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Spotlight on 8×8

We’re excited to introduce another valued Employer Partner of The Honor Foundation and an Alumni who is now part of their family.

These are companies and organizations who have hired men and women from our program and/or who have generously given us their time, resources and connections in an effort to help build a stronger network for our Fellows after service — a community post community.

Matt Herber, THF Alumnus, 8×8 Equity and Payroll Operations Lead
Jake Miller, THF Alumnus, 8×8 Sr. Manager, Internal Audit and Sox Compliance

Sam Wilson – CFO
Galen Takamura – Sr Project Manager, QTC Transformation
Natalie BonDurant – Investor Relations
Sydney Fox – Talent Acquisition
Mike Weiner – Director, Global Financial Services

Q1  What advice do you have for those who are experiencing transition?

Matt Herber (MH):  Be patient.  You are leaving a career where you are the SME and potentially entering an industry that you will not understand.  Give yourself time to get adjusted and to begin a new learning process.

Jake Miller (JM):  

  1. Relax. You’ve earned this transition. You are marketable and you will find your job, your career, your purpose. Allow yourself time and latitude to explore the quality of life you’ve been preparing for for all these years. It took you several years to learn, practice, and gain proficiency in your military career. You should expect a similar learning curve going through and past transition. 
  2. Have frequent and candid conversations with your spouse about your goals, preferences, values, etc. Transition can feel very lonely so we have to take advantage of our fellows and mentors as well. The THF coaches are incredible and can be an excellent sounding board for you.

Mike Weiner (MW):  The transition will be one of the most challenging things you’ve done to date. Leaving a tight-knit community, having to learn something new, the stress of a job hunt, financial uncertainty, and a lack of being understood can leave anyone apprehensive. Just as you would on any deployment or operation, keep moving forward to better your position. Reach out to anyone willing to talk, network, ask questions, and above all, set manageable expectations – you likely won’t land your dream job on the first go! 

Galen Takamura (GT):  We are fortunate to leverage incredible Veteran Support Organizations like THF, providing immediate access to support systems to expedite learning through mentorship, insights, and an expanded network. Do everything you can to get around others supportive of your goal to transition. Identify and seek out those who have what you want and inspire you to grow. Also, work towards bypassing the standard resume submission process by networking and building meaningful relationships to gain direct access to recruiters and hiring managers – this is how I was afforded an opportunity at 8×8. Finally, you will be highly successful and be excited about paying it forward, as so many have done ahead of us. 

It’s normal to be unsure of your choice and yourself as you venture into the unknown. What you think you want today may not be what you want a year from now, and that’s ok. Remain open-minded and enjoy the experience of exploration. Most importantly, if you’re married, ensure you are in constant communication with your spouse, as the transition is a family effort. 

Sam Wilson (SW):  Treat it like a mission.  It has an objective, intelligence, supplies, operations, etc. 

 

 

Q2  What experience shaped who you are?

MH:  Deployments allowed me to see different parts of the world and create a new perspective on what things I find important in life. It expanded my horizons and helped me grow as a person.  My emotional intelligence definitely benefited from an increase in empathy.

JM:  Developing my WHY, finding my PURPOSE, and listing my PREFERENCES. They were all very different than what I had in mind before THF. I came to realize that my purpose and preferences prior to THF were only aligned with my “status quo”. I had not considered anything other than contracting and working overseas because that was my comfort zone and what I’ve known for 22 years. After discovering my WHY and listing preferences I found that I wanted something very different. Focusing on happiness and quality of life after transition became my priority. It led me to pursue career options closer to home and even working from home became an option.

MW:  I can’t say there is just one. Our individual experiences and perspectives make us who we are today, big and small. If I were to generalize, I would say the military was the biggest contributor to who I am today.

Sydney Fox (SF):  As Mike said, I don’t think that there is one experience that I could pinpoint and say that made me who I am.  But generally speaking, I think the military has heavily influenced my life and who I am today.  Growing up as a military brat, I was raised to face hard things head-on and with a go-get ‘em attitude.  I was surrounded by a diverse group of people and learned how to find common ground with anyone I talked to.  Now as an adult, I am a military spouse.  Between being thousands of miles away from family, training, and a deployment – I have learned how to be adaptable, strong, and have a positive outlook even when things are really just… shitty.

GT:  Having my first kid affected how I viewed my priorities and changed my perspective on life. After missing too many milestone events of my daughter’s first three years, the desire to be present drove my decision to depart a profession I enjoyed and respected. However, I have no regrets, as I work in a fully remote capacity today and cherish every moment with my wife and kids. 

SW:   grew up in a military household and happily took an ROTC scholarship. The military made me successful, and in particular, being Ranger qualified.  Small unit tactics are the most significant leadership lab in the world. It teaches mission accomplishment, no excuses, being a good teammate, being a leader, and so much more.  Being a Ranger teaches the ability to suck it up, get it done, plan, communicate, and most of all, leading the way.  Lastly, being in the military taught me to learn through experience. All the lessons I’ve had post-Army have been lesions because I was willing and able to do an AAR.    

Natalie BonDurant (NB):  LIFE! Finding a lesson or opportunity for growth in the toughest of situations. 

Q3  What is your favorite interview question?

MH:  Tell me about yourself….and not reciting your résumé but talking about where you come from and who you are as a person.

MW:  Please tell me about the most challenging situation you’ve had to overcome, either professionally or personally. I also really like Galen’s and will steal that from now on.

SF:  What are you really good at, but never want to do anymore?

GT:  Tell me about a time you failed. I like this question because I have many failure stories to choose from. I can’t say I’ve never enjoyed failing, but I value the lessons learned and the character developed through adversity.

