Jun 18, 2018 | People

Joe Musselman founded The Honor Foundation (THF) five years ago to solve an injustice. In 2012, Joe had enlisted in the service with a dream of becoming a Navy SEAL. While in training one day, Joe sustained a serious injury. By nightfall, he was medically discharged. The next 12 months led Joe through rehabilitation and the discovery of dozens of other members of the SEAL community who were in serious need of help to transition out of military service and into the civilian world.

As he dug further into the issue, Joe found that just 13% of SEALs had job offers when they got out of the service. He compared this to the 98% of Wharton MBA graduates who received 2-3 job offers upon graduation. Even those SEALs who did find employment often moved from job to job in the first five years after transitioning. That was the wrong that Joe set out to right in 2013.

Fast forward to 2018. Nearly 350 men and women from all branches of the Special Ops community have graduated from THF campuses in San Diego and Virginia Beach. This world-class, 120-hour MBA-style program immerses participants in a wide range of subjects including Purpose, Change Management, Emotional Intelligence, Leveraging Strengths, Resume Building, Networking, HR and Entrepreneurial Panels, and Mock Interviews.

On June 6th, THF graduated its 15th group of Special Operations Forces. Men and women who have served our country with honor now 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 a few members of the Group 15 graduating class, and to invite you to learn more about how you can employ, mentor, coach or donate to this amazing organization.


1. Brian Kelleher, “The ability to work with diverse teams to accomplish a common goal was a very rewarding experience and showed me my passion towards teamwork and mentorship.”

What he brings to the team: As I transition I am excited to find a company and culture that embraces the same community values I have grown accustomed to; diverse teams, embracing the chaos, inclusion, and always aiming above the status quo. I intend to be able to share the unique leadership and team building skills I have gained within Special Operations with my new organization.

Areas of Interest: Business Development • Project Management • Entrepreneurship

Education: Bachelors of Science, Organizational Leadership, University of Charleston (2017)


2. Michael Ortiz, “My exposure to solving complex challenges around the world has sharpened my intuition and I am looking forward to utilizing my leadership attributes, unique skills and active awareness in a variety of future roles.”

What he brings to the team: An established leader who communicates well and builds team spirit easily across all levels. Blends advanced education with practical experience to innovate common-sense solutions for diverse problems. Single-minded focus on exceeding established objectives, and expectations in every endeavor.

Areas of interest:  Project Management • Logistics • Leadership Development (developing others toward an unlimited future).

Education: Bachelors of Science, Business Management, University of Phoenix (2016)


3. Marek Malik, “As we progress into the digital age, we must keep the most important resource at the forefront of our priorities – our people. By optimizing our community, we are able to unlock greater potential for our organizations.”

What he brings to the team: Forming and leading cross-functional teams, and managing workflow between departments. Ability to develop employment strategies and forecasted operations, while mitigating risk with ethics driven conduct.

Areas of interest: Strategy Development • Change and Project Management

Education: Bachelors of Science, Economics, United States Naval Academy (2009)


4. Zachary Peters, “I am a trusted leader that relentlessly strives for excellence in chaotic and austere environments.”

What he brings to the team: As the founding member of two military units, Zachary helped develop the training plans, management plans and long term objectives to guarantee the success of the enterprise. These experiences have given him the necessary tools to understand the importance of starting a corporation and the confidence to do so in any sector. 

Education: International Relations & Diplomacy, Political Science and Government, New England College (2018)


5. Joshua Duntz, “After nearly 10 years of service, I’m ready to bring my leadership skills to the corporate world and use my unique problem-solving skills to help your business thrive.”

What he brings to the team: Worked with some of the world’s best problem solvers and mentors, allowing him to hone and craft leadership skills. Enjoys working hand in hand with other top performers as well as grooming future leaders.

Areas of interest: Team Builder • Project Manager • Problem Solver • Fitness Enthusiast

Education: Bachelors Degree, Organizational Development, University of Charleston (2018)


6. Preston Lee, “After graduating from UC Berkeley, competing on a historic D1 Rowing Program, and joining the world’s largest Fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, I learned to evolve and develop teams. I am dynamic professional and results-driven leader with 8 years of work experience in Naval Special Operations.”

What he brings to the team: An innovative problem solver who thrives under pressure. Able to forge strategic, global alliances in order to achieve mission-critical objectives. Possess experience in consulting, training, and developing high-profile, cross-cultural teams. Historically exceed expectations and honored for work ethic.

Education: Bachelor of Arts, History, University of California, Berkeley (2009)



7Joseph Wade, “I offer twenty years of global leadership experience and expertise leading high-performance cross-functional and cross-cultural teams in training development and crisis response.”

What he brings to the team: Creative, quick, and accurate problem-solving in diplomatic as well as dynamic operational environments.

Education: Bachelor of Applied Science, Defense Analysis, Norwich University (2018)



8Matt Heber, “My mission is to continue utilizing my skills and strengths so that I can serve others by creating new opportunities and possibilities, all while forging strong personal relationships. Being able to build trust and loyalty is something I highly value.”

What he brings to the team: Articulate communicator, complex problem solver, risk manager, optimist, team leader, relationship builder, calm under pressure, and an enthusiastic self-starter.

Areas of interest: Areas of Interest: Healthcare • renewable energy • consulting • business excellence/leadership

Education: Bachelors Degree, Health Services/Allied Health, Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati (2018)


If your organization could benefit from service-minded, adaptable, problems solvers 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 this 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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