Leading Americans in Service with Mission Serve for Veterans Day 2010
Here are some of the leading Americans that served with Mission Serve on Veterans Day 2010.
Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, wears many hats: she is a mother and grandmother, she has been an educator for three decades, she is a proud Blue Star mom, and an active member of her community. As Second Lady, Jill works to highlight the importance of community colleges, to raise awareness about the sacrifices made by military families, and to bring attention to women's health issues, including breast cancer.
Jill also continues to teach English full-time at a community college.
Jill has always said that community colleges are "one of America's best-kept secrets." She is working hard to make sure that is no longer the case: President Obama has asked Jill to help promote community colleges around the country and she works consistently on this outreach on behalf of the Administration. This fall, she will host the first ever White House Summit on Community Colleges.
As a military mom, Jill understands first-hand how difficult it can be to have a loved one deployed overseas. In Delaware, she was active with a nonprofit organization called Delaware Boots on the Ground, which is dedicated to helping families during times of military deployment by organizing community events to raise awareness and support.
Now, as Second Lady, she has dedicated herself to shining a light on military families' strength and courage as well as the challenges that they face. She travels regularly to military bases in both the United States and abroad to speak with soldiers and their families and to raise awareness for the special sacrifices that these Americans make.
Together with First Lady Michelle Obama, she has issued a national challenge to all Americans to take action and find ways to support and engage our military families in their own communities. Jill is asking folks she meets to go to serve.gov and share their stories about how they're supporting those who serve us every day.
John Bridgeland is President & CEO of Civic Enterprises, a public policy development firm. He is also Vice Chairman of Malaria No More, a non-profit launched at the White House Summit on Malaria that is bringing new resources, advocacy and grassroots support to ending malaria in Africa by 2015. Bridgeland helped develop the Centennial Initiative and Challenge to strengthen our 391 national parks and serves on the National Parks System Advisory Board. He also was a leader in ServiceNation, a presidential forum with Senators Barack Obama and John McCain and a summit that showcased a 10-point plan to increase community, national and international service opportunities, which informed the Serve America Act by Senators Edward Kennedy and Orrin Hatch. The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act was signed into law in 2009. For his work in promoting the national service agenda, Bridgeland was selected as a 2008 NonProfit Times Executive of the Year.
John Gomperts is the Director of AmeriCorps. John has been deeply involved in promoting national service and civic participation in senior leadership positions in both government and the nonprofit sector. John recently rejoined the Corporation for National and Community Service as the Director of AmeriCorps. John served as Chief of Staff of the agency from 1997 – 2000. Prior to signing on to lead AmeriCorps, John served as President of Civic Ventures, leading the campaign to promote the engagement of millions of experienced baby boomers in encore careers that bring together social impact, personal meaning and continued income. He also served as CEO of Experience Corps, a national service program that which engages people over 55 as tutors and mentors in urban public schools.
Brigadier General Leslie Purser, Deputy Chief, Army Reserve (in Washington) Brigadier General Purser began her military career on 25 May 1980, when she was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the United States Army. She is a graduate of Military Intelligence Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, United States Army Command and General Staff School, and the United States Army War College.
Los Angeles, CA
Karen Baker was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to serve as the first-in-the-nation state cabinet Secretary of Service and Volunteering on February 26, 2008. Prior to this appointment, she served the Schwarzenegger Administration as the executive director of CaliforniaVolunteers. Karen brings to the organization 20 years of innovative leadership in all facets of the service and volunteering sector, including local and national non-profits and federal agencies.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and Mrs. Deborah Mullen. Admiral Mullen was sworn in as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 2007. He serves as the principal military advisor to the president, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. Prior to becoming chairman, Mullen served as the 28th Chief of Naval Operations.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is the 38th governor of the state of California. Governor Schwarzenegger's most gratifying accomplishments are rooted in public service - committing his time, energy and personal finances to charitable organizations around the world. He and Maria have remained closely involved in Special Olympics, an organization founded by Maria's mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. He was named Special Olympics International Weight Training Coach in 1979 and serves as a Global Ambassador.
