Blog Written by: Lani Faulkner

Reflecting on my Eagle Leader Fellow journey this year touches my heart with deep gratitude. It has been a year of wonderful gains and sad losses. Eagles come into our lives and become family and this year a couple of them with a blink of an eye, are gone.

October 2015, I had the honor and privilege to attend Team RWB’s first National GoRuck athletic camp. People from all across the country were selected by their chapter leaders to attend the 3 day leadership camp while learning the art of rucking. It was a weekend like no other, where huge bonds were formed and leadership was learned not only by the presentations but, by sweating, rucking, carrying large objects, being immersed in water and just plain hard work. It was amazing.

I nominated Eric Forbes from our chapter to attend the leadership camp. A Marine veteran who joined our chapter through the VA Move program and became a leader by hosting the weekly dog walks. He had struggles that were very personal to him but, when he attended the GoRuck camp, he shared his “Why Team RWB” and I can tell you I had to fight the tears. He literally said that if it wasn’t for Team RWB he would not be alive. He said Team RWB saved his life. I was taken aback. I knew our Eagle family was tight but, didn’t realize how deep his pain was until that weekend. The bond between us became even stronger and we were like family. I also met Stephanie Stump (affectionately known as Momma Stump). A firecracker of a lady who had survived breast cancer, during her treatments she lost her house to a fire and had an incredibly positive attitude. She loved her son so very much and he too was a Marine veteran. During her “Why Team RWB” she shared all of that with us and she would make us cry and laugh all at the same time. She was amazing and her energy was contagious.

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This year we lost both of them. Momma Stump’s cancer returned and she lost her battle, and Eric passed away after his stomach bypass surgery. It was devastating to many of us. Accepting why they had to leave us so soon was very hard. But, as I thought about our experiences through Team RWB, I realized that maybe our paths would have never crossed if it wasn’t for Team RWB. I am grateful for the short time I was given with Momma Stump and the time I had with Eric. As I read aloud Eric’s eulogy that I wrote to loved ones at his funeral, I shared what he meant to me and to those in our Team RWB family. The connections he made, the people he inspired and the people who loved him, I closed the eulogy with the thought that I was grateful for Team RWB and God who gave me the opportunity to share this earth with him and that at least I know in my heart that our Eagle family made his last days on this earth happy. I believe Momma Stump’s life was enriched by her Team RWB family as well as they gathered around her before she passed.

Sharing this story makes me grateful for Eagle Leader Fellows. When I attended the summit in Tampa, Florida in March, I knew it was going to be a wonderful and beautiful emotional weekend. Every single camp, summit or leadership gathering is that way. I met so many committed, dedicated and loyal individuals that have a passion for enriching veterans lives and building a community to gather together to make them feel welcomed and a part of the Eagle family. They came from all branches of the military as well as civilians from all different backgrounds and each of them unique and wonderful with their own stories. The weekend was phenomenal as we spoke about our “Why Team RWB.” The meeting was scheduled for 2 hours, we took 4 hours. It didn’t feel like it was that long at all. It was filled with vulnerability, trust and was unconditional. The love in that room was so powerful. The weekend progressed from there and all of us felt this sense of sadness as we departed back to our normal lives. Not a sadness that we dreaded going home but, a sadness that the purpose and passion we feel for Team RWB was unleashed at the summit and we were going to miss being that candid. We were in our circle of trust. We were excited too as we learned so much about what we could do and given the autonomy to choose our destination and achieve our goals in whatever we wanted to do in leadership. Team RWB was investing in us. We all felt extremely fortunate and wouldn’t be taking this opportunity lightly.

