Advisory Board

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Anne Akers, Founder/Editor in Chief of GLOW Beauty, Health & Wellness Magazine, Co-Founder of MDPublish.com

Born into three generations of military service, Anne Akers proudly serves as a Special Advisor to Operation Reinvent.  A champion of female empowerment, employment opportunities and women’s health, Anne is committed to female Veterans and extending the mission of “healthy bodies, minds and positive spirits” to those who have served us so well.

Anne is the Founder/Editor in Chief of GLOW Beauty, Health & Wellness Magazine, Co-Founder of MDPublish.com where she successfully published notable physicians in multiple specialties and Founder/Publisher of Castle Connolly Graduate Publishing, publishing educational review manuals distributed to over 200,000 young Residents in 15 different medical specialties.

Anne is the recipient of the 2013 Smart CEO/BRAVA award for “entrepreneurial leadership with a sense of giving back to the community.”  She has served on the Advisory Board of the Skin Cancer Foundation for 6 years, the National Host Committee for the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Benefit Committee for the 40th Anniversary of the American Cancer Society, NYC Advisory Group for IEWW (Institute for Economic Empowerment for Women) and presently serves on the Board of Directors of VOICE, the Varadi Ovarian Initiative for Cancer Education, based at Mt. Sinai Hospital/NYC and on the Advisory Board of Tournesol Wellness.



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Colonel Lettie Bien, U.S. Army Reserves (Ret), President of Martial Venue, Inc.

Colonel Bien served her country as an Army/Army Reserve officer in Intelligence and Special Operations for 30 years. Her distinguished career included tours as the West Point Admissions Officer in South Florida, a Civil Affairs Battalion Commander, the Relocation Director for the US Southern Command, and a Policy Officer in the Pentagon. Her service includes two tours in Iraq in high level government positions. Among her many service recognitions, she is the recipient of the Distinguished Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star.

Martial Venue, Inc., is a business consulting firm specializing in international and domestic economic development. Lettie Bien has always had a passion for volunteering. She has been an active member of numerous nonprofit organizations and has served in many leadership positions throughout her career. She currently serves on the Virginia Governor’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism. She is also a U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She serves on the Policy Council for OneVirginia2021, the University of Virginia’s Curry School Foundation Young Women’s Leadership Program Advisory Board, and is an appointed member of the Albemarle County Economic Development Authority.

Ms. Bien holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and has been honored as a distinguished alumna of Florida State University’s College of Social Science and Public Policy. She earned a master’s degree from Webster University in public administration and management and a juris doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program.


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Chris Boskin, Board Member at NPR, Co-Chair Internews Network

The daughter of a World War II submarine commander, Chris has been a long-term champion of veterans’ causes. In 2004, she started Sun Valley Adaptive Sports, which was renamed Higher Ground. The nonprofit uses therapeutic recreation to facilitate the reintegration of injured service members into their families
 and home communities. Higher Ground is recognized as one of the premier rehabilitation programs in the country by the Department of Defense, military medical centers and 
veteran service organizations. Chris continues to be actively involved in Higher Ground. 

Chris serves on the Board of NPR. Before NPR, Chris was Board Chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 2007 to 2012 following her tenure on the Board of Directors for KQED. 

Prior to that, Chris was a leading Publishing executive with such titles as Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, Countryside, Town & Country, The New Yorker, Worth and American Benefactor. She continues to consult for several media companies.

Chris’s other board and advisory affiliations have included: College Track; Educate Girls Globally Foundation; Idaho Hemingway Heritage Foundation; member, Leadership Council, Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries; Advisory Board: School of Journalism UC Berkeley; Care2.com; and Sun Valley Adaptive Sports which was renamed Higher Ground. 

Chris was honored with the Excellence in Achievement award, University of California Alumni Association. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, she holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Art History and English and also studied at the Academia in Florence, Italy.


