Tag: Army

Alumni in the news

Army veteran Katie Buehner, a former Black Hawk helicopter pilot, has found a new and rewarding career path in the medical profession. Buehner’s professional and personal journey from serving in the Army to creating a new business venture has recently been featured in both The Denver Business Journal and The National Business Journal.

Buehner’s accomplishments cross the educational, military and healthcare sectors.  An alumnus of Olin’s Executive MBA program (EMBA), Buehner served ten years in the Army as a Black Hawk pilot. Her husband is a fellow army aviator and she did not originally intend on leaving the Army, but family responsibilities took priority. With three kids ranging from ages one to four, a pending assignment to Germany for six months provided a milestone moment for Buehner. She chose to care for her young children stateside, and in so doing, that pivotal moment opened the door for a career-changing opportunity, earning her MBA degree via WashU’s EMBA program.

While at WashU, Buehner took advantage of the rich business school network by meeting and eventually partnering with fellow classmate, John Spranger and his wife Erin. The team focused on the need for staffing nurses to local medical offices, clinics and hospitals. Meeting demand for nursing supply, their company, Presto Staffing, benefits both its clients and its talent. By permitting flexible scheduling, the firm naturally draws nurses who search for alternative schedules to help their work-life balance, while also serving a growing healthcare industry.

Notably, with a revenue of $260,000 since opening in July 2016, Presto Staffing had a 150 percent growth rate, between September and December of that same year.  A May 2017 EMBA graduate, Buehner applies her “operational background” to a role that also allows her to manage her own flexible schedule while focusing on essential time with her family.

Buehener credits her journey through EMBA with connecting her to the business realm, pointing out that the “classes are… comprised of experienced professionals.”  Through molding her in-depth military operations experience with her acquired real-world business knowledge and connections at WashU, Buehner is looking forward to the next chapter of her joint venture.

For more coverage of Buehner’s career, please click here (note: full article is available for National Business Journal’s subscribers only).

For more on the WashU Executive MBA program, please visit our website.

In the full-time MBA program at Olin, it’s easy to be intimidated by your peers. Students come from a wide array of backgrounds and experiences, and there’s not a single person here who didn’t excel in whatever they were doing prior to school. Everyone is remarkably humble about their achievements, so often it takes some time before you’ll learn exactly how accomplished your classmates are.

Such was the case when I attended a panel set up by one of my core team members, Jon Slack (MBA ’17), who is also a ten year veteran of the Army. Jon and six other WashU MBA and JD candidates arranged to sit down with about 20 cadets from the local Army ROTC Gateway Battalion; a good chunk of these college juniors and seniors from nine schools in the St. Louis area had just received their orders for where they’d be stationed next year, and in what branch of the Army, and my veteran and active-duty classmates were on hand to pass on advice about what it’s like to be an officer in the Army at a young age, to share stories of their own experiences, and to speak about success after leaving the Army.

Veteran and Active Duty members of the Olin Business School and the Washington University School of Law share their experiences as young officers with junior and senior college students from the 9 member schools of the Gateway ROTC Battalion.

Veteran and Active Duty members of the Olin Business School and the Washington University School of Law share their experiences as young officers with junior and senior college students from the 9 member schools of the Gateway ROTC Battalion.

The event kicked off with one panelist sharing how he became immediately responsible for a unit of over forty men, and as more of my MBA classmates shared their stories, I was continually struck by how much responsibility each was given at a young age, and how much freedom they were given in how they went about fulfilling their duties. Although the stories were very different, as the panelists came from varied roles and divisions, there was much similarity in the approaches each took to tackling the challenges of being a new leader.

Danny Henry (MBA ‘17) advised cadets to “be quiet, listen, ask questions, and start to identify who has strengths, what they are, and how to leverage them.” All the panelists urged cadets to have respect for the experience of their NCOs, and to learn from them as much as possible.

David Marold (JD ‘16) framed it as a people business: “if you invest in building relationships, your authority is already there and built into that.”

Charlie Hon, (MBA ’16), shared the benefits of empowering Soldiers to take ownership of their projects, and of recognizing soldiers for their successes, no matter how small.

Dan Vitale (MBA ‘17) reminded cadets that “you’re young, but you know what right looks like,” and encouraged them to “ask dumb questions, because everyone assumes you know nothing anyway, but all that changes pretty quick. By the time you’re a first lieutenant, everyone will think you know everything.”

James Jacobs (MBA ‘17) extolled the virtues of being in shape, explaining how an easy way to immediately command respect from subordinates was to be able to outrun them in PT. He also encouraged cadets to learn to prioritize, “you’ll never get everything done, so figure out what has to be done, what should be done, and what would be nice to be done. And never try to cover up ‘has to be done’ with ‘nice to be done,’ it never works!”

Nearly every single piece of advice was equally applicable to the business world; near the end, I found myself scrawling down notes not for this blog piece, but for my own edification.

