Pacific Business News -- The COMMIT Foundation hosted its first mentoring workshop in Hawaii on Thursday, pairing local business leaders with veterans in an effort to ease their transition from military to civilian life.
The workshop is part of the COMMIT Foundation’s national “Veterans Pursuing your Passion” workshops, designed to help high-performing veterans enter the professional civilian world.
“In spite of there being over 40,000 veterans organizations, we found that high performing veterans are being underserved,” said Anne Meree Craig, the organization’s co-founder and executive director.
The program provides mentorship in the areas of resume writing, interviewing and networking.
Fourteen business leaders participated in the workshops, held at the Royal Hawaiian. They included Mike Purpura partner at Carlsmith Ball; Wes Porter, a former veteran and president and CEO of Damien Memorial School; Ian MacNaughton, managing partner at BlackSand Capital; and Emily Porter, executive vice president of the MacNaughton Group.
Veterans were paired with mentors based on their desired career paths.
“These are high-level people who I think have a lot to offer to the professional world,” Porter told Pacific Business News.
Craig said 16 veterans, who had to apply for the program, participated in the workshop.
“The focus is on quality of service rather than quantity,” said Craig. “Hawaii is a special place to be able to do this. I’ve been told it’s a small pond here and a relationship-based community. By integrating these individuals that have been on military posts and introducing them to civilians on the Island, it helps provide them with contacts.”