Last month NMSN went on the road to bring our milspouse career and entrepreneurship program to people in San Antonio, Texas and Tacoma, Washington. It was great to meet some of our members and followers in person, see some old friends and make some new friends.
Anyone who’s been to an NMSN event knows that we craft our events as getaways. They have to be all around enjoyable for our participants – this starts with carefully curated content and is rounded out by fantastic food and atmosphere. After all, these events are about you, not you as a spouse or a mom or dad, but you as an individual. You deserve to be pampered when you are looking to further your career, so our first stop was the beautiful Eilan Hotel and Spa in San Antonio, Texas. We could not have asked for a more gorgeous setting. And since we were in San Antonio, we partnered with our friends over at USAA who are leaders when it comes to hiring and supporting military spouses and veterans.
On Friday night, we hosted a panel of speakers talking about transition (from one duty station to the next, within your career, or out of the military altogether). Wonderful to see the service members who joined their spouses for the event. If you couldn’t make it, here’s what you missed:
- Sean Passmore, Military Hiring Advisor for USAA shared tips about getting your resume noticed and how to stand out among other candidates.
- NMSN HR expert, Julie Waters spoke about the importance of networking for your job search and your public persona.
- Finally, Quinn and Sally Gummel discussed their biggest lessons learned from Quinn’s retirement from the Air Force, and how the process differed from each of their perspectives.
After the session ended, it was gratifying to see people storm the speakers to ask questions and continue the conversation. Fueled by an amazing taco bar and delicious cupcakes, others were happy to linger and chat with new friends. It was a great night out for everyone.
Nancy Belmont kicked off our Saturday sessions with her Courage Talk. This interactive discussion cannot be missed!!!! She led off by helping us identify our personality archetype and closed by leading us into exercises to help us identify the fears holding us back from pursuing our passions. Incredibly powerful! But don’t take our word for it, check out the feedback from a couple of our attendees: Lissa and Felicia. Nancy set the tone for the day and the speakers who followed did not disappoint:
- Wayne Shanks from USAA shared the variety of resources available for Military Spouse-Owned Businesses.
- After a networking lunch of traditional Texas BBQ, JJ Montanaro from USAA’s Military Advocacy Group advised us on how to take control of our finances.
- The day closed out with a Career Milspouses 2.0 panel discussion. Maggie Hahn from USAA’s Military Advocacy Group (and staunch supporter of NMSN), Lindsey Litton, CEO of the Litton Real Estate Group and MilHousing Network, and our own NMSN HR Expert, Julie Waters answered questions about negotiating benefits, working for a milspouse friendly employer, and building a portable business.
A couple of weeks later we headed west to Tacoma, Washington where we partnered with University of Washington Tacoma. The campus is located in a beautifully revitalized area of downtown where the historic buildings have transitioned to shops, restaurants, and classroom buildings for the University. UWT has a newly remodeled Veteran and Military Resource Center to help serve the 19% of their population that is associated with the military. Our Tacoma sessions served to highlight the resources available to military spouses and veterans in the Puget Sound.
On Friday, we hosted an ice cream social for some of the faculty and staff of UWT, including Chancellor Dr. Mark Pagano, to assist them in better understanding their military affiliated student population. Then we were treated to a VIP tour of the campus. before we all headed to a networking event at the nearby 7 Seas Brewery and Taproom. We were joined by UWT students, faculty and staff, USAA representatives, representatives from veteran support organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, along with local milspouses, veterans and service members.
Our Saturday sessions highlighted local speakers and resources:
- Dr. Abby Murray shared her story as a milspouse moving to some remote places and using her experiences to thrive as an author and writer. Dr. Murray added that you can use your creative process to create an income stream and led us through her process.
- Thomas Kuljam, a retired Air Force officer and serial entrepreneur who is now the Director of VIBE, Veterans Incubator for Better Entrepreneurship, educated the group about turning our purpose and character into product and cash flow.
- After a lunch of delicious Asian food highlighting the flavors of the Pacific NW, we heard from NMSN expert, Carol Bowser about communication styles. Not just your own style, but how others’ styles can have an effect on how you present ideas to them for the best results.
- We closed with a round table question and answer session where each attendee was able to get some direct advice on their business, career or next steps to move forward.
When we started the Roadshow events, we weren’t sure what to expect. The resulting two first events have far exceeded any of our expectations. If you’re intrigued, you have ONE more opportunity in 2017 to join in the fun. Our next Road Show Event is in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on September 22 – 23. If you’re anywhere in the south you should absolutely take advantage of this opportunity to experience this career changing weekend. You won’t regret it!
See you on the Road!