The Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) is pleased to announce the members of the 2019–2021 advisory board. These 14 individuals have been based at 57 duty stations, both in and outside the continental United States, and currently reside across the country. The new group includes the spouses of active duty service members and veterans from all five branches of service and the National Guard, representing the diverse perspectives, needs, and interests of the military community. Two advisors, Kellie Artis and E.J. Smith, are returning for a second two-year term.
“There is a clear, demonstrated need for this group. MFAN’s peer-leader approach has enabled us to understand the needs of military families and connect with our community in a unique, personal, and impactful way,” MFAN executive director Shannon Razsadin said. “The new advisory board will continue the strong legacy of their predecessors — I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish.”
The 14 advisors were selected from 124 total applicants. The candidates completed an in-depth application in which they discussed their candid and personal experiences as military spouses as well as shared their visions for how they would create positive change in the military community as advisors. In these applications, the advisors outlined their interests in food insecurity; health care; employment, licensure, and entrepreneurship; the needs of military and veteran caregivers; the transition to civilian life; financial education; gender equality; military children; and other topics relevant to their communities.
“These issues continue to be focal points for military families around the world,” said Erin Ward, chair of the MFAN board of directors. “There were many qualified candidates who applied, and we’re incredibly grateful for everyone’s interest and commitment to serving the military community. When selecting the new advisory board, the board of directors focused on the group as a cohesive team, their ability to represent the broader community, and the network each individual brings with them. We know this group will do great things for our most deserving families.”
The advisors selected for the 2019–2021 term are:
- Amanosi Adeniyi (Army spouse) – founder of Amanosi LLC, a business consulting company inspired by the military lifestyle and focused on helping women build location independent B2B service-based businesses.
- Brian Alvarado (Navy spouse) – senior manager of operations and programs on the Military Spouse Team at Hiring our Heroes, a program of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation; 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Navy Spouse of the Year®.
- Kellie Artis (Army spouse) – chief operating officer of MILLIE and co-founder of Milspo Gurus. Kellie also served on the 2017-2019 MFAN advisory board.
- Hannah Becker (Army spouse) – avid volunteer, marketing professional, and writer who has experienced multiple phases of the military life cycle experience, including active duty, National Guard, and veteran caregiver. A peer influencer, in 2018 FlexJobs named Hannah one of the Top 10 Military Spouses to follow on Twitter.
- Lisa Colella (Marine Corps spouse) – veteran caregiver, founder and executive director of Healing Household 6 (HH6). She is the 2019 Congressional Medal of Honor (civilian) recipient for the creation of HH6.
- Brianna George (Coast Guard spouse) – currently stationed in Puerto Rico, where she and her spouse have lived since 2017. Brianna is a career-minded individual who brings a unique OCONUS perspective to the advisory board.
- Emily Starbuck Gerson (Air Force partner) – award-winning journalist and entrepreneur. Emily is the partner of a transgender service member and is an active LGBTQ advocate.
- Joanna Guldin (Navy spouse) – Writer and creator behind popular military spouse website Jo, My Gosh! (jomygosh.com) and co-author of Modern Military Spouse. Joanna works for Military.com, and she and her Navy veteran husband own Swatara Coffee Co., an independent coffee shop in the heart of Central Pennsylvania.
- Libby Jamison (Navy spouse) – an Attorney Advisor with the Department of Veterans Affairs and a co-founder of MissionLICENSE. She was recently recognized as the 2019 Military.com Spouse Changemaker of the Year and selected as a 2019 Scholar with the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program at the George W. Bush Institute.
- Kris Johnson (Army mom, Army divorce beneficiary) – fierce advocate for military families and the Military Affairs Specialist for the NC- 8th District, which includes Fort Bragg.
- Lacey Langford (Air Force veteran, military spouse) – The Military Money Expert® and the founder of LaceyLangford.com, a personal finance blog and a boutique financial coaching practice specializing in the unique world of the U.S. military.
- Annette Maldonado (Air Force spouse) – director of a selective leadership development program for the next generation of senior executives in the federal government, and a long-time advocate for military spouse careers.
- Hana Romer (Marine Corps veteran, Marine Corps spouse) – 10-year Marine Corps veteran. Hana has supported her active-duty Marine Corps husband through his Traumatic Brain Injury and is an advocate for military kids and female service members and veterans.
- E.J. Smith (Marine Corps spouse) – Licensed professional counselor who specializes in treating trauma — specifically sexual abuse. EJ served on the 2015–2017 MFAN advisory board and currently serves on the Modern Military Association of America’s Military Advisory Council.
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The Military Family Advisory Network is a nonprofit dedicated to building a community of military and veteran families at home and abroad who are well-informed about the resources designed to serve them, equipped with tools for success, connected to leaders who serve the military family community and embraced by the public. To learn more about MFAN, visit www.militaryfamilyadvisorynetwork.org.