Pacesetter Winners

Each year Hire Heroes USA presents the Pacesetter Award to individuals or organizations that have shown immense dedication to our Nation’s veterans and have supported Hire Heroes USA’s mission in an outstanding manner.

2013 Pacesetter Winner: Mary Ellen Curran

Mary-Ellen-CurranThe 2013 Pacesetter Award winner is Mary Ellen Curran. Mary Ellen is the Vice President of Community Relations at World Wrestling Entertainment. Hire Heroes USA is proud to present this year’s award to Mary Ellen in recognition of her tremendous initiative and significant contributions to Hire Heroes USA.


The U.S. military has special meaning to Mary Ellen Curran, vice president, Community Relations, WWE. Her dad was a decorated World War II veteran who taught his children they have a responsibility to give back to their community and their country. It’s a creed Curran takes very seriously, both in her personal and professional life.
When she joined WWE in 2012, Curran was impressed with the company’s dedication and commitment to our country’s service men and women, both in the U.S. and abroad. WWE wanted to do more, so Curran and her team researched organizations that help veterans and were impressed with work of Hire Heroes USA (Hire Heroes).


For her efforts, Curran was honored with the Hire Heroes USA Pacesetter Award at this year’s Summit. MedAssets is a corporate benefactor of Hire Heroes.


“Mary Ellen has transformed our relationship with WWE,” says Matthew Vieson, associate vice president, Corporate Relations and Development, Hire Heroes USA. “We started out on a small scale, and she has helped increase our public visibility through WWE’s many programs and campaigns.”
Over the past year, WWE has featured Hire Heroes in public service announcements at their events and in their television broadcasts, brought WWE Superstars to Hire Heroes workshops and trainings, and featured the company as a WWE Community Partner on Post “Fruity Pebbles” cereal boxes. All of this was accomplished thanks to the work of Curran and her team.

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2012 Pacesetter: Susan Thomas


susan thomasWednesday, April 03, 2013
By Eric Brandner

Hire Heroes USA is about helping troops grow professionally. But when the organization was starting out, it needed help growing, too.

USO Vice President of Warrior and Family Care Susan Thomas was there to help Hire Heroes USA – through her work as head of USO Warrior and Family Care programming – build its presence and distribute its services to wounded, ill and injured troops transitioning to the civilian world. For her efforts, she’ll be honored with the Hire Heroes USA Pacesetter Award at the 2013 MedAssets Healthcare Business Conference on Wednesday in Las Vegas. MedAssets is a corporate benefactor of Hire Heroes USA. Continue reading

Pacesetter 2011: Nancy Swain

Nancy Swain


Nancy was an instructor at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX   from 1998 through 2003 teaching Career Management, Organizational Change, Human Resources Administration, and Business Communications.  She has facilitated career transition workshops and provided executive leadership coaching for multiple corporations in all industries ranging from privately held to Fortune 15.  During her career Nancy had a private counseling practice, and was founder of two successful consulting firms designed to improve personal and professional competencies. Nancy has developed and facilitated a broad range of customized training and development programs for various business and industry enterprises such as:  Voluntary Hospitals of America, Kinetic Concepts, GTE, AT&T, Kodak, Unysis, Lincoln Properties, Owens and Minor, IMCO, SKB, Right Management Inc, Abbott Laboratories, Scott Paper, Dallas Community Colleges, K.D. Modeling Studios, Cardinal Health, Time Warner, The MED Group, Sabre, Motorola, Hire Heroes USA, Staff Care, StratCenter and Right Management.


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Pacesetters 2010: Mr. Bruce Maples and Mr. Rocky Sickman

Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples





Mr. Bruce Maples and Mr. Rocky Sickman have earned this award due to their tremendous dedication to our Nation’s veterans, their initiative and significant contributions to Hire Heroes USA, through hosting numerous fundraising events and opening the door for many partnership opportunities with companies to help hire veterans.



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Pacesetter 2009: Mr. Joe Vonder Haar

Joe Vonder Haar


Hire Heroes proudly and humbly presents the 2010 Pacesetter Award to Joe Vonder Haar, Vice President of the Convenience Store Channel and Military Sales for Anheuser-Busch, Inc., in recognition of his initiative and significant contributions to Hire Heroes USA, through numerous fundraising events and opening the door for partnership opportunities with companies to help hire veterans. As a sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals Legend’s Camp and the 1st Annual Salute to Veterans Golf Classic events in Pittsburgh and Alpharetta, Vonder Haar and Anheuser Bush have donated over $100,000 worth of beverage product and prizes this year alone.


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Pacesetter 2008: Mr. Carl P. Meyer

Carl Meyer


The Hire Heroes USA team would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to a man who exemplifies the impact one individual can make. Carl P. Meyer elected this year to celebrate Independence Day and show his respect for the men and women of our Armed Forces by staging the first annual “100 Holes for Our Heroes” golf event benefiting Hire Heroes USA. The unique event, held yearly on July 4th at Chenequa Country Club in Hartland, WI, is  planned and executed by Carl himself and features an attempt by the longtime golfer to play 100 holes of golf in a single day. “The Fourth of July is the perfect day for this,” Meyer said. “We are able to celebrate our freedoms because of the sacrifices veterans, past and present, have undertaken.”


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Pacesetter 2007: Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals

sanofi aventis


Sanofi-Aventis is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies. In the United States, Sanofi-Aventis employs approximately 16,000 employees located at 14 geographical sites throughout the country. Of these, approximately 8,000 are field sales professionals, making the company’s sales force one of the largest in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. The U.S. affiliate headquarters are located in Bridgewater, NJ.


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