Q&A with Jena Muller

Why did you create TTVF?

Trident Transitions Veteran Foundation may be new to the nonprofit space, but they are not new to the transitioning veteran space. I have been helping veterans transition since 2009. By providing pro-Bono resumes/CV, consulting, mentorship, and brand management to veterans transitioning into corporate America.  When I decided in June 2016 to transition from a for-profit into a non-profit it was for one reason only. In 2009, when the transitioning veteran issue was put on my radar, my long-term goal was to be able to help these veterans not just transition into a job, but create an environment that allowed for a smooth transition both for the veteran and their family. I sit down each year and calculates how many veterans will leave the military the following year. Since 9/11 the influx of people joining the military has affected the number leaving. After I worked through the numbers for 2017and realized 250,000 military veterans would leave the military in 2017, I knew I needed to do more. I realized that I wasn’t doing what I set out to do in 2009. I wasn’t doing my part for these veterans and I wasn’t giving them 150%.

Who does TTVF serve?

Trident Transitions Veteran Foundation (TTVF) was created for the veterans it serves. The foundation of the organization is to bridge the gap for the transitioning Special Operations Forces (SOF) and their family as they move into a new space of living. We want that transition to be as smooth as possible. I know what it feels like to transition and I understand everything that goes along with it. The time, the stress, the family issues that arise. I get it!

TTVF offers resume/CV writing/editing, one-on-one consulting, mentorship, brand management, networking events, and have many more exciting projects on the horizon. The great thing about being a nonprofit is we have endless possibilities as the ways we can help the transitioning veteran. Each veteran is unique and brings their own desires, wants and needs to the table. We do not want to remove those desires and put them in a box. Rather, nurture those qualities and skills to help them reach their next level of success in life.  By providing a professional structure and base for these elite veterans, it provides a clear path for them to

To be successful you need structure and organization. You also need to know how to communicate and go after your own success. TTVF pushes you to do that and allows you to do that. We love seeing the successes of others and how they are making their mark on the world.

Do you work with other organizations?

It takes a village to raise a people! That is why it is imperative that we collaborate with other organizations and corporations, to bring forth a common ground that our veterans matter and what they do after serving this great nation matters too. Too often I see veterans struggle after serving the nation financially, emotionally, relationally and in many other areas… It does not have to be this way, but it takes the help of others doing their part. If we each do a little something together, it creates a big impact on our world.

If it helps the growth of a transitioning veteran, I am all for it! I cannot do it alone and do not even attempt to. I think I speak to advisors and other organizations some weeks more than I do veterans. I do this so I can be sure we are staying on top of what is needed for these veterans. We are constantly looking to find the best ways to collaborate. We want to be sure we are giving these veterans the best during their transition. What is the point in doing something that isn’t working? This organization was created for the people it serves. it has nothing to do with me. I am only as good as the people I serve and the team that surrounds me.

What types of jobs do you help veterans get?

A career after the military is not just a job. If can impact the veteransfamily, their finances, and mental wellbeing. All three of these factors are important to TTVF.  Our goal when helping SOF find their next career is to find something they love, not just a paycheck. TTVF is no good to the veteran if we just get a veteran a paycheck, but they live an unhappy life. Money cannot buy happiness, so when we look at helping someone connect to a new position, we make sure it is truly a good fit for both the organization and the transitioning veteran. Money is important, but it can only go so far. We look at the big picture and focus on driving that understanding home to our transitioning veterans as well.

Jobs vary, just like people. We look for what may be the best fit for each person individually. If I said they are all put in the same type of positions, that would be a lie. Again, I do not desire to put these guys in a box. They thrive best in positions they love and in organizations with a culture of community and comradery. They love to build things, whether it be people, an organization, a program, a business, a car, an invention… The list can go on and on.

What goals have you accomplished so far with TTVF?

When setting out on this endeavor in June 2016, I had goals I planned to reach by June 2017. Financially the goals have not been met, but the number of veterans and the awareness we have brought to the executive space I feel far surpassed my goal. So for that, I cannot complain.

Like any new business or organization, the first two years are your building blocks and it simply takes time.

Stay tuned. There is more on the horizon.

By collaborating with other organizations and bridging the gap between SOF and corporate America, each day we take one step toward closing that gap. Inch by inch little by little.

How many special forces, from all branches, will leave the military in 2017?

Approx 2154 of the 250,000 will be from a special force community. To date, TTVF has helped around 200 of those in some capacity, not counting the ones transitioning in later years…

 

How can people help? 

Help is always needed.

We are currently working on setting up mentorships for transitioning veterans through our website.

We have volunteer needs for administration roles that we will be posting this coming week.

Donors and partners are a huge support and very much needed. Every dime that comes in goes directly back to help support our transitioning veterans in some capacity. The more funds donated, the more we can do to help transitioning veterans. DONATE Collaboration is the key here. Working together will make a larger impact and makes for a smoother transitioning process.

Any final words?

Remember that a transition is just that. It is a process and takes time. Use your time wisely, try no to get discouraged. Learn from what works and what doesn’t. Network, communicate, get educated, figure out what you want to do and then go after it with everything you have! Embrace the grind and enjoy the transition process, it really can be fun! Never stop growing and never stop learning!

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