Dec 14, 2020 | Leadership, People

For the past five years, I’ve had the privilege of serving as a pro bono coach for a San Diego-based nonprofit called The Honor Foundation. The program offers a 120-hour, MBA-style curricula that serves as a bridge for members of the Special Operations forces of the military to transition from service and discover what’s next on their career path.

Thanks to The Honor Foundation, these men and women have the tools they need to confidently enter the workforce with pride and a sure footing. They are prepared to take the leap of faith that the civilian world will honor their service, embrace their elite training, and place them in positions worthy of their talents.

It is my honor to introduce you to five members of the Group 35 graduating class.

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1. Rusty Quinlan

What he brings to the team: Passionate storyteller with a desire to make an impact on the world by empowering highly creative teams to do what they do best. Over 10 years of progressively higher leadership and advisory positions with advanced skills in educational systems, complex problem solving, communication, and team coordination.

Education: Master’s Certification in Sound Design, Berklee College of Music, B.M. Music Education & Performance, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Areas of interest: Leading Diverse Teams through Complex Operations, Ops Management, Program Management, Training Curricula Design and Delivery, preferably in the media and entertainment industries

Availability: Rusty will transition his role as Division Chief, EOD Training and Evaluation in Q1 of 2021



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2. Leif E. Mollo

What he brings to the team: Over 27 years of successfully leading, developing, and inspiring excellence, integrity, and resilience in high performing teams and leaders.  A track record of proven leadership in crisis and ambiguity, excelling in the most challenging and complex no-fail environments. A team builder, trusted mentor, and empathic leader that fosters buy-in and commitment to an organization’s vision and mission, with a reputation for achieving results, fostering teamwork, and improving organizational climate and culture. Successfully transferred unique expertise into the world of professional sports.

Areas of interest: Director level, Chief of Staff, or other “connective tissue” position where his knowledge, skills, and abilities will help drive culture, develop people, and contribute to excellence and success across the entire organization.

Education: M.S. in Defense Analysis from Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey. B.S. in Political Science from the United States Naval Academy. Distinguished Graduate from both schools. 

Availability: Leif is available for full-time, part-time, remote employment immediately



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3. Seth Cummings

What he brings to the team: Proven leader with 25 years of experience leading high-performance teams, projects, programs, and portfolios. Seth has extensive experience coaching and mentoring team members to empower personal and professional development that benefits the team and organization at all levels. He focuses on developing individuals’ potential and leveraging insightful problem-solving skills to inspire and influence action.

Areas of interest: Director or Senior leader in the Non-profit or Management Consulting sectors. An ideal role is serving on a high performing team that values hard work and has a great atmosphere.

Education: B.A. in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis from Norwich University

Availability: Seth will be available for full-time employment beginning on April 1, 2021




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4. Peter Dorris

What he brings to the team: An extraordinary knack for innovative problem solving and team building honed by over 11 years of working on extraordinarily complex problems with diverse cross-functional teams. Peter works hard to ensure that his teams are empowered to accomplish goals with as much buy in as possible by keeping open lines of communication and embracing innovations in technology. 

Areas of interest: Project / Program Manager in the technology solutions or medical device industry. An ideal role is serving on a high performing team at the cutting edge of innovation. 

Education: B.S. Organizational Leadership, University of Charleston, MBA Candidate 2022 Concentration in Data Science and Business Analytics, Santa Clara Leavy School of Business.

Availability: Peter is available for full-time employment beginning January 1, 2021



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5. Chris Merwin

What he brings to the team: Highly positive and deeply ethical senior executive with a passion for exceeding expectations that contribute to organizational success. Chris is keenly adept at finding clarity and anticipating challenges, ensuring strategic objectives are met with an eye toward generating a positive return on investment.

Areas of interest: Business Development and Sales Management in civilian or defense industries. An ideal role for Chris would be leading a high performing sales or consulting team that evaluates operational practices, finds efficiencies that realize cost savings and improves relationships with customers. 

Education: Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina

Availability: Chris will be available for full-time employment beginning January 2021

If your organization could benefit from service-minded, adaptable, problems solving leaders like these, there is no more elite group of talent than the graduates of The Honor Foundation. Contact The Honor Foundation here to learn more about employing, mentoring, coaching and sponsorship opportunities for the world-class program. 

Question: What can you do to serve people who have dedicated their lives in service to others?  


Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, subscribe to receive CEE News!



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