Bob Woodruff Foundation and United Way of Broward County Host Veteran Support Summit March 5

The event will bring together community leaders to discuss how best to support Florida veterans, service members, military families, and caregivers.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 14, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Bob Woodruff Foundation, in partnership with the United Way of Broward County and with generous support from craig newmark philanthropies, will host its annual Summit at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North on March 5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More than 300 public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders will gather to discuss issues affecting veterans, service members, military families, and caregivers living in Florida, and potential solutions to those issues. Bob Woodruff, ABC Correspondent and Co-Founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, will host a discussion on public leadership for military families alongside Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ben Sorensen, former Vice Mayor of Fort Lauderdale.

“In partnership with United Way of Broward County, we’re bringing together an exceptional group of national and regional leaders to highlight the complex needs of the military community and work to identify solutions,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, CEO of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “With the nation’s third largest veteran population in Florida, we look forward to bringing much-needed attention to the pressing issues facing our veterans.”

Summit panelists will present national trends and local insights related to the needs of and services for the military and veteran community in Florida, and include:

State and National Trends

  • Dr. Margaret Harrell, Chief Program Officer, Bob Woodruff Foundation
  • John Boerstler, Chief Veterans Experience Officer, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • COL Al Carter, USA (Ret.), Chief of Staff, Florida Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Natalie Kelly, CEO, Florida Association of Managing Entities
  • Melissa Nelson, President and CEO, United Way of Florida

Stories of Military Transition

  • James Heaton, Senior Director, Mission United of United Way of Broward County
  • MG Gregg F. Martin, PhD, USA (Ret.)
  • Stephen Moss, Founding Chair of Mission United of United Way of Broward County
  • Lt Col Duilia Mora Turner, USAF (Ret.)
  • MSG Owen Walker, USA (Ret.), Manager for Broward County Veteran Services


  • Pablo Calvo, Data and Systems Analyst, Mission United of United Way of Broward County
  • Ashley Lowery, President and CEO, Homeless Empowerment Program
  • Janet Stringfellow, President and CEO, Volunteers of America Florida
  • Pye N. Young, Managing Attorney, Bay Area Legal Services

Lingering Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Dr. Michael Sorna, M.D. MSA FASAM, Medical Director, Leon Haley MD Brain Wellness Program, UF Health Jacksonville

VA Myths and Veteran Fraud

  • Andi Martinez, Senior Partnerships Advisor, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Community Collaboration

  • Matt Chenworth, Senior Director of Military Affairs, Nova Southeastern University
  • Thawanna Hurge, Director of Community Impact, United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties
  • Amanda Lasecki, Vice President of Operations, Community Foundation and United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties
  • COL D.J. Reyes, USA (Ret.), National Veteran Advocate for Veterans Treatment Court

United Way of Broward County MISSION UNITED is a member of the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s Got Your 6 Network of more than 300 partners nationwide. President and CEO, Kathleen Cannon, will be speaking on behalf of the organization.

“Many military members and Veterans call Broward County home, and we have a duty to serve those who served us,” Cannon said. “We recognize that the transition from active duty to civilian life is a major adjustment, where many of our Veterans struggle, this is why we created MISSION UNITED. We’re proud to partner with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, not only on this year’s Summit, but year-round, as we work to seamlessly integrate the Veteran community into the next chapter of their lives.”

Hillary Ovalle

(954) 825-3065

About the Bob Woodruff Foundation
The Bob Woodruff Foundation was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was wounded by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has raised awareness about the tough challenges veterans and military families are facing, and invested in solutions to help support them in the next chapter of their lives. To date, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested over $159 million to ensure that our nation’s veterans, service members and their families — those who stood for us — have stable and successful futures. Visit www.BobWoodruffFoundation.orgfor more information.

About United Way of Broward County’s MISSION UNITED
MISSION UNITED is a critical program supporting US military service members, Veterans and their families in Broward County by helping them acclimate to civilian life. Key focus areas include employment services, education, health, legal assistance, financial stability and housing support. Through MISSION UNITED, United Way of Broward County is aligning existing services and creating solutions where there are gaps in support. For more information about MISSION UNITED, please call 954-4-UNITED or visit, Facebook or Twitter.

About United Way of Broward County
United Way of Broward County is a volunteer driven, community-based, non-profit organization servicing Broward County for more than 80 years. United Way of Broward County fights for the Health, Education and Financial Prosperity of EVERY person in our community. United Way of Broward County is the catalyst for change and convener of partnerships that unite the hearts, minds, and resources within the Broward community. For more information, visit

About craig newmark philanthropies
Craig Newmark is a Web pioneer and philanthropist, best known for creating the online classified ads service craigslist. Craig’s full-time philanthropic work focuses on organizations on the frontlines of protecting America’s security and democracy. He has given more than $300 million in support of veterans and military families, trustworthy journalism and civic engagement campaigns, cyber security education programs, hunger relief, and pigeon rescue. Craig was influenced by his Sunday School teachers who escaped the Holocaust, set his moral compass, and taught him to treat people like you want to be treated – and how to know when enough is enough. He stepped away from the day-to-running of craigslist almost two decades ago, but he still occasionally volunteers as a customer service representative.

SOURCE Bob Woodruff Foundation