to continue to serve veterans, Gretchen joined FourBlock, where she will foster relationships with strategic partners who are helping to inspire and shape a new generation of veterans as they enter the civilian workforce.
Mr. Bellissimo presently manages treasury functions for Wells Fargo Securities’ Futures Commission Merchant (FCM). John joined the FCM at inception in 2011 focusing on sales and marketing for the initial business launch. He previously marketed and structured derivatives solutions, across multiple asset classes. Prior to this, he managed operations and middle office for the Equities Division. Mr. Bellissimo joined the firm in November 2000.
Mr. Bellissimo completed his MBA at Wake Forest University and maintains FINRA Series 7, 63, 55, 3, 27, and 24 licenses.
Mr. Bellissimo is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. Mr. Bellissimo is a Captain in the United States Navy Reserve where over the past 20 years he has commanded six reserve units. In his current assignment, he supports the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Bellissimo is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and recipient of the Bronze Star Medal.
Mr. Bellissimo founded and leads the Veterans on Wall Street (“VOWS”) initiative at Wells Fargo and its support to the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the annual “Stand Up for Heroes.” Mr. Bellissimo pioneered the establishment of a FourBlock cohort in Charlotte, North Carolina, and serves as an associate instructor.
Mr. Jody C. Miller was commissioned in 1991 as an Infantry Officer upon graduating from the Boston University Army ROTC program. He served 27 years in the US Army and retired as a Colonel in 2018 from US Central Command. He has organizational leadership experience spanning Platoon through Brigade levels, and he held primary command and staff positions in Battalion, Brigade, Joint Task Force and MACOM level organizations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Boston University, and a Master’s degree in Business Management from Webster University. During his transition from active service, he utilized the Onward to Opportunity program with Syracuse University for training and certification as a Project Management Professional. He is passionate Veteran’s Advocate and is very active with a wide variety of national and Tampa-area Veteran and business networking organizations including FourBlock, Project Transition USA, and the Camaraderie Foundation’s Mentor Leadership Program and Veterati.com. He is currently serving as a Government Service employee as the Joint Collective Training Senior SME & Resource Manager for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM’s) Joint Collective Training Division in the J3 Directorate.
Drawing from over 25 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur, executive recruiter, and civic leader in the Charlotte community, Noël McCall brings a wealth of knowledge and real world support to veterans as they navigate the process of finding employment as civilians.
A graduate of Davidson College with a BA in Political Science, Noël began her career recruiting managerial talent for an international firm. In 1989, she founded All Type Graphics & Design, Inc., a Charlotte-based graphic arts and printing company. During her 15 years as co-owner of the company, she also served as Vice President Human Resources and Chief Financial Officer, overseeing all of the company’s production, financial, marketing, and human resource operations.
After the successful sale of her company in 2004, Noël worked briefly in higher education as the Director of Placement for a local college before contributing as a Partner and Consultant with an international executive search and leadership development firm headquartered in Charlotte. She supported Northeastern University-Charlotte’s expansion as Vice President, Corporate & Clinical Partnerships and currently serves as Executive Director for Patriots Path having founded the organization in July 2013.
Noël continues to play an active role in the community serving on the board of directors for Eagle Rock Camp as well as the USO of North Carolina and The Symphony Guild of Charlotte. She is an active member/volunteer in Women Executives, PEO and Rotary International among others.
Rob Brown is currently a digital marketing portfolio manager at Bank of America. He works with the marketing business strategists to implement feasible digital marketing campaigns on the bank’s core properties as well as unique landing pages for email campaigns. Before assuming his current role, he worked in change management, project management, and business analyst capacities. He is also a retired Marine and began his military career as a meteorologist for the artillery batteries. As he worked through the ranks he was assigned to a multitude of positions across a variety of roles to include time as a recruiter, assignment to the NROTC at the University of Virginia, and in the military policing field where he completed his career as an inmate rehabilitative program manager in a Department of Defense correctional facility.
Academically, Rob most recently completed his MBA at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He also holds a graduate certificate in Project Management from his alma mater, the University of Virginia and a complimentary undergraduate certificate from University of Louisville. In the military he completed numerous schools that focus on leadership, strategy, budgeting, and management including sessions with the Naval War College and the Joint Forces Staff College.
Rob has volunteered in several roles to support transitioning veterans to include being an Advisory Board member for Patriots Path, a mentor for American Corporate Partners, and as an Career Readiness Instructor for FourBlock in Charlotte, NC.
Jeffrey Lodick retired from the United States Army after 20 years. He served as a Squadron Sergeant Major, Operations Sergeant Major, First Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant, and Drill Sergeant. He was a Master Rated Jumpmaster, a Pathfinder and a graduate of the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course. He has continued his service by assisting transitioning Veterans as a podcast host of “On The Other Side: Leadership After Transition” seeking advice from transitioned Service Members as tool for current transitioning Service Members to use. He is an inspirational speaker, a member of the National Speakers Association and owner of Change Your Forecast, LLC.