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Colonel Jill W. Chambers, U.S. Army (Ret), Founder, This Able Vet LLC

Chambers served four chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff over an eight-year period. In 2007, she was selected to serve as special assistant to current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, to conduct a focused study of wounded warrior issues, specifically in the areas of post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Chambers built a team and spent 18 months traveling the U.S., where she witnessed firsthand the often heart-breaking difficulties facing returning warriors, many of whom experienced multiple deployments. Understanding the urgency for both real-time solutions and long-term prevention strategies, Chambers imagined and assembled an unprecedented strategy and team, including world-renowned psychologist Martin Seligman and immediate past U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, leading expert in health literacy, with the hope of increasing resiliency in service members before they face adversity, and reducing the stigma surrounding PTS for the invisibly wounded.

She is widely recognized as the first person in the history of the U.S. military to develop a successful, sustainable strategy designed to reduce the crippling stigma associated with mental health challenges in a warrior culture. Her clear vision, comprehensive experience, understanding of the issues at hand, willingness to think laterally and dogged determination laid the groundwork for the development and adoption of the first holistic approach to wellness for our service members.

The Army subsequently developed the “Comprehensive Soldier Fitness” program, launched in 2009, and created an unprecedented number of messages via Armed Forces Radio and Television declaring and encouraging the “Permission to Speak” across all branches of military service.

Retiring in 2009, after 28 years of active duty, Chambers “re-launched” as founder of This Able Vet LLC, where she continues her commitment to real-time solutions and long-term strategies working with non-pharmaceutical alternatives for PTSD. Jill serves on the SBA’s Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs and The American Legion TBI/PTS Ad Hoc Committee and is an external Advisory Board member for the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

In recognition of her rare gifts as a leader and her many groundbreaking accomplishments over 30 years of service, she was selected as the Senior Professional Women’s Association DOD Woman of the Year for 2010.

In November 2012 Jill was selected as a “Next Maker” by AOL and PBS honoring trailblazing women whose physical, intellectual and emotional strength have opened doors, opened minds and inspired change. She joins a prestigious group of women such as Madeline Albright, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Barbara Walters who are the innovators, models and strategists of justice, conflict resolution, problem solving, and contagious kindness in their communities.

Jill is married to Country Star Michael Peterson and her daughter, Captain Gwynn Miller is now serving in the US Army at Fort Benning Georgia.

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Robert J. Cresci has more than 40 years of investment experience including approximately 15 years as an investment banker and 25 as an investment manager.  He is the Managing Director of Pecks Management Partners Ltd. which he formed in 1990 to provide convertible securities money management services to pension funds and foundations.

He holds an MBA in finance from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a BS in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  After graduation from West Point he served four years on active duty, two of which were in Vietnam as a combat infantry officer.

Over his investment career he has served on more than 50 boards of directors.  As a board member he has guided companies in their capital raising efforts including private market financings, initial public offerings and public and private debt financings.

In addition to serving on “for-profit” boards of directors, Mr. Cresci served on the board of a Montessori School in Brooklyn for more than 10 years.  While on the board he acted as the de facto chief financial officer of the school overseeing budgeting and fundraising.  He also served for a number of years on the board of trustees of the Brooklyn Heights chapter of the YMCA where, among other duties, he assisted with the negotiations with local schools for the use of their facilities for “Y” after-school programs.

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Claire Gruppo, President at GLC Partners

Claire Gruppo co-founded Gruppo, Levey & Co. in 1992, after nearly 15 years in management and business development  roles in large publishing and direct marketing companies, notably at American Express Publishing where she was responsible for business development and acquisitions.

Gruppo, Levey & Co. (GLC) is a leading independent private investment banking firm specializing in the consumer, media, multi-channel retail and marketing services sectors. Since co-founding the firm, Ms. Gruppo has initiated and directed merger and acquisition advisory assignments in every segment of the industries covered by her firm.

Over the past 20 years GLC has served as a trusted advisor to entrepreneurs, financial sponsors, corporate boards and family business owners, concluding billions of dollars of transactions with consumer retailers selling in all channels, B2B marketers, digital media companies, specialty publishers, database/analytics companies and online/lead generation businesses. The firm is well known and admired for its unique approach to creating effective and successful transaction strategies for its clients.

She has been a frequent guest on CNBC and Fox Business News commenting on M&A trends and a regular speaker at industry conferences.

Claire graduated from Wesleyan University, with a BA in English, and is endlessly grateful for her liberal arts education.

