LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
When I joined this organization in 2010, it was little more than an idea and a few people wearing eagle shirts. But even then, we knew there was something special and important there, waiting to thrive. Seven years later, I still feel the same way, and am just as excited as I was then to see it grow and enrich the lives of tens of thousands of veterans across our great nation.
Although we know that many veterans show resilience in their military service and the resulting transition, we also know that many face significant challenges in this process as well – ranging from acute needs to a much broader loss of self-worth and identity. And this can manifest itself in negative outcomes for the veteran population over time. But involvement in Team RWB can help, and we’re building an organization that will be there for America’s veterans, long term.
2017 was a big year at Team RWB! What we accomplished was incredible, and I couldn’t be more proud of our team, our Eagle Leaders and our members. In looking back at the year, I think it’s important to note a couple key items:
- Team RWB navigated our first significant leadership change in key roles, to include Chairman of the Board, Executive Director and several members of the leadership team. In all cases, these were smooth transitions of long-term staff members who have gone on to big things in other organizations, and who continue to stay involved with Team RWB. This is the kind of healthy, natural change that is positive for organizations.
- 2017 saw the completion of phase 1 in a nearly 2-year long project to implement some critical pieces of digital infrastructure. We’ve swapped out nearly all the technology that we use as an organization on a daily basis, setting the conditions for us to improve the member experience in a big way, and drive positive outcomes. This was a huge project, and is critical to our future plans.
Despite the significant resources that were required to implement the above, we still were able to enrich the lives of our members in a big way – this list could be a mile long, but here are some that are important to note:
- Through our chapters, we facilitated more than 186,000 local, in-person interactions between veterans and their communities around the country. This engagement is at the very core of our mission and a primary driver of life enrichment.
- We held 28 Eagle Leadership Development Program experiences with 637 attendees, and took our first significant steps in implementing our sequential, multi-year Eagle Leader journey. Investing in our Eagle Leaders is critical to achieving our mission over the long-term.
- We’ve continued our focus on generating knowledge and driving positive outcomes for our members with the completion of our Enriched Life Scale – a survey instrument nearly 5 years in the making that will help us improve our programs and deliver impact to our members.
In closing, we had quite the year in 2017 – it brought change, growth, and continued impact…and has our team prepared to enrich the lives of more veterans in 2018 and beyond. I remain encouraged by our organization’s progress, humbled by the efforts of our staff, volunteer leaders, and members across Eagle Nation, thankful for the tremendous support of our amazing partners, and optimistic for our future and the future of America’s veterans!