SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota has hired C.J. Bannister as its new Director of the American Veterans & Their Families Initiative. She will lead Goodwill’s efforts to provide services to returning veterans, who face heightened risks of unemployment, personal problems, and homelessness. The program helps eliminate barriers to employment and provides opportunities for higher-paying positions for veterans and their families.
“I couldn’t be more excited and honored for the opportunity to take on this role. Through my experience as a Goodwill Ambassador, and after serving on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Manasota, I am knowledgeable and passionate about the programs that Goodwill offers the community,” said Bannister. “I am so proud of the opportunity to assist and serve our veterans, who deserve the utmost respect for sacrifices they have made for our country.”
C.J. Bannister herself is a veteran. After graduating from high school, she joined the United States Air Force, where she worked as a Crew Chief for three years and subsequently cross-trained to be a Paralegal and worked with the JAG for the remainder of her service. Bannister earned the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt) as well as many awards and medals, including: Basic Military Training Honor Graduate, The John Levitow Award at Airman Leadership School, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Military Education Award, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. Bannister served from 1993 until 2001, when she ended her military career as a non-commissioned officer.
After leaving the Air Force, she attended International College (now known as Hodges University in Naples, FL) and also worked full time as a Paralegal. Bannister began a career as a financial advisor in 2007, helping individuals with investment and financial needs and building a successful business until May of 2014, when she left the financial services industry to assist in opening a debt resolution business in Lakewood Ranch.
In addition to her previous experience as a Goodwill Manasota board member, Bannister is an active board member for Manasota SOLVE Maternity Homes. She serves on the Goodwill Veteran’s Task Force and serves and helps with several veterans organizations throughout the community. Bannister is dedicated to helping others and passionate about giving back, especially to our nation’s veterans.
“C.J. Bannister is a great example of a veteran who has taken every opportunity to positively benefit her community through her personal and career involvements. We are proud to introduce her as our newest addition to our American Veterans & Their Families Initiative,” said Bob Rosinsky, president & CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “With her vast experience in multiple industries, C.J. has a passion, dedication and expertise that will help us expand our veterans program so that we can continue to serve our heroes in every way we can.”
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2013, we served more than 16,000 people, placed 537 people in jobs and assisted 329 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 37 million pounds out of the landfill. For more information, visit EXPERIENCEGOODWILL.ORG.