Apr 5, 2017
Jen Paquette, Executive Director of the Green Beret
Foundation, discusses how her husband’s injury changed her mission,
and how she leveraged her business experience to lead a dynamic
non-profit organization. Jen covers the lessons
learned running a not-for-profit; the difficulty of fund raising;
building her own credibility; and effective board
also discusses the women of Steel Mags, and the vital role they
play in the organization. Most important to Jen is that
a fallen Green Beret is never forgotten.
Jen is an Honorary Member of the Special Forces
Association - only the sixth woman in history to receive this honor
at the National level.
[2:03] Jen became involved in the Green Beret
Foundation from her husband, Roland’s, experience in Special
Operations Forces. He was traumatically injured by an IED, and
stayed a year at Walter Reed; then they moved to San Antonio. In
San Antonio, SOC asked her to help start a program for all of SOF.
She used her business experience to help, but saw that the Green
Berets had no program of their own.
[5:35] Jen resigned at SOCOM and started working at
the GBF, with no salary for the first 24-30 months, running it out
of the Anderson and Paquette homes.
[7:13] Jen covers some of the lessons learned running
a not-for-profit; the difficulty of fund raising for a
not-for-profit, the complexity, building her own credibility,
building institutional credibility, donor fatigue, and dealing with
[11:16] Transitioning from an executive business role
to directing a not-for-profit taught Jen to do more with less. Jen
hasn’t been on a vacation since 2005. The staff is small, and
emergencies happen. She either had to figure out various jobs
herself, or find someone to help her. She has learned to
[16:15] Jen talks about Gold Star families. Jen’s
commitment is to improve their quality of life, and to make sure
that that soldier’s name does not get forgotten.
[20:49] Jen talks about transition support.
[25:53] Jen has noticed that ranks such as Sergeant
Major and above have a rougher time to humble themselves. They have
to be audacious in battle, but in civilian life that has to be
unlearned. The younger guys are still in learning mode, and have an
[29:29] Jen discusses her involvement in the Steel
Mags. They are purpose-driven, just like the Green Berets. This is
a lifestyle for us, not a 9-to-5. They also do good in the
[34:01] Jen explains her lifestyle with one word:
passion! It’s not emotion; it’s drive.
[36:47] Jen ends with a story.
Jen Paquette is the Executive Director of the Green Beret
Foundation. At Jen’s request, her children call her Mrs. Boss Lady.
Her community calls her MBL.
has served as Executive Director of the Green Beret Foundation
beginning 1 August 2011. In 2009, Jen served on the GBF’s Board of
Advisors helping establish the Foundation and later as
Vice-President, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer since January
2010. She has identified and developed programs and services,
planned and executed GBF’s numerous fundraising events raising
millions of dollars and awareness for the US Army Special Forces.
She has fostered business relationships with other not-for-profits
and corporate sponsorships for the Foundation.
Jen is the founder of the GBF’s sorority, the Steel
Mags. She manages critical aspects of day- to-day operations and
handles strategic business development at the Foundation including
strategic planning, fundraising, building and maintaining donor and
investor relationships, coordination of services with USSOCOM Care
Coalition, USASFC, USASOC and delivering those services to Green
Berets and their families.
Jen’s number one and most important position is being
the wife of SSG(R) Roland Paquette III who was an 18D (Special
Forces Medic) and now an Emergency Room Physician Assistant and
owner and operator of Med Training Group LLC. Roland was
traumatically wounded by an IED blast while serving in Operation
Enduring Freedom giving both legs above the knees.
Prior to her work at the GBF, Jen was asked by
USSOCOM Care Coalition leadership to help develop and start the
USSOCOM Care Coalition Recovery Program. This program was developed
for traumatically wounded SOF warriors and their families’ long
term recovery and support.
Jen has worked for companies such as Intel
Corporation and Phelps Dodge Corporation now Freeport McMoRan
Copper and Gold Inc. holding various positions. She has extensive experience
in managing high profile multi-million dollar projects, developing
and delivering leadership training throughout the country to
private companies and schools, and providing consulting for private
and not for profits businesses. Jen has over twenty-five
years of experience in planning and executing complicated events of
various sizes and formats and managing, networking and liaising,
between contrasting demographics in all the different circles
within her network.
Ms. Paquette earned her B.S. in Business
Administration majoring in Supply Chain Management from Arizona
State University and her Master’s in Public Administration with a
concentration in Not-for-Profits and Public Policy from St. Mary’s
University. She is
a member of Business Executives for National Security, the San
Antonio Downtown Rotary Club, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce,
and an associate member to the OSS Society. She is the Vice President and
a Board of Director for Dancing Angels Foundation. Jen is also on the Board of
Advisors for the National Special Forces Green Beret Memorial
Project near Ft. Bragg, NC. She has been active with JINSA, AIPAC,
and Catholic Charities. She was selected for the 2012 Outstanding
Young San Antonian award. Jen is an Honorary Member of
the Special Forces Association. She is the sixth woman in
history to receive this honor at the National level, and the second
within the SFA Chapter XV. Most recently, Jen was
selected for the United State’s Special Operation Command highest
award- the Patriot Award, Jen splits her time between
DC, NYC, Ft. Bragg and San Antonio, Texas where she lives with her
Green Beret and their youngest son.
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