National Nonprofit Day: PTF Staff Shares Why They Love What They Do

Blog, Working at PTF | 08/17/2022

Today is National Nonprofit Day, a day for us to recognize the impact of the social sector and to highlight the importance of their work everyday. Much like Pat, the work we do is not defined by the recognition, personal accolades, or glitz and glamour. Our mission is to unite and empower remarkable military service members, veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self. We strive everyday to support our more than 800 remarkable Tillman Scholars as they become the leaders of tomorrow.

As we celebrate today, we wanted to give our staff an opportunity to share what is they love about working at PTF. Check out their different perspectives below!

“The community! I’m lucky enough to plan events that bring together diverse groups of people who all value the passion Pat had within his communities – how can that not make you want to bring together people who strive for a better tomorrow!” —Stephanie Wolf, Events Manager


“Working at PTF allows me to live a values driven life to the fullest. I am a third generation retired veteran and working at PTF allows me to give back to my “tribe” and help the world by giving others opportunities and providing support to scholars throughout their endeavors. I get the chance to do this for a living and get paid to help make this planet a better place to live.”—Kevin Burke, Programs Manager

“I’m always struck by two things when I spend time with our scholars: they are unapologetically changing the world in big ways and small, and they are just regular people like you and me. Being able to bring my talent and passion to support them and play a small role in helping them in this gets me excited to come in every day.”—Stevie Kuenn, Director of Marketing

“I love being a part of what’s next for our scholars. Hearing each of them talk about not just where they come from but also where they’re going and the impact they want to have about the world. It never gets old!” —Brett SanPietro, Director of Programs

“I love the camaraderie of not only our staff but the wonderful scholars within the Tillman Scholar community.” —Aerial Reese, Programs Manager


“The word passion is used often in our organization and it is not taken lightly. I’m inspired everyday by the passion I see from our community, be it scholars, staff, or supporters. Being surrounded by this day in and day out has lit a fire in me to be the best version of myself, not just for me, but for those who have ignited this fire.” — Neil Miele, Marketing Coordinator

“As part of the PTF marketing team, I’ve gotten the opportunity to tell the stories of some really extraordinary, humble, hardworking people. So many moments will stick in my memory for the rest of my life, but one in particular was really special – watching nearly 200 Tillman Scholars from all over come together through a Slack channel to aid the Afghan people during the Fall of Kabul in 2021. Known as Digital Dunkirk, these Tillman Scholars used their resources and knowledge to help hundreds of Afghans evacuate and seek refuge. Supporting people who literally are changing the world is why I come to work excited and motivated everyday.”—Erica Abdnour, Marketing Manger

“Tillman Scholars often ask me what is expected of them once they join the community and what they can do to get the most out of the experience. I greatly appreciate that I can use myself as an example when I say the best thing to do is just keep showing up. I really value the opportunity I’ve had to grow a program that I both benefited from and contributed to, first as a scholar and now as a staff member.”—Tabatha Renz, Associate Director of Programs

“Every day I’m surrounded by people who think beyond themselves, both staff and scholars. They’re the kind of people who ask difficult questions and seem to do the impossible. I’m constantly growing as a person and learning more about the world. On the days when I feel like saying, “Good enough,” they remind me to ask, “How can it be better?” That’s pretty rare to find in a 9 to 5.” —Dani Kawaguchi, Digital Engagement Coordinator

“Working for PTF allows me to support an incredible group of military members, veterans, and spouses, who continue to serve their communities. These are people who continue to confront challenges and issues and invest heavily into finding solutions for them. I am honored to have a small part in supporting their efforts through fundraising to ensure that these challenges remain unresolved because of a financial barrier.”— Theresa Jones, Development Manager

The Pat Tillman Foundation relies on everyone who believes in empowering selfless leaders. Your contribution helps us honor Pat’s legacy by uniting and empowering the next generation of leaders. Join Team 226 today by becoming a monthly donor here!