Non-Profits on Fire

The men and women in this category have turned their own first-hand veteran experiences into successful and well-known non-profit enterprises, all of which have the mission of helping service members as well as those within their local communities. These individuals understand the importance of building a strong community and recognize the constant challenges that many veterans and their families face. As such, they have dedicated their life’s work to ensuring that they bring positive and impactful change to those around them, as well as offering relevant opportunities for veterans to find a way to continue their call to serve.

Janaia Nash, Travis Manion Foundation

Janaia Nash graduated from the United States Military Academy and was commissioned as an Adjutant General Officer for the Army in 2003. During her six years of service she deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and also received numerous awards for her contributions to diversity programs, emergency relief efforts, and personnel programs. At the conclusion of her military service, Janaia briefly transitioned into the private sector before pursuing her passion of serving others in the nonprofit space by joining The Mission Continues, a veteran-serving organization, as the Fellowship Program Director where she was responsible for all aspects of the program. Following this, she accepted a position as the Vice President, Veterans and Military Programs for Points of Light, one of the world’s leading organization focused on volunteerism and civic engagement, where she the military strategy for the organization as well as embedded National Service (AmeriCorps) in the military and veteran community as a way for service members, veterans and their families to leverage volunteering as a method to reintegrate successfully within their local communities. Janaia currently serves as the Chief Programs Officer for the Travis Manion Foundation and is also a board member for Peace Through Action USA.


Dusty Baxley, Boulder Crest Retreat

Dusty Baxley is the Executive Director of Boulder Crest Retreat Virginia’s Post-traumatic Growth Academy. Dusty is a retired US Army Airborne Ranger MP/S3/G3/Operations Specialist. He served as part of the 82nd Airborne’s Combat Parachute Assault in Panama during Operation Just Cause and with the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment for Desert Shield / Storm. Since retiring Dusty has dedicated his life, passion and abilities to bringing relief, healing and hope to our active duty, veteran and transitioning military personnel experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, common in service members. His personal journey of healing combined with his exceptional leadership and teaching abilities, credibility in the Military community, and pure passion for helping Veterans, coupled with Transcendental Meditation, an effective technique for reducing PTSD symptoms, delivers a powerful message and post-traumatic growth results.


Will Hubbard, Student Veterans of America

Will makes his second showing on the HillVets 100 following a big year. In addition to being an integral part of the SVA team, serving over 1 million student veterans across the country, Will led a team of VSO leaders toward the largest expansion of the GI Bill since passage of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill was enacted. Dubbed the Forever GI Bill, the Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act, amongst many other provisions, did away with the delimiting date for GI Bill benefits and opened up the GI Bill to Purple Heart Recipients. Will testified in front of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and House Veterans Affairs Committee on numerous occasions and worked in a collaborative effort, which resulted in the passage of this important piece of legislation.


Miguel Howe, The George W. Bush Institute

George W. Bush Presidential Center hosts Stand To Event in Washington, DC. Photo by Grant Miller

Colonel Miguel Howe, USA, Ret. is the inaugural April and Jay Graham Fellow of the Military Service Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. As an endowed Fellow, Colonel Howe represents the Bush Institute’s work to improve the transition of post-9/11 veterans to civilian life, and to foster veteran leadership to enhance our businesses, communities and nation. In this role, he advocates for post 9-11 veterans and builds awareness for the issues that affect their transitions, with a focus on employment, education, and health and wellbeing.

Colonel Howe retired from the United States Army where he served for over 24 years in a myriad of command and staff assignments to include in Iraq and Afghanistan. He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the commander of the Afghan National Army Special Operations Advisory Group, Camp Morehead Afghanistan. He also deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Chief of Staff for the NATO Training Mission in Al Rustamiyah, Iraq. A Special Forces Officer, he has commanded special operations forces on numerous deployments throughout Latin America with the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Colonel Howe served as the Special Assistant to the CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and commanded the U.S. Army Southern California Recruiting Battalion. He began his Army career in the 25th Infantry Division as a Rifle Platoon Leader.


Andrew Brennan, Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation

Andrew Brennan made big waves as the Founder of the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation in 2017.  Andrew led the charge in advocacy for the passage of legislation to build a national war memorial for Post 9/11 veterans. Now that the legislation has passed he has turned his efforts to raising the necessary funding to build the memorial, as well as working with various government offices to determine the site location, and the design of the memorial.

Andrew is a graduate of West Point, holds an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University. A former Army Aviation Officer deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, he led a UH-60 Blackhawk platoon, in addition to staff work for his aviation battalion after pinning Captain. Upon leaving active service, he worked in private sector logistics before pursuing his MBA.

Related to Veterans issues and the GWOT Memorial Foundation, Andrew has testified before Congress, been published in Armed Forces and Society, The NY Post and Military Times. He has been interviewed on, or contributed to, pieces for the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Fox News, The Associated Press, Stars and Stripes, We Are The Mighty, Task and Purpose, The San Diego Union Tribune, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and various other local news outlets.


Vince Moffitt, David Burke, and the rest of the Team Rubicon Water Rescue Teams

In mid-August, Hurricane Harvey swept through the Gulf Coast, devastating Houston, Texas and its surrounding areas. Amongst the first to respond to the disaster were the Team Rubicon water rescue teams led by Vince Moffitt and David Burke. Within days of Harvey’s landfall, three water rescue teams were already in the water, providing much needed assistance to the people of Houston. On the first day alone, the teams rescued 39 individuals from the rising water. For the next three days, the number of people saved only increased as more of Team Rubicon’s well-trained first responders arrived on the scene to help with the search and rescue effort. Team Rubicon’s water rescue teams provided much needed assistance to those who thought all was lost.




James Schmeling, Student Veterans of America

James Schmeling is Executive Vice President, Strategic Engagement for Student Veterans of America. He joined the SVA team in December 2015. Prior to joining SVA, Schmeling co-founded the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University and was appointed as its first managing director. He supervised the Programs mission area, which included transition, employment, education, and training programs. Schmeling has also served on the Veterans Employment Advisory Committee for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative. Schmeling co-founded two and built three institutes in public and private universities with between 35 and 60 employees in each. He administered or implemented over $90 million in grant funding and authored proposals directly resulting in over $45 million in funding. Schmeling served 6 years in the U.S. Air Force.