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From Navy Dress Blues Warfare to Wall Street Pin-Stripe Suits

By Kevin Sofield

I was introduced to SOWF about five years ago through my current firm, Vista Equity Partners. At the time, I remember being surprised that I, and many people I knew, had never heard of the Foundation, given the organization had been formed nearly forty years prior. I was familiar with assorted charitable organizations that supported Veterans, having served eight years active duty as a U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) in the ‘90s, but I recall thinking to myself, leave it to Special Operators to create a foundation that quietly and professionally flies under the radar!

After leaving the Navy, I began a career on Wall Street and have spent the last couple of decades in investment banking and private equity. As a result of these experiences, I’ve had the good fortune to create extensive and long-lasting relationships with executives in banking, finance, legal, accounting, and consulting. Based on my interactions, I believe the financial investment community has enormous respect and admiration for the United States military, broadly speaking, and is very philanthropic as it relates to worthy causes. I also know that like myself back in the day, it is highly likely that many of my peers and associates were, and are, simply unaware of SOWF and its mission. Therefore, it seemed obvious to me that the best way to support SOWF would be to do what I can to raise awareness and funds for SOWF through outreach with the decision-makers in these spheres. One way I, along with SOWF Ambassador Viktor Ula, have become specifically involved, is to host a private reception and dinner in New York City each year, inviting generous individuals to learn more about the SOWF mission via opening heartfelt remarks from me and inspiring words and storytelling from Major General (Ret) Clay Hutmacher, President and CEO of SOWF.   

Since joining the SOWF board of directors in May 2019, I have developed an ever-deepening respect for SOWF and the thoughtful approach it takes toward its mission: to provide full “cradle to career” financial educational support for the children of our fallen Special Operations Forces. Since officially coming on board, I have seen ongoing progress with respect to programs and services and was so proud when the unanimous board decision was made to include the children of all Medal of Honor Recipients, as well as the recent expansion of the eligibility criteria to include those SOF personnel who have lost a spouse – recognizing the fundamental importance that spouses have in the military family.

I am honored and humbled to serve SOWF and look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come.

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