News

Nov 30, 2021

The COMMIT Foundation Invites MileagePlus Members to Donate Miles to Help Support Transitioning Service Members and Veterans

Starting today, MileagePlus® members can help The COMMIT Foundation raise miles to help support service members and vete...

Starting today, MileagePlus® members can help The COMMIT Foundation raise miles to help support service members and veterans transitioning out of service through United’s crowdsourcing program, Miles on a Mission. The miles raised will be used to fly these incredible men and women to COMMIT’s transition mentoring workshops across the country. The COMMIT Foundation is aiming to raise 500,000 miles, which will help support The COMMIT Foundation’s broader mission to empower service members, veterans, and their families to create purposeful and fulfilling transitions by providing personalized programs, resources, and the support of community. United will provide an additional 50,000 bonus miles to The COMMIT Foundation once the mile raising goal is reached. “COMMIT uses these miles to allow our veteran participants to receive personalized, in-person coaching and mentoring which gives them the tools and confidence they need to enter their post-military life. They are then ready to continue service in a new capacity by bringing their incredible skills and passion to their communities,” said Alex Krongard, Chief Executive Officer of The COMMIT Foundation. The Miles on a Mission program allows MileagePlus members to donate their miles to a wide variety of non-profits in need of air travel. To date, more than 154 million miles have been donated through the program. Miles on a Mission is a part of United’s Every Action Counts commitment, which aims to connect people, unite the world and serve communities by putting people and planes to work for the greater good. “This Giving Tuesday marks a special occasion for us to come together to support and uplift those who need it the most this holiday season and beyond,” Suzi Cabo, managing director of global community engagement, United Airlines. “We’re proud to offer our MileagePlus members a meaningful way to use their miles for good and provide critically needed air travel to a variety of non-profits that serve vulnerable communities across the globe.” For more information on Miles on a Mission or to donate miles, please visit united.com/donate. Support The COMMIT Foundation with Miles here.