The anecdotes my MBA classmates relayed were often ones where they’d made mistakes, or learned lessons the hard way. Their stories and advice illuminated a particularly salient point made by Tony Nuber (MBA ’17): “leadership is a process, not a state of being,” and each cadet had the ability to be a good leader if they brought confidence, determination, and empathy to their role.

It was exciting to see the incredibly accomplished members of the MBA and JD classes interacting with the equally talented cadets of the Gateway Battalion, and to watch one generation of leaders give back to the next.


AngevineWelcome Back Colonel Angevine!

Colonel John E. Angevine U.S. Army (Retired) has returned to Brookings. A former Federal Executive Fellow while on active duty with the Army, John has “retired” to join BEE as our Executive Fellow for Veterans Affairs.

Read Colonel Angevine’s full biography » 

John brings to BEE a variety of experience in senior military leadership in the active duty Army as a Senior Army Aviator, battalion commander, Joint Specialty Officer, and Strategic Intelligence Officer, as well as joint duty assignments with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Defense Intelligence Agency, among others. His operational military assignments include: Operations HURRICANE ANDREW, PROVIDE COMFORT, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM.

As described in the following commentary, John seeks to continue his service to our country at BEE by helping veterans maximize their benefits and parlay their military leadership skills to the civilian world.

As part of Brookings Institution’s and Washington University in St. Louis’ continued commitment to veterans and military service members, I am honored to join Brookings Executive Education (BEE) as an executive fellow for Veterans Affairs. I seek to deliver decisive advantages to veterans in government, transitioning military, and Active Duty military, creating and delivering innovative executive leadership education that prepares our warriors for senior service in either government or corporate America.

Prior to joining Brookings, I worked in private industry, government agencies, and the U.S. Army with more than 32 years of leadership experience, setting and implementing visions that postured commercial and defense sectors for success with innovative solutions.

The BEE team and I look forward to preparing our veterans and service members to capitalize on their wealth of leadership experiences through comprehensive education for continued service in government and corporate America in their quest for leadership excellence. We strive to create a veterans and military friendly environment for you to earn your Master of Science in Leadership.

Please feel free to contact me for more information on our Veterans Affairs research and education programs by e-mail: jangevine@brookings.edu or telephone: 202.238.3172.

Stuart Wolfer, BSBA’93, served as a major in the Army Reserves after graduating from Washington University. He was deployed to Iraq in January 2008 and killed by a mortar attack in April of the same year. On April 18, Wolfer will be honored by the university’s ROTC program with the dedication of a memorial in the North Campus complex, room 1120, at 5 p.m.

Stuart Adam Wolfer, 1971-2008

Stuart grew up with his sister Beverly in Dix Hills, Long Island, NY, where they attended Solomon Schechter Day School in Jericho. His Bar-Mitzvah was at the Dix Hills Jewish Center on Memorial Day, May 28, 1984. Later that year, Stuart moved with his family to Coral Springs, FL, where he attended Ramblewood Middle School and graduated in 1989 with honors from Taravella High School.

While at Taravella he was a member of the National Honor Society, Debate Club, a participant in Leadership Broward, JR Varsity Football, Lacrosse, and was active in BBYO (B’nai Brith Youth Organization). Stuart was confirmed at Temple Beth Orr.

Stuart’s summers involved Outward Bound, Volunteers for Israel, American Jewish Social Services that cost him his spot on the football team of his senior year, and B’nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO) Leadership programs

Stuart attended Washington University in St. Louis. During Thanksgiving of his freshman year Stuart told his parents that he had been auditing Army ROTC classes and now wanted to officially enroll in the program. Stuart was involved in Student Government and Hillel House.

Upon graduation in 1993 with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Stuart was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant from the Army ROTC program. Due to cutbacks in the Military, Stuart was placed in the Army Reserves.

Leaving St. Louis, Stuart moved to Des Moines, IA, and held various sales positions as well as starting his own vending machine business, Lilly Vending.

In 1996, Stuart moved to Los Angeles, CA, to accept another sales position. While in Los Angeles he attended night law school at Loyola University and graduated in 2002 with his JD.

Stuart and Lee Anne were married August 18, 2001, and have three daughters—Lillian 6, Melissa 4, and Isadora 2, where they live on their 80-acre farm in Emmett, ID. After law school graduation, he moved to Idaho and was a regional representative for Thomas-Reuters Legal Division in Idaho and Montana.

Since college graduation, Stuart served in the Army Reserves and in August 2004 was called to active duty as a logistics officer at Ft. Buerhring, Kuwait, where he served until October 2005 when he was promoted to Major. In December 2007, he was reactivated to the Multi National Security Transition Command-Iraq-Logistics/Operations (MNSTC-I/J3) and arrived in the Green Zone in January 2008.

While serving in the Green Zone, Stuart was an active member of B’nai Baghdad (a Jewish lay led minyan); a liaison to the Iraqi Jewish Community; a participant in the Green Zone Council–Iraqi Boy/Girl Scout Troop, and a member of the cricket team amongst the multi-nationals of the Green Zone. On April 6, 2008, while working out in the Fitness Center Stuart was killed along with another officer and 17 other soldiers were wounded from an incoming mortar attack.