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


“I look forward to speaking with my Mentor every month and we talk about all kinds of life events; he is a ray of sunshine in my difficult transition. He recently connected me with another HR director at Yum Foods (Bjorn). I enjoyed the opportunity to go to the Taco Bell headquarters and see how civilian HR managers work and discover the challenges they face. I know David must be very busy, but he always makes time for our conversations and he never makes me feel rushed. I really appreciate having David as an ACP Mentor!” 

- Michael L., US Navy, CA, Paired with Yum! Brands Mentor 


“My Protégé and I have a great rapport even though our relationship is limited to phone and e-mails. I am honored to know Kamran and hope my guidance has been helpful. I also stay in touch with my previous ACP mentees. I am very grateful to ACP for connecting me to three outstanding veterans. They are all terrific people.” 

- Bob V., CA, Boeing Mentor  

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: Xarviera Appling, San Antonio, TX, US Air Force

Mentor Christine Nowakowski, Minneapolis, MN, General Mills

I am nominating Xarviera Appling for the protégé spotlight. Xarviera is a joy to work with. She is a phenomenal self-starter who is capable of juggling her military career and location transfer while completing her master’s degree in public health. Her experiences in Africa have inspired her to learn more in order to help improve the living conditions and survivability of others. She is on a strong path forward towards her goal of attaining a doctorate’s diploma. Xarviera has passion for helping others and I am honored to be part of her journey. I am very impressed by her planfulness and her open approach to a very different environment from the military. She easily connects to others and asks the right questions, synthesizing the information to help build a solid foundation for her future. I look forward to continued success and I know that others will benefit from her excellence and dedication as she seeks ways to reduce exposure to and consequences of contagious diseases.

Spotlight: Kyle White, Oceanside, CA, US Marine Corps

Mentor John Rall, Grants Pass, OR, Wells Fargo

I have been working/mentoring Kyle for almost one year. Kyle has been very enthusiastic about his mentoring through ACP. I have tasked Kyle with several activities involving his resume and interviewing skills. I’ve recommended several books on career planning, interviewing, and basic financial planning and Kyle has read them all. Kyle is always prepared for our mentoring meetings, which lately have been every two weeks. I have been able to get our Human Resources Recruiters to do a couple of mock interviews with Kyle and they have been impressed with Kyle’s professionalism and ability to present himself in a positive way. Kyle has completed his BS and is currently working on his Master’s Degree. Kyle has also been accepted into a 16 week training program sponsored by Microsoft Corp. It has been a challenge to keep up with Kyle’s energy and staying one step ahead of him in the mentoring process. But, I have to admit, it is very rewarding and I am enjoying mentoring Kyle. I can’t think of a more deserving person to be selected Protégé Spotlight than Kyle. Thanks for the opportunity to nominate Kyle.

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.

December 2014
ACP would like to congratulate:
Irvine, California
Irvine, California

I wish to nominate Ferril Onyett of Yum! Brands for Mentor of the Month. Ferril's down-to-earth personality, coupled with her desire to inspire success, have made her an invaluable resource to me. From the moment we first spoke over the phone last February, I have counted on Ferril to provide candid feedback and intelligent strategies for navigating the job market. Ferril invited me to visit Taco Bell several months ago, and I was blown away by how engaged and committed her colleagues came across. It is clear that she is an outstanding leader who "practices what she preaches." I have made a dozen lasting connections as a result of my relationship with Ferril, and I do not know that I would have been able to secure my first job if it was not for her networking advice. Most recently, Ferril has been an excellent sounding board for the challenges I have faced in my new role. I am eternally grateful for all of her help.

- Leslie N., San Diego, California, US Navy


Since my Mentor, Jessica, and I started working together in February, she has been an invaluable resource. Jessica has helped me successfully navigate my separation from the Navy and smoothly transition to my post-military career. Along the way, Jessica has always gone above-and-beyond to make herself available for our monthly conversations and has also been available on an as-needed and informal basis. Jessica has worked with me to tailor the mentorship experience for maximum value.

During my mentorship I have had several insightful conversations with Jessica—from discussing the different aspects of various functions within an organization (i.e. marketing, operations, etc.) to networking and professional development. I have expanded my professional knowledge and business understanding through some of the numerous executive book summaries that Jessica has exposed me to. Jessica helped me develop a personal brand and led me through creating an elevator pitch. Jessica also helped talk me through challenging work situations and offered pointed advice that I was able to directly apply. Lastly, Jessica helped me develop a strategy to effectively manage my time in order to ensure that I expanded my professional network. 