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  • Nov 29, 2021

    Fall 2021 Newsletter

    Giving Tuesday: Your Impact at COMMIT The COMMIT Foundation is dedicated to providing high-touch transition support that becomes the standard nationwide for veterans in all communities. COMMIT aims to go beyond job placement and provide veterans a path to help them identify their passions, build strong networks, and leverage their skills in civilian careers. However, living a fulfilling life is perhaps COMMIT’s most important success metric. Over the last few months our annual survey uncovered some truly heartening statistics: Nearly 50% of COMMIT service recipients volunteer in their communities, continuing their commitment to service beyond their military careersAlmost 90% of all COMMIT service recipients are satisfied with the life they designed through the COMMIT Foundation Pursue Your Purpose programWhile COMMIT does not believe that money equates to happiness, 67% of our veterans have reported an annual salary over $100k85% of COMMIT veterans are working in a position that aligns with their goals and valueOur work did not stop in the midst of the pandemic either. In 2021, The COMMIT Foundation quickly pivoted to meet the needs of the military community in the COVID environment. After moving all workshops to a virtual platform in 2020, we are beginning to hold in-person workshops again. We also launched a long-term needs and impact survey and learned that our veterans are desiring support for their entire family. In 2022, we will begin to address this by launching spouse programming. While the service member undergoes an immense transformation as they transition out of service, their spouse experiences a significant change, as well. Our goal is to provide spouses the space to imagine and explore the lives they want for themselves and their families together with the tools to lay a strong foundation for success in their post-service life. The COMMIT Foundation is also endeavoring to create platforms to delve into important issues affecting the veteran community as well as highlight areas where veterans can make significant contributions to their communities and employers. Through a series of 2022 webinars and other events, veterans, veteran advocates, corporate partners, donors, and COMMIT alumni will share their experiences and thoughts in a truly transformative way. We invite the public to join us on these panelist discussions and webinars to learn more about the meaningful impacts veterans and their families can have. To learn more about how you can get involved with The COMMIT Foundation, contact us or click here to support COMMIT directly. Healing in Healthcare After the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, many service members and veterans felt the effects of moral injury after the end of a twenty-year war. The veteran community pulled together not only to support one another but also to aid Afghan refugees. This grassroots movement was powerful and ended up not only helping Afghans but impacting policy and responses at the State Department and elsewhere in government.. Many veteran support groups also began hosting open group therapy sessions and companies started to to support their veteran employees during this difficult time. One industry, however, was in the throes of its own crisis. Healthcare workers and hospitals have been operating at high operational tempo with limited resources, reduced manpower throughout the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. While these two groups (veterans and healthcare workers) are not intrinsically connected, this moment in history has opened an opportunity for shared healing. On November 17th, The COMMIT Foundation hosted a virtual event to highlight this dynamic in a way which inspired hope and innovative leadership to meet the ongoing and unprecedented challenge. On the call were COMMIT Alumni, Chief Administrative Officer at UC Health, Ron Fitch and Clinical Engagement Director at Sondermind, Wendy Rasmussen. They were joined by Tillman Scholar and current Physicians Assistant at OU Health, Johnnie Gilpen and child caregiver to a wounded warrior and first-year Resident Nurse, Isabella Taft. The conversation traversed through topics ranging from morale, vested leadership and stress first aid. “From a stress first aid perspective I would suggest looking at the four sources of stress injury” Dr. Rasmussen said. These sources are loss or grief, inner conflict (or doubting one’s ability to make a difference), wear and tear from long hours and stressful situations while not being able to decompress or spend time with friends or family, and life threat which was fairly unknown at the beginning of the pandemic and is still a relatively ambiguous threat for healthcare workers and their families. Ron Fitch talked through some ways his team at UC Health Pikes Peak Regional Hospital have addressed this stress continuum for their staff. From his 23 years as a US Army Special Operator, troop welfare was always important. Along with a quick daily morning standup where leadership can address their staff’s immediate needs, he also was keen on gestures which provide comfort. Hot meals, a clean facility to shower and change and space to decompress were all implemented through the pandemic. “We also leveraged the mental health lines for people to call and check in with behavioral health” Fitch said. Providing this level of support is a great way to boost morale but retention remains a struggle for hospitals throughout the US. Johnnie Gilpen lamented the trend, citing an enormous incentive to leave one’s hospital to become a traveling nurse as a point of friction and threat to morale. “People are quitting left and right. It’s not truly burnout,” Gilpen said, “it’s more of a moral stress.” He explained that if a traveling nurse leaves their permanent position for 17 weeks, they can make significantly more money and afford to take time off after their “tour” is done. Isabella Taft recognized this trend as well but feels needed in her role and brings a positive attitude amidst some very trying circumstances. “I fell in love with medicine vicariously through my dad,” Taft said. After losing a patient in her first few weeks on the job, she immediately called her father. He talked her through being comfortable with the grief and cautioned her not to internalize it or blame herself: sound wisdom to anyone processing trauma. The biggest takeaway from the event was the importance of present and proactive leadership. While the experiences of each individual panelist ranged widely, the consensus was that open communication from vested leaders to the front line worker is critical to boosting morale and encouraging retention. The COMMIT Foundation hopes that the tools and suggestions shared in this discussion will bring lessons from veterans to help spark potential healing solutions for our beseiged healthcare workers. For the full recording of this event check out our Facebook page or our podcast. Veteran Spotlight: Heidi Anderson The COMMIT Foundation partnered with its generous donors around Veterans Day to promote veteran advocacy and help twenty of our service recipients move closer to their post-service lives. Blackstone hosted our transition mentoring workshop out of their New York City Office on November 9 and 10. One of the participants, Heidi Anderson, possessed a particularly applicable skillset. As a Finance Officer in the US Army for the past 20 years, Anderson served as a comptroller in the Special Operations Community and as a Chief of Staff. She holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and two masters degrees, an Executive Master of Public Administration and Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University. Learning about investment management and financial industry mobility pathways in the private sector was a unique opportunity for Anderson. While at the workshop, Anderson began to see the path ahead. “What I wanted to achieve from the beginning versus where I am now is already so different since The COMMIT Foundation has helped me build my confidence, my narrative, and network.” Anderson said. On November 19th, Anderson joined The COMMIT Foundation in a lunch and learn event at TowerBrook Capital Partners to help raise awareness around veteran hiring and advocacy. She plans to transition out of the military in February 2023 with internships and executive shadowing beginning this May. Anderson is looking to The COMMIT Foundation to help her gain knowledge from executive coaches, receive assistance in developing resumes, and learn the paths to successful transition from the Army way of life into her next career. Guy Filippelli: Committed to veteran success? It is difficult to encapsulate someone’s life while they are continually rising; like photographing a moving object. But for Guy Filippelli, co-founder and Board Chair of The COMMIT Foundation, this is the case. Recently named a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, this West Point graduate and former Intelligence Officer understands how to lead in stressful complex environments. Before his multiple tours overseas, to include Afghanistan, understanding Guy Filippelli requires an appreciation of where he comes from. Raised in Cleveland, he is a second generation American. His grandfather proudly served in the Army. His father was the first in his family to go to college, propelling his career working for the railroad. Growing up, Filipelli was very technical and excelled academically. However, West Point presented a poignant culture shock. “The breadth and depth of diversity at West Point opened my eyes to the greatness of our nation.” Filipelli said. This realization would be part of the foundation for his leadership style moving forward. Fast forward several years, Filipelli utilized his advanced technical training and leadership skills to become a serial entrepreneur. This parallel shift in a new world allowed him to excel as an operator. He was working within the same areas as he had in the military. “The thing the military did for me was provide a series of jobs, i.e., apprentices, and put me in charge of things you truly had no right to be in charge of at a young age. No other industry allows you to do this! I tried to seize those opportunities.” Filipelli said. He has never stopped leaning on his experiences as an officer in the Army. Filipelli’s passion for The COMMIT Foundation came from his own transition from the military. Toward the end of his Army career, Filipelli’s work with the NSA compelled him to begin designing and ultimately launch his consulting business. He recognized that not all service members are as fortunate to have a role which transfers easily into the private sector. He keenly understands how the military helped him in life. The aspect of social mobility is often overlooked as a benefit of military service, but not for Filipelli. “The exposure to leadership and a set of principles built upon a very successful proven structure helped me understand what I could do in life.”Filipelli said. His experience drives him to ensure others have the same opportunities to find their true calling in life once they have transitioned from military service. His primary driver with COMMIT is helping others find their passion project in life. Filipelli’s vision for transitioning service members aligns well with COMMIT’s; veterans must have the opportunity to live serendipitous lives using the specialized leadership and otherwise transferable skills they garnered through military service to help them pursue their purpose. Donor Shout Outs Thank you to our friends at Blackstone, Coinbase and Apollo Global Management for your generous donations and continued support!

