I would like to share a personal story with you which best explains my feeling of gratitude toward our Veterans and my reason for wanting to be a trusted coach for them. My grandfather (“Poppy” we called him) was a Veteran and was proud to have served his country. Upon graduating from Cortland State, he taught and coached for a year in a small town in New York. He then went on to serve in the Army during the Korean War, where he attained the rank of Master Sergeant and received the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB). He was the most generous, joyous (always had a new joke for you), kind, compassionate and genuine man I have ever known. Upon his return home from the war, he met my beautiful, supportive and gifted poet of a Grandmother (“Gramma”, we call her), and they married on a glistening snowy day in December 1954.  I am so truly proud of them both, and incredibly grateful for the life lessons and the privilege it is to be their granddaughter. Throughout his long and wonderful life, Poppy was consistently the rock of his family, he “had our backs” so to speak, no matter what sort of pickle we got ourselves into. He was loved by all, gave so much to all and always had the right words for us when we needed them. This, I am sure, is because that is simply who he was; an honorable, logical, and giving person, who served those who he loved, and those he didn’t even know, selflessly and without hesitation.

Back in 2010, when I got the job in Human Resources at the West Point Military Academy, I called him up to tell him the news and I remember exactly what he said to me. He said, “That’s GREAT Elissa, you go and you support their mission, I know you’ll be a huge help to them. I’m proud of you, hun! Oh, and let me know how their golf course is looking this season. Love you!” He was a great golfer and enjoyed it well into his late 80’s. He was the very best Grandfather one could have, and I feel extremely blessed to have had both him and my Grandmother as my role models.  I feel that it is both my obligation and honor to try to be as much like them as possible, because I believe a life of giving and generosity is the best life one can live.

So, there you have it: My mission is to continue to do what he told me to and to support you, our veterans and YOUR mission. I know he is with us in spirit and is proud of all of you, our veterans, for your dedicated service to our country and all that you are. I would be honored to be your sounding board, and will be in your corner every step of the way, as your coach and accountability partner.


How can Veteran benefit by working with me as their coach?

When I worked in Human Resources for the Army, Veterans often told me that they believed that they did not have enough transferable experience to move into the civilian sector easily. This is so far from the truth!  Some said the opposite, that they were 100% sure that they had the skills, but didn’t know how to verbalize them in an interview, or portray it in a civilian resume. Some also told me that they did not know how to walk into an interview and present themselves as a top competitor within a group of interviewees, because they just didn’t know what to be prepared for or what the mindset of the civilian interviewer is. It is a different ballgame. The fact of the matter is that the skills Veterans acquire and learn while serving in the armed forces are those that many of your fellow civilian counterparts sometimes lack. The skills I know you have, as a result of your service are many and I’ll list just a few of them. Upon walking through any interview door, you most undoubtedly possess: Leadership mastery, integrity-in being truthful and honest, respect-in your actions and for others, accountability-personal and within a team setting, performance excellence, procedural compliance excellence,  resilience within high stress environments and diligence until the job (or mission) is complete. Employers are looking high and low for candidates to walk in the door with those skills. The key is to show them YOU have them, in the short interview period one has in front of the interviewer. I know from experience that interviewers are many times in a rush, because, quite frankly, they needed YOU, yesterday! They can sometimes be in a scramble, so it is important to put your best foot forward, and own the opportunity whether it is of a long or short duration.

I know the mindset of the interviewer-both within the Armed Forces and in the civilian sector because, well, I have been both! I have also been an interviewee, so trust me when I say, I get it!  I know what they are looking for, and the things that they hold in high regard. How are you to make an impact and have them remember YOU, out of all the other candidates?  These are some of the things that I can work with you on, amongst many others. Please feel free to reach out to me, and I’ll walk along with you on the road to completing your personal or professional mission(s) & goal(s). Thank you again, for all you do. Now, go be awesome!