Jessica has truly been a Mentor and has become a trusted sounding board as I navigate my post-military corporate career. The experience that I have had with both Jessica and ACP has been fantastic.

 - Andrew B., Arlington, Virginia, US Navy

November 2014
ACP would like to congratulate:
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
Redmond, Washington

I wish to nominate my ACP Mentor, Mr. Ray Fannon of AT&T, for Mentor of the Month. Ray has been a huge inspiration for me as I transitioned from the US Air Force after more than 28 years of active duty military service. Ray has shared countless hours with me in the areas of enhancing interview skills, résumé writing and civilianizing my military skills. He has also shared his knowledge and experience as a Senior Manager at AT&T and coached me on the things he looks for in individuals looking to be hired within his organization. Although we were not geographically located in the same area, he ensured we spoke at least once a week and also emailed regularly. Ray has been professional and positive at all times and from the first time we spoke, he aided me in establishing clear and attainable goals, which we reviewed at every session. 

Ray and I have not just spoken about my transition from the military, we have also discussed a wide variety of topics and he has always given sound advice and shown genuine concern for me. He has not only been a great resource for advice, but also a great listener and someone who I’ve grown to respect for taking the time to be a Mentor and for sharing his knowledge and expertise with people like myself. I truly appreciate everything he has done and provided through his mentorship; it has aided me in securing employment not long after separating from the military and for that I’m truly indebted to him. Ray is a great Mentor and a great person. He truly deserves to be the ACP Mentor of the Month.

- Carl T., Upper Marlboro, Maryland, US Air Force


I would like to nominate Michael Fields as Mentor of the Month.

Working with Michael has been a breath of fresh air for Martha's CatchAll LLC. In the short time I have worked with him, he has given me a very positive outlook on where my business can go. He has shared his experience and knowledge, which keeps me motivated to move the business to the next level. He has been understanding of my concerns and has shown a real interest in helping me reach my goals. I have enjoyed working with him thus far and look forward to what his mentorship will continue to offer me in the future. His mentorship does not come from obligation to the program but from a place of genuine concern for veterans striving to make a life outside of the military. For that, I am thankful to be working with him.

- Miriam T., Great Lakes, Illinois, US Army Reserve


My American Corporate Partners Mentor, Bill Morris, has been monumental in helping me make the necessary adjustments from military service to working in the civilian sector for a large corporation. Bill’s open leadership style and wealth of life experience combined with his professionalism makes it very easy to discuss personal and career goals and prepare for the way ahead. Bill cares deeply for veterans and causes that support veterans. I see this first hand in his commitment to my personal and professional growth despite his daunting schedule, and through his various philanthropic activities. I nominate Bill Morris for American Corporate Partners Mentor of the Month because he best exemplifies the quality of this organization and its commitment to support military veterans.

- Bernard B., Seattle, Washington, US Army 

October 2014
ACP would like to congratulate:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
New York, New York
New York, New York

A Mentor within the ACP Veteran Mentoring Program can take on many forms – a life coach, connector, industry expert, or academic adviser—but, the one form that I will hold dear to my heart for the time I have spent paired with Kevin Dotzenrod is that of being a friend. Kevin has not only helped me learn a great deal about my industry of interest, connected me with people within that industry, and helped coach me through school and employment scenarios—but in doing so he has become a true friend.

From the day I was first introduced to Kevin, he projected a professional, polished image, coupled with being approachable and extremely personable. The more we got acquainted, the more I learned about how his background was a great fit with my aspirations, which in turn helped me learn more about myself and what I wanted to become. We discussed several specific areas that helped me along the way, including connecting with key people in the area within the industry, charting my education plan, articulating my professional goals, and learning how to become a better leader.

As great as those areas were to discuss, the most pivotal area we have discussed is the most important of all—how to balance my career with family. Life can present some interesting challenges along the way—one of the most significant is balancing work and life, and finding how a family can fit into the overall equation. In discussing this area, Kevin was open in discussing his career progression and how his family has been supportive. He also spoke about how he made his own decisions and how his family was involved throughout. Kevin not only talked about these items, but he also showed how it can, in fact, be possible to have a successful, fulfilling career while maintaining a full family life outside work hours. I truly believe this is one of the most important aspects of life, and Kevin has been a tremendous beacon in guiding me through this area. 

