Learn More About the Successes of ACP's Mentors and Protégés


Anecdotes

“The match was perfect and I really enjoy speaking with Kristen. She is extremely wise and has given me great insight into what to do about my career.”

- Derrick M., U.S. Army National Guard, Paired with Bristol-Myers Squibb Mentor Kristen R.

 

“Daniel is an impressive young man and I see our friendship continuing after the mentorship is formally completed.”

- John S., Verizon Mentor paired with Daniel G., U.S. Army


Protégé Spotlight

To recognize the successes of ACP’s Protégés, ACP periodically spotlights Protégés who have gone above and the beyond the requirements of the Mentoring Program to make the most of their mentorships. Mentors nominate their Protégés for this recognition by submitting a brief description detailing what their Protégé has done to help ensure their mentorship has been beneficial. ACP then reviews the nominations in order to select which Protégés to spotlight. Protégés are spotlighted on the website and through ACP’s social media.

If you believe that your Protégé deserves to be spotlighted, please email a brief synopsis explaining their dedication to the mentorship to spotlight@acp-usa.org. Please note that ACP reserves the right to post all nominations on our website and social media.

Mentors are encouraged to submit nominations as they wish.

 

Spotlight: Jennifer Kuhnen, Virginia Beach, VA, US Navy

Mentor Lisa Roy, Blue Bell, PA, Travelers

I am nominating Jennifer Kuhnen for the Protégé Spotlight. Jennifer is an extremely motivated person and a joy to mentor. She served our country for twenty years, which began just two months before her twentieth birthday, and officially retired from the Navy in January, 2015. During her years in the service, she was able to attain an AS degree through Excelsior and received her diploma by mail. She is now on her way to a BS Degree in legal studies from Post University where she is enrolled in an online degree program. With just eleven courses to go, she plans on attending the commencement ceremony for this degree rather than receiving her diploma by mail because she advised me, “It is a HUGE accomplishment for me, especially considering I never intended to start college until I was out of the Navy and didn't even get my GED until I'd been in the Navy for 3 years. Plus I am the only person in my family to have earned a college degree at all”. Since her retirement we have worked closely together to fine tune her résumé, discuss the interview process, and look for avenues to meet an employer that will see her potential. She is driven and strives for what she wants. She is attending job fairs, applying for jobs online, working with placement agencies, looking to boost her résumé by becoming a notary, and the list goes on. Jennifer remains realistic and knows that working in a corporate setting will be a big change from working in a military setting. She is eager to get her feet wet and willing to take on entry level work to get in the door. She has made smart observations during her journey and follows up on every lead. I am truly honored to be Jennifer’s Mentor. She has proven herself to be someone who won’t stop until she reaches her goals. For that reason I will continue to assist Jennifer in any way I can to make her transition into the workforce a good experience. Although our mentorship will be over before she attains her degree, I have offered to escort her to her graduation to show support of all she has accomplished.

 

Spotlight: Doug Ramsdell, Pace, FL, US Navy Reserve

Mentor Ronald Blahnik, Smyrna, GA, Home Depot

I am nominating Doug Ramsdell for the Protégé Spotlight. Doug has been phenomenal to work with over the last year. He has had to make a critical life and career transition and has done so with enormous courage. Doug had to mentally process the unsought and earlier than planned change from Military to Civilian life. An event with hard choices for even the very best prepared soldier. Seemingly undaunted by all he faced, Doug clearly maneuvered through the myriad of changes in his life with calm and dispatch that few who make this transition overcome without significant disruption and often despair. I have been so very impressed with Doug and have enjoyed our developing friendship. He has a widely varied background and incredible leadership skills along with very interesting set life/career learnings. It was clear early on in our conversations that all his acquired skills and abilities during his highly honored military career could and would translate into an array of options for him to consider. With his feet confidently on a successful path with his new employer, I look forward to his continued growth as the next chapter of his life unfolds before him and know others who must make a similar journey could benefit from his strength and resolve to always move forward, ever forward.

 

 

Mentor of the Month

To recognize the outstanding work of participating Mentors, ACP has created the Mentor of the Month contest. Each month, ACP staff reviews nominations and selects 1–3 Mentors who have had the greatest impact on their Protégés. To commemorate the winners, each selected Mentor is featured on the ACP website and both Mentor and Protégé receive an ACP memento.

If you are a Protégé and would like to recognize the outstanding work of your Mentor, please send up to one paragraph explaining how your Mentor has had a positive impact on you. Please email all submissions to motm@acp-usa.org. Please note that ACP reserves the right to post all nominations on its website.

Veteran Protégés are encouraged to submit nominations as many times as they wish.

March 2015
ACP would like to congratulate:
Thomas
Digan
Liverpool, New York
Timothy
Langan
Orlando, Florida
Jennifer
Whitlow
Bethesda, Maryland

It is my pleasure to nominate Thomas Digan for ACP’s Mentor of the Month. When I initially joined the program, I wanted to be paired with someone who had successfully transitioned from the military into an executive-level position in the private sector, and Tom was chosen as a great match with impressive experience in his industry. The timing of my introduction to Tom could not have been more perfect, as I had been offered a position with a United Kingdom maritime defense contractor and obviously had many questions. Tom quickly established contact and laid out a plan designed to inform my transition to the new position. His commitment to the program, and to me, was immediately evident from our first phone call and I have already benefitted from his advice. I remain very appreciative of Tom’s willingness to share the lessons he has learned and I look forward to the remainder of the year as my transition continues. Tom is the consummate professional and his willingness to donate his valuable time in spite of an extremely busy schedule is commendable. Tom epitomizes the model of “veteran supporting veterans” and his long-standing dedication to ACP is truly noteworthy.