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Dani Ticktin Koplik, Founder and Principal of dtkResources

Dani is a provocative and innovative thinker, who consistently challenges the status quo and dares to declare the emperor has no clothes. Her approach to change is highly focused, providing an overarching context for developing leaders and employees. Her proprietary platform accelerates learning and implementation: every private, corporate and public program delivered by dtkResources is designed to provoke thought, innovation and individual accountability to the values and mission of each organization.

When advising corporations on how to engage with veterans, Dani advises both transitioning military leaders and their prospective employers to meet each other halfway in order to bridge the huge cultural chasm between military life and the civilian workplace. She instructs companies how to integrate vets into their culture as early and as well as possible in order for them to feel engaged. Getting the job is not the endgame. It’s merely the portal to the real work, which is performing, delivering value and succeeding.

Dani advises companies to offer: On-boarding that goes beyond the traditional topical instruction to include a depiction of the “New Business Normal;” a deep dive into the professional skills necessary to meet the demands of the 21st Century global marketplace; regular and sustained professional support to reinforce learning as well as to initiate course corrections, in real time; manager training, with continued group coaching/support, to help them understand vet culture and how best to deploy their strengths; mentoring/buddy system: both vet-to-vet and civilian-to-vet; prior to hiring: job shadowing; ongoing internal discussion and evaluation regarding, first, vet performance, productivity, advancement and retention and second, managerial effectiveness, roadblocks, team cohesion, and bottom line benefit.

A graduate and active alumna of and mentor / trainer / speaker for Brown University, Dani is also an executive and organizational coach certified by both New York University and the International Coaching Federation. Always advocating measurable steps towards true gender parity, she’s a member of The 2012 Project as well as The Women’s Campaign Forum, and was named to the Women’s Leadership Exchange Conference Advisory Board. She’s served on the board of NYU’s Stern School of Business Executive Forum as well as Gabrielle Lansner & Co., a New York City-based performance company.

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Marjorie (Liné) Gavin Lewis, Designer, Educator, Non Profit Organizational Leader, Social Advocate

Most recently, Liné (pronounced Leenay) developed a scholarship and linkage program between Our Sisters’ School, an inner-city girls’ middle school in Bedford, MA and her high school alma mater, the Wheeler School in Providence, RI. The mother of three daughters, Liné is inspired by the strength of women and passionate about seeing them maximize their potential.

Liné’s interest in Operation Reinvent stems from her childhood experiences in a military family. In addition to the challenges associated with this upbringing, she absorbed strong values and commitment to service from the dedication and hard work of her father, uncle and cousins, all of whom pursued military careers. She also witnessed the creativity and adaptability of several of them as they transitioned to civilian life.

A graduate of Boston College, Liné worked in NewYork City in product design and corporate identity design for Landor Associates, simultaneously attending the School of Visual Arts.

For the past eighteen years, she has served as a Gallery Instructor for the department of Museum Learning and Public Programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. During several of these years, Liné was membership chair for the Museum of Fine Arts patron program. Currently, Liné serves as Co-chair of the 50th anniversary committee of the Gallery Instructor Program, a committee assembled to honor the decades of service and contributions of this group.

For the past twenty years, Liné has also held a leadership role at Urban Improv, an interactive program for at risk youth that uses Improvisational Theater workshops to teach violence prevention, conflict resolution and decision-making. In addition to her position on the Board, she was the Annual Fundraising Chair raising 80% of the annual operating budget. While living in Vienna, Austria, 1991-1994, Liné served on the board of the American Women’s Association, and introduced the “Bloom Where You are Planted” program to this organization, increasing the range of activities and opening membership to other expatriate nationalities.


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Nancy Murphy, President, CSR Communications, Inc.

For more than two decades, Nancy has worked at the intersection of the public, private and nonprofit sectors to bring bold, creative solutions to persistent social challenges. CSR Communications is a full-service social change agency that crafts and integrates strategic communication, creative and resource development services that empower social purpose organizations to build a just and sustainable world.

Previously, Nancy was Executive Vice President of the Metropolitan Group and had her own consulting company working with organizations, including KaBOOM!, that promote health, wellness, sustainability and environmental stewardship. Nancy also served as Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor for Social Innovation at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), where she led the organization’s Scaling What Works initiative, a privately-funded effort to support the federal government’s Social Innovation Fund and scale the impact of high-performing nonprofit organizations.