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  • Nov 22, 2021

    The COMMIT Foundation is growing and adding a Director of Veteran Services

    The COMMIT Foundation’s mission is to help exceptional American service members and veterans transition into successful roles and careers post-service. The COMMIT Foundation is changing the way veterans and Corporate America think about military transition by providing high touch transition support that becomes the standard nationwide so veterans in all communities can access services helping them identify their passions, build strong networks, and leverage their skills in civilian careers. The COMMIT Foundation seeks to add a full-time Director of Veteran Services to the team. The Director of Veteran Services is dedicated to assisting a diverse population of service members, veterans and their families find meaning and purpose after their service in the military. This position will report to COMMIT’s Chief Programs Officer. Full Job Description Apply Now

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  • Jun 2, 2021

    The COMMIT Foundation is growing and adding a Director of Development to our team

    The COMMIT Foundation’s mission is to help exceptional American service members and veterans transition into successful roles and careers post-service. The COMMIT Foundation is changing the way veterans and corporate America think about military transition by providing high-touch transition support that becomes the standard nationwide so veterans in all communities can access services helping them identify their passions, build strong networks, and leverage their skills in civilian careers.The COMMIT Foundation is seeking a Part-Time Director of Development, Administration (DoD). Reporting to the Chief Development Officer (CDO), the DoD will be responsible for supporting and managing up to the CDO. The DoD will provide operational support for COMMIT’s development calendar, assist with donor acknowledgement, track donor upgrades, and develop and implement a strategic organizational plan to steward and cultivate major and planned gifts from individuals as well as corporate and foundation revenue.We are seeking an outgoing, creative, goal-oriented, highly organized individual. The ideal candidate must be able to collaborate in a team environment, possess strong writing and editing skills, and stay organized in a fast-paced work environment. The position is closed.