For all of these reasons and more, I am incredibly thankful for my time with Kevin as my Mentor and the ACP Veteran Mentoring Program as a whole. I look forward to the remainder of our formal time together through ACP, and I am confident our friendship will continue well beyond the formal closing date. Thank you, Kevin!

- Matthew B., Elko New Market, Minnesota, US Air National Guard


It would be my distinct pleasure to nominate Ian for Mentor of the Month!

Despite his incredibly busy schedule as the head of MarketWatch, Ian was able to set aside time for several in person meetings that were extremely valuable to me. We had a great discussion during which he got right to the point of how he could add tremendous value to my career. We discussed several goals that I should meet, as he was previously on a similar track for promotion. Most importantly, he offered to help me in expanding my network more than I could imagine. I happened to be working on an anti-money laundering project, and with one phone call he introduced me to the CEO of the organization that certifies professionals in the field. I have the utmost respect for Ian for sharing his life lessons both in and out of the office. I look forward to one day emulating him as a Mentor myself.

- Brian M., New York, New York, US Army


I wanted to briefly share why my Mentor has been ideal. Anna became my Mentor six months ago, not long after I had decided to pursue a career in Accounting. I had my hesitations about ACP’s Veteran Mentoring Program and my new career choice but after the very first conversation I had with Anna, the trepidation melted away. As a CFO, Anna has given me several opportunities to shadow her, to attend meetings relevant to accounting, and she has even established a non-traditional internship over the next few months for me to shadow experienced individuals in the field. As if that were not enough, she inspired me to pursue a Master's degree program at George Washington University, where I will begin classes this fall! We communicate regularly and she continues to provide me with excellent insight into her career. She has shown true interest in me as a veteran and as a Protégé. I will truly carry this experience with me always.

- Lauren T., Aldie, Virginia, US Army

September 2014
ACP would like to congratulate:
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Tampa, Florida

Bob Galindo most deserves to be Mentor of the Month. I can’t count all the ways that Bob has helped me to prepare for my transition. I am retiring from the Navy after thirty years of service so, as you can imagine, I have a lot of questions and uncertainties about my future. Bob has been encouraging and helped me to stay very positive about my upcoming transition. He has helped me with my transition through our conversations, during which he has offered great insights and assistance in writing my résumé and providing advice on interviews and appropriate business dress. He even called in his brother to offer advice and comments on my draft résumé.

In summary, I could not recommend Bob more highly as the Mentor of the Month. Bob is caring, constructive and has been a great Mentor for me.

- Jerry L., Bremerton, Washington, US Navy


I have been working with Mr. Parker for the last couple of months and it has been a great experience. Mr. Parker has made each of his appointments with me (phone calls each month) and provided great insight. On numerous occasions if I have specific questions, Mr. Parker has put me in contact with subject matter experts inside USAA. He also set up a couple of different face-to-face appointments with USAA employees at the Colorado Springs Office. This allowed me to see the day-to-day operations and gain an understanding of the civilian workforce. These appointments were set up on very short notice due to my upcoming deployment and they were executed flawlessly. Mr. Parker also put me in touch with an HR representative who reviewed my résumé and gave me helpful interview tips.

Overall this mentorship process has been great and I owe it to Mr. Parker and his staff. I believe Mr. Parker would be a great candidate for Mentor of the Month and is a great asset to American Corporate Partners' Mentoring Program.

- David W., Colorado Springs, Colorado, US Air Force


Ramara has persisted to be an exceptional Mentor to me, always taking the necessary steps to ensure the mentorship is progressing nicely. Last month I had the pleasure of visiting Ramara at the USAA Headquarters in Tampa, FL. As we met for the first time, she immediately made me feel comfortable and treated me like an honored guest. We spent the day together traversing through the enormous headquarters building where I was able to meet important executives, and then was given the opportunity to hear about the personal and professional journeys of these successful executives, including Ramara’s.

I was put on a pedestal and was given the opportunity to share some of my own background as well as network with the USAA team. What surprised me the most was that I made a comment about the sleek black professional portfolios that they all carried around, and to my surprise, I received one in the mail from Ramara a week later.

To me, it represents the true commitment and value that Ramara has brought to the program. Ramara deserves to be Mentor of the Month!

- Justin D., Apopka, Florida, US Army Reserves