ACP Protégés Thank Their Mentors


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 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: Wayne Johnson, Arlington, Virginia, U.S. Army

Mentor Wes Reynolds, Atlanta, Georgia, The Coca-Cola Company

Since early November of last year, I have had the honor and privilege to get to know Wayne Johnson. We volunteered to participate in the ACP mentoring program with my interest driven through Coca-Cola's involvement with the program overall and our broader commitment to veterans.  I've participated in many mentor programs both as a mentor and mentee. My experience with Wayne has been one of the most satisfying I've ever had. Wayne's commitment to the process, his enthusiasm for his own personal development, his genuine commitment to helping others, and his great intellectual curiosity have made it a delight to spend time with him.  I am based in Atlanta and travel frequently. Until recently, most of my travel was international and Wayne lives in the D.C. metro area.

In spite of logistical challenges, we have been able to connect via Skype about every three weeks for rich and engaging discussions. Wayne prepared a "plan" for our relationship and together we modified and executed the plan. Wayne always comes well-prepared for our time together and we always leave with actionable ideas for both of us.  Wayne is an impressive and inspiring young man that I am lucky to have gotten to know on such a meaningful and rewarding level. I look forward to continuing our relationship and I can't wait to see what further, massive contributions Wayne makes to our world.


Spotlight: Adam Johnson, Athens, Georgia, U.S. Army

Mentor Chris Hanebeck, Dallas, Texas, MasterCard

Adam’s conduct has been nothing short of stellar and his dedication to the program is exemplary in every way. Given that he is enrolled in a demanding MBA program, this is truly a great accomplishment. Adam intends to work in management consulting after completing his degree. Overall, he has been extremely dedicated, 100% reliable and highly motivated. He has always followed up on his commitments 100% or has always delivered the best work he could possible create. Allow me to provide a few examples of what we have accomplished over the past six months.    

From the very start, we have worked on personal skills such as communications, analysis and creativity required management consulting. Adam has gone through exercises and undertaken extensive reading assignments to complete this. We have discussed different career paths and various types of employers within management consulting to identify those best suited for Adam. We have set up interviews with a couple of executives in management consulting firms for Adam so that he could get more diverse views of the industry and begin to network. We have discussed the Harvard Business School case method in detail and have since solved three HBS case studies together (submitting our solutions to the other) to practice his analytical skills. We have worked on a large number of related issues such as questions about how to move through the ranks in management consulting, how to build a strategy for his career and which industries to start in, etc.     

I am firmly convinced that Adam will be extremely successful in his career and am deeply honored that I am able play a very minor role in helping him on this path. A huge thanks to you and ACP for making this possible!

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 e-mail all submissions to Please note that ACP reserves the right to post all nominations on its website.

November 2015
November 2015

ACP would like to congratulate:

  • Steve McCarthy

    Durham, North Carolina

  • Jack O'Toole

    Carrollton, Texas

  • John Pride

    Durham, North Carolina

I would like to nominate Steve McCarthy for ACP’s Mentor of the Month because he truly exemplifies what it means to be a Mentor. Steve and I began working together almost a year ago. I had recently graduated from my MBA program and was beginning to look for full-time work, after spending a few years on active duty and being a reservist as well.

I was eager to enter the workforce, but became frustrated with interview feedback that I didn’t have enough business experience. Steve helped review my résumé and practice interviewing skills. Steve also helped develop “my story” in order to properly convey my strengths.

We connected deeply as our military experiences were very similar. This helped foster an open dialogue in which Steve felt comfortable giving honest advice about the mistakes I had made during previous interviews. As I went through the interview process with Bank of America for their Junior Military Officer Program, Steve was supportive the entire time.  I received an offer in May and started working there in June 2015.

Steve has seen me through the initial 90 days and we maintain in contact as our busy schedules allow. Steve continues to give great advice and helps me with topics I find difficult to navigate during the transition. Thanks, Steve!

- John R., Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, U.S. Army


I would like to nominate Jack O'Toole for ACP’s Mentor of the Month. We began working together about six months ago when I was preparing to separate from the Navy after twenty years of active duty service. I was nervous about separating, as I did not know how to navigate all the challenges that come with the transition.

Without Jack’s guidance and insight, I do not know where I would be today. Jack has helped with my résumé by providing not only his own input, but also the input of other professionals in his network. He also helped with interviewing techniques and building my network. Most importantly, Jack was my sounding board and offered his moral support. There have been times when I was extremely frustrated and upset about the job-hunting process and Jack was there to listen. Someday I hope to meet Jack in-person and thank him for all that he has done. He will truly never know how much this experience has meant to me. I couldn't think of a better Mentor than Jack, and it was ACP that brought us together.