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  • Apr 2, 2021

    COMMIT has a New CEO

    The COMMIT Foundation is pleased to announce Alexander Lion Krongard, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Lower Half (Retired) will join The COMMIT Foundation as Chief Executive Officer in May. Krongard comes to The COMMIT Foundation after four years as Managing Director at DC Advisory. Prior to joining DC Advisory, he served as a Naval Special Warfare Officer and held several senior positions influencing military strategy and defense policy including on the National Security Council staff. Over the course of his military career as a Navy SEAL, he served across the world in Europe, East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The COMMIT Foundation’s mission is to help exceptional American service members and veterans transition into successful roles and careers post-service, ensuring they find purpose and meaning, both personally and professionally after military service. COMMIT creates tailored transition solutions for top veteran talent and reaches veterans across the Nation through high-impact workshops and one-on-one transition assistance programs. Additionally, through its corporate education program, COMMIT ensures corporate America is veteran-ready and well poised to hire and retain our Nation’s transitioning service members and veterans. “I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to support the men and women who have served our great Nation selflessly as they transition into their next role out of uniform,” said Krongard. “I would also particularly like to thank my colleagues at DC Advisory for their support as I myself transitioned from the military to private sector and now again as I step into this new role in the nonprofit sector.” COMMIT’s Chairman and Co-founder, Guy Filippelli, praised Krongard’s record of excellence. “COMMIT is honored to have an incredible individual taking the helm. Alex is known in the military community for his investment in people and giving them a sense of purpose and mentorship.” Filippelli emphasized Krongard’s leadership as COMMIT will continue to provide best in class services to post-9/11 veterans who have so bravely defended our liberties.

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  • Feb 16, 2021

    USAA and COMMIT Support Veterans Transitioning from the Military

    The COMMIT Foundation recently received a $250,000 grant from The USAA Foundation to help American service members and veterans transition into successful roles and careers post-service. Founded in 2012, the COMMIT Foundation is fundamentally changing the way service members and veterans approach their transition from the military to the civilian sector. COMMIT’s innovative, person-centered services begin by identifying exactly where the veterans are in the transition journey, coaching them through a set of modules designed to help them determine what lives they want to live post-service, and connecting them with people who can help make the life they’ve designed a reality. The USAA Foundation’s investment will support one-on-one transition services and programs, including executive coaching, consultation with COMMIT's Directors of Veterans Services, Pursue Your Purpose, resume and interview coaching, and transition mentoring workshops to fundamentally change transition. "Open to all ranks and services, COMMIT’s programs ensure participants have clarity, skills, and connections to improve outcomes for a successful transition out of uniform. We are incredibly grateful to The USAA Foundation for supporting a breadth of services provided by the COMMIT team of teams. USAA and The USAA Foundation have been a part of so many military families’ lives; we are proud to partner with them in our endeavors," said Anne Meree Craig, CEO of The COMMIT Foundation.

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  • Dec 2, 2020

    Montana Veteran’s Family Offers Assistance to Other Veterans

    Bozeman, Mont. December 2, 2020—While 2020 has been challenging for many, it hit Susie Sikora of Akron, Ohio, especially hard when her brother was killed in a tragic accident outside Hardin on March 5. A native of Canton, Ohio, and an Eagle Scout who flew solo on his sixteenth birthday, Steve Studer was an outdoor enthusiast, coin collector, and a historian of the Civil War. He enlisted in the Army immediately after high school and served in the 7th Cavalry in Germany during the Vietnam War. After his tour in Germany, Studer relocated to Montana and earned a bachelor's degree in history and a master’s in education from Eastern Montana College in Billings. He bought 40 acres in the remote mountains near Nye, Montana, in the south central part of the state where he volunteered for the local Fire Department. Studer deployed as a master sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves during the Persian Gulf War and according to Sikora valued the friendships he created through the military. “Throughout his life Steve expressed a desire to help other veterans transition from the military into civilian life,” said Sikora. “Steve wanted to use his 40 acres at the base of the mountains to help veterans.” Unfortunately, Studer died before launching his own programming. Within days of Studer’s death, Sikora learned about The COMMIT Foundation, a national nonprofit that helps service members and veterans transition out of the military. “I almost never have the t.v. on,” said Sikora. “But, that day I had the Today show on in the background and heard Anne Meree talking about an organization that helps veterans adjust to civilian life. I knew Steve would want to support those veterans.” In honor of his military service and his desire to help other veterans, Studer’s family sold his ranch and donated proceeds to The COMMIT Foundation. “The Sikoras’ generosity is incredibly inspiring,” said Anne Meree Craig, co-founder and CEO of The COMMIT Foundation. “It feels so serendipitous that within days of her brother’s death Susie learned about our organization that is based out of Montana and so closely aligned with Steve’s vision to helptransitioning veterans.” Started in 2012, The COMMIT Foundation helps American service members and veterans transition into successful roles and careers post-service by providing high touch transition support so veterans in all communities can access services helping them identify their passions, build strong networks, and leverage their skills in civilian careers. According to Craig, “COMMIT aims to help service members reimagine the possibilities, and a gift like the one from The Sikoras goes a long way toward making that happen. We are incredibly grateful.”