Milo Ventimiglia is best known for his role of Peter Petrelli on the TV series Heroes. Ventimiglia was first noticed by fans during his three year stint on the WB series Gilmore Girls, playing Rory Gilmore's boyfriend Jess Mariano from 2001 until his final guest appearance in 2006. After his own WB series The Bedford Diaries, a recurring role as Meg Pryor's love interest on NBC's American Dreams, and playing Rocky Balboa's son in the sixth and final installment of the Rocky series, Rocky Balboa, Ventimiglia's big break came in 2006 when he received the part of nurse-turned-superhero Peter Petrelli for four seasons on NBC's Heroes.
Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa was born in East Los Angeles on January 23, 1953, to a Mexican immigrant father and a California-born mother of Mexican descent. His given name at birth was Antonio Villar. He was the eldest of four children and, by age five, found himself being raised by a single mother. At age 15, Villaraigosa volunteered for his first grape boycott led by civil rights and labor leader Cesar Chavez. Villaraigosa assumed office on July 1, 2005, as 41st Mayor of the City of Los Angeles and the city's first Latino mayor since 1872.
Monique Coleman is an American actress, entrepreneur, and philanthropist best known for her co-starring role in Disney's High School Musical movies, in which she plays Taylor McKessie. Coleman also had a recurring role on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, as a school girl named Mary-Margaret. She also competed in the third edition of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, finishing in fourth place. Most recently, Coleman launched her online talk show Gimme Mo', a show dedicated to empowering today's youth.
Camp Pendleton, CA
Corbin Bleu is an American actor, model, dancer, and singer-songwriter. He is perhaps best known for his roles in the High School Musical film series, the Discovery Kids television series Flight 29 Down, and the Disney Channel Original Movie Jump In!. He also pursued a solo career and released his debut album Another Side on May 1, 2007. Bleu released his second album, Speed of Light, on March 10, 2009 in the U.S.
Miranda Cosgrove is a film and television actress and pop recording artist. Cosgrove played the roles of Megan Parker in Drake & Josh and the title character in iCarly. Her career started at the age of three, participating in television commercials. Cosgrove's film debut was in 2003, as Summer Hathaway in School of Rock. Following the success of iCarly, a soundtrack album was released in June 2008, in which she performed four songs. Cosgrove's debut album Sparks Fly was released on April 27, 2010; The Matrix, Dr. Luke, and Espionage worked with her on it.
Kelly Chapman Meyer, passionate environmental activist, began as a member of the NRDC Action Forum and is currently a Co-Chair of the NRDC Leadership Council, where she lobbies on behalf of environmental policies and legislation. She is a board member of Heal the Bay. Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, Kelly is currently focused on the launch and expansion of the Teaching Garden into 1,000 schools within the next two years. With the goal of solving childhood obesity, this program focuses on integrating better nutrition habits and fitness into schools across the nation. By introducing organic gardening along with a nutritional curriculum and technology that allows schools to communicate with other participants, the hope is to re-establish what it means to be healthy for the next generation.
Ron Meyer is the President of NBC and Universal Studios and a Marine veteran. Prior to joining Universal, Meyer was president of Creative Artists Agency, Inc., which he founded in 1975 with four fellow agents from the William Morris Agency. Over the years they built the company into the preeminent talent agency, representing many of the industry's most influential and talented people, and later expanding its range of services to include consulting with leading American and international corporations. Previously, Meyer was a television agent with the William Morris Agency from 1970 to 1975. Prior to that, he worked as a messenger at the Paul Kohner Agency in Los Angeles from 1964 to 1970. Before joining the Paul Kohner Agency, Meyer served in the United States Marine Corps.
Brandon Vera is an American mixed martial artist. He currently fights as a light heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is the winner of WEC 13 Heavyweight Tournament and currently resides in San Diego, California.In the Air Force, Vera joined the force's wrestling team and trained at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His military wrestling career was cut short in 1999 when he tore ligaments in his right elbow. Arthroscopic surgery repaired the ligaments, but he had nerve damage from the experience, causing him to be unable to use his right arm. He was released from the Air Force on a medical discharge. Vera returned to Virginia where he steadily rehabilitated his arm.
Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois has been elected by his fellow Democratic senators every two years since 2006 to the post of Assistant Majority Leader, also known as Majority Whip. It is the Senate's second highest ranking position. In 2004, Durbin was elected as Minority Whip. Durbin's election to leadership marked only the fifth time in history that an Illinois senator has served as a Senate leader. Durbin, a Democrat from Springfield, is the 47th U.S. Senator from the State of Illinois and the first Illinois senator to serve on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee in more than a quarter of a century. He is the state's senior senator and convenor of the bipartisan Illinois delegation. Durbin currently serves as the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee's Human Rights subcommittee. In 2007, Durbin helped establish the subcommittee to deal with better enforcement and implementation of human rights laws. This marked the first time in history that the Senate created a subcommittee to deal exclusively with human rights issues. Durbin also chairs the Appropriations Committee's Financial Services and General Government subcommittee. He is a founding member of the Senate Global AIDS Caucus.
Mike Ditka also known as "Iron Mike", is a former football NFL player, television commentator, and coach. Ditka coached the Chicago Bears for 11 years and New Orleans Saints for three years. Ditka and Tom Flores are the only two people to win Super Bowls as a player, an assistant coach, and a head coach. Ditka was the only individual to participate in both of the last two Chicago Bears' championships, as a player in 1963 and as head coach in 1985.
Mr. Robert L. Gordon, III, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, serving as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, effective July 19, 2010.
Mr. Gordon is responsible for policy, advocacy, and oversight of all community support to service members and families; quality of life issues; state liaison initiatives; family programs and the 24/7, 1-800 family assistance services; child development and youth programs; military spouse career advancement; the off-duty, voluntary education program for military personnel; tuition assistance; morale, welfare, and recreation; defense resale for commissaries and exchanges; and family violence prevention and intervention. Included within the purview of his office is advocacy for quality education for all military students and defense-wide policy responsibility for the Department of Defense Education Activity that serves approximately 84,000 students in 192 schools in 14 districts located in 12foreign countries, seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. His oversight includes the Armed Forces Retirement Home, casualty and mortuary affairs, and military funeral honors.
A 1979 graduate of the United States Military Academyat West Point, Gordon was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery. His 26-year Army career includes command and staff positions, duty as the Aide-de-Camp to then Brigadier General Colin Powell, service as an instructor and assistant professor of American Politics, and the Director of American Politics at West Point in the Department of Social Sciences. As a 1992 –1993 White House Fellow, he served as the Special Assistant to the Secretary for Veterans Affairs and the Director of Special Operations, Office of National Service, The White House, to help found the AmeriCorps program. Gordon then served as the executive director and co-founder of the Service America program at West Point, and he has advised foreign governments on national service systems. Most recently, Gordon was the chair of ServiceNation:Mission Serve, an initiative that created partnerships between the military and civilian service sectors to fill critical gaps of need in the military community.
Senator George LeMieux is a native Floridian who was raised in Broward County. He attended public schools in Coral Springs, earned his degree from Emory University and graduated with honors from Georgetown Law. Serving as Florida’s 34th United States Senator, George is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Commerce Committee, and the Special Committee on Aging. This past September, Senator LeMieux saw several of his legislative priorities signed into law including Medicare anti-fraud legislation and an export promotion act. Throughout his career, George has demonstrated a consistent commitment to public service. He has been called upon to serve as Florida's Deputy Attorney General where he managed more than 400 attorneys. He was asked to serve as chief of staff to the Governor, helping to oversee all state agencies and operations.
New Orleans, LA
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is an American physicist and currently the 12th United States Secretary of Energy. Chu is known for his research at Bell Labs in cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, which won him a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997, with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Phillips. At the time of his appointment as Energy Secretary, he was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where his research was concerned primarily with the study of biological systems at the single molecule level. Previously, he had been a professor of physics at Stanford University. He is a vocal advocate for more research into alternative energy and nuclear power, arguing that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combating climate change.
Senator Mark Warner was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2008. As a member of the Senate’s Banking Committee, he has been a key leader in bipartisan efforts to effectively update oversight of Wall Street and end taxpayer bailouts of failing financial firms. Senator Warner led a successful effort to compel the U.S. Veterans Administration to look for new ways to improve its health care services and support for our female military veterans. Senator Warner also has worked to broaden the mission of the AmeriCorps national community service program to include new opportunities for military veterans to continue serving in their communities once their military service ends. He also agreed to serve as honorary chairman of an AmeriCorps effort to enlist business leaders in supporting greater opportunities for more of their employees to volunteer for community service efforts.