I chose to achieve my Executive Certification in Leadership from Notre Dame. I am in my last 8 weeks and pretty excited about what I have learned. I was also given the opportunity to coordinate and execute a Team RWB triathlon camp for Eagles in the Southeast Region in my hometown. I was very fortunate to work alongside 3 other Eagle Leader Fellows, Dennis Volpe, Josh Winters and Lisa Gunnoe and we were supported by our Southeast Program Manager, Patrick Griffith and Southeast Regional Director, Garrett Cathcart. They gave us the green light and encouraged us to dare to be great. The camp was a four day event and local coaches donated their time in all three sports. Local community businesses supported the camp as well. I was asked to attend the yoga and GoRuck athletic camp as the speaker on “Empathetic Leadership” in Tampa and in Jacksonville. Hurricane Matthew changed the plans for Tampa but, I spoke in Jacksonville and was honored to have been given the opportunity.  I felt a warm welcome from our Eagle brothers and sisters which made it easy to speak in front of them. Team RWB invited me to Houston, Texas to attend the Brene’ Brown lecture on the Pillars of Leadership with other leaders and teammates. What an incredible experience that was and seeing and spending time with my Houston Eagle family was an added bonus.

Another amazing experience was participating in the Old Glory Relay with teammates from several chapters in Florida. Our day was day 58 on November 7th. We were fired up and excited to carry Old Glory and getting her one day closer to her destination in Tampa, Florida for the Veterans day celebration on November 11th. Approximately 15 of us were part of 7000 plus hands who carried Old Glory by the time it reached our pickup point and we were extremely proud. Meeting with Eagle brothers and sisters in Lake City where the Odum family welcomed us and provided a wonderful buffet dinner as if it were Thanksgiving to carrying the flag each mile with excitement, Bill Cardoza a Navy Seabee Veteran using his walker and Ralph Little a Marine Veteran walked the flag 2/10ths of a mile leading us to the veterans memorial in Perry, Florida where we stopped for lunch and ending the day with cheers and happiness that we did this together. This day, huge bonds were formed between our teammates and we all have already committed to doing it again in 2017. Our Old Glory Relay captains, Jay Ulloa, Air Force active duty and his wife, Rebecca Ulloa, an elementary school teacher coordinated and executed an experience for all of us that will forever be in our hearts. I am so proud of the two of them and their leadership. They lead from the front and were welcoming and encouraging the whole way.  I am honored to be a part of their team.

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With all these experiences I believe I have become a more grateful person as well as a better leader. I am more aware of others. I understand that in order for me to make an impact in others lives as a leader, I need to share my story. It just may inspire someone. From the beginning in 2012 when I became the chapter captain of Team RWB Daytona, I felt strongly that the passion was about me giving back to those who have served our country and I do feel even stronger about that today. What I didn’t expect to happen is that I would be impacted personally and realize that I needed my Eagles. I was diagnosed in early 2016 with breast cancer and by May I had undergone two lumpectomies and radiation. It was a pretty crazy rollercoaster but, there wasn’t one day that I felt alone. I had the love and support of my family and my Eagle family. Although, my focus was keeping my Team RWB family connected and engaged, I really needed them and they were there. It was never a doubt in my mind they wouldn’t be. I can tell you, it is then that I realized literally how Eric Forbes felt when he said, we saved his life. Just knowing you are not alone means the world. My chapter has shown me that they are here to enrich my life as well and Eagle Leader Fellows has taught me how to recognize and accept it. I’ve learned to dare greatly and how my personal gifts as a leader is enough. I am surrounded by many other amazing individuals on my team who have the same  heart and commitment to our veterans and our community and together we have accomplished extraordinary goals. Eagle Leader Fellows is about authentic and genuine leadership and empowering others to be great leaders. As I continue on with my Eagle Leader Fellow journey to finish out the year, I have a personal goal to obtain my CrossFit Level 1 certification and I would like to attend the national triathlon camp in 2017 as a final piece.

What I have always known is that Team RWB is not about me, it’s about WE. I look around every single day and my heart is full knowing that together we make a difference. Together we can inspire leaders, whether you lead your family, yourself, your work, your volunteers, we are all leaders and we can learn and dare to be great.

Here at Team RWB, we believe in the 10/20/70 model for learning & development: 10% education, 20% mentorship & 70% just rolling up the sleeves, and being given a chance to lead in a positive environment. We also believe that we can build better communities by building better leaders and the way to do that is to provide top-notch education, mentorship & experiences to the very best leaders.