- Tim R., Goose Creek, South Carolina, U.S. Navy


I would like to nominate John Pride for ACP’s Mentor of the Month. John and I began working together as I started a new job, my first job since active duty separation, in January 2015.  At the time, I struggled with various aspects of transitioning into a private sector job. John did not have the luxury of preparing me for these struggles; I was already knee-deep in them. John always provided a receptive and attentive ear while I explained how I perceived this time in my life. As any good Mentor, he absorbed this information and helped lead me in the right direction so that I could find the best solution for my family and me. His advice, not orders, allowed me to think about our conversations and slowly digest them in my own way. Luckily, John visited D.C. with his family and we were able to meet in-person. Some of John's biggest contributions, besides listening well, were the thoughtful questions he posed and the perspective he brought. John’s time and insight were invaluable. We continue to keep in touch and will do so for the foreseeable future. I would recommend ACP to any of my military peers.

- George E., Alexandria, Virginia, U.S. Air Force

October 2015

ACP would like to congratulate:

  • Jim Patterson

    Phoenix, Arizona

  • Pat Thelen

    Kansas City, Missouri

  • Andre Trudell

    Kansas City, Missouri

I nominate my Mentor, Jim Patterson, for ACP’s Mentor of the Month. Jim has been a calming influence and steadfast supporter during my transition from the Navy. Even though I made the transition to corporate America before being recalled to active duty, I was nervous and had quite a bit of concern making the transition again. The economic conditions and job market were considerably different in 2015 than during my first transition in 2004. Jim was the perfect Mentor for me since he had the financial and corporate leadership experience I was seeking and wanted to emulate.

From our first meeting, I knew Jim would be a tremendous help in my transition.  Our many discussions helped me refine the characteristics I was looking for in a new career. He also helped me look at different opportunities and determine if they met the criteria to lead to a successful career. Jim used his extensive experience to help focus and lead me to a point where I was ready to make the transition to a great company.

Bottom line, without Jim, my transition would not have been as successful. I could not have asked for a better Mentor. I appreciate everything Jim did for me and I would recommend Jim and ACP to other military members preparing for a transition to corporate America. The ability to meet with a successful corporate leader and understand how military experience can translate into a successful corporate career is invaluable. Military members have quite a bit to offer, but not understanding the corporate environment can make the transition very challenging. 

Great Mentors like Jim willingly give their time to help military members successfully navigate the transition process. I can’t say enough about Jim Patterson and the help he provided me. Thank you, Jim Patterson, and American Corporate Partners!

- Raymond F., Peoria, Arizona, U.S. Navy


I nominate Pat Thelen for ACP’s Mentor of the Month. Pat is everything one could ask for in a Mentor. He is authentic, competent, and to put simply, an incredibly caring person. From day one, he has focused our meetings on furthering my goals. He has offered sound advice, insight, and challenged me to think critically about what I want to achieve. He has always been patient and generous with his time. 

Pat has given me advice, both strategic and tactical, to help update and focus my résumé and develop a business plan. One of the larger projects we have worked on is my business plan. Pat set up a meeting with key members of the UMB team in Kansas City. After Pat introduced me to several members of this incredible team, I had the opportunity to pick their brains and ask questions specific to my business concept. Every person offered great advice and greatly improved my approach to making my idea a reality. 

Pat and everyone I met at UMB demonstrated candor, hard work, service, and teamwork. We finished the day watching the Kansas City Royals on a perfect evening from incredible seats. Pat made the whole trip seamless and I learned so much. The year is flying by and I am amazed at how great Pat, and this program, is.

From first contact, ACP has been nothing short of fantastic. Everyone at ACP has been courteous, competent, and professional. Pat exhibits all of these aspects and more. Every opportunity I get, I let people know about the amazing things ACP is doing for veterans. I am so grateful for this program and how much it has helped. Thank you, Pat, and thank you ACP!

- Stacey S., National Harbor, Maryland, U.S. Air Force


I would like to nominate my Mentor, Andre Trudell, for ACP’s Mentor of the Month. Andre has been a superb Mentor as I have transitioned from the military to business school. Andre has helped me navigate my first internship in the private sector. Since the beginning, no question has been too simple or unimportant for him to answer and he is always available whenever I need help. Andre has enabled me to own the mentorship and make it what I need in order to be successful in my transition. I do not know how I would have made my transition from the service to the private sector without Andre’s guidance and support.

- Dallin R., Springfield, Virginia, U.S. Army