LIVINGSTON, NJ — Representatives of Operation Reinvent, a 501©(3) organization dedicated to providing expert guidance and resources to help transitioning military women identify career paths, recently inspired local businesswomen to consider the difference they could make in one of these women’s lives at Livingston accounting firm Sobel & Co.’s Executive Women’s Breakfast.

According to Nancy Northrop, co-founder of Operation Reinvent, one of the organization’s goals is to build awareness that “Veteran” can also mean “Woman” and that these female service members deserve support as they step out of uniform. Operation Reinvent's Career Transition & Empowerment Program, one of the items discussed at the Sobel breakfast, gives women veterans the tools and resources they need to “know their value, find new purpose and step confidently into the civilian workplace,” according to Northrop. 

“It was a privilege to speak to this group as a voice for our women veterans, who are often unrecognized as veterans in the public consciousness and face many challenges as they transition out of the military,” she said. “I am very grateful for the support and awareness this event generated for Operation Reinvent. The positive response we received from this audience demonstrates the impact women make when they come together to support an important cause.”

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Gale Pollock, a retired two-star Major General with 36 years of experience in the army, said she knows personally that it is not an easy transition into the civilian world. She said that because so many military members come from the tri-state area, the organization felt that it was especially important to reach out to local women leaders.

Statistically, according to Pollock, only one percent of American citizens serve in the military and only 15 percent of that one percent is women. The message she and Northrop wanted to convey at the Sobel event was how challenging it could be for service women to successfully transition or even understand how their skills and talents “fit inside the civilian world.”

“Because it’s not a massive population, each of [the businesswomen] contributing could help us to radically change the outcome for these women,” said Pollock as she named some of the ways they could contribute. “We’d like them to mentor and look inside their organizations and say, ‘how can we use their skills and talents?’ and be sponsors for the women that we put through the program.”

Pollock said the cost to put each woman through the program is $300. Operation Reinvent currently has $800 budgeted for 2017, but Pollock said the organization can cover more women with contributions and encouraged the guests at Sobel to help in any way they could.   

“We are a 501©(3), so not only are you doing a really good thing for people who are willing to step up and defend our nation, but you have the tax benefit as well,” said Pollock.

“It’s an honor for all of us as women to serve,” she said. “We’re volunteers, so one of the ways that people can demonstrate their thank you is helping us get settled in the civilian world. Having a job that is rewarding and satisfying is a whole lot better of a thank you than a hand shake.”

Sobel & Co. Principal Sally Glick, who spearheads the women’s breakfasts, asked guests to remember that these women veterans are out there and would be assets to their organizations. She encouraged her audience to help get the word out, stating that this message is important to the community.

To read more about Operation Reinvent, click HERE