Team RWB Eagle Leader Fellows believe in the Team RWB mission and embody the Eagle Ethos. Fellows will be immersed in leadership training and development that consist of these three major components:
Education – Leaders will pursue a fully funded accredited certificate in leadership (or equivalent external leadership education) from top universities and programs in addition to the full complement of Team RWB leader development curriculum.
Experiences – Each Fellow will have full access to attend Team RWB Eagle Leader Camps, Eagle Leader Summits, and Eagle Leader Seminars. Each will Fellow attended Eagle Leader Academy at the Team RWB HQ in Tampa Florida in March 2016.
Mentorship – Each Fellow will be mentored by actively working on projects with their Team RWB Regional Teams, to put their leadership education and experiences into action!

In 2015 we selected two Eagle Leader Fellows to serve as our inaugural class. In 2016, we expanded the Fellowship and selected 15 Eagle Leader Fellows to serve in the second cohort. 2 Fellows were selected from each region except 3 from the Southeast, and 1 from the Pacific.  If you’re interested in becoming an Eagle Leader Fellow in 2017 – apply today!

 

Chris Thompson – Bryan/College Station Texas, Southcentral Region

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Chris Thompson first joined the military in 2000 as a heavy wheel vehicle mechanic in the Army Reserves.  Chris later re-classed to infantry, attended Special Forces Assessment and Selection, graduated the qualification course, and served a majority of his time in the Army as Green Beret in 3rd Special Forces Group as an engineer and then an Intelligence Sergeant.  Following his time in the Army, Chris worked as a contractor for a Joint Task Force supporting some of the Nation’s highest priority missions. Chris conducted 7 combat deployments total as a Green Beret and on the Joint Task Force. Chris has been decorated with the Bronze Star for Valor, two Bronze Stars for service, the Army Commendation Medal, the Valorous unit award, and the Congressional Veteran Commendation.

Chris has been a Team RWB Eagle Leader since 2013 and currently resides in Bryan, TX with his wife and son.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Chris has not started the education piece of his fellowship yet.

Team RWB Experiences: Chris attended Eagle Leader Academy in March 2016 and has led multiple Team RWB GORUCK Camps as the GORUCK cadre.

 

 

Brian Perry  – Boston, Massachusetts, Northeast Region

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Brian Perry joined the military in 2003 and served in the New Jersey National Guard until 2010. As a member of the New Jersey National Guard, Brian deployed to both Guantanamo Bay and Iraq. Following his time in the military, Brian pursued a career in finance. Brian is currently pursuing his MBA at Boston College.

Brian first found Team RWB in 2014 and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Brian completed a running coach certification to help other veterans achieve their fitness goals.

Team RWB Experiences: Brian attended the 2016 National Triathlon Camp, 2016 Northeast Leadership Summit, Eagle Leader Academy, 2016 Northeast Regional Summit, Buffalo Summit and wrote a Team Red, White & Blue blog.

Other Experiences: Brian completed a marathon as a guide for a blind/deaf athlete, completed his first Ironman at Lake Placid, and attended the MBA veterans conference.

 

Dennis Volpe – Jacksonville, Florida, Southeast Region

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Dennis Volpe was born in Long Island, New York and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1996 with a Bachelor’s of Science in History. Dennis served in various positions during his time as a career Naval Officer and deployed to multiple locations including: the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Eastern Pacific, the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, and many others. While in the Navy, Dennis earned a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Human Resource Development from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, and sub-specialty in counter-insurgency operations from the United States Naval War College. Dennis retired from active duty in July 2016. Dennis has recognized sub-specialties in leadership development, strategic and operational planning, and counter-insurgency and started his own Leadership Consulting and Development company in August 2016.

Dennis has been a member of Team RWB Jacksonville since April 2014 and is currently the Jacksonville Chapter Captain.

Dennis enjoys running, triathlons, hiking, camping, kayaking, fishing, scuba diving, and shooting.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Dennis is currently pursuing University of Notre Dame’s Executive Certificate in Leadership, and has become certified to administer the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator and Emotional Intelligence (EQ-I) 2.0.