-   Steven H., Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S. Navy

 

I’m pleased to nominate Timothy Langan for ACP’s Mentor of the Month. We have overcome the obstacle of working together from a distance because we’re located in Florida and Washington, D.C., respectively. Although I entered our Mentor/Protégé relationship with a fast-walking start at getting ready for my transition from the military, I’ve found I often have to keep up with Tim’s preparation for our meetings. This is exactly the kind of proactive and enthusiastic engagement I hoped for. Each time we meet, we focus on a different topic to prepare me for my transition. I’ve found that, without fail, Tim has done his homework and has no shortage of experience, research, or wisdom to pass on to me.  He’s very ebullient and expressive, which I’m going to value when I go through the inevitably tough stretches of interviewing and job-searching soon.  I look forward to the remainder of my mentorship with Tim and having him pat my back or refocus me as necessary. I appreciate ACP’s work in finding great Mentors to push us fledglings out of the nest!

-   Pete M., Washington D.C, U.S. Air Force

 

I am nominating Jennifer Whitlow for ACP’s Mentor of the Month. Jenn has played an integral role in my transition from Active Duty to business school and my future career. From day one she established clear lines of communication to build the foundation of our partnership. Jenn has traveled numerous times from her home in Maryland to New York City for business, and always sets aside time to meet with me. When we are unable to connect in person, Jenn makes a point to stay in touch through email and phone calls.

Jenn has dedicated valuable time to ensure that I am set up for success following graduation from business school. She has helped me build an industry-focused résumé and has even invited me to meetings with Lockheed Martin’s advertising agency. Additionally, Jenn has become a personal academic advisor, guiding me through concentrations and courses that will best serve my future career ambitions. I knew little about Defense & Aerospace before this mentorship, even though it is one of my target industries. Jenn has taken the time to walk me through the industry landscape by identifying key roles, competencies, players, and projects that have amplified my awareness of the industry, and my interest in Lockheed.

Its difficult to express in a short paragraph how much of an impact Jenn has made in my life in such a short amount of time. Jenn has been such an incredible motivator, providing me with support, guidance and advice throughout my transition. I am grateful to have such a fantastic Mentor, and I can only hope that other Protégés are as fortunate. I would like to thank Jenn for consistently taking time out of her busy life and career to help veterans like me - her kindness and mentorship is truly priceless.

-   Aaron K., New York, New York, U.S. Army

February 2015
ACP would like to congratulate:
Heather
Gillbanks
Houston, Texas
Kris
Urbauer
Chicago, Illinois
Edward
Wacek
Liberty, Ohio

I am nominating my Mentor, Heather Gillbanks of GE Oil & Gas, to be the ACP Mentor of the Month.  Mere days before being paired with Heather, I was called to schedule an interview.  This was to be my first corporate interview in over five years.  The focus of my mentorship went from desiring assistance with developing my résumé and building a network to help me find a job, to needing immediate assistance with interview skills.  Heather shifted gears flawlessly and spent several hours preparing me for my interview that was only days away from our first introduction.  Some of her best tips were to be confident and listen more than I speak.  I received a job offer from my first interview thanks to her help!

Since that time, Heather has been instrumental in helping me transition from a military mindset to a corporate one, while still remaining focused on the valuable skills that I learned from the service.  A good attitude goes a long way, and the military teaches you to be resilient and overcome even when obstacles appear.  I am greatly appreciative for having such a fantastic Mentor.

- Robyn M., Newport News, Virginia, U.S. Army

 

I would like to nominate my Mentor, Kris Urbauer of General Electric, for ACP Mentor of the Month.  Kris has been an outstanding resource for me as I make my transition out of the military.  I could tell right from the start that she was a good match for me because it was so easy to talk to her and she showed genuine compassion for helping veterans.  Kris has always made time for me, and has spoken with me on the weekends if we could not meet or talk on the phone during the week.  I know she has a very busy schedule, and I appreciate the amount of time she has given me to ensure that I succeed.

Kris has helped me with a wide range of topics – everything from finding direction in my career goals to fine-tuning my résumé and polishing my interviewing skills.  Additionally, Kris has opened up her network to me, connecting me with other business professionals who have had successful careers in fields that I am interested in.  Kris has undoubtedly made my transition much easier and I am grateful for her mentorship and the time she has dedicated to giving me a successful start outside the military.

Beyond the professional advice she has provided, Kris has also been a great role model for me as a successful woman and business leader.  I aspire to exude the same competent optimism that she does when I settle into a future career.

- Jill S., Evanston, Illinois, U.S. Army

 

I would like to nominate Eddy Wacek from General Electric for ACP Mentor of the Month. Eddy has been an outstanding Mentor as I have prepared to transition from the active-duty military to a business career. Throughout the mentorship, Eddy has made himself incredibly available. We have met regularly, allowing me to refine career transition plans, grow from workplace challenges, and find answers to business career questions. Even when our schedules were busier, Eddy made sure I could keep in touch via email and phone. Over multiple iterations, Eddy has helped me distill my military experiences and refine them into a concise and effective résumé that captures my skills and successes. Eddy also kept me on track with my transition preparations by following my progress with project management and business analysis courses and encouraging professional reading.  A great coach and advisor, Eddy has exposed me to career paths, companies, and insights that I would not have considered without his input. Because of Eddy’s mentorship, I am a better-prepared, more confident job candidate. I also know the advice and guidance I received from Eddy will help ignite my business career and make me a more valuable employee to my future employer.  Thank you, Eddy! 

- Don N., Dayton, Ohio, U.S. Air Force