Chris Ford is a champion for veterans and military families; advocating for solutions that eliminate barriers to the successful transition and reintegration of service members and their families. As the CEO of NAVSO, he expresses his passion and commitment to bring together concerned parties and improve outcomes for veterans and military families. Chris is a 20-year Air Force veteran who retired in 2014 from the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he served in the Chairman’s Office of Warrior and Family Support. During his Air Force career, he deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and earned many decorations and awards including the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor.
According to Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, demand for services by veterans peaks about four decades after a conflict ends. The year 1978 was relatively quiet for active American military personnel, besides a brief Air Force involvement in South Zaire. Yet today, in 2018, the demand for veteran services is as high as many observers can remember it ever being.
Last weekend, more than 1,100 student veterans and nearly 600 administrators, business leaders, nonprofit professionals, and advocates came together to celebrate student veterans and more importantly, channel their collective strengths toward future opportunities.
U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Benjamin Stevens
On Oct. 8, Starbucks and the Schultz Family Foundation convened government, nonprofit, and corporate leaders from around the country in their Seattle headquarters for “The Muster,” a one-day event focused on bringing together collective leadership to advance veterans in their careers and communities. While many of the attendees included the usual stakeholders and advocates seen at similar events, this invite list included many new faces that brought new ideas and new opportunities to the conversation.