Law Enforcement Today (LET) published the following report "Special Operation Veterans are some of America's Greatest Assets". Let was started by Captain Robert Greenberg as a voice for active and retired law enforcement officers, their families, and anyone who supports the men and women who protect and serve. LET unapologetically supports those who hold the Thin Blue Line. LET publishes the first-hand accounts of how officers have successfully faced adversity or practiced excellence in law enforcement.
The full article written by Adrianna San Marco is republished below.
Transitioning from service within the Special Operations Forces (SOF) to a civilian career can be one of the most difficult challenges a warrior faces. Fortunately, one non-profit is working to ease the shift and land newly released veterans blossoming careers.
Elite Meet works with SOF veterans to connect them with industry leaders and potential jobs as they begin settling back into civilian life. The nonprofit does this primarily through large conferences and forums that allow veterans to speak with members of partner companies. The “About” page on Elite Meet’s website explains:
“Cultivating relationships is a pillar of Elite Meet. We facilitate events and provide forums for interaction between our members and corporate partners. It is our belief that each connection is meaningful and is a necessity as our members transition.”
The company has grown exponentially since its founding in 2017 and, according to its website, currently contains 1050 members and 300 corporate supporters. Elite Meet hosts three major conferences a year where 40 members get to hear from hundreds of corporate partners and connect with different companies. In their “Events” page Elite Meet states:
“Signature Elite Meet conferences host 40 Elite Meet Veterans and over 200 corporate partners, providing a forum for learning and an abundance of connections.”
Unfortunately, COVID has affected the nonprofit’s ability to conduct business as usual, but that hasn’t discouraged them from pushing onward. Elite Meet has transitioned from in-person conferences to virtual events, and the next one is coming soon. The company has a scheduled Virtual Summit on November 2.
These virtual conferences have connected dozens of SOF veterans with employers. For example, Zach Marshall, a former Navy SEAL, attended an Elite Meet conference in 2019. Marshall formed a connection with the corporate partner Accrete.AI and later began working for the company.
Elite Meet wrote a feature on Marshall’s path to Accrete saying:
“Meet Zach Marshall, former Navy SEAL, who joined Elite Meet in 2018. Zach attended the NYC Conference in November 2019, at which he met Bill Wall and Joe Mashinski of Accrete.AI, who were presenting at the conference. Accrete.AI is an artificial intelligence company that designs modular dynamic learning technologies called Knowledge Functions that scale tacit knowledge. During the conference, Zach was invited to the Accrete.AI office for a visit the next day to meet the rest of the team. At the time, Zach was not seeking employment with the company, but valued the relationship and fostered the connection. Months later, Bill approached Zach with an employment offer. Zach now serves as the Director of Business Development for Accrete.AI.”
The feature went on to explain that Marshall maintained his connection with executives at the company and was later offered a job there. Marshall’s story is one of many that highlights the important and impressive work Elite Meet does.
The non-profit recently welcomed a new CEO, Megan Thatford, to head operations. In an interview with Law Enforcement Today, Thatford highlighted the importance of Elite Meet’s work:
“The reason Elite Meet is so important is because members of the special operations and fighter pilot communities have given a tremendous amount to this country. It’s time for the next chapter in their life and it is not an easy transition for many. Elite Meet provides the resources, education, and networks to make it a successful transition for them and provides the support within the membership to make sure that they are successful in their new career.”
The CEO also stated that Elite Meet strives to work with other organizations to aid SOF veterans in their transition:
“EM values collaboration with other nonprofits/VSOs to maximize support for the Special Operations Forces (SOF) community.”
She furthered that, along with seeking other supportive nonprofits to work with, the nonprofit is always looking to add new corporate partners to their network:
“EM is always seeking corporate partners that recognize the unparalleled experience and unique value elite Veterans bring to a team.”
Are you interested in supporting or joining Elite Meet? The nonprofit relies on donations to hold conferences and aid SOF veterans. If you would like to support their work consider donating through Elite Meet’s website. Or, if you are a transitioning SOF veteran that would like to take advantage of the expansive network apply here.
Author: Adrianna San Marco is a Sophomore at Syracuse University studying Political Science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. In addition to writing for Law Enforcement Today, she works as a Special Correspondent at LifeZette and a New York correspondent for Campus Reform. She also engages in conservative activism as a Recruitment Director for Young Americans for Liberty.