Archive for month: March, 2016



I take great pride in announcing that Silhouettes for VETS is changing our name!

After many months of research and surveys with our Board of Directors and other Veteran organizations we have taken the first step in scaling our operations by changing our name to: VETERANS CAREER XCHANGE.


During our first two years it has become evident that there were some issues with our previous Brand name – Silhouettes for VETS. It was obvious that it is just too hard to spell but more importantly we saw that the brand did not effectively communicate the essence of who we are and what our mission is. It became obvious that it did not communicate to Veterans the quality coaching and educating service the organization could provide to them.

We wanted to distinguish ourselves from other Veteran Service Organization and preclude words or expressions that have, in some circles, been overused! Words like Heroes or Warriors were disqualified. We also did not want our unique services to be confused with other organizations that are also doing great work. Veterans Career Xchange, first suggested by Alex Mack, Executive Director, was the one name that stood out.

Transitioning military personnel who have been familiar with the Post Exchange (PX) or the Base Exchange (BX) can now work with the great coaches of the Career Xchange (CX)!

We are not just working to put Veterans in jobs! We are coaching and preparing each Veteran for a career position in the civilian workforce.

To that end we have also changed the descriptor for our core program from “GET YOUR JOB” to, “Xchanging a Military Uniform for a Civilian Career”. Our unique and customized model of educating, coaching and preparing Veterans for the workforce remains the same. Our other Programs (Veterans Improv and our Woman’s Veteran Program – WANTED) remain the same.

General Ruth Wong (Ret) Director Military and Veterans Affairs – County of Los Angeles and Mark Brenner

We are excited about our new Branding and how it will reach and impact the Veteran community. Our Programs depend upon you – our supporters! Our analysis has revealed that our cost to put a Veteran to work is right around $1000.00. Just imagine what $1000.00 can do? A Veteran working at or above a living wage decreases homelessness, decreases the amount of assistance they receive from the Government, decreases the suicide rate among Veterans, increases the taxes for both the State and Federal government and stimulates our consumer based economy by injecting spendable dollars.

We are asking for your continued support by making a donation (donations start at $5.00). Just as the presidential candidates receive millions of dollars through small donations, imagine if the Veteran Career Xchange could received just $20.00 from 50,000 supporters? That would put over 1250 veterans to work generating over 60 million dollars of spendable income for the economy. Donations to the Veteran Career Xchange are crucial to the goal of expansion throughout the United States and would enable the Veteran Career Xchange to all but eliminate Veteran unemployment.

Our mailing address and phone number will remain the same however our email and website will reflect our new name:


Veterans Career Xchange


Mark Brenner



Alex Mack



Thank you everyone for your support!


2015 in Review…

It has been a while since my last Blog and I wanted to update all of our supporters about all the great work we accomplished in 2015.

We have completed two years of working with Veterans throughout Southern CA. In twenty-four months we have coached and prepared over 200 Veterans for the civilian workforce. Our placement percentage of the Veterans we have coached is over 80%! In 2015 we coached 140 Veterans and placed 114 Veterans into positions that are at or above a living wage with an average annual salary of close to $50,000.

The results have been rewarding and far above those of other Veteran Service Organization. Our percentage of placement coupled with a retention rate of Veterans in new positions for over 6 months has exceeded our goals. The work of our Executive Director, Alex Mack a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger, our staff of Volunteers has allowed us to achieve our goals.

The Veterans we have worked with are working across all industries from aerospace, to entertainment to technology companies. Our 10-Component Program has shown that it works and we will continue to improve our process. Our Veteran Improv Program has been developed and we are undertaking a Pilot Program with the assistance of USC (CIR). Once completed, we are sure that this program will become an industry standard for interview preparation.

Over the course of 2015 we have added three key members to our Board of Directors. Sal Esparza, PhD and assistant Director of the Center of Health and Wellbeing for CSUN, Lisa Phalen a nationally recognized coach and motivational speaker and Mary Gomez, a senior executive and Human Resources expert. We welcome our new Members and are confident that together with the rest of our Board we can become the Premier Veterans coaching organization in the nation.

Due to other commitments two Board Members, Marvin Rapaport and Nancy Butler has decided to step down as Board Members. We wish them both well in their endeavors.

We are pleased to announce that we have received Grants from both The United Way and The MVAT Foundation. We have currently submitted 7 other Grants for consideration. Further we have received donations from over 100 individuals who have been generous and supportive.

And finally we are in the process of migrating to a new Brand… Silhouettes for VETS will be changing it name in the course of the next few weeks to “Veteran’s Career Xchange” – I am sure you all remember the Post Exchange (PX) or the Base Exchange (BX)? Well now every Veteran will have access to the Career Xchange (CX). I will be notifying everyone once the new name is official and the new Website in up and running. Of course we will soon have a new Facebook page and Twitter handle

For 2016 we have developed our goals and results that will further benefit and impact the Veteran unemployment rate. I will be sending out Blog each week to give you updates and our results.

Thank you all for your support. In order to impact today’s unemployed Veterans we still need your help. Based upon our analysis for every $1000.00 received in donations we can put a Veteran’s to work! Think about it. That a Veteran going to work for just $1000.00 decreases State and Federal assistance, adds dollars to the economy and improves to the health and well being our Veterans! Our donations start at $5.00 – please help us help our Veterans…

I will look forward to hearing your comments and receiving your donations.