Senator Harris Wofford served as a Democratic U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1995 and as the fifth president of Bryn Mawr College, and is a noted advocate of national service and volunteering. Harris Wofford was born in New York City in 1926. After attending the University of Chicago, he attended law school at Yale and Howard University. He served in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War. He began his public service career as an attorney for the United States Commission on Civil Rights, serving from 1954 to 1958. In 1959, he became a law professor at University of Notre Dame. He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights movement in the south in the late 1950s and became a friend and unofficial advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Alan Khazei, Founder and CEO of Be the Change, Inc., has pioneered ways to empower citizens to make a difference. In 1987, as a young graduate from Harvard Law School, he co-founded a nonprofit organization called City Year with his friend, Michael Brown. City Year unites young adults ages 17-24 from all backgrounds for an intensive year of full-time community service mentoring, tutoring, and educating children. It served as the model and inspiration for President Clinton's AmeriCorps program and now operates in 20 U.S. cities and Johannesburg and London.
Karen Mathis is President and Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the nation’s largest donor-based volunteer network of mentors for youth, a non-profit organization proven to help children of single, low-income and incarcerated parents beat the odds. She joined the top-rated network in September of 2009, after completing a one-year assignment as executive director for the Central European and Eurasian Initiative (CEELI) Institute, a preeminent international non-profit provider of post graduate professional legal education in Prague.
Rob McElhenney, Star of Always Sunny in Philadelphia, made his film debut with a bit part in Alan J. Pakula's The Devil's Own and followed that up with bit parts in A Civil Action, Wonder Boys, and Thirteen Conversations About One Thing. He is credited as creator, developer and executive producer of Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Kaitlin Olson is an American actress best known for playing Deandra "Sweet Dee" Reynolds on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Becky on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Olson also had the honor of joining Drew Carey and several cast members of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" on a USO tour, performing improv shows for US troops in Bosnia, Kosovo and Norway.
Mayor Mike McGinn was elected the 52nd mayor of Seattle in November of 2009. He received his bachelor's degree, in economics, from Williams College in Massachusetts, and then worked for Oregon Democratic Congressman Jim Weaver as a legislative aide. After moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington Law School, he served as president of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, where he led campaigns to provide better housing and health benefits for students. After graduating from law school, McGinn joined the Seattle law firm Stokes Lawrence and later became partner. He chaired the local chapter of the Sierra Club, where he oversaw work on state and local issues, and served on the organization's national political committee. McGinn left the law firm to found Great City - a Seattle nonprofit that brought together neighbors, environmentalists and business leaders advocating for smart and responsible urbanism as the solution to many local, economic and environmental challenges.
Las Vegas, NV
Sloan D. Gibson was elected by the USO Board of Governors to become the 22nd president of the USO in September 2008. Prior to joining the USO, Sloan spent more than 20 years in banking in Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Birmingham, Ala. Sloan also has a long history of service and leadership with a variety of nonprofit organizations. In 2002 he chaired the United Way campaign in Central Alabama. Sloan is a 1975 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He earned both Airborne and Ranger qualifications and served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He earned a Masters in Economics from the University of Missouri in Kansas City and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Miss Arizona 2010 Brittanny Bell as been heavily involved in community outreach with both social and charity events. She is the official spokeswoman for the foundation Face In The Mirror - Centered toward the healing touch of pampering patients in hospitals as they fight Cancer. Brittany also focuses her time helping underprivileged youth as a mentor of the Positive Adult Leadership in Society program of the Phoenix Youth at Risk organization.
Congressman Brad Miller is North Carolina's first elected representative to the 13th and newest Congressional District, which stretches from the state capitol of Raleigh, along the Virginia border counties, to Greensboro's Piedmont Triad Region. Brad now serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the Science and Technology Committee. He also serves on the Financial Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. Brad quickly became a leader in Congress in protecting consumers from predatory financial practices. He is the lead sponsor of legislation to protect homeowners from predatory mortgage lending.