What does it mean to make an impact? Whether it's fostering change, inspiring others or working tirelessly for the betterment of society, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is recognizing spouses, organizations and communities that do just that: Make an impact.
At an awards dinner in Washington, D.C., on Thursday night, the Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes initiative announced the recipients of its first annual Military Spouse Impact Awards.
Categories include the Military Spouse Volunteer Award, Military Spouse Entrepreneur Award, Community Leader Award, and the Impact Award for Lifetime Achievement.
"The individuals recognized at our inaugural Impact Awards and Celebration Dinner are significantly contributing toward creating strong communities that support and provide economic opportunities for military spouses," said Eric Eversole, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of Hiring Our Heroes. "Their actions have created tremendous impact in the lives of military spouses and the collective communities working to support them."
"Hiring Our Heroes has long committed itself to connecting military spouses with economic opportunity," said Elizabeth O'Brien, senior director of military spouse programs for Hiring Our Heroes. "These awards shine an important and much-needed light on leaders across the spectrum from municipalities to volunteers to small-business owners to executives."
The award recipients are:
Impact Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award for demonstrated hiring, mentorship and support of military spouses in their search for meaningful employment goes to Sheila Casey, who has long served as an inspirational leader for military spouses. From her work as the spouse of the former Army chief of staff to her role as chief operating officer of The Hill political publication, as well as her leadership roles at various non-profits, Casey epitomizes the strength, courage and determination it takes to be a career-minded military spouse.
Military Spouse Volunteer Impact Award. This award recognizes a volunteer who has made great contributions to strengthen and empower his or her community and the military spouses in that community. The inaugural impact award recipient is Mary Reding, founding member and past president of the Military Spouse J.D. Network.
Military Spouse Entrepreneur Impact Award. This honor recognizes a military spouse entrepreneur who serves as an example of entrepreneurial innovation by creating long-term economic opportunities for military families. Call Sign Coffee Company, owned and operated by a service-disabled combat veteran and a military spouse, is the recipient of this year's award.
Community Leader Impact Award. This award recognizes a city and its leaders for their efforts in creating a strong, inclusive community that allows military spouses to thrive both inside and outside of the gates. The 2019 award recipient is the city of San Antonio, Texas.
Congratulations to all the recipients, who continue to show up for our community and truly make an impact.
To learn more about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes, click here.
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