Monica McNeal is a nationally renowned veteran and military family advocate. In addition to being a Gold Star mother, she has held key executive leadership roles at corporations such as Nordstrom, Lafayette and Magaschoni. Her passions include developing talent and coaching those she supports to be “career ready” at all times. She has focused her talents and utilizes her leadership skills as an advocate and navigator for Microsoft. As a contractor on the Microsoft Military Affair Team, she is the program manager and supports the Military Spouse Technology Academy (MSTA). Additionally, she is the National Operations and West Coast Program Director at FourBlock a military veteran career readiness non-profit. There, she works to empower veterans and eliminate transition anxiety by filling the skill gaps needed for Four Block students to secure new and meaningful careers. Monica sits on Congresswomen DelBene’s Veteran Task Force, volunteers with the King County Veterans Consortium, Snohomish Veteran Housing Committee, VetsInTech, Heroes to Hometown, Washington State Military Transition Committee and other local military family causes. She is serving her 7th term as the President of Washington State American Gold Star Mothers and 2nd terms as the District President of the American Gold Star Mothers of Washington, Alaska and Oregon. The organization is currently fundraising for a Gold Star Family Memorial Monument to be placed in Lynnwood, WA. She is the recipient of the 2018 Senator Cantwell’s Women of Valor Award and 2016 Volunteer of the Year by the Washington State Dept of Veterans Affairs for her commitment to military veterans and their families. She believes and personifies that, despite the circumstances, you can make a difference every day.