Kandi Tillman, Managing Co-Founder

As a VetSpouse, I know first-hand how difficult the post-military transition can be as well as the impact to family plus the critical importance of steady employment in navigating that journey.  Over the years, I found myself informally providing career support to numerous other veterans beyond my spouse - so while his story is his own, every service member (and their spouse!) has a transition experience.

 

My background includes ~20 years in Fortune 500 companies (Procter & Gamble, Henkel, SAP and Oracle) across strategic planning, business development, eCommerce, branding, solution selling, partnerships & organizational readiness and several years in tech consulting.

In 2018, and with an intense need to understand the gap given the massive landscape of veteran service organizations, I left my corporate work and joined the office of Congresswoman (now Senator) Kyrsten Sinema, leading veteran outreach & legislative input. 

 

Subsequently, I consulted for Arizona State University (+9k military-connected students), providing strategic recommendations and initial activation for overall advancement of research, community veteran engagement and student support services. In both of those roles, strategic workforce development continued to be a primary opportunity area.

I serve on the advisory council of U.S. VETS in Phoenix, the Marketing & Communication Committee for the City of Phoenix Business Development & Workforce Board and partner with numerous nonprofit organizations nationally.
 

Kevin Tillman, Co-Founder

Prior to entering the civilian industry I was a college student, Minor League baseball player (Cleveland), and an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army with 2/75 Ranger Battalion.  When my enlistment was up I thought I could find a good (career type) job and transition without issue.  Instead I quickly became overwhelmed, frustrated, and paralyzed.  I simply didn't have exposure to the civilian market and how to go about getting "a regular job".

Fortunately, my then-fiancé (now my wife) Kandi was able to help me with my resume, understanding the hiring process for the various companies and industries, and pushed me to be proactive with direct referrals from my network.  Eventually I applied for open role at Lockheed Martin based on a direct referral.  I interviewed for & accepted an entry-level role at Lockheed Martin as a customer training.  After 5+ years at Lockheed, I accepted a Project Manager role at Dell on their Enterprise Deployment team.   In 2016, after working for 8 years with two major employers, I turned my focus full-time toward a small sports technology company that I co-founded.

For Kandi and I, our goal is help veterans transition as smoothly and quickly as possible into a job that a veteran can start their career with.      

    

With 50strong we hope to provide an ecosystem that helps provide direct connection & exposure between service members, veterans and spouses and national employers 

© 2020 by 50strong LLC