NB:   +1 to Galen (great minds!) I love this question because it also allows for a follow up “so what did you do next?/ how did you fix it?” It allows the interviewee to elaborate on how they problem solve. 

SW:  What was your favorite job? I want to see if the job we are interviewing for fits.

 

 

Q4  What similarities did you find between your role at 8×8 and your previous experience in the SOF community?

MH:  Max flex!  As with any mission, your day to day tasks or projects can quickly change due to unforeseen consequences of actions that might not have been yours.  You have to quickly adapt to the new situation, learn via drinking from the fire hose, and finish the job.

JM:  Teamwork and camaraderie are valued at 8×8. Your ideas and experiences are welcomed. The team room may be virtual but team members take care of each other.

Q5  What makes the culture at your company special?

MH:  8×8 emphasizes the importance of work/life balance and promotes it.  They have also demonstrated the desire for more SOF personnel at the company because they understand the potential.

JM:  Leaders and managers value their people.

MW:  We’ve built a small, tight-knit community of SOF veterans who support each other on a weekly, even daily basis. Instead of having to interact with hundreds of people, we’ve built a small network across the company of truly valuable employees who can get things done behind the scenes. It helps break down the bureaucracy and red tape while keeping a positive, small team-like atmosphere.

GT:  From an organizational perspective, it is clear from the top down that people come first. From a team perspective, I am impressed with the intelligence and capability of teammates, with everyone willing to go beyond their scope to support the collective whole.

NB:  I’ve seen several roles at 8×8 shaped around the expertise of the SOF Veteran community. With the help of organizations like THF and with the support of leaders like Sam, 8×8 has been able to translate the experiences and expertise of the SOF community to achieve various business goals.

Also, the community of SOF veterans already at 8×8 are some of the best people/coworkers I’ve worked with throughout my career, they’re continuing efforts to support one another, and the broader community is really awesome to watch and inspires others to get involved. 

Q6  What question are you asked more than any other?

MH:  From transitioning veterans, “What lessons did I learn?”  Let’s have a virtual cup of coffee to answer this one.  To chime in on the above, I agree with Sam.  You shouldn’t grab a certification if it doesn’t interest you or you won’t use it.  It’s extra work for you, so make sure you are learning something you want to learn.

JM:  “What are you going to do next?” This question can be annoying and frustrating when you don’t have the answer! But it’s also a great opportunity to work on your pitch, discuss your WHY, and speak out loud your ideas about your future. You get to hear how they sound out loud and get feedback from anyone who will listen.

MW:   Should I get my PMP or MBA? The most important thing you can put on your resume is real job experience to help your resume look normal. Yes, certifications help, but they are not as good as experience (this is my opinion, so do what you think is best for you and your family!).

GT:  Same as Mike, so I’ll answer his question. Yes, get your PMP (project management certification) to help bridge the gap between military jargon and civilian terminology. It’s essential to effectively communicate your military accomplishments to business terminology during the interview process. Furthermore, the PMP will provide the institutional understanding of scope, schedule, and budget, providing value in any business environment. In addition to the PMP, I’d also recommend an Agile-based certification if interested in tech and Lean Six Sigma to build a solid foundation in continuous improvement and operational excellence. 

SW:   I think if project management interests you, yes, if not no.  Don’t do something because someone tells you to do it, do it because you want to.

Q7  What drives you every day?

MH:  Wanting to provide for my family while being present in their lives.

JM:  My values. Loyalty, Family, and Fun. Once I established and now live my own values, that drive grew and the desire to achieve my purpose became obtainable.

MW:  Getting to come to work and hang out with people that I actually enjoy. While my job may not be the most fun and is full of angry customers or sales reps, my small teams and strong mentors are the reason I don’t throw my computer in the blender.

SF:  Meeting new people and getting to learn new things.  My favorite part of my job is interacting with new hires and other people in the company that I don’t work with regularly.  Everybody has a story and some wisdom to share; I love making connections and learning from others.

GT:  The need to get sh*t done. I’m energized by the desire to work with proactive teams to address and solve challenging systemic issues.

NB:  The fact that no one day is the same, priorities shift, and you’re not always sure what to expect, but working with an incredible team of people makes anything possible. 

SW:  My team!

Q8  What book do you find most valuable?

MH:  I’m not a big reader.  However, I did enjoy Atomic Habits by: James Clear

JM:  The Filthy Thirteen by Jake McNiece. Not necessarily a book on leadership but it was for me for better or worse.

MW:   Colin Powell – It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership

GT:  This changes depending on what’s going on in my life. I read “Measure What Matter” by John Doerr in my transition. It was inspiring to learn how the most significant tech companies prioritize measurable goals, nested with higher, to advance the organization holistically. 

SW:  The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle or Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.  Culture Code is the best book on building teams and Boys in the Boat is the best book on teamwork.  Business is a team sport.

 

Q9  What is a lesson you learned the hard way?

MH:  Contrary to the many false statements made by SOF communities about how “easily” you will get a job upon separation from service, I learned that finding a good job was very difficult and time consuming.  After separation, it took me 6 months to land my first job.

MW:  You can’t talk like you’re in the military in corporate meeting settings…

GT:  Break down silos without breaking glass. Relationships are essential, and not all glass is fixable. As Mike said, there is a necessary shift in tact and approach from military to civilian environments.

SW:  If they don’t ask, they don’t want to know your opinion.

Q10  What defines a leader?

MH:  Someone who will lead with humility and integrity.  They will make decisions that are for the greater good versus ones that could be more beneficial for the few.

JM:  How they take care of their employees and quality of leaders they themselves produce.

MW:  This is based entirely on my opinion. For me, their ability to care for the well being of their team.

SF:  Someone who cares about their team members and their success.

GT:  The ability to influence others to row in the same direction and in unison to achieve challenging goals. All while keeping in mind what Mike and Sydney said above. 

