Press Release

Bush Institute Announces 2019 Class of Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program

43 scholars who are serving nation’s veterans selected to begin next week.

Dallas, Texas — Today, the George W. Bush Institute announced the 2019 class selected to participate in the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program, a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at individuals serving our nation’s veterans who are motivated to broaden their skillsets, knowledge, and influence across the country.

Participants will gather for an opening session at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas next week, where they will hear from President George W. Bush, General Peter Pace, former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald, and former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, among others.

Throughout the five-month program, participants will meet with a variety of nationally known and distinguished professionals, educators, and experts in post-9/11 veteran transition issues and leadership development. They will attend sessions in Dallas, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.  The program will conclude with a final session and closing ceremony at the Bush Center in October.

Participants were selected after a rigorous application and review process. They join a growing network of 33 scholars from the 2018 inaugural class who are rising leaders – both veterans and non-veterans – from a wide range of sectors who are working to improve post-9/11 veteran outcomes. They hold a variety of roles including business and community leaders, members of veteran-serving non-profits, as well as leaders in government, academia, and active military service members.

The program is part of the Bush Institute’s commitment to developing and supporting effective leaders. It builds on the Bush Institute’s extensive body of work on veteran transition issues, and each participant joins the program with a personal leadership project, which allows them to implement what they learn in the program in service of improving veteran outcomes across the United States. The Bush Center gratefully acknowledges the support of The Boeing Company as the Founding Program Underwriter.

The 2019 Class of the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program includes:

  • Derek Abbey, Director, Military and Veterans Program, San Diego State University; San Diego, CA
  • Jennifer Anthony, Managing Director of Information Technology, Lorien Health Services; Elkridge, MD
  • Carlo Aragoncillo, Director of Veterans Affairs, City of Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA
  • Benjamin Armstrong, Regional Coordinator, NextOp Veterans; New Orleans, LA
  • Lauren Augustine, Vice President of Government Affairs, Student Veterans of America; Alexandria, VA
  • Alexander Balbir, Director, Wounded Warrior Project; Saint Johns, FL
  • Nicole Baldwin, Chief Visionary Officer, iThrive Network; Katy, TX
  • Matthew Beer, Military and Veteran Affairs Manager, Washington State University; Pullman, WA
  • Melissa Boatwright, Global Lead, LinkedIn; San Francisco, CA
  • Barrett Bogue, President and Founder, Evocati; Burke, VA
  • Matt Brogdon, Engagement Manager, Microsoft; San Diego, CA
  • Amy Bushatz, Executive Editor,; Palmer, AK
  • Garrett Cathcart, Executive Director, Mission Roll Call; Atlanta, GA
  • Katherine Clark, Vetforce Product Manager, SalesForce; Ponte Vedra, FL
  • Adam Davies, Founder, Vet It; Keller, TX
  • Thomas Downs, Associate Director, Inclusion and Engagement, Gartner; Alexandria, VA
  • Earl Fontenot, Strategic Development Officer, Clear Path for Veterans; Brewerton, NY
  • Richard Gross, General Counsel/Senior Advisor, Pallas Advisors; Knoxville, TN
  • Michael Hansen, National Director of Military Affairs, Power Home Remodeling; Philadelphia, PA
  • Alex Hilliker, Manager, Deloitte Consulting; Arlington, VA
  • Elizabeth Jamison, Attorney Advisor, Department of Veterans Affairs; San Diego, CA
  • Aimee Johnson, LCSW, Department of Veterans Affairs; Beaverton, OR
  • Regan Jones, Director, Military and Veterans Affairs, University of Notre Dame; Granger, IN
  • Michael Kelly, Assistant Vice President, USAA; San Antonio, TX
  • Sara McNamara, Transition Strategist, Self-Employed; San Clemente, CA
  • Kimberly Mitchell, CEO, Veterans Village of San Diego; San Diego, CA
  • Kyle Mitchell, Senior Director of Veteran and Military Policy, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute; Leander, TX
  • Archie Nettles, Texas Instruments Founders Leadership Fellow, The University of Texas at Dallas; Dallas, TX
  • John Perez, Senior Manager, Johnson & Johnson; Gillette, NJ
  • William B. Reynolds, III, CEO/President, SERVE Advisory Group; Bethesda, MD
  • Seema Reza, Executive Director, Community Building Art Works; Rockville, MD
  • Lolly Rivas, Director of Development, Dog Tag Inc.; Washington, DC
  • Vincent Ruiz, Licensed Associate Counselor, Ocean Mental Health; Manahawkin, NJ
  • Kristin Saboe, Senior Principal, The Boeing Company; Falls Church, VA
  • VR Small, Founder/Executive Director, Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center; Dallas, TX
  • Christopher Stout, CEO/Founder, Veterans Community Project; Kansas City, MO
  • Misty Stutsman, Director, Institute for Veterans and Military Families; Oneida, NY
  • Kevin Trujillo, Deputy Commander, U.S. Army; Colorado Springs, CO
  • Jeremy Valdez, Global Senior Manager HR, Amazon; Olalla, WA
  • Brian Von Herbulis, Director of 43INC, Mission43, J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation; Eagle, ID
  • D’Juan Wilcher, Senior Program Manager, Travis Manion Foundation; Chicago, IL
  • Amy Williams, Clinic Director, Steven A Cohen Military Family Clinic at Metrocare; Flower Mound, TX
  • Kevin Zimmerman, National Director of Outreach/Help for Heroes, Springstone Inc.; Melissa, TX

To learn more about the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program, please visit