Year in Review and a Look Ahead to 2012

As 2011 comes to a close, it is time to reflect back on a year of impressive accomplishments and to look forward to next year’s ambitious plans.  As a young organization, I believe that 2012 will be a year of growth and maturing for Warrior Gateway as we continue to establish ourselves as a leader in the military/veteran non-profit sector.

This past year, Warrior Gateway received two significant recognitions for our work to date.  In February of this year, I was selected as one of Federal Computer Weeks Federal 100, the top executives from government, industry and academia who had the greatest impact on the government information systems community in 2010.  While the award recognizes the individual, it was the hard work of the entire Warrior Gateway team that lead to that recognition, an impressive feat for an organization that was less than 2 years old at the time of the award.  We have been nominated again this year and I am hopeful that our continued innovation will put us at the top of the list again.

In May, we were also invited to participate as part of a small working group on veterans issues by the Clinton Global Initiative – America.  The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was founded in 2005 by President Bill Clinton and is a non-partisan organization that convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.  This is the first time CGI has focused on veterans issues and I am proud that we were included as thought leaders in this space.  We have been invited back and plan on attending again in 2012.

While 2010 was focused on our launch of WarriorGateway.org, our innovative consumer web portal for veterans, 2011 will be marked as the year we revolutionized the military non-profit sector by creating the G.I. Network, the only no cost technology infrastructure for government and non-profits alike serving the military community.

We have spent most of this year developing and piloting the G.I. Network and to not spoil the public launch scheduled for mid-January let’s just say there is nothing like it available today.  With over 200,000 non-profits included in the initial launch of the G.I. Network, we are going to make a significant jump forward in helping local communities connect to the Sea of Goodwill.  We have already signed up several partners and look forward to working with them in 2012 to connect the veterans in their community with the local resources that exist to support them.

To sign up to learn more about the G.I. Network, please visit: www.GINetwork.org

My philosophy has always been to focus on achieving results and allow those results to speak for us.  Warrior Gateway will always stay primarily focused on supporting our community and achieving results and partnership rather than self-promotion.  This corporate ethos is what defines us and I believe elevates us above the others that follow the go it alone approach.  We will continue to allow our results speak for themselves and look forward to announcing even more partnerships in 2012.

Happy Holidays and have a wonderful New Year!

Year In Review and Look Ahead to 2011

What started as an idea in 2009 became reality in 2010. The launch of the Warrior Gateway in March of this past year showed how new ideas, innovation and collaboration could positively impact our transitioning military community. Our growth in 2011 will continue to show how our unique approach will help connect individuals with non-profits and government service providers as well as educational and employment opportunities. The following Year in Review message showcases what the Warrior Gateway has accomplished in a very short time span as well as our plans to continue to make the Warrior Gateway the best resource it can be.

A Unique Idea is “Born”:

When the Warrior Gateway launched it was described at the time as an innovative web portal. It was, at launch, both a job search tool and an online directory for the military community to find local service organizations that could satisfy their unique needs. How the Warrior Gateway stood out as different:

  • Empowered users by allowing them to share their experiences with organizations they’ve utilized, good and bad
  • Provided members an additive benefit by learning about those experiences in their search for reliable information

In addition, we used the best design principles modeled after successful sites like Google Maps, Yelp and Craigslist to make sure users could find what they were looking for quickly and easily. The easy-to-use design was popular with our users and for the portal to continue to grow we hit the road to spread the word.

Bringing the Gateway to the Community:

This past year, the Warrior Gateway team went to communities across the nation to introduce people the strength of a free and interactive online resource directory. We attended more than 40 meetings, panel discussions, conferences and other events including:

Throughout 2010 we were mentioned in a variety of publications. The Warrior Gateway was mentioned in 17 news media outlets. Some of the major publications were:

  • The Washington Post
  • The New York Times
  • The San Francisco Chronicle
  • The Associated Press

Our approach was also praised by high level figures such as Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Craig Newmark, the founder of Craig’s List, who saw the value of its helpful and innovative approach.

Helping to bring together the Sea of Goodwill:

While we focused on introducing the Warrior Gateway to transitioning military members and their families in cities such as:

We have also reached out to industry partners, government leaders and the media to highlight the military community’s need for immediate access to quality services in their area and to help grow the Warrior Gateway. Our approach of working with the Sea of Goodwill community to find the best collaborative approaches to address the needs of those in transition helped Warrior Gateway make significant progress in a very short amount of time.

The Way Forward: Predictions for 2011

As the Warrior Gateway grows this year, our ability to help grows as well. We are excited to announce that this year we will be:

  • Launching the Gateway Information Network
    • A network of national, local and government websites that collaborate to share information to ensure there is no wrong door. No matter where military community looks for information, they will find consistent, relevant and accurate answers
  • Expand the Warrior Gateway
    • To ensure service members and their families can transition smoothly, we plan to extend into the areas of education and employment
    • We will stand up a Gateway Volunteer Corps, for those who want to volunteer their time to help the Warrior Gateway grow in their community
  • Reach for new goals
    • We will continue to connect veterans and their families to the best resources in their areas and increase the number of organizations in the service provider directory with a year end goal of at least 100,000!

You can also help veterans and their families today!

Come check out WarriorGateway.org! If you have visited a service organization in your area – rate them and share comments on your experience. If that organization is not in the Directory – add it. It is completely free and easy to do!

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