NB:   Someone who trusts their team to make decisions and who communicates often, and as transparently as possible.

Q11  What is your favorite quote?

MH:  “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein

JM:  “Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” – Jack Handey

MW:  “Take care of your people, and your people will take care of you.”

SW:  What the F***?!?; Onward; 

“It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

SF:  “Work smarter, not harder.”

GT:  “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

NB:  “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

 

 

Q12 (8×8 specific):  What unanticipated skills, talent, and/or competencies did you gain for employing Special Operators at your organization?

SW:  Special Operators bring unique and challenging-to-find skills into the business world. One truism of the business world seems to be: that if you wait for all the information, you will be last. The best business leaders deal with imperfect information and yet still move solutions forward. Special Operators can collect a mosaic of data, form an opinion, and then move forward. They are then willing to adjust as new evidence becomes available, demonstrating the flexibility it takes to be successful in an ever-changing business environment. They have a demonstrated record of success both in the military, passing both challenging schools with high standards and real-world actions. They work exceptionally well at solving complex problems under stressful conditions. In the business world, this may mean a tight deadline, demanding customer, or technology setback. These challenges do not stop from progressing forward. Special Operators generally have solid 360 leadership. They know when to step up and when to follow – they work well with peers. They have very high levels of integrity. When they say it will get done to a high standard, they mean it both in terms of delivering on time and with attention to detail. Lastly, there is an intangible that Special Operators bring to the table: grit. Sometimes in the business world, things do not go as planned. An individual is willing to continue with a focus on the project’s objectives. They use setbacks as learning moments and rally the organization to do its best.

 

Swim for SOF 2022

Are you ready for the 2nd Annual THF Swim for SOF event?

The Honor Foundation is excited to announce September 17, 2022 as the date for the 2nd Annual Swim for SOF event in San Diego!

This charity swim across the Coronado Bay — from the beach near Hotel Del Coronado to Tidelands Park to the USS Midway — will be bigger and better than ever.

Participants of the swim will include THF Alumni: U.S. Special Operators who have completed The Honor Foundation Program and have transitioned into their next career after active duty service. These outstanding men and women are fundraising to help support future Fellows of the program as they begin their own journey in finding their next mission in life.

We are also welcoming First Responders to join, as well members of the San Diego community to unite in patriotism across the county.

Stay tuned for more information on registration and volunteer opportunities.

To learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jessica Hunt at jessica@honor.org.

 

2022 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

 

Patriot Sponsor

 

Stars & Stripes Sponsor

 

Liberty Sponsor

 

THF Launches Program in Eglin!

On Wednesday, August 24, The Honor Foundation officially launched our presence in Eglin to serve the transitioning Special Operators of the Eglin Air Force Base. With the help of our valued partner, Wounded Warrior Project, the opening of our fifth physical location became a reality — an adventure to expand our reach to all members of the Special Operations Enterprise in the area.

Thank you to all those who attended this monumental event:  Kevin Rasch of Wounded Warrior Project; Trisha, Angela and Ashley of the Niceville/Valparasio Chamber of Commerce; Lacy Cole of the Care Coalition; John and Becky Darby of VFW Post 12204; THF Alumni; and all honored guests who were part of today and the establishment of THF Eglin. We could not have done this without you and we look forward to serving thousands of transitioning special operators in the years to come!

And a special shout out to 3rd Planet Brewing for hosting our celebration!

 

Pints for Patriots

Patriotic craft breweries across the nation are banding together during this November to salute our Veterans and support the mission of The Honor Foundation.

If you would like to learn more about how you can participate in this campaign as a brewery or an individual, contact Renee Booth at renee@honor.org.

Matching opportunities are welcome!
Wrightsville Beach Brewery
Campaign Founders

Wounded Warrior Project Partners with THF for 2022

The Honor Foundation is thrilled to once again be named as community partner grant recipient of the Wounded Warrior Project to support the transitioning members of the Special Operations Forces community. This partnership plays a monumental role in the launch of our THF Eglin and THF Tampa Campuses this fall. 

“Wounded Warrior Project understands the needs of wounded veterans, service members, caregivers, and military families are growing, and that no single organization can meet these challenges alone,” said WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Linnington. “By working together with others, we can create a truly integrated and collaborative ecosystem of support, ensuring the military and veteran community is able to thrive long term.”

Thank you Wounded Warrior Project for being an advocate of The Honor Foundation and our commitment to “serve others with honor, for life, so their next mission is clear and continues to impact the world.” We will go #furthertogether by combining our efforts to help military veterans succeed in their journey after active duty service.

Read the full list of 2022 community partner grant recipients here.  

Salute to SOF

Save the date!

November 16, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

Join The Honor Foundation in our Nation’s capital for the first-ever Salute to Special Operations Forces Gala — a special evening to honor and commemorate SOF warriors who have dedicated their lives to protecting the USA.

For more details on the event, please contact Renee Booth at .

 

THF’s J.P. Tuthill Featured on The Philanthropy United Podcast

Listen to THF’s Director of Impact, J.P. Tuthill, on The Philanthropy United Podcast share the mission of The Honor Foundation and how he found fulfillment after his own career as a U.S. Army Green Beret.

Thank you for sharing your time with us, The Philanthropy United! Visit the link below to listen to J.P.’s full episode.

 

https://www.philanthropyunited.com/podcast

THF Nashville Dinner + Writers’ Round

You are invited to an exclusive dinner featuring stories behind the men in uniform, followed by a Nashville Writers’ Round.

Live Music Entertainment by Jo Smith

Writers’ Round will feature hit songs performed by the original songwriters:

Brice Long

Mark Nesler

Wynn Varble

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact renee@honor.org.