Nancy worked for Steve and Jean Case’s family foundation where she developed innovative fundraising efforts for grantees helping provide clean drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa and helped launch the first Pro Bono Summit to catalyze pro bono service among all business professionals. While leading the corporate responsibility practice for the global communications firm APCO Worldwide, Nancy redesigned corporate philanthropy, employee volunteer and community relations programs for several Fortune 100 companies, most notably, UPS, who was her primary client for 10 years. She also helped create Business Strengthening America, the corporate response to President Bush’s Call to Service in his 2002 State of the Union address.

Nancy is a member of the Social Enterprise Alliance and the American Public Health Association. Nancy currently serves on the board of the global nonprofit, Pact and on the Washington, D.C., advisory group for Peace First. She also served five years on the Taproot Foundation board, including two years as board chair. Nancy earned her B.A. from Boston University.


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Laurie Riker, Rose Consulting, Human Resources Advisor

Laurie Riker has spent over twelve years dedicated to developing Human Resource programs that support the development of executives, middle management, technical and administrative work teams.  Laurie is a visionary and has partnered with management teams in global Fortune 50 corporations to improve operational efficiencies. Laurie’s leadership has prompted many organizations to reach their business goals and experience an empowerment culture shift.    

Laurie is a CTI-trained Leadership and Professional Coach. Laurie’s drive to make a difference led her in guiding hundreds of individuals towards their life’s purpose and self-transformation. Laurie has facilitated workshops, has appeared as a motivational speaker and created webinars about transitions and “getting the life you want.” Laurie’s desire is to have a “wow” impact wherever she is or whomever she is with.

Previously, Laurie was Director of Global Sales Training at Oracle Corporation.

Laurie earned her B.S. in Business and Marketing from Cal State Long Beach, got her Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University and her degree in Human Resources and Human Resource Organizational Effectiveness from Villanova University.

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Allison Smith, Women and Youth Ministry Leader

Allison Smith is a retired United States Army Command Sergeant Major. Allison began her military career in 1984 and retired in 2011. Her first military assignment was to South Korea and her career culminated with a combat tour to Afghanistan. She has served in every enlisted leadership position in the United States Army from squad leader to the one of the highest enlisted positions, Command Sergeant Major.

In addition, she served as a Drill Instructor and Senior Leader in the United States Army for over 20 years, specializing in group physical fitness, leadership, team building, and life coaching (counseling).  In 1997, she was selected by the U.S. Army to address the Senate Armed Services Committee on the topic of “Gender Integrated Training.” In 1997, she was also featured in Ebony Magazine as one of ten inspiring Black women, in its article “The Many Splendor Faces of Today’s Black Women.”  She currently serves as a women and youth ministry leader.

Ms. Smith received her undergraduate degree in Management from University of Maryland University College, her graduate degree in Public Administration from Troy State University, and her Post-graduate degree from Liberty University. She has a Certificate of Achievement in Strategic and Organizational Leadership from Villanova University and is a certified ISSA fitness trainer.  Allison’s desire is to inspire and motivate women to “Never Quit” and to reach their highest potential.

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Janel A. Spencer, Master Gunnery Sergeant, USMC

Since joining the Corps 27 years ago, Master Gunnery Sergeant Spencer has served with distinction in a variety of capacities both in the U.S. and abroad.

Since July 2010, she has worked as the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Officer (SAPRO) HQMC, where she briefs, inspects, and trains the SAPRO Program throughout the Marine Corps. SAPRO is the organization responsible for the oversight of Department of Defense (DoD) sexual assault policy. SAPRO has implemented a comprehensive policy to ensure the safety, dignity and well being of all members of the Armed Forces. They work hand-in-hand with the Services and the civilian community to develop and implement innovative prevention and response programs.

Previously, MGySgt Spencer served overseas in Okinawa, Japan and in the Horn of Africa in Djibouti, Africa. While at VMX-22, New River Air Station, NC where she worked as the Administrative Chief of the Squadron, she participated in unit detachments on three different Naval Ships, the USS Bataan, USS Wasp, and USS Kearsarge. While at Marine Forces Atlantic, Camp Elmore, Norfolk, VA she won non-commissioned officer of the quarter, volunteered at local JROTC units, the Adopt-A-School Program, and served as a mentor and tutor at local high schools.