Barron Mills is a servant leader. Having grown up as the son of a career Army officer, and then serving in the Marine Corps himself for 20 years, he has been on five continents and to dozens of countries and seen the best and worst that the world has to offer. A habitual problem solver, Barron believes the best source for solutions is a free market where ideas, people, and processes succeed on their merit.
Barron’s expertise include cross-functional team building, stakeholder management, concept development, organizational planning, resource management, technology integration, and leadership. He relishes opportunities for adapting to unique and challenging situations in order to deliver distinctive products.
His prior experiences include leading Marines on missions in the Mediterranean, Haiti, Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan; screening and evaluating Marine Corps officer candidates; building and then assisting a 3,000-man Iraqi infantry brigade; managing operations for a schoolhouse with 14 unique courses and 6,000 annual students; managing a $42M project to develop and sustain a command and control training system; managing a 6-month collaborative effort of 12 distinct organizations and 50 subject matter experts to demonstrate a first-of-its-kind technological training capability to the Marine Corps; and managing a $7M annual contract with a staff of 60 personnel providing project management, logistics, instructional systems design, engineering, cost analysis, and administrative/operations support to the Marine Corps. Barron’s eclectic background includes a degree in Chemistry, Masters in Program Management, and Level 3 certification in Defense Acquisitions for Program Management.
Along with his primary role as Executive Director for the Florida Association of Veteran-Owned Businesses, Barron’s activities include serving as: strategist and connector through his business in solutions, LLC; Vice President for the Central Florida Chapter of the First Marine Division Association; member of the Orlando Mission United Advisory Council; member of the University of Central Florida’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Initiative Advisory Board; member of the Valencia College Business Advisory Council; Education Subcommittee member for the Interservice/International Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC); and mentor with the Camaraderie Foundation’s Mentor Leadership Program and through Veterati.com. Barron is also a co-founder of Veterans Beer Club Orlando and a graduate of Leadership Orlando Class 94.
Carlos is a former United States Marine Corps Infantry Officer. Throughout his military career he served in multiple operational roles leading 50 to 800 personnel to locations in Southeast/Southwest Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Australia to accomplish operational requirements.
Since transitioning from military service, Carlos has completed a Master of Business Administration degree with honors at the top business school in Florida, the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College. He has gained program management experience in the construction industry helping to construct the BRIDG microelectronics fabrication facility as part of the growing 500-acre technology district in Osceola County, Florida. Following his time in the construction industry he served as a program manager for a 54 contractor employee staff in direct support of the Marine Corps’ Acquisition Program Office for training and simulation systems, PM TRASYS. His current role is as the Manager of Business Development for SIMETRI, Inc. a small but agile business that excels in the design, development, and manufacturing of medical simulation trainers and training services located in Winter Park, Florida.
He is passionate about community involvement, economic development, and military veteran advocacy. He stays involved with organizations such as the Camaraderie Foundation, the Central Florida Marine Corps Foundation, The Mission Continues, the 1st Marine Division Association, the Navy League (Central Florida Chapter), the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA), Leadership Orlando, the Crummer School of Business - Mentor Program, and FourBlock. He is the current Chairman for the Camaraderie Foundation’s Mentor Leadership Program Alumni Council. His professional objective is to continue contributing to the growth of the business landscape in Central Florida. His personal objective is to give back to his community at every opportunity he is afforded.
Emile is the Managing Partner and COO of KPJ Green Technologies, LLC and owner of RPM Advisors, LLC. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of Fast Forward Restart, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to building sustainable communities.
With his varied experiences as a marine, forester, financial advisor, nonprofit director, and sales trainer and coach, Emile has embarked on a new enterprise, KPJ Green Technologies, Inc. KPJ strives to be a socially responsible business working alongside non-profit, governmental, and for-profit organizations to improve underserved communities. Projects include HazMat Training, Mold Remediation Technician Training, mold remediation work in low income neighborhoods, environmentally friendly cleaning products, and job placement.
Emile retired after 27 years of service as both an active duty and reserve in United States Marine Corps, serving from the ranks of Private through Corporal, and achieving the rank of Colonel. His career include serving as an Infantry Officer; C. O. Recruiting Region; Head, Manpower Management Division, MCRSC; Deputy Commander, 4th Force Service Support Group, and Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff G-3, Marine Force Reserve.
Emile and his wife Debra (Bauman) live in Marietta, Georgia and have five children and eight grandchildren. He hikes, camps, fishes (both open water and ice,) works out, reads-mainly history, business, and classics, whenever he gets the chance.