 

Live Entertainment:

Jo Smith:

“Named one of Rolling Stone’s 10 New Artists You Need To Know in 2017 and CMT’s Next Women of Country 2018— is a soulful and gritty songwriter from south Georgia, and she makes music that is an extension of herself. A passionate storyteller, Jo remains inspired by the countless hours she spent spinning her dad’s vast collection of vinyl records as a child growing up on her family’s cattle farm.”

 

Writers’ Round:  Biographies 

Brice Long:

Brice Long, a Hopkinsville native now singing and songwriting in Nashville, is also a philanthropist himself! His Back2Back concert series helps provide the essentials to those in need in the community he was raised in. His music portfolio includes cuts with Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton, Jon Pardi, Hank Williams Jr, George Strait, Randy Houser, Josh Turner, Reba McEntire, Gary Allan, Chris Young, Tracy Byrd, Randy Travis, Cody Johnson, Gretchen Wilson, John Michael Montgomery and more.

Mark Nesler:

Mark Nesler has had his share of #1 hits, including Tim McGraw’s “Just to See You Smile”, George Strait’s “Go On” and “Living and Living Well”, Darryll Worley’s “I Miss My Friend” to name a few. Mark continues to write every day and is one of Nashville’s most successful and respected songwriters and artists.

Wynn Varble:

Wynn Varble, 2009’s Nashville Songwriters Association’s Songwriter of the Year Award, is also no stranger to #1 songs. All three of his #1 songs were nominated for “Song of the Year” by the CMA/ACM. He has written for and with Garth Brooks, Cody Johnson, Trace Adkins, Willie Nelson, Mark Chesnutt, Kellie Pickler, Lee Ann Womack, and many others.

THF Alumnus Jason Goyanko Featured on Transition Drill Podcast

THF Alumnus Jason Goyanko, recently appeared on the Transition Drill podcast to chat about his military career, transition, and his current passions including fundraising for The Honor Foundation through the Swim for SOF event.

DIRECT LINK FOR PODCAST EPISODE 41: https://transitiondrillpodcast.libsyn…

PODCAST – LISTEN, WATCH, AND SUBSCRIBE https://linktr.ee/TransitionDrillPodcast

THF Dallas

Join us in Dallas for a special cocktail event featuring cocktails, cigar rolling, bourbon tasting, and a silent auction in support of a good cause.Honored guests of the evening – local businesses and military supporters – will join graduates of The Honor Foundation program for an evening of networking. These THF Alumni will share their experience of the program with potential future Fellows who are planning for their end of service.

For sponsorships or questions regarding the event, please contact Jessica Hunt at jessica@honor.org

 

Presenting Sponsor:

 

Patriot Sponsor:

Matt Stevens Featured on PJ Medcast

“Transition is like packing a parachute. No matter how you pack it, it’s probably going to open, and you’re going to land, and you’re going to survive. But if you pack it carefully and nicely, you’ll have a nice soft opening and a good landing. So treat your transition like that. Treat it like a job – prepare for it with the same mindset that got you into the community…”

Listen to THF CEO Matt Stevens speak about his career, his transition experience and about The Honor Foundation on the PJ Medcast podcast – a podcast to provide continuing education and on-demand reviews for the Pararescue community.

 

For the full episode, visit:   https://pjmed.libsyn.com/

THF Dallas Event Featured in Bubble Life

Plano Fundraiser Connects Local Veterans with National Military Transition Organization

Michelle Buckalew – Guest Contributor

The Honor Foundation, a military career transition organization that serves U.S. Special Operations Forces, and Surefox North America, a local veteran-owned and operated security consulting firm, were proud to host local veterans and Plano City Council Member Rick Grady for an exclusive fundraiser and networking event at Haywire Plano on May 12.

Honored guests of the evening also included graduates of The Honor Foundation’s transition program which helps special operations veterans translate their military service to careers in the private sector. Its nationally recognized curriculum combines one-on-one executive coaching and industry mentoring as well as access to an elite, nationwide professional network.

The event was sponsored by Surefox.  About 80% of the company’s employees are veterans.

“The Honor Foundation and Surefox North America share the same values and the same vision to help our veterans transition to civilian life,” said Brian Sweigart, Surefox Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer. “We both provide veterans a safe place to learn and grow alongside other veterans who understand the challenges, and we empower them to succeed by placing them in positions where their unique skills and expertise are valued.”

“The Honor Foundation helps our Special Ops Forces transition through one of the most difficult times of their lives and find fulfillment after the military,” said Matt Stevens, THF Chief Executive Officer. “We are grateful to have a partner like Surefox support us so we can continue to help veterans. Our goal is to make sure their next mission is always clear.”

91% of Special Operators feel transition out of the military is more difficult than combat deployment and being separated from family. Vietnam veteran and Plano City Council Member Rick Grady says it’s important that veterans receive support and training to help them integrate back into civilian life.

“Military transition programs like this are critical to our veteran community. For many veterans, returning to civilian life can be like going to a foreign country. They don’t know where they are going to live, how to build a resume, or how to find a job.  That’s why so many veterans end up homeless,” said Grady. “I hope that more corporations will see the incredible value and skillset our veterans offer and welcome them into their organizations.”

Since 2014, more than 1,500 veterans have graduated from The Honor Foundation’s career transition program.

 

Find the full article HERE as featured on:

Plano Bubble Life

Preston Hollow Bubble Life

Addison Bubble Life

Garland Bubble Lie

Lakewood/East Dallas Bubble Life

 

Jessica Hunt Featured on Oracle’s MAVEN Podcast

“You can’t just go through this life waiting for the next thing that the military decides for your family. You really have to take what you have, in this moment, and make the best of it. Over and over and over again.”