Janel Spencer earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Campbell University and earned her Masters in Management from Troy University.

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Gina Svoboda, Service Officer, American Legion

A disabled service-connected U.S. Army veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Ms. Svoboda has 20+ years of administrative experience with a focus on Public Relations, Marketing and Community Outreach.

She is currently working at the American Legion in Wilkes-Barre, PA where she assists veterans and their families from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, with disability claims, medical and educational benefits. She is also the Liaison representative to the Regional Office in Philadelphia and with outreach locations at local, state and federal governmental facilities.

Prior to working at the American Legion, Gina worked for Noble Biomaterials, a global leader in bacterial management solutions. She managed administrative and marketing requirements and reported directly to the President of the Military Division.

In that capacity, she spearheaded the first of its kind Advisory Board comprised of the 4 highest ranking, enlisted men in the US Armed Forces; provided the logistics for military based trade shows with attendance of 10,000+; presented company products to executive level management, governmental representatives and the general; conducted customer, client and political outreach and presided over the marketing, advertising and public relations budget.

Gina also managed a nonprofit art gallery, where she coordinated monthly art exhibits, recruited a strong volunteer base, worked with artists to create various art projects in the City of Scranton, and organized local community benefits.

Ms. Svoboda received her Associates Degree from Ohio State University and her Paralegal Certificate from Penn State University.


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Captain Glenna Tinney, USN (Ret), Military Advocacy Program Coordinator, Battered Women’s Justice Project 

Glenna Tinney has worked tirelessly for more than three decades to facilitate change in both the civilian and military systems to eliminate violence against women.

As one of the original twelve Navy social workers recruited for active duty in 1980, Glenna served for 24 years working with military families and managing worldwide family violence and sexual assault programs.

She currently serves as the Military Advocacy Program Coordinator for the Battered Women’s Justice Project, a national technical assistance provider for the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). She manages a special project funded by OVW to develop a model coordinated community response to co-occurring incidents of combat-related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and intimate partner violence. She trains military and community-based civilian victim advocates and other providers to increase their capacity to address the unique needs of military-related intimate partner violence victims and offenders.

Glenna also monitors and engages in dialogue to influence legal, military, veteran, and public policy developments nationwide that affect civil/criminal justice responses to intimate partner violence involving military personnel and veterans. In her work, Glenna collaborates with a diverse group of stakeholders from the military, veteran, and civilian communities.

In recognition of her work, Glenna was selected by the White House as a Woman Veteran Champion of Change in March, 2013.

Glenna received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama and went on to earn Her Master of Social Work (MSW), from the University of Alabama.


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Aundrea M. Travis, Religious Program Specialist First Class (AW)  

Aundrea Travis enlisted into the United States Navy in August of 1993. Early in her career, she was assigned to the USS WASP where she was part of the first set of females onboard the all-male amphibious assault ship and was also among the first females to pilot the USS WASP back and forth from Norfolk VA to Roosevelt Roads Puerto Rico.

During the USS COLE and September 11, 2001 attacks, then Petty Officer Travis coordinated the weekly prayer vigil for our fallen Service members and civilians and organized a humanitarian relief effort to gather supplies, food, clothes and necessary ecclesiastical items. During this tour she was selected as Sailor in the Spotlight and Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, P.R. Sailor of the Year.

Currently she serves as the Marine Corps Uniformed Victims Advocate, Assistant SARC, and Master Trainer for taking a stand against sexual assault where she provides 24-hour assistance to victims of sexual assault and facilitates over 90 hours of training on sexual assault prevention to over 900 service members within the National Capital Region. Now TAD to Marsh Center, Marine Corps Recruiting Command in Quantico, VA, she is the Battalion RP and is actively involved with the overhaul of the MCRC’s reserve chaplains program, streamlining the management of over 220 Chaplains. Aundrea also volunteers as the recruiting officer for Operations Heroes Connect, the nonprofit organization for at-risk youths.



 

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