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  • Nov 27, 2020

    Service Before Self Podcast Featuring The COMMIT Foundation

    Anne Meree Craig, CEO and CO-Founder of COMMIT discusses transitioning from military services to civilian society with host Sam Whitehurst, COMMIT Alumni and Vice President (Programs & Services) at Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services. It is never too early to think about your future after the military, but it is often easier said than done. Service members usually start thinking about transitioning once they are already “in the breach”; why do they wait so long? The struggle of what will be the next career is shared by many military members. The COMMIT Foundation is an organization that assists service members in figuring out the answer to that question and finding the best next thing to do that is going to bring value to their lives and help them to find their purpose. Craig shares her story and describes how The COMMIT Foundation helps high-performance service members find their purpose and become contributing members of their communities. Listen here: Spotify or Apple.

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  • Nov 20, 2020

    A New Year, A New CEO

    A New Year, A New CEO It is with deep respect and admiration for an incredible journey and team of teams that I announce a search for new leadership at The COMMIT Foundation. Since 2012, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to turn an idea into a reality. Today, COMMIT is as strong as ever, a thriving organization that is changing more lives than I could have ever imagined. Our team and our programs are transformational and growing. Over the past three years particularly, thanks to the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation, I had the opportunity to learn how to truly grow a business and lead a team. During that time, thanks to The George W. Bush Institute and my dear friends Laura Maasdam and Bridget Ruiz, I also found mechanisms to heal from the original reason I started COMMIT. Our family suffered from the side effects of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. I cannot express enough gratitude for the amazing programs, mentors, coaches, facilitators, and friends that enabled our recovery and growth. In 2021, COMMIT will embark upon a new year with an incredible vision, strategy, programming, and funders alongside us. We are poised to continue changing the narrative in the veteran space while sharing our programming and thought leadership with our partners so collectively we have greater impact on the men and women who serve in uniform. I am blessed to have an incredible committee helping me with the search for our new CEO. Matt Oberhardt, Executive Talent Partner at Andreessen Horowitz; Mimi Bock, President of Cetera Advisors and First Allied Securities; and Tom Peddicord, Managing Director and Partner at Boston Consulting Group, are leading the initiative. All three of these leaders have helped me grow massively over the years and I am grateful for their dedication to me, to COMMIT, and ensuring we find the right person for our next phase of growth. We assure you the transition process will not be rushed and will be executed smartly. As for me, I am grateful to now do what we ask our transitioning service members to do. I am exploring my values and my strengths in order to take the next bold move. Many of you know my passion for our country runs deep. I also have a strong desire to be the best partner to my husband and the best mother to my three amazing kids. I am exploring both the private and public sector as I think about next steps. It has been an honor to have had not only the opportunity but also the responsibility to serve the Post 9/11 Generation through COMMIT’s meaningful work. I look forward to finding new ways to serve while always holding a special place for COMMIT and its mission in my endeavors. With gratitude and in service, Anne Meree Craig Please See Job Description: Download PDF

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  • Nov 16, 2020

    FISERV Sponsored Ijeoma Mbadiwe at The COMMIT Foundation’s Women's Transition Workshop

    Bozeman, Mont. November 9, 2020 – Born in the United States but raised in Nigeria, Ijeoma Mbadiwe learned early on that a keen understanding of her environment and the players involved would be crucial for success. In Nigeria, this meant learning enough about the numerous ethnic groups and avoiding cultural missteps. At 13 her family returned to the United States and at 18 she enlisted in the United States Army. While serving on active duty, Ijeoma earned a Master’s degree from the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and a second Master’s degree in Strategic Intelligence at the National Intelligence University. Her academic background coupled with what she describes as her experiences as a “third-culture kid” greatly influenced her career as an intelligence analyst. Ijeoma transitioned from the Army after 21 years of service and would like to thank Fiserv for sponsoring her as a participant in The COMMIT Foundation’s annual Women’s Transition Workshop in October. When asked about her transition out of the military Ijeoma shared a favorite quote from Mary Anne Radmacher, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says: I will try again tomorrow.” Ijeoma is exploring multiple opportunities and redesigning her life through this transition. “The COMMIT Women’s Transition Workshop was a godsend,” said Mbadiwe. “Finding my next chapter is a process and I now have this great group of women to bounce ideas off.”

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