Listen to our very own Jessica Hunt, THF Director of Impact and 17-year military spouse in the NSW community, share her story with Oracle‘s Chris Spencer.

\Thank you, Chris, for supporting THF, being a part of our Swim for SOF event, and for highlighting Jessica as we celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day this week.

Listen to the full podcast HERE.

THF Partners with Texas de Brazil for May Fundraiser

Texas de Brazil partners with The Honor Foundation during the month of May to benefit members of the Special Operations Forces community in finding their next career

Sunday, May 1, 2022 — Houston, TX — All guests dining at all locations of Texas de Brazil Churrascarias within the U.S. will be able to support The Honor Foundation (THF) and its mission to serve veterans transitioning out of the military with honor for life, so their next mission is clear and continues to impact the world. The Brazilian-American steakhouse brand will showcase this partnership through a month-long fundraising campaign to benefit the organization’s program to help veterans apply their skills, work ethic, and leadership to the private sector. 

During the month of May, Texas de Brazil guests dining at domestic locations or picking up to-go orders can support these elite military veterans. Contributions of any dollar amount may be simply added to the bottom of the check, and for every $5 donated, the guest will receive a $5 certificate to use at a later date. Matching gift certificates have a maximum potential of $50 and may be redeemed during a future visit. Texas de Brazil will be matching donations all month long up to $25,000 and no purchase is necessary to contribute.

“As a proud citizen of this wonderful nation, I feel it’s our corporate duty to provide support for those who have sacrificed and who’ve dedicated so much of themselves to us,” said Salim Asrawi, president of Texas de Brazil. “We’re excited to partner with an organization that shares these same virtues and objectives and look forward to a successful campaign.”

Matt Stevens, CEO of The Honor Foundation, is excited for this partnership opportunity:

“The philanthropic work of Salim and the team at Texas de Brazil is inspirational and The Honor Foundation is grateful to be a partner for their May fundraiser, for the second consecutive year.”

91% of Special Operators feel transition out of the military is more difficult than combat deployment and being separated from family. The Honor Foundation, which has impacted 1500+ Alumni to-date, aims to provide a seamless transition between active duty service and a career in the private sector, extended education or entrepreneurship through a program tailored specifically for the SOF community. 

Call Texas de Brazil restaurants for more information. Visit texasdebrazil.com for locations and hours.

About Texas de Brazil Churrascaria

Texas de Brazil is an authentic Brazilian-American steakhouse featuring a continuous dining experience that blends the unique culture of Brazil with the generous hospitality of Texas. The menu features a vast selection of grilled meats, a 50-item salad area, an award-winning wine list and a la carte dessert selections. Founded as a family-owned business in 1998, Texas de Brazil now has locations in 21 states along with 11 international locations.  For more information, visit TexasdeBrazil.com.

About The Honor Foundation

The Honor Foundation (THF) is a career transition program for U.S. Special Operations Forces that effectively translates their elite military service to the private sector and helps create the next generation of corporate and community leaders. It achieves this through a three-month program which provides tailored executive education, one-on-one coaching, and access to a nationwide professional network. This program was built by the desire to serve others with honor for life, so that their next mission is always clear and continues to impact the world. Every step is dedicated to preparing these outstanding men and women to continue to realize their maximum potential during and after their service career. The Honor Foundation has 1,500+ graduates to date and has campuses in San Diego, CA; Virginia Beach, VA; Camp Lejeune, NC; Fort Bragg, NC; and a virtual campus (THFv). The Navy SEAL Foundation is a Founding Partner of The Honor Foundation.

For more information about this press release, please contact Kathy Leming at kathy@honor.org

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For more information on the promotion, click HERE.

Michael Halterman Featured on Oracle’s MAVEN Podcast

Oracle’s Chris Spencer sits down with THF VP of Operations, Michael Halterman, and covers Michael’s military experience, the choices that earned him a place within the Marine Special Operations Community, and eventually the current position he holds at THF. Michael unpacks detail that describes the mission of THF and how much immediate impact the meaningful work the professionals within the organization have on the veteran-affiliated community.

Listen to the podcast HERE.

Spotlight on Dataminr

We’re excited to introduce another valued Employer Partner of The Honor Foundation and an Alumni who is now part of their family.

These are companies and organizations who have hired men and women from our program and/or who have generously given us their time, resources and connections in an effort to help build a stronger network for our Fellows after service — a community post community. 

 

 

Q1:  What advice do you have for those who are experiencing transition?

Joe Levy (JL):  Whatever you jump into next likely won’t be the last job you take ––take a risk. It’s okay if your post-transition career five years from now looks very different from what you imagine today. That is just the next step in your journey!

Josh Morgan (JM):  Networking with people who have gone through the transition can provide helpful insights as you figure out what you want your next step to look like. Once you figure out what that step is and which voices to listen to, I recommend investing in those specific relationships. Oftentimes, you will find yourself with an exhaustive list of individuals that you want to speak with, but will start getting conflicting opinions that may cloud your judgment. So be mindful of who you talk to, and make sure those individuals are just as invested in your growth.

Christopher Blake (CB) Spend some time thinking about what you want to optimize for before you get into the interviewing process. Do you care most about making money? Having flexibility with your schedule? Loving who you work with? Loving what you do? No matter your answer, take a hard look at the organization’s culture, actions, and values and make sure there’s strong alignment between the organization and you. Ask questions about the company during your interview process – remember that interviewing is a two-way conversation! You’ll spend most of your waking hours on the job––make sure that the fit feels right for you.

Andrew Salonen (AS):  Start early. Apply the 3 L’s. Challenge Yourself.

Don’t wait until the last 3-6 months to figure out what your life will be like outside of the service. 12-18 months is what I gave myself, and I used every bit of that to evaluate priorities, set goals, explore opportunities, and take action.