Team RWB Experiences: Dennis attended the 2016 Southeast Triathlon Camp, Eagle Leader Academy, and participated in Old Glory Relay.

Other Experiences: Dennis planned and executed the 2016 Southeast Triathlon Camp with the other Southeast Fellows.

 

Jessica Reid – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Northeast Region

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Jessica Reid commissioned into the Army after participating in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and served for 6 years. Jessica was an Intelligence office and deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II as a member of the 759th Military Police Battalion. In 2013, Jessica saw one of her good friends from my ROTC wearing a Team RWB shirt on Facebook. Jessica decided to look up Team RWB’s activity in Philadelphia and joined just in time for the Veterans Day “Armistice” workout of the day (WOD).

Jessica currently resides in Philadelphia and enjoys yoga, meditation, scaled CrossFit Wods(!), hiking, and coffee!

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Jessica attended the Off the Mat, Into the World (Yoga Leadership Conference) in Atlanta Georgia.

Team RWB Experiences: Jessica attended the 2016 National Trail Running Camp, 2016 Northwest Rock Climbing Camp, Eagle Leader Academy, and the 2016 Northeast GORUCK Camp.

Other Experiences: Jessica has been managing the Northeast Veteran Ambassador Program email distribution list, assisted the Northeast Regional Director with the execution of the 2016 Northeast GORUCK and Yoga Camps, and most importantly, Jessica was hired as the Northeast Regional Program Manager in November 2016.

 

Josh Winters – Warner Robbins, Georgia, Southeast Region

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Josh spent 4 years on active duty in the United States Air Force. After leaving the Air Force, a friend approached Josh about helping to start Team RWB Chapter in Warner Robins. Josh served as the Veteran Outreach Director for a year before becoming the Chapter Captain.

Josh currently resides in Warner Robbins and enjoys triathlons, running and recently started playing soccer again with a RWB Team in Warner Robins.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Josh is currently pursuing University of Notre Dame’s Executive Certificate in Leadership.

Team RWB Experiences: Josh attended Eagle Leader Academy in March 2016.

Other Experiences: Josh planned and executed Southeast Regional Triathlon Camp with the other Southeast Fellows.

 

Kevin Chimilio – The Bronx, New York, Northeast Region

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Kevin served for four years in the United States Marine Corps and learned about Team RWB when Joe Quinn came to his college to speak to veterans about team RWB.

Kevin currently resides in The Bronx, loves fitness, learning about different aspects of health, singing, comedy and acting.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Kevin has not started the education piece of his fellowship yet.

Team RWB Experiences: Kevin attended Eagle Leader Academy and the 2016 Northeast GORUCK Camp.

Other Experiences: Kevin participated in the Buffalo star spangled marathon relay and ran his first 10K. Kevin is currently planning a fitness/body building event in his local Chapter.

 

Kris Lord – San Francisco, California, Pacific Region

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Kris Lord is a lifelong active, outdoors person – water sports, soccer, hiking – with a background in Sociology. Kris did not serve in the military but her brother is an Army veteran (3rd Ranger Battalion). Kris and her brother lived together after he left the Army, and she was very involved in the ups and downs of his transition to civilian life. Prior to finding Team RWB Kris was involved in a veteran mentorship program in Washington state, created by her brother. Kris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and she has a professional background in working with seniors. Kris enjoys the opportunity to engage with people within their communities, and forging connections with those of many different backgrounds.

Kris’ first Team RWB event was Run As One in 2014 and she has been the Veteran Engagement Director in the San Francisco chapter since 2014. Kris resides in Oakland Hills, California and her free time is spent walking near her home with her constant canine companion, trail running the regional parks, and any opportunity to be on the water, preferably on water ski or paddle board.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Kris completed the Introduction to Memoir Writing course at The Grotto, a writing studio in San Francisco and Stanford University’s Mastering the Personal Essay Writing Class. Kris attended LivingWorks’ Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) course and became a safeTALK instructor. Kris is currently enrolled in the Presidio Institutes’ Introduction to Cross Sector Leadership course.

