EBV Program Graduate Helping Military Veterans Reintegrate Into Their Community
Tallahassee, Fla. — Many veterans often struggle with reintegrating into civilian life after ending their military career. After being part of something bigger than themselves for so long, it becomes all too easy for veterans to lose sight of their own value and self-worth when returning to their community.
Michelle Poitier, founder of Healing Women Healing Nations of NE Florida, experienced this first-hand and wanted to help make a change. In 2003 Michelle retired from the United States Navy after 13 years of Honorable service as a cryptologist. She would spend the next few years “bouncing around” as she puts it, using her skill set as a necessity to support herself and her daughter, but never felt empowered through her work the way she did during her time in the military.
This led to her first entrepreneurial venture in 2014, Future Impressions, LLC, a company offering professional writing services and administrative support to help clients package their projects in a professional manner. Now a budding small business owner, Michelle was recommended by a fellow veteran to apply for the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) program at the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, part of the Florida State University College of Business.
The EBV program, designed to give veterans with a successful business the tools and coaching to propel their business to sustainable growth, is where Michelle began to feel like a leader again.
“I immediately felt that camaraderie that I had been missing,” said Poitier. “As veterans we are leaders and we want to lead in our community. The camaraderie I experienced at EBV, along with the tools and resources they provided to us, allowed me to translate the skills I gained in the military into a leadership position within my community.”
The EBV program also gave Michelle the opportunity to present and refine her vision for Healing Women Healing Nations of NE Florida (HWHN), a 501c3 organization focused on meeting the needs of women and women veterans that have experienced domestic or sexual assault, mental illness secondary to trauma and/or post-traumatic stress (PTS) secondary to military sexual trauma (MST).
“EBV reminded me that organizations will see beyond veterans’ trauma and that we still have something to offer our community besides our service,” said Poitier. “Combined with the reminder and reinforcement that I was the striving force behind how successful my business would be, this inspired me to help fellow veterans who were suffering.”
HWHN started by holding Empowerment Events that reintroduced female veterans who had endured trauma to the concepts of self-love and self-value. Michelle then expanded the organization’s services to include educational workshops and presentations that would give victims the resources necessary to navigate through life living with trauma.
Michelle’s work led to a community member anonymously nominating her to attend Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s United State of Women Initiative in 2016. Poitier was one of 5,000 women hand selected from around the country to present at a three-day summit in Washington D.C. that amplified the work of organizations at the forefront of women’s rights and equality.
A fellow veteran then referred Michelle to E3 Business Groups, Inc., whose mission is to create an environment of learning and positive enrichment for aspiring entrepreneurs. During her early affiliation with E3, Michelle created and began hosting “Michelle Speakz”, a radio program where guests recount their stories of overcoming shame in order to encourage social and emotional growth among listeners.
In December 2016 Michelle invested in membership with E3 Business Groups, Inc., and under the tutelage of the organization, through one-on-one strategy meetings and weekly accountability webinars (Call of Eagles), she continued to develop as an entrepreneur receiving recognition in 2017 with E3’s second highest award (Soldier), and accepted an invitation to join the leadership team in North Florida.
As a member of the leadership team at E3, Michelle represents the E3 North Florida Partnership among local and regional stakeholders. In the partnership role, Michelle is responsible for the direct representation of E3 North Florida and the E3 International Director and Founder with outside organizations and agencies. She is the primary point of contact with local and regional stakeholders and is the face and voice of E3 with civic and corporate functions. Michelle is also the primary proxy for E3 leadership and works in conjunction with the Coordinator and the Advisor to ensure all partnerships and collaborations are in the best interest of E3.
With her business solidified and a prominent position secured at a leading entrepreneurial resource organization, Michelle has her sights set on the future.
“I want Healing Women Healing Nations to diminish the stigma with mental illness and to eliminate the shame among veterans who have suffered due to military sexual assault,” said Poitier. “The goal is to create an environment of healing and leave a lasting legacy of hope.”
Michelle is currently preparing for Healing Women Healing Nations’ next empowerment event taking place Saturday, August 18th from 11am – 1pm in Jacksonville, FL. For more information about this event, and Ms. Poitier, you can visit www.michellepoitier.com.
For more information about the Jim Moran Institute’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans program, contact Lindsey Peppers at firstname.lastname@example.org, 850-644-7896 or visit us at jmi.fsu.edu.
About the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship
The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship cultivates, trains and inspires entrepreneurial leaders through world-class executive education, applied training, public recognition and leading-edge research. Jim Moran was an automotive pioneer and an entrepreneur at heart, who at the age of seven, sold soda pop at sandlot baseball diamonds in Chicago. With a career that spanned more than six decades, he built an amazing chronicle of achievements in the automobile industry. His vision for the Jim Moran Institute was to provide opportunities that would help others become more successful business owners. A 1995 contribution from Jim and Jan Moran and JM Family Enterprises established the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at the Florida State University College of Business. Since 2011, further enhancements to the Jim Moran Institute and its outreach have been made possible by Jan Moran and The Jim Moran Foundation. For more information, visit jimmoraninstitute.fsu.edu.