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Bush Institute Announces Inaugural Class of Stand-To Veteran Leadership Initiative

33 selected for program designed to develop leadership skills of individuals who are serving our nation’s veterans

April 12, 2018

Dallas, Texas -- Today, the George W. Bush Institute announced the first class selected to participate in the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Initiative, a first-of-its-kind program aimed at individuals serving our nation's veterans who are motivated to broaden their skillsets, knowledge, and influence across the country.

Throughout the six-month program, participants will hear from a variety of nationally known and distinguished professionals, educators, and experts in post-9/11 veteran transition issues and leadership development. The inaugural class will gather for an opening session in Dallas in June and in the following months attend four weekend sessions in Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Seattle.  The program will conclude with a final session and closing ceremony at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in the fall of 2018.

Selected participants are rising leaders - both veterans and non-veterans - from a wide range of sectors who are working to improve post-9/11 veteran outcomes. They hold a variety of roles including business and community leaders, members of veteran-serving non-profits, as well as leaders in government, academia, and active military service members.

The Stand-To Veteran Leadership Initiative is part of the Bush Institute’s commitment to developing and supporting effective leaders. This program builds on the Bush Institute’s extensive body of work on veteran transition issues, and each participant joins the program with a personal leadership project, which allows them to implement what they learn in the program in service of improving veteran outcomes across the United States. The Bush Center gratefully acknowledges the support of The Boeing Company as the Founding Program Underwriter.

The 2018 Class of the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Initiative includes:

  • John Boerstler, Director, Combined Arms, Houston, TX;
  • Mary Beth Bruggeman, Vice President, Program Strategy, The Mission Continues, Burke, VA;
  • Blaire Brush, TAP Employment Workshop Facilitator, The AFX Group, Rio Rancho, NM;
  • Cicely Burrows-McElwain, Senior Public Health Advisor-Military and Veteran Affairs, Department Health and Human Services - Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, Harpers Ferry, WV;
  • Richard Casper, Executive Director, CreatiVets, Nashville, TN;
  • Anne Meree Craig, Executive Director and Co-Founder, The COMMIT Foundation, Bozeman, MT;
  • Tiffany Daugherty, Manager, Head of Military Employment, First Data Corporation, Jersey City, NJ;
  • Jonathon Field, Deputy Director, Veteran Education Programs, Ohio Department of Veterans Services, Columbus, OH;
  • Duane France, Director of Veteran Services, Family Care Center, LLC, Fountain, CO;
  • Jennifer Goetz, Veteran Student Services Advisor, Washington University in St. Louis, O'Fallon, IL;
  • Blake Hogan, Executive Director, Bunker Labs Nashville, Nolensville, TN;
  • Jonathan Horowitch, President and CEO, Easter Seals Serving DC|MD|VA, Bethesda, MD;
  • Michael Hutchings, Staff Digital Product Manager, General Electric, Suwanee, GA;
  • Lyla Kohistany, President and Co-Founder, PROMOTE, Alexandria, VA;
  • David Lee, Director, Military Programs, CVS Health, Henrico, VA;
  • Bart Lomont, Co-Founder and COO, Robin Technologies, Inc., Dallas, TX;
  • Christina Lowhorn, Senior Consultant, Business Development, Nationwide Insurance, Columbus, OH;
  • Abigail Malchow, Commodity Manager, Intel Corporation, Scottsdale, AZ;
  • Ryan Manion, President, Travis Manion Foundation, Doylestown, PA;
  • Saul Martinez, Director of Warrior Services, Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation, Bozeman, MT;
  • Christopher Meek, Senior Director, Global Relationship Management, S&P Global, Inc., Stamford, CT;
  • Meaghan Mobbs, Third Year Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology, Department of Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University, West Point, NY;
  • Kimberly Moros, Chief of Career Transition, United States Special Operations Command, Warrior Care Program-Care Coalition, Department of Defense-Army, Tampa, FL;
  • Jason Pak, Veteran Outreach and Engagement, Government Operations, The Boeing Company, Arlington, VA;
  • William Parker III, Senior Quality Improvement Coordinator, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Canal Winchester, OH;
  • Dan Pflieger, Executive Director, Salute Military Golf Association, New Market, MD;
  • Michael Richardson, Vice President, Independence Services and Mental Health, Wounded Warrior Project, Atlantic Beach, FL;
  • Christine Schwartz, Chief Operating Officer, Service to School, Fort Polk, LA;
  • Charles Sevola Jr., Vice President, Head of Veterans Initiatives, Prudential Financial, Randolph, NJ;
  • Amy Taft, Manager of Curriculum and Learning, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Jacksonville, NC;
  • Brian Thompson, Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC;
  • Kevin Walton, Systems Engineer, The Boeing Company; Ambassador, Foundation for Women Warriors, El Segundo, CA;
  • Michelle Zook, Constituent Services Manager & Veterans Affairs Policy Lead, Office of Congressman John Ratcliffe, Royse City, TX.

To learn more about the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Initiative, please visit bushcenter.org/veteranleadership.


About the George W. Bush Institute:

Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George W. Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization with the mission of developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges. The work is achieved through three Impact Centers – Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and the Engagement Agenda – by which the Bush Institute engages the greater community with its important work.

The Military Service Initiative within the Bush Institute honors the service and sacrifice of all post-9/11 veterans by ensuring that they and their families make successful transitions to civilian life, specifically in addressing the challenges of employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war.