Team RWB Experiences: Kris attended the 2016 Pacific Northwest Regional Summit, 2016 Midwest Storytelling Camp, Shootout for Soldiers – Dana Point, 2016 Northwest GORUCK Camp, Eagle Leader Academy Old Glory Relay, and Ragnar Lake Tahoe.

Other Experiences: Working with the Pacific Regional Director to assist Organizing Areas; planning the dual-region storytelling camp for March 2017; co-facilitated the module on Empathetic Leadership at the GORUCK camp in Boise.

 

Lani Faulkner – Daytona, Florida, Southeast Region

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Lani Faulkner has a family full of military personnel and veterans. Lani’s spouse is a veteran, she is the mother of an active duty Navy Sailor, and a military brat. Lani is employed with the Fortune 500 company, Morgan Stanley as a licensed senior client service associate. Lani’s job is to operationally service clients’ accounts and build relationships.

Lani first learned about Team RWB in 2012 and currently serves as the Daytona Chapter Captain. Lani enjoys running, CrossFit and triathlons.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Lani is currently pursuing University of Notre Dame’s Executive Certificate in Leadership

Team RWB Experiences: Lani has attended Brene’ Brown’s Pillars of Leadership in Houston Texas and Eagle Leader Academy.

Other Experiences: Lani co-coordinated the 2016 Southeast Triathlon Leadership Camp with the other Southeast Fellows, and led the empathy module at the 2016 GORUCK Camp.

 

Lisa Gunnoe – Central Arkansas, Southeast Region

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Lisa is a stay-home mom of three and has been married for 26 years. Lisa’s spouse served in the Navy for four years and is currently a Navy Mom and a Police Mom.

Lisa has lived in Judsonia, AR for the last 21 years, and currently serves as the Chapter Captain of Team RWB Central Arkansas. Lisa enjoys most things outside on trails, hiking, running, backpacking, horseback riding and has been involved with Team RWB since November 2012.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Lisa attended LivingWorks’ Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) course. Lisa is currently pursuing University of Notre Dame’s Executive Certificate in Leadership and Nonprofitready.org’s Project Management Basics course.

Team RWB Experiences: Lisa attended the 2016 Southeast Triathlon Camp.

Other Experiences: Lisa gave some assistance with planning the 2016 Southeast Triathlon Camp and helped planned and execute a one day trail running clinic.

 

Thea Ward – Bismarck, North Dakota, Northwest Region

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Thea Ward enlisted into the North Dakota Army National Guard at the age of 27 as a water treatment specialist but has recently transferred into the public affairs unit where she will train as a public affairs specialist. She also sits as the 3rd Vice Commander for AMVETS Post #9 and hopes to bridge the generation gap of the veterans in her area. In April 2015, she started her own business, Thea Ward Fitness LLC.

Thea resides in Bismarck, North Dakota and is currently serving as the Bismarck Chapter Captain. Thea enjoys spending time with her 4-year-old nephew and 2-year-old niece. Thea also enjoys anything related to fitness, reading, hiking, and spending time working on improving her business.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Thea is currently studying for National Strength and Conditioning Association Tactical Facilitator Certification and is going to attend the American Management Associations’ Leadership through People Workshop in December.

Tam RWB Experiences: Thea was one of the few Fellows that spent time with Old Glory Relay on Relay Support Team. Thea also attended Eagle Leader Academy, 2016 Northwest Trail Running Camp, 2016 National Trail Running Camp, 2016 Northwest GORUCK Camp, 2016 Northwest Leadership Summit, Waves of Valor Surf Camp, and Growing Veteran’s Peer Support Training.

Other Experiences: Thea has been assisting the Northwest Regional Director with Regional level operations. More specifically, reaching out to Team RWB members that do not belong to a Chapter. Thea also helped plan and execute the 2016 Northwest GORUCK Camp.

