Organization: United States Navy and Marine Corp
In 1987 I embarked on a multi-million dollar contract as a Strategic Marketing Advisor for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). This opportunity arose after a U.S. Navy Commander from the Pentagon heard me speak on employee health and engagement at a President’s Council on Fitness conference. I was subsequently contracted by the DoD to analyze the level of awareness of the current Health and Physical Readiness programs across U.S. Navy and Marine active duty and family members, and to create a comprehensive marketing strategy and global campaign. My work with the DoD saw a significant increase in stakeholder and member awareness and utilization of the programs in the newly created Forge The Future campaign.
During this project, I collaborated with stakeholders and influencers at all levels to create a global campaign in all locations including 4,500 military bases to drive the effective implementation of healthy programs and naval requirements that were accessible to employees everywhere, even those deployed on ships and submarines. A heavy emphasis was placed on diversity and inclusion in developing the campaign, ensuring equal access for everyone regardless of education, race and gender.
Over the course of my time at DoD, I developed an expertise in engaging people in historically under-utilized programs. Just in my work with Forge the Future campaign, I successfully delivered health and wellness programming to 4,500 military bases, reaching millions of people, including active duty members, families and retirees. While in this role, I traveled extensively to military bases in the U.S. and abroad meeting and interviewing key stakeholders and active duty members to increase program engagement at every level.
At the completion of the Health and Physical Readiness program contract, the US Navy asked me to stay on as a contractor to provide an expanded approach in their programs targeting spouse and child abuse, and later substance and alcohol abuse. Through my comprehensive work, I gained deep expertise in how to galvanize engagement, build trust and craft targeted communications across diverse organizations and populations. Ultimately my time with DoD was humbling work, and a time in my professional career that continues to bring me a sense of pride and joy.