Additionally, when evaluating your priorities, you must consider the “3 L’s”: 1. Love where you are 2. Love who you are 3. Love what you do. This simple concept was brought to my attention by Chris Gannon, Founder & CEO of Bolay Restaurant. I applied it throughout my transition as I filtered through the job market.

Lastly, don’t limit yourself by only exploring options within your comfort zone. Challenge yourself and go after opportunities that require you to learn new things. There is no limit to what you can achieve when combining your military experience, a thirst for knowledge, and a positive mental attitude!

Andrew Tiner (AT):  Network. I have talked to so many Vets who had transitioned without THF, and their approach to getting a job was to spam 1000 resumes to 1000 different jobs. While this may work in the end, what THF taught me is that there is a better way to find a job. Build your network, talk to people, and then use what you have built to strategically step your way into a job. I ended up in the interview pipeline with Dataminr based on only a few conversations I had with people in my network who were able to put me on a fast track to employment. The other aspect to networking is knowledge acquisition. I had hundreds if not thousands of conversations. Most of those did not and were never meant to necessarily turn into a job. I really enjoyed getting to know people, learning their unique professional experiences, and getting their feedback and advice on my personal employment journey. It helped me define what I wanted to do, and even more importantly what I didn’t want to do. Have conversations. Don’t just angle for jobs. You never know where that conversation might lead or what doors it will open. Maybe you’ll just make a friend, and those are good to have too.

Build a backup plan. Then build another. This is something that I struggled with a lot, but thanks to THF I was able to overcome. I would get a hot job lead and focus all my energy on it, putting all my eggs in that one basket. This left me high and dry a few times when the job opportunity fell through, and I had to start over from scratch. Always assume a job opportunity can fall through right up until they give you an offer. With that, having multiple leads to work on can help keep you moving through the dead space, whether that’s waiting for the next interview, waiting to hear what next steps are, or waiting to actually get the offer. Just having people who are happy to talk to you can greatly help your mental state while you are searching for your job. When it comes time to talk offers, having even just two to choose from will help empower your decision, and keep you from being desperate. The key really is to not get desperate. But if you do get in a bind, and here I speak from deep personal experience, fall back to point one: your network. On at least two occasions during my transition journey, I made the conscious choice to walk away from job offers I felt were not a good fit for me, even though that would mean staying unemployed. I had to trust that by working with my network I would be able to find the right job for me. Fortunately, thanks to THF, I had learned to build a network to be able to fall back on, and was able to pivot and begin new conversations and find new leads. Ultimately, this paid off when I found, interviewed, and was accepted for my new job with Dataminr. I am really happy I waited, even if at the time it was an extremely difficult decision.

Get a coach. I was assigned a coach through THF, and she has become a close friend, advisor, and mentor. It is very hard to go on this journey alone, and you need as many people on your side as you can get. Having a coach who isn’t a pre-existing friend, who has a wealth of professional knowledge, and who’s only skin in the game is your success is a powerful thing. It’s a fresh perspective and wealth of knowledge to help cut through your baggage, help you define your goals, and get you to ask the questions you didn’t know needed to be answered.

 

Q2:  What experience shaped who you are?

CB:  My experience with THF helped me to realize that I’m at my best when I’m helping others achieve something meaningful, especially when it involves turning insight into action. It’s what I loved about my time in Naval Intelligence and the SOF community, and it’s what steered me to Dataminr (that, and the incredible people here!). I know that the work I do here on Dataminr’s Public Sector team enables others in critically-important leadership positions to make better decisions and save lives, time, and money.

AS:  There are three experiences in my military career that shaped me professionally. The first was failing Navy SEAL training at 18 years of age. The second was failing Navy SEAL training at 21 years of age. The third was graduating at the top of my class in Navy SWCC school at 26. All three experiences drastically impacted how I matured, approached adversity, and led teams. Everything in between these three experiences was affected by the lessons I learned from them.

AT:  There are two primary experiences that have shaped me and my life over the past five years, and the first was becoming a father. Every parent you ever talk to says having kids changes how you think about everything, and until I had kids of my own, I always kind of wrote them off. But of course, they were right. Once we had our son, my entire perspective on life trajectory changed. I started asking hard questions about who I was, who I wanted to be, and where I wanted to be in 10 years. Ultimately, asking and answering these questions led to the decision to part ways with the Navy. I was grateful for the experiences, the perspectives, and the much needed structure that was key to my growth from teenager to manhood. At the same time, I was confident that the best path forward for me and my family lay in the freedom to chart my own course and balance my own priorities. Now, on the other side of this particular transition and starting my new career with Dataminr, I am still confident in my decision.

The second experience was serving in support of SOF. Starting off in the intel community, I was fairly isolated within the walls of my classified office spaces. After I screened and came to support SOF, I had the opportunity to engage with people from all across the DOD, IC, and government at large. I worked harder than I ever had before. I deployed several times to overseas locations. I met, worked with, and learned from some of the hardest working and highest caliber people on this planet. The experiences, perspectives, and insights I gained over these past almost five years could not be acquired anywhere else. I truly value these experiences, and know that who I am today—my goals, my perspective, and my drive, are a direct result of my time spent supporting the SOF community.

Q3:  What is your favorite interview question?

CB: ‘Tell me about a time when you failed, what you did to recover from it, and what you learned in the process.’

This question is my favorite because I think the way a person handles adversity is a great indicator of the type of teammate and contributor they will be.

AS:  My favorite interview question is “Why should we hire a Navy veteran for an Army focused position?”