 

Tephanie Hopper – El Paso, Texas, Southcentral Region

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Tephanie is a proud mom of two boys and a military veteran. Tephanie got involved in RWB after a life change and she hasn’t looked back. Tephanie enjoys reading and going to the movies.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Tephanie completed The University of Texas at El Paso’s Essentials of Human Resources certificate and the Society for Human Resource Management’s Essentials of Human Resources Management certificate.

Team RWB Experiences: Tephanie has attended Eagle Leader Academy and the 2016 Southcentral GORUCK Camp.

Other Experiences: Tephanie is currently working with the Southcentral Regional Director to plan the 2017 Southcentral Functional Fitness Camp.

 

Mike Greenwood – Colorado Springs, Colorado, Northwest Region

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Mike enlisted into the Army in the fall of 2002 and left for infantry basic training on February 18th, 2003, exactly 13 years prior to being selected for this fellowship. Mike served as an Infantry Soldier with the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division, including tours in Afghanistan & Iraq with 2nd Battalion 22nd infantry regiment in support of OEF 3 and OIF 4. Upon leaving the military as an enlisted soldier, Mike earned his Bachelors of Business Administration from Pace University where he assisted in building the local SVA chapter.

Mike now resides in Colorado Springs with his wife, Demetria, and their daughter Crisanna.  He enjoys trail running, hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains with his family.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Mike is currently pursuing University of Notre Dame’s Executive Certificate in Leadership.

Growing Veterans Mentor (Registered for course)

Team RWB Experiences: Mike was one of the few Fellows that spent time with Old Glory Relay on Relay Support Team. Mike also attended Eagle Leader Academy, 2016 Trail Running Camp, 2016 Northwest Rock Climbing Camp, 2016 Northwest GORUCK Camp, and Growing Veteran’s Peer Support Training.

Other Experiences: Mike has been helping the Northwest staff with many different Regional level tasks to include: 2016 Northwest Summit, 2016 Northwest Rock Climbing Camp, 2016 Northwest GORUCK Camp, 2017 Northwest Storytelling Camp, and many others. Mike has also established a partnership with Huts For Vets, has presented a leadership development module at camp, attended Shootout For Soldiers Colorado, Eagle Charge Colorado Springs, and planned Ragnar Colorado with two other Fellows. Lastly, Mike was hired as the Northwest Program Manager in 2016.

 

Michael Shipp – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Northeast Region

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Michael Shipp served in the Navy from 2005 to 2013 as a Personnel Specialist, spending four years on active duty then four years in the reserves.  While in the Navy, Michael was stationed in Norfolk, VA; Jacksonville, FL; Okinawa, Japan then finished his commitment closer to home in Fort Dix, NJ.

Outside of Team RWB, work and school, Michael mentors a 12-year-old kid as a Big Brother, and is the founder and Co-Chair of an employee network at Bank of America called Military Support & Assistance Group New Jersey. Michael also participates in Olympic distance triathlons and run races of all distances.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Michael completed the USA Triathlon Coaching Certification.

Team RWB Experiences: Michael attended Eagle Leader Academy in March 2016.

Other Experiences: Michael currently serves as the Philadelphia Community Outreach Director.

 

Mark Helm – Chicago, Illinois, Midwest Region

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Mark enlisted into the Army in 1991 and served for 9 years until 2000. Mark served for 6 years in the 82nd Airborne Division and his final 3 years as an Army recruiter. Originally from Michigan, Mark graduated from Illinois State University with a B.S in Managing Information Systems in 2003. He has since worked at Aon Hewitt as Benefits Implementation Manager responsible for client consulting and administration for fortune 500 companies HR outsourcing technology platforms.

Mark currently resides in Chicago with his family and is an avid distance runner and currently serves as the Chicago Chapter Captain.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Mark has completed a running coach certification.

Team RWB Experiences: Mark has attended Eagle Leader Academy and the 2016 Trail Running Camp.

Other Experiences: During his Fellowship, Mark has been serving on the Midwest Regional Staff and has been managing the regional event calendar and creating a standard training sequence for Chapter Captains. Mark also helped plan and execute the 2016 National Trail Running Camp and the 2017 Midwest Trail Running Camp.

