Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Wounded Soldiers Gain Business Skills to Grow Career “Beyond the Battlefield”

BUSINESS WIRE--Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization that honors and empowers wounded warriors, announced today the inaugural Beyond the Battlefield Leadership Summit, an intensive four-day conference designed to maximize the leadership skills, financial success, and quality of life for men and women with serious injuries from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sixty wounded warriors from across the country are expected to attend the summit, offered through a partnership between the Wounded Warrior Project and The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG), which will be held June 18-21 at TPC Sawgrass in Jacksonville, Fla.

Through these leadership summits, The Hartford and the Wounded Warrior Project are giving the severely wounded men and women of our armed forces an amazing opportunity to improve their personal finance knowledge and develop the skills needed to form solid business relationships, said Wounded Warrior Project Founder and Executive Director John Melia. The leadership summits will help inspire and motivate the warriors to achieve their personal and business goals.

Many challenges lie ahead for the nearly 31,000 wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The leadership summit is the latest addition to the growing number of services and programs Wounded Warrior Project offers wounded military personnel and veterans including career and benefits counseling, adaptive sporting activities and combat stress seminars. Thanks to a $250,000 commitment from The Hartford, veterans will attend the summit free of charge.

These brave men and women are returning from the front lines with a diverse set of experiences, leadership skills, and knowledge that directly translate to the business world, said Ramani Ayer, chairman and CEO of The Hartford. As a corporate community and a nation, we have a responsibility to recognize the enormity of the sacrifice these individuals have made and to help them return from the battlefield to business.

Programming at the summit will include:

  • A forum on small business ownership, showcasing a panel of veterans who have successfully pursued entrepreneurial ambitions after leaving the service. The panel will feature Charles B. Perry, chairman and CEO, of Pinkney-Perry Insurance Agency, Inc.; Karl Dorman, co-founder of Front Line Medical, a national producer and distributor of American made, top quality orthopedic and sports medicine care products; Brendan Hart, founder and CEO of Quantum Executive Group, a management consulting firm that focuses on solving issues of concern for leaders of companies, governments, and institutions; and Michael Durant, a seasoned helicopter pilot and inspiration for the film Black Hawk Down, now the owner of Pinnacle Solutions, Inc., a company that provides flight simulator devices. Durant will also serve as the summits keynote speaker.
  • A financial literacy seminar addressing the unique challenges of disabled veterans, based on content from The Hartfords financial literacy program, Playbook for Life. The summit will also include one-on-one financial planning sessions for wounded warriors and their families.
  • A career fair that will offer one-on-one sessions with The Hartfords vocational counselors, who are experts at integrating disabled individuals into the professional workforce. The fair will also feature a number of companies that have committed to hiring wounded veterans, whose leadership skills are in high demand by large corporations.
  • A seminar in business golf etiquette led by PGA TOUR professionals, followed by the inaugural Wounded Warrior Project Golf Tournament, where wounded veterans will play along with business leaders.

For a full schedule of summit events, please contact Ayla Hay at (757) 340-7425 or via e-mail at ayla@themeridiangroup.com. For more information on the business programs offered by The Hartford, please contact Kelly J. Carter at (860) 843-9420 or via email at Kelly.carter@hartfordlife.com.

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