AT:  “What is something that you are good at, that you never want to do again?” I think it’s important to be reflective, to understand where you’ve been, but also where you’re going. Just because you’ve spent a lot of time doing something doesn’t mean it’s who you are or who you have to be. This is one of the key areas of my transition success that I owe a great deal to THF. THF was instrumental in helping me reevaluate my assumptions about what I wanted to do in the civilian sector, what my motivators were, and what possible opportunities I should explore. I began my career looking for analytic jobs, since that was officially what I’d done in one shape or another for ten years. THF helped me realize that what really drove me was helping people solve hard problems, and this led me to start looking at more people focused jobs. I eventually decided that a customer success or client engagement style role would be the best initial fit for me, leading me to engage with and eventually be hired at Dataminr into their customer success team.

 

Q4:  THF Alumni: What similarities did you find between your role at Dataminr and your previous experience in the SOF community?

CB:  Above all else, the most impactful similarities are the dedication to mission and the focus on team success above individual accomplishments. The service-centric culture here at Dataminr is really motivating, and having such purpose-driven colleagues has made Dataminr an incredible place to land after transitioning out of the Navy.

AS:  Culture, focus and the service are a few of the standout similarities between the SOF community and Dataminr. Much like the SOF community, Dataminr is a large organization that operates as a small team. There is a family-like atmosphere that I quickly recognized and felt at home with the minute I came aboard.

In terms of focus, Dataminr is dedicated to their mission and, like a SOF element, communicates extremely well both internally and externally. At Dataminr, we share feedback and learn from each other in order to constantly improve our product and deliver excellent customer support. Everyone on the team is passionate about supporting our public sector customers which includes first responders. In many ways, for us veterans, our service to this country continues every day as employees of Dataminr.

AT:  The mutual trust between people. Everyone has each others’ backs, are willing to help out at a moment’s notice, and place mission and team above personal accolades. This was one of my primary criteria as I searched for a civilian job, and one of the primary reasons for choosing Dataminr. I have always preferred pulling as a team rather than alone and I am very happy to have joined a team that feels the same. The organization is also fairly flat with good working relationships and comradery across all levels. This is also a welcome, familiar dynamic.

Q5:  What makes the culture at your company special?

JL:  Dataminr is the first place I’ve worked where everyone genuinely wants to help each other. We are all marching in the same direction, and are bought into the mission we’re working towards.

JM:  The mission, our core values, and the people are what makes Dataminr’s culture standout.

CB:  There’s so much to love about Dataminr’s culture, but the singular focus on helping customers to ‘Know First and Act Faster’ really makes this place special. Everyone approaches their job with a sense of purpose and urgency, all with a focus on making the product and customer experience as good as it can be. Being a part of a purpose-focused, tech-centric, growing company is really exciting!

AS:  Dataminr places a premium on its people! Dataminr promotes a very positive working environment and encourages collaboration across all verticals. Employees are motivated to support each other to meet our goals from the company level down to the individual.

AT:  While I have only been on board a month, the biggest thing that stands out to me about Dataminr’s culture is the diversity of experience united behind a common cause. There is a large veteran community at Dataminr, and the ability to have immediate connection and common ground with my fellow vets has been fantastic especially as a new guy just starting off with the company. That being said, I have equally enjoyed engaging with all the people who do NOT come from a military background. It is so refreshing to work with people (for the first time in ten years) who have a completely different set of life experiences and perspectives from my own. And the fact that everyone works so well together united in their common motivation to support our customer as well as represent and advocate for our awesome product, is truly motivating. I am very happy to be a part of this team and to be able to lend my own experiences, skills, and perspectives to their fight.

 

 

Q6:  What question are you asked more than any other?

CB:  “How did you know about ‘fill-in-the-blank transition resource’???”

Military transition is a team sport, and it’s impossible for any one transitioning veteran to keep track of the tens of thousands of support programs and opportunities that are out there. During my time as a THF Fellow, I learned first-hand the value of keeping an open mind, sharing information and opportunities freely with others, and asking for help. Over the last 18+ months of transition preparation, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to benefit from and learn about a ton of transition resources out there – and I’m always glad to help others find a way to benefit from them all.

AS:  I’m still relatively new to Dataminr; however, one thing I’m frequently asked from my Dataminr colleagues is “How am I doing with the new position, and is there anything they can do to help set me up for success?”

AT:  In my case it’s more a question type rather than a specific question. I am constantly asked “in your experience…”, looking for my unique perspective gained through my time in the military. This is a new experience for me as I enter an entirely new field of work, being asked to weigh in based on a perspective not necessarily shared by my coworkers. It’s an asset that you, as a vet and a THF grad, bring to the table that you should absolutely lean into. One of the benefits of attending a THF cohort is that you learn how to articulate and express this as a value add to your new civilian company. You DO have a unique skill, that you spent years working on and developing. Don’t be afraid to maximize it.

Q7:  What drives you every day?

CB:  Having a sense of purpose beyond self and a team to share the experience with is what drives me. What I do and how I do it needs to be bigger than me for it to mean something, and I’m grateful that I have found that here at Dataminr.

AS:  I am driven each day by the dedication and positivity of my team!

AT:  Family first. I got out of the Navy because it was the right decision for my family and I’m happy that I have found a role with Dataminr that enables me to be home more with my family. I’m able to strike a better work/life balance and I have more emotional availability at the end of every day.

 

Q8:  What book do you find most valuable?

CB:  This is THE HARDEST question for me to answer because I read non-stop! I don’t know if I can narrow it down to one ‘most valuable’ of all time, so instead I’ll share one that’s been really valuable to me as I find my way as a leader and manager in the private sector: ‘What You Do Is Who You Are,’ by Ben Horowitz. Ben’s other book, ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ is a VERY close second!

AS:  In terms of preparing for life outside the military, I found the book “Who: The A Method for Hiring” to be helpful. It helped me understand what companies are looking for in a new hire and how best to communicate that I was the team player that they were looking for.