 

Marissa May – Omaha Nebraska, Midwest Region

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Marissa enlisted into the Navy in October 2001 as a CTO which is similar to an IT specialist. During a deployment to Souda Bay Crete (Greece island), Marissa met her husband who is still currently serving. As a military family, Marissa and her family have been stationed in multiple locations. During her time time in Pennsylvania, Marissa completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University.

Currently, Marissa and her family are stationed in Omaha, Nebraska. Marissa has served as the Community Engagement Director, Veteran Engagement Director and the Social Director in the Omaha Chapter. Marissa enjoys CrossFit, rock climbing, most things done outdoors such as fishing, camping and paddling.

Fellowship Accomplishments:

Education: Marissa is currently pursuing University of Notre Dame’s Executive Certificate in Leadership and a Personal Training Certification.

Team RWB Experiences: Marissa has attended Eagle Leader Academy, 2016 Midwest Storytelling Camp, and 2016 Midwest Functional Fitness Camp.

Other Experiences: Throughout her Fellowship Marissa has been the main point of contact for Eagle Leader Camps in the Midwest Region. Marissa has planned and executed four Eagle Leader Camps: 2016 Midwest Storytelling Camp, 2016 Midwest Rowing Camp, 2016 Midwest Yoga Camp and 2016 Midwest Functional Fitness Camp.

The need for leadership in our country has never been greater.  That is why we created the Eagle Leader Fellow Program.

This week is a very special episode as we talk with three of Team RWB’s Eagle Leader Fellows.  These leaders have spent the past several months on a mission to make their communities stronger.  

You’ll hear from Dennis Volpe (Jacksonville, FL), Marissa May (Omaha, NE), and Kris Lord (San Francisco, CA).  They share their experiences of taking up the mantle of leadership and how they’ve grown as individuals through the process.

The Eagle Leader Fellowship is a 12-month leadership development experience with a focus on leadership education, mentorship, and experiential learning.  Our first full class of fellows have done and absolutely amazing job (we’ve hired 5 of them to the full-time staff).  Applications are open for the next class of fellows.  If you have a heart for service, a desire to lead, and think you have what it takes to make your community stronger…please follow this link to learn more.

 

  

Chapter: Team RWB Twin Cities Minnesota

Member Since: November 2015

Motto: “Share your experiences to help and encourage others through their own challenges. And to LOVE.”

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I joined Team RWB because I met some Eagles at my gym (who allows Eagles to come weekly free of charge on Wednesday nights), and they pushed and motivated me, and loved me just as I was. Also because I wanted to show veterans that there are civilians out there who genuinely do support veterans.”

What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?

“Every event and outing with Team RWB is my favorite. Whether it’s a small Eagle engagement, or a large get together, a sporting event/race or a service project. I always feel loved, supported, and am able to give that same love and support when I’m with my Eagles!”

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How Do You Serve Your Community?

“Paying for others’ food randomly, helping others in need, reaching out to people who are struggling to let them know of their worth, and just being a friend to people.

What Inspires You?

“People who’ve been through some difficult challenges in life, both veteran and civilian alike, who rise up against the odds and do amazing and inspiring things, like accomplishing their goals.”

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“Team RWB has given me a new family and a new purpose. They’ve given me people to be accountable to, and friends to love and care for. They’ve allowed me to be myself while pushing and motivating me to be a better and stronger version of myself.”

What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?

“DO IT. You will find a family in RWB, you will have friends all over the country, and you’ll never again be alone while you’re on the team!!!”

 

In preparation for our first ever Team RWB national Yoga event, Eagle Namasday on December 3, we’ve got a great show this week with 2 unique individuals – Barry Peterson, and Ed Stancombe.  

Yoga, plays a huge part in both of their lives, and we’re excited to share it with you.  We cover some great topics, to include:

• What is Yoga?

• Why Yoga has been embraced by the military, after being shunned for years.

• The physical and mental benefits of Yoga.

Eagle Namasday, and what you can expect.  

No matter if you’ve ever been in a Yoga studio or not, there’s a ton to gleam from this podcast.  We hope you enjoy it!