AT:  This is a tough call but looking specifically at my transition journey, the book that had the single biggest impact on my mindset is, “Every Tool’s a Hammer” by Adam Savage. This may seem an odd choice but the book focuses on finding your creative passion, being true to yourself, and investing in the things that matter most and give you joy in life. As I weighed the security and familiarity of continuing to serve in the Navy versus moving into the unknown, prioritizing family and my own happiness, this book gave me an important push toward the latter. Whether it’s this book, or another that communicates this message to you, it’s important to know that there is more available to you than what you have been, or what you have done. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself and work towards a future you actually want.

Q9:  What is a lesson you learned the hard way?

CB:  That I can do anything, but I can’t do everything. The excitement I have for all of the incredible opportunities out there for transitioning veterans led me to take on too much at once at times during my transition, which created stress rather than alleviating it. I learned that time spent focused on setting priorities and objectives trumps frantic effort invested in a ton of different things all at once. Don’t lose the ‘default yes’ mentality, but be prudent.

AS:  Preparation is paramount for any interview. The “fake it until you make it” technique is ill advised.

AT:  You may have to take an alternate route to achieve your goals. Don’t be too rigid in how you define “success.” When I began my transition journey, I had well-articulated ideas and plans for what success on the other side would look like. I had plans and back up plans. But for a long list of complicated and unrelated reasons, they all fell apart one after the other and I ended up out of the Navy and without work. I had to take a hard pause, start from the ground up, re-engage my network and THF, and most importantly, take a good hard look at what my goals were. Even though my big picture goals of getting out of the Navy and starting a new chapter in my life hadn’t changed, and at that point I was out of the Navy and therefore to a degree successful, I had to challenge many of my expectations about the type of job I was looking for or could actually land. Out of that pause and reassessment rose the opportunity with Dataminr and to this day I’m still a bit taken aback at what a good fit both the company culture and job description are for me. Even though I had used the product for a few years, it hadn’t been a company I had originally considered when I began my journey and I wasn’t sure the first phone call I had would lead anywhere. But only a few months later, I was onboarding and I couldn’t be happier. In short, always have a plan, but don’t be so locked on that you don’t hear opportunity when it knocks.

 

 

Q10:  What defines a leader?

JL:  A leader is someone who inspires others to dream more, do more, and be more.

JM:  A good leader does not require an advanced degree or an incredible amount of experience –– they require a people first mentality. A great leader is someone who has not only expertly adopted this mentality, but is also a master communicator. They are able to listen, process, and ask questions to drive meaningful conversations and limitless potential.

CB:  A leader is someone who drives action with clear intention, together with others, in support of a higher purpose.

AS:  I prescribe to the servant leadership mentality. I believe there must be a foundation of genuine trust within your team in order to be productive long term. A leader is an excellent listener, empathetic, and maintains an acute awareness of the internal and external factors that impact their team. A leader must also be persuasive but does so from a place of credibility and respect.

AT:  Honesty. Being honest with your people, calling a spade a spade, and not overindulging in the company kool-aid. Be passionate about what you do but also be real about your limitations, or the limitations of your organization. It’s easy to lead when the goings good, but it’s the tough times where good leaders truly shine. Towing the line of, “Yes, this sucks, but it’s what we have to do and we’re in this together” goes a lot further than trying to sugar-coat failed policy or bad direction.

The other side of this coin is trust. Trust your people and have their backs, even when they make mistakes or are in the wrong. This doesn’t mean to not be accountable or to not hold your people accountable. This means knowing that there will always be a crowd of people standing by to absolutely crush a person (in this case, your person) at the first misstep or screw up. It’s up to you to determine whether your person will have an ally in that crowd. It’s truly amazing what people will do for you, your team, and themselves if they know you have their back.

Q11:  What is your favorite quote?

JL:  ​​“Some men see things as they are and say, ‘why’; I dream things that never were and say, ‘why not’.” – J.F.K. (adopted from a character in a George Bernard Shaw play).

JM:  “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – Gen Patton

CB:  “If you don’t know what you want, there’s no chance that you will get it.” Ben Horowitz, ‘What You Do Is Who You Are’

AS:  “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” -Theodore Roosevelt

AT:  It’s hard to pick just one, and I think my favorite quote changes as I move between phases of life. The one that’s motivated me in important ways lately has been, “That which cannot last, will end.” There’s two distinct ways that I approach this quote. The first is motivating myself through difficult and challenging times. Knowing that any transient, temporary problem or situation is not the “end” helps focus my energy, even if just to endure in the short run. Very little is forever and most things can change or end if need be. The second approach is to focus on investment. Viewing my life through the lens of what is permanent and what is not. The question, “What do I WANT to be permanent in my life?” helps focus my goals, determination, and investment. Choosing happiness over security, or family over material acquisition. My entire transition has been framed within this context. Making the decision to re-prioritize my life direction and then navigating the months or even years of work, change, and uncertainty that follow. It has been difficult, but so far it has been worth it.

 

THF Featured in Air Force Times

“While companies have their own programs for veterans and military spouses, there are also several organizations working to help veterans with post-service employment and education. FourBlock, Helping Our Heroes and the Honor Foundation (which works exclusively with former special operations forces personnel) offer training, resume help, career fairs and assessments and other key services to veterans and their spouses.

The Honor Foundation offers executive style cohort experiences focused on helping elite warriors transition to the corporate world. The three-phase program helps veterans find their passion, weaves in what they need for job interviews or graduate level study and then get real-world practice at networking events and company visits.

“‘We help them choose their next adventure,'” said Lindsay Cashin, vice president of people for the Honor Foundation